Today marks the International Day for Tolerance

Today marks the international Day for Tolerance which is an annual observance day declared by UNESCO in 1995 to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance.
Notably, religious intolerance has been on the rise for nearly three decades in Pakistan. Minorities are targets of legal as well as social discrimination. Most significantly, in recent years, Pakistan has witnessed some of the worst organized violence against religious minorities since partition.
It would be idle and dangerous to pretend that the latest surge in intolerance is the work of some overexcited individuals or groups whereas it is rooted in the state’s failure to precisely define the place of belief in politics and governance. The problem has confronted successive governments and none has attempted a complete or long-term remedy.
There is another side of picture too. Muslim villagers in Pakistan are helped to fund a new church for their neighbors in a show of religious solidarity six years after the Christian community was attacked by mobs in the area.
People in the village of Khaksabad donated what they can afford towards the building of a new mud chapel for the Christian community, after their previous place of worship was swept away by the monsoon rains.
In another incident, the Sikh community arranged Iftar dinner for Muslims to boost interfaith harmony in the city at places where there is concentration of poor daily wagers, homeless people and widows in Peshawar.
In brief, diversity is the will of God and we should accept that. All religions preach similar truths and virtues, which along with shared cultural and social values can be built upon to enhance interfaith harmony in Pakistan.
The international day for tolerance is observed to advance human welfare, freedom and progress everywhere, as well as to encourage harmony, peace, respect, dialogue and cooperation among people of different cultures, faith and religions.–DT

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