/ "Terrorism and persecution, rising out of misunderstanding" Common App Personal Essay
Prompt: Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you.I've decided to write about the way religion has been used as a drive towards conflict (Terrorism and other forms of persecution) Please tell me if I properly address the topic, feel free to critique harshly or even suggest a rewrite if need be.
Terrorism, and persecution often seem to have religious drives. But I do not understand our capability to alienate each other on the basis of religion and try to press our "correct" religion and views onto others. Religion should be a binding force among humanity , not one that causes wars like the one in Afghanistan. This exploit using religion as an excuse for violence disturbs me deeply.
Religion is the belief in a God or Gods and rules of moral conduct and tradition of a region. Each individual perceives this God in a relative form and relative attributes depending upon his or her level of knowledge, both true and false, and the environment and culture in which he or she lives or has lived. When asked, almost all of us will say that our religion is correct. But a problem arises when some start proclaiming that only their religion is correct, their God is the true one and that only their religious laws and way of life is correct. This disturbs me deeply, for it causes unnecessary harm and bloodshed. The activities of religious extremists are often as violent as that of criminals, the only difference being these "religious" people use their religion as an excuse for their activities. Too many people have died due to misunderstandings of religion, in the middle ages it was the crusades, now it is the activities of religious terrorists. None of the people I know have been direct victims of such activities, but that is not cause enough for me to brush it off as unrelated to me. We are not the people of a village, city, or nation. We are all people of this world. It hurts me deeply that we kill each other over petty squabbles caused by misunderstanding.
What misunderstanding you ask? It is simple, we do not realize that if our religion can be true and correct in our eyes and serve our spiritual needs, why cannot another religion be true and correct in the view of someone else and equally serve them? If God, Allah, Brahman, or any other name given to the "Supreme God" of a religion is all powerful, then what is there to say, this God could not create other religions in other regions of the world, with different rules, traditions and forms? There is nothing in any religion that states such a thing is impossible for God. In such a case why do we limit the power of God by saying that only the form and ways that was revealed to us by him/her or formless being is the only right way? Why do we not see the possibility that maybe, just maybe, that this God we believe in is but the form of that one God that we with our limited perception, can see?
As a result, when I view religiously motivated harm or killing of fellow global citizens, it is as if one is killing the other because one calls an object a flower and the other calls it flor. What is it within us that drives us to even kill simply because what we know by one name is called in a different name? To this day I cannot understand, and I continue to think about this matter, still hurt by the loss of innocent lives. I will strive for a solution, but it cannot be more war, for as Mohandas Gandhi said: "An eye for an eye, makes whole world blind."
Thanks in advance for your revisions.