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The Causes Of Tension Between Hinduism And Islam

1226 words - 5 pages

While analyzing past interactions between Hinduism and Islam, we can see some outstanding tensions that arise from territorial conflict between India, a predominantly Hindu country, and Pakistan, a predominantly Muslim country.
The primary focus of this tension arises from a common area – Kashmir/Jammu. The conflict in this region can be accredited to the differences in religion. The conflict in Kashmir stems from 1947. This was the year the partition of the Indian sub-continent occurred. However, this partition of land was based on approximate religious lines created by the British empirical rule, when they allowed the princes of 650 states to choose which country they would join. In theory, these princes had the option of remaining independent, but that option was stamped out due to the revolts of the people living in those states. Kashmir was ruled by Maharaja Hari Singh. Because of its location, it could choose to join either country; however, Hari Singh remained neutral. His choice was eventually ignored in 1947, when Pakistan deployed Muslim tribesmen to capture the capital. At this point, Hari Singh freaked out and asked India for military assistance against Pakistan. In return, Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession and ceded Kashmir to India on October 26, 1927. As we can see, the main reason for this conflict is religion. There are some non-religious reasons for this conflict; however, those reasons eventually tie back to religion in one way or another. One of these "non-religious" reasons relates to the recent development of nuclear weapons in both India and Pakistan. While nuclear weapons add to the terror in the area, their development was a result of conflict between India and Pakistan. This conflict has actually escalated when India acquired nuclear weapons. Pakistan, a little slower, also acquired nuclear weapons in 1998. But the conflict is still a result of religious tensions. We can conclude this because India developed nuclear weapons shortly after winning the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971 to prevent more conflict.
Next is the question of what causes the conflict between the two religions. We can learn where the tensions begins between the two by looking at the history of each religion individually. The origins of Hinduism can be traced back to about 2000 B.C.E.; however, the exact origins cannot be determined since Hinduism evolved in accordance with culture and beliefs of the people living in India over time. Now taking a look at Islam, we see that it is a religion that developed in the Middle East in the 7th Century C.E. It was based on the teachings of Muhammad. A major difference can be seen in how Hinduism is polytheistic, while Islam is strictly monotheistic. This could contribute to some of the religious conflict between the two. The religious artifact for practitioners of Islam is the Quran, while there are many religious scriptures in the history of Hinduism. Another thing to note is that none of the...

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