Scanning through daily newspapers, one may fall victim to despondency and despair. Nowadays, the majority of the media is focusing on the friction between Muslims and other religions. Reading all about the protests in Europe and USA against Islam leads one to believe that people of various religious beliefs can’t coexist with one another.

The protesters believe that the spread of Islam may lead to the deterioration of the Western civilization. Is that true? One may argue the validity of that claim. Islam is a religion of peaceful coexistence with and tolerance toward believers of other religions.

One can’t deny the fact that there are extremist Muslims who refer to distorting the teaching of their religion to justify their horrendous acts. Islam is innocent of their distorted logic.

One may dispute the fact that extremism exists in all religions. Consequently, why do Westerners single Islam and Muslims out to protest against? What would they like to achieve? Do they believe that Islam and Muslims will vanish into oblivion?

Their protests will lead to nothing except infuriating modest Muslims and creating animosity between Muslims and the believers of various religions. Extremists may use that to recruit new members emphasizing that the Western society will never accept them as equal citizens.

One may wonder what we can do to avoid the conflicts that exist between the various religions. We need to be tolerant and open-minded to create a harmonious society in which all people of different religious beliefs can coexist harmoniously.

With acceptance of the individuality of our neighbors, colleagues and even strangers, we eliminate the hostility and animosity from our communities. In addition, It is a well-known fact that most religions have common grounds. We must focus on those common grounds in the various religions instead of emphasizing the differences.

If we can accept each other’s religious beliefs without attempting to analyze them, we may achieve the peaceful coexistence that we desperately searching for and dream to experience.

With the feeling of being accepted as members of their societies, Muslims will avoid being brain washed by ISIS and other terrorist groups to join their ranks. Gradually but certainly, extremists may fade into oblivion.

Could the dream of coexisting harmoniously with one another regardless of our religious beliefs materialize into actuality? We have no other option but to hope so.Otherwise, we may engage in destructive behavior such frivolous wars that could end up destroying our planet

Author's Bio: 

Holding an honorary professorship from China, Sava Hassan is a Canadian author, poet and educator. He had published three books and wrote numerous articles in various topics in Canada, USA and China. For a year, he was writing an advice column for a major English magazine in China. Sava, occasionally, writes articles for several Chinese English Newspapers. He won several writing awards including four from China.