I received a fair amount of stick for my response to a post by Raniya last month. The post appealed for a very noble cause, and I sincerely wish her all the best for the work she's doing.
My comment stated that the majority of social issues our country is facing today are down to the weakening of our faith in Islam. Some people failed to comprehend, or rather, preferred to misunderstand this statement and asked me to "give religion a break because it is the cause of half the problems of the world." Some even went as far as to accuse me of turning a blind eye to all the problems and their victims. No, I never mentioned anything of that sort, and doing so will be an act of utter stupidity.
Anyway, this "fiasco" got me thinking. Why do some people think religion is the root of all the atrocities that are taking place, not just here in Maldives, but all around the world? So I thought hard and did some research. And what did I find out? Religion really is partly to blame, but not in the way many so-called liberals think. With the increase in secularist societies, new laws are being established with the aim of providing the population with as much independence as possible. Many of these laws, in layman's terms, usually comes back to bite the population on the backside. Why? Because they contradict religion, and therefore contradict the natural laws of the human race.
If you look around, you may notice that this is particularly noticeable in Islamic countries. After many countries with majority Muslim populations "abandoned" our religion, we started to go backwards. After Europe (the so-called Christian continent) abandoned Christianity, they flourished. My point here is that the belief that religion is a ridiculous figment of human imagination most probably sprouted from societies with majority Christian populations. It is, after all, a religion created by fabrication, and has been undergoing fabrication for more than 2000 years. The iron-fisted ruling by churches, their detachment from the world we know, their ridiculously easy ways of "erasing sins", their methods of spreading the religion and their denial of key scientific theories resulted in many getting disillusioned. People began to treat religion as an obstacle that prevented them from modernizing and living their lives fully. They started to believe that religion and the laws within their societies were separate things. Thus secularism was born.
Naturally, with the widespread of mass media, many Muslims fell head over heels in trying to implement such beliefs within their societies. Look at us Maldivians, for instance. For many of us, religion is merely praying, fasting, ablution etc. I find it highly amusing to see people suddenly switching to "Religious Mode" when they're about to pray. From what I've learned, Islam is a way of life. It is a religion which states that the purpose of your life is to worship God. Of course, people from Western backgrounds (i.e, where concentration of Muslims are low) usually misunderstand this statement. For them, total devotion means spending the whole day at church, praying on their knees with their heads bent. This is largely due to the fact that there actually are people who act this way. In Islam, total devotion to God means doing everything in life the way we were instructed to. A few simple everyday examples include avoiding haram foods, avoiding the usage of foul language while communicating, keeping yourself in good shape, spending quality time with your family and friends etc. Islam does not separate the worldly affairs and religion. It is a religion that covers everything that is connected to our lives, encourages free thought and promotes education and modernization as long as we hold on to the Islamic values. People usually don't realize that these laws Allah asked us to follow are really for our own good.