Right Solution to an Old Problem

By Hon. Justice P K Shamsuddin on 22-10-2010

   Quran says that there is no compulsion
in religion (Chap. 2: 256). Caliph Umar had a Christian houseboy and he
remained a Christian all his life. Caliph had never persuaded him or exerted
influences over him to be converted to Islam. During his reign he dismissed a
Governor, from his post for rebuking a non-Muslim on account of the form of
worship followed by him. Judge CG Weeramantry, former Vice-President
of the International Court of Justice says, “Islamic rule preserved to the
minorities their personal laws in accordance with their codes, usages and
customs.” 

A small Christian
community in Damascus had a small Church that stood on the way of a grand
Mosque built by Umayyads. Muslimswanted to expand the mosque for which the site
of the Church was required and enough compensation or an alternative site was
offered to the Christians. But Christians refused any compensation or an alternative
site. The Church building was demolished and the Mosque was expanded. When Umar
came to know of this, he ordered demolition of the expanded portion of the mosque
and rebuilding of the Church in its’ place. However, the Christian community,
while appreciating the noble gesture of the Caliph, expressed willingness to
take an alternative site. I believe that this event has great relevance in the wake
of the Babri
Masjid– RamJanmaBhoomidispute,
which remains a wet problem for more than six decades.

We have plural societies
in almost all countries today. There will not be any peacein the world unless
there is peace in all societies and among followers of all religions. The prime
requisite to build a world order of peace is to extend respect and mete out
equal treatment to all religions. It should not be forgotten that all religions
share common wisdom and values and that these shared values are indispensable
to create righteous and responsible citizens. 

About The Author

Hon. Justice P K Shamsuddin

Hon. Justice P K Shamsuddin (High Court of Kerala) is a great Gandhian and a noted humanitarian, who could successfully steer World Fellowship of Inter-religious Councils. His relentless efforts for inter religious harmony was awarded by HH Pope John Paul 2nd and Parliament of World Religions.