Generally, people confuse pluralism with diversity hence it is essentially important to understand the concept of diversity and how pluralism provides a breeding ground to foster diversity?
Ethnically the population of the world is divided into numerous races, creeds, colors, countless unique languages, tribes, religions, cultures, customs, traditions, beliefs, dogmas, rituals, and faith practices that are inborn parts of human life.
These multifarious and heterogeneous settings of life are called diversity.
Unfortunately, this diversity and its beauty instead of taking it as strength and rich human values, contrary to that it has been used as a bone of contention for differences & conflicts. Henceforth the Aga Khan rightly called it a “clash of ignorance.”
What is pluralism and how does it strengthen diversity and its beauty?
Pluralism is a genius notion to accommodate and co-exit the antagonistic traditions, faith practices and doctrines.
The Pillars of Pluralism
Accepting and Respecting Diversity:
The norms of civilized societies are accepting and respecting the heterogeneous nature of beliefs and cultural practices.
Generosity and Magnanimity:
Be generous with humankind in their difficult times. In many countries of the world due to wars and terrors currently 70 million refugees are surviving in doom & gloom.
In 1972 the Ugandan President Idi Amin expelled 50000 South Asians from his country. These homeless and helpless refugees were welcomed by the Canadian government and many other European and Asian countries for their permanent settlements.
Universal Brotherhood, Tolerance, and Peace:
Both brotherhood and peace is the real essence and core message of Islam that is the only parameter to value and respect the dignity of the human being.
Unfortunately, Contrary to that apartheid policy was enforced in South Africa from 1948-90. Where white People ruled over blacks and kept them in slavery in their own homeland almost for 42 years. It was extreme humiliation of humanity that in the land of blacks, DOGS & BLACKS were NOT allowed to live with WHITES.
Intellect and Research
Discoveries, explorations, inventions, and innovations are the output and outcome of intellect and research. These scientific developments and technological advancements are the true legacies of a pluralistic society. Why is this knowledge and wisdom is NOT used to resolve the issues, misconceptions, and conflicts amongst the sister communities.
Culture of Dialogue:
Humankind is supreme creation for its linguistic competence and dialogue is the most effective way to address the most complex issues and challenges of the world. Therefore, this is the most befitting culture to be promoted to avoid unpleasant incidents.
Patience and Resilience:
Patience is a Saw Teeth Trajectory and Allah says, innal laha ma us sabireen. Allah is with those who are passionate. And there is great wisdom and deep meaning in it. To be passionate for a while in an intolerable emotional situation may prevent someone from disasters.
Institutionalization of Meritocratic Culture
This is the only process that leads to real development.
Developed nations practice it as part of their belief. The culture of meritocracy is one of the most significant pillars of pluralism.
Knowledge and Wisdom:
The best pray to almighty Allah is, Oh God increase me in my knowledge. The best use of knowledge is wisdom because the experience of life makes us better, NOT bitter.
Keywords: pluralism is an antidote to all the venomous attitudes.
Amjad Ali Director Student Affairs KIU Gilgit-Baltistan