To reason with someone, you need to entertain other person’s thoughts with your own. You need to compare the other opinion with your own. To do this honestly, you actually need to allow for a possibility of your own opinion being wrong. This possibility, this thought that ‘maybe I have been wrong all along’ is what leads to tolerance, and this is not what we have here in Pakistan.

Hatred is rationally presented, and that is best disguise intolerance can afford.

“You must have hate in your heart and then show that hatred,” we are told. Why? Because the other person is out to get you, and will do anything in their power to destroy you and yours. You are right now powerless, so the least you can do is hate. Hatred is intolerance dressed up for an evening out with friends.

Intolerance is possibly the most tolerated of all diseases, because the symptoms are easily confused. What may look like a rational defense of my opinion may really be a systematic attack on yours. In the hands of your ego, your opinion becomes the ultimate god. Intolerance is the best and the most blunt weapon your ego can and does use.

hate speech - tolerance

Atheists are better than theists if you are an atheist. Christianity is better than Islam if you are a Christian. Pakistani Muslims are better than American Muslims, but only if you are a Pakistani.

I am right & everyone else is wrong.

Sectarianism is the perfect case study for what intolerance can do to possibly sane individuals.

The rationale for their opinion is that we do not use reason. Do you realize how perfectly it is set up? We should not use our reason, but we use blind following (i.e. taqleed). The reason itself is the deliberate absence of reason; you just can’t beat that.

Sunnis are better than Shias if you are a Sunni. Barelvis are better than Wahabis if you are a Barelvi. No one seems to notice that the Prophet PBUH was only a Muslim. But it is not about the Prophet PBUH anymore. It is about you, your ego.

Practical Philosophy 101

We Muslims recite the Surah Fateha at least twice in every prayer. The fourth verse can be paraphrased as “[O God] show me right path”.

I ask you, how can anyone ask God to show him the right path, if that someone is not already entertaining the thought that he or she can be wrong? This humility is something that can and should be taught. And learned.

P.S. Thank God I am mostly right. Whew!
Image courtesy: ryan2point0

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