University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Causes and Consequences of the Deep Rooted Conflict among Hindus Buddhists and Muslims
Religion is a deeply rooted aspect in mankind. Since the early civilizations, human beings have developed in such a way there is worship of deity beings. Though there are many aspects of religion, the act of common worship of these deities and practices is major. At most times, political and economic factors are to blame for conflicts around the world. However, some of the conflicts have been caused by religion. The differences in the worship of deities and the practices have from early civilizations resulted in quarrels and supremacy battles amongst the different religions. This document will review the causes and consequences of the deep-rooted conflict among three of the known worldwide religions namely Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims.
Most of the religious conflicts among the Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus have resulted from the stance taken by each of the religions. These standpoints can be said to emanate from the texts used for reference in this case the scriptures by each of the religions. This in return has led to the rise of fundamentalists. The interpretation of the scriptures over the years has been done in such a way that each of the religions’ fundamentalists hold their scripture as the only authority with regard to the truth. For the Muslims, the Koran is their guide and the teachings of Muhammad are to be followed by all. For the Hindus, the worship of Gods and adhering to the teachings of the Vedas is the right form of religion. The Buddhists on the other hand will refer to the works of Buddha for guidance. The fundamental principles taken by each of the three religions is what has led to the unending conflict (Dressler & Arvind-pal, 201).
Four major selection criteria result in the differences. One of them is faith. At most times, decisions that are made as a result of faith are determined by societal and cultural factors. This understanding is however not taken into consideration by the fundamentalists who determine faith by the virtue of the text used for reference. The Muslims belief is based on the Koran, which to them is the only true scripture. The Hindus on the other hand base their faith in the teachings of the Veras and Buddhists their belief in the teachings of Buddha. This difference results in conflict (Neville, 173).
The other criterion that has led to the long spanning conflict by the three religions is on prophecies. For each of the religions, there are prophecies that are held dear by the followers. Deemed to be correct, the prophecies are used to validate the scriptures or reference books. The Muslims will not deem prophecies made by the Buddha or the Hindus’ seers revelations as correct and true. The Hindus will not believe Muhammad’s prophecies or those of Buddha. The Buddhists will not believe in neither the prophecies in the Koran or those proclaimed by Hindu seers, gurus or sages. This prophecy based differences have and will always culminate in conflicts (Dressler & Arvind-pal, 198).
Morals are also a part of the selection criteria used by the three religions contributing to the deep-rooted conflicts. For each of the three religions, only their reference texts or the beings of their worship can dictate what is morally right. Everybody else is wrong. The Muslims will consider it immoral for a woman to go in public without a Burkha. This code of dressing in women is not stressed by the Hindus or Buddhists. For the Hindus, cows are sacred and should not be slaughtered. Buddhists on the other hand do not have strict or specific actions considered immoral but leaves it to individuals to judge themselves. Such differences in what to consider as a sin or wrong has continued to fuel the religious conflict (Dressler & Arvind-pal, 178).
The last selection criterion that has fueled the wars between the Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus is on popularity. Each of the three religions wants to be more popular than the other, thus in most times, each of the groups feels threatened by the other. Muslims will fight any other religion apart from their own. This is reciprocated by the Buddhists and Hindus where each will want to dominate thus the never ending supremacy battles spiraling into conflicts (Neville, 120).
The religious conflicts between Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists have negatively affected the society. One of the outcomes has been social instability in the affected regions. The constant attack of Buddhist temples and Mosques in India has affected the region. Religious conflicts have evolved and now act as automatic flashpoints for aggression and upset. Constant fights have and continue to break out among the three religions’ believers. In Myanmar, Indonesia there is constant violence between Buddhists and Muslim believers. This is also witnessed in Sri Lanka with a minority Muslim who are constantly attacked by Buddhist advocates. These happenings have led to violence related acts such as sex crimes and destruction of property, fueling instability further (Adian et al., 155).
Loss of lives is also an outcome of religious conflicts. This is more evident in Asia, where most of the conflicts have occurred. In India, communal rioting in 1949 between the Hindus and Muslims resulted in deaths. In 1992, there was an eruption of riots all over the country which led to the killing of thousands of Muslim faiths. In Mumbai, there was loss of lives when the Bodh Gaya, a revered Buddhist site was bombed (Adian et al., 180).
As long as there will be different religions, each with its own practices and teachings, the human world will always be locked in religion conflicts. Striking a balance where Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists all come together is impossible. The presence of the fundamentalists believing and preaching the righteousness of their own religion will always cause conflicts.
Adian, Donny G, and Gadis Arivia. Relations between Religions and Cultures in Southeast Asia: Indonesian Philosophical Studies, I. Washington, D.C: Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, 2009. Print.
Dressler, Markus, and Arvind-pal S. Mandair. Secularism and Religion-Making. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Internet resource.
Neville, Robert C. Religion in Late Modernity. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002. Internet resource.