Tuesday September 06, 2016

 

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How Media Can Help To Fight Religious Violence?

Bomb blast at Nishtar Park in Karachi verifies the bitter reality that there is a close connection between religion and violence.

 

The defenders of religion try to untangle this relationship between religion and violence by saying that criminals who commit violence in the name of religion have nothing to do with religion. However, repeated violent events remind us that mass religious events somehow trigger violence in which a large number of people lose their lives. Sometimes, such events are the result of mob frenzy or mismanagement of crowd and sometimes, criminals take advantage of the situation and explode devices which result in serious losses of human lives.

 

Unfortunately, Muslim countries have the highest number of such occurrences, which call for serious undertakings on part of each Muslim countryís government to arrest such socio religious trends which culminate in such gory tragedies.

 

Media channels such as radio, TV and newspapers can also play an important role to reverse such socio religious trends.

 

What these media channels need to understand is that Pakistani society is already an overly religious society. Some people still feel there is less religion in Pakistan and they call for more, but the truth of the matter is Pakistan has almost become a religious mad house. People are so much involved in religion, they are losing sanity.

 

While the country is bleeding because of these over zealous religious traits, leadersí statements, political and religious, made at such occasions have lost meanings. No one gives a damn about who says what!

 

What these media channels need to do is to stop telecasting religious functions. We donít know about the channels in Pakistan, but ARY, Geo and Prime TV dedicate too much time to religious functions. These functions include all type of religious presentations made by ladies behind the veil, fire brand mullahs, teachers teaching Quran, naat khans and qwalls singing naats and qwallis and so on so forth. To connect some of the imagery and contents of such materials to Holy Prophet in a way mounts to disgracing the prophet of Islam. This is like imbibing and reinforcing religious values (some of them sick) in an already overly religious society.

 

These TV channels are not serving Islam or Pakistan by dedicating so much time to such (sick) events. Over the time, these channels seem in a competition to dedicate more and more time for such religious functions, which is a sickening trend in itself and which needs reversal.

 

These powerful tools should be used to improve peoplesí lives by making them more knowledgeable about social, cultural, economic issues, natural environment, universe, sciences, international and Pakistanís state affairs.

 

Running naat competitions by ladies, men and young boys, delivering religious sermons and showing religious gatherings, may make the viewers of these channels more ecstatic, but this all does not make any difference in their lives. These presentations even do not make them better Muslims or human beings.

 

These media channels can play a positive role in fighting back religious violence by deemphasizing religion instead of reinforcing or strengthening it.

 

 

  

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