Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, April 19th, 2021

Dogmatism – Serious Threat to Peaceful Coexistence

Human rights violation as a result of violent acts of terror and lack of religious tolerance has continued unabated throughout the decades, mainly the last couple of decades, in Afghanistan. Radical groups have inflicted severe suffering on the people and played highly destructive role. Afghans are frustrated with the unmitigated violence and conflict.
Radicalism and terrorism have been a serious threat to human rights and dignity and scores of individuals fall victim to the radical ideology of warring parties – which make no bone about shedding the blood of innocent people or dishonoring them. They pay no heed to national or international laws and sacrifice moral standards and religious tenets for satiating their carnal desire and megalomania. That is, terrorist networks resort to war and violence to break the lump in their throats made by deprivations and poverty. Despite religious emphasis on respecting men’s rights and dignity, religious radicals trample on public rights in the worst possible way.
With the ongoing peace process, however, the people of Afghanistan hold out hope that peace and stability will emerge, especially if the regional and global actors play sincere role in this regard. But there are also serious concerns about failure of the talks as well as return of an emirate system, which will not be acceptable to the public.
All warring factions have come to the understanding that peace and stability will not emerge through military deals. Therefore, the Taliban leadership succumb to sitting around the table with the Kabul administration to reach a negotiated settlement, putting an end to decades of conflict.
A famous Nobel laureate Martin Luther King has aptly said, “In spite of these spectacular strides in science and technology, and still unlimited ones to come, something basic is missing. There is a sort of poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.”
Radicalism and dogmatic beliefs have narrowed the room for peaceful coexistence. It is self-explanatory that if radical views are not alleviated and the sources of radicalism and dogmatism are not eliminated, peaceful coexistence will remain elusive.
It is believed that nonviolence and nurturing the spirit of brotherhood will build the utopia of human societies. The current dystopia, which is filled with fear and hatred and the blood of men, women, and children, is the result of radicalism and intolerance. In other words, exercising upon the “golden rule” and accepting the individuals as they are, regardless of their accidental backgrounds, will decrease violence and carnage around the globe. After all, the hotbed of radicalism and its supporting factors should be abolished so that the terrorist networks no more find room for their activities.
We have to consider that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” Without tolerating one another, peace is not possible and the flagrant violation of human rights and dignity will continue and human societies will always count their fatalities which is a great tragedy for the entire world. Moreover, practicing upon moral values will also alleviate the challenges and decrease suffering of the people.
To reach a negotiated settlement, the Taliban and Afghan negotiators have to extend tolerance and acceptance and think out of the box. In other words, viewing social, political and cultural issues through the ideological lens will rather increase the challenges. Ideological frames are too narrow to resolve the political problems. Modern issues are highly complicated and need to be decided beyond ideologies. In a nutshell, the Taliban have to reconcile their ideology with modern and democratic issues in order to resolve the challenges. If they do not change their mindset and seek to impose their warped mind on the people, similar to that during their regime, there will be no possibility for peace and stability.
Tolerating one another and accepting the way they are and believe are most likely to be the “art of living together as brothers”. Deciding about political issues and structure based on certain ideology is naïve and not possible. Modern needs and issues are far larger and complicated to be tailored to a group’s ideology and beliefs. The rights and dignity as well as religious beliefs of each and every individual has to be respected so that everyone could live a peaceful life.