Secularism Curbing Religious Freedoms


Secularism is no longer a way forward. Secularism started from The West and took the world by storm. It spread like wildfire across the length and breadth of multi-ethnic and multi-religious nations. Many minorities took refuge in this principle to safeguard their rights. Before independence from the British Raj, several Muslim scholars, including Abul Kalam Azad and Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madni, called for a secular India. They had a strong conviction that only secularism would guarantee the protection of their rights against majority Hindus. Their trust in secularism was so unwavering that they rejected Muslim nationalism and the creation of Pakistan in the name of Islam. However, the events that transpired later prove that they were utterly in the wrong. Secularism was used to suppress religious freedom instead of protecting it. Muslims were relegated to the second class citizens thanks to their blind faith in secularism. Similarly, In Turkey mosques, religious schools and symbols were banned in the name of secularism. People were forced to be westernized and forsake their traditions and religions. In continental Europe, the bastion of secularism, Godlessness was promoted and propagated in the name of tolerance. As time went by, secularism became the only tool to go after religions. In 2004, France passed laws that prevented students from displaying any kind of religious symbols. Recently enacted new laws are aimed at uprooting Muslim separatism, which only means the Muslims in France cannot have individual freedoms that they had earlier. Nowadays, India under Modi is drifting away from protecting minority rights to asserting Hindu nationalism. At the same time, India proclaims to be a secular state. Somehow, the Modi administration has been successful in balancing extreme Hindu nationalism with secularism. Secularism is now taken as a minus-God way of life. This approach is at variance with the earlier concept of secularism_ tolerance and freedom to express faith in society. Now, the spell of secularism is falling apart. Fed up with its experiments, humanity is looking for other ways to address its problems. To sum it all, secularism is failing to protect minorities and their freedoms; it is often leading the exact opposite.

-Writer’s view may not necessarily reflect views of the Moderate Thoughts Research Center.


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