Renaissance by Social Innovation launched series of Mashal-e-Rah events to engage youth with alternative narrative to extremist ideology. In this regard, first event was conducted in Collaboration with NUST Bazme-e-Pakistan where Dr. Khalid Zaheer (Renowned Islamic scholar) was invited as a guest speaker.

Mashal-e-Rah aims’ to expands individual strengths and virtues to benefit all citizens of Pakistan! Our society is divided along sectarian lines. The growing extremism in the name of religion, political and ethnic conflicts are by far the main causes of social disorder. This is the time we need to pluck out our differences to save our coming generations.12279109_985112398222563_6342780338574642393_n

“Mashal-e-Rah Conference” was arranged with Dr. Khalid Zaheer, (PHD-University of Wales) in the form of questions and answers sessions to challenge the orthodox and ultra-orthodox mind sets. Dr. Zaheer emphasized on the state to take control of religious institutions to eliminate the menace of sectarian violence and radicalization. It was a tailored dialogue with Dr. Khalid Zaheer that was moderated by Sidra Rafique (Scholar in Religious Philosophy and Vice President Renaissance by Social Innovation, Pakistan). He further said that Sectarianism has several causes, some of the more prominent of which are mentioned in the Quran. The main reason seems to be extreme attachment to religious personalities. Such individuals are revered to such an extent that whatever they believed in, whatever they said or did, is often considered to be the final word.

Asking questions of an elder who professes to be a religious individual may be tantamount to sacrilege. When people follow their own religious leaders to such extremes, they do not listen to any other point of view, and their perspective is likely to be clouded by emotions.

Another main reason for sectarianism to flourish is exaggeration. People exaggerate the virtues of their beliefs and practices, and downplay and even badmouth other beliefs to the extent that strong prejudices for and against are created and no one is ready to listen to and reflect on an alternative point of view. God requires people to “… not exaggerate in your religious matters unjustifiably, and follow not the wishes of a people who had erred before, and led many others astray. …” (5:77).

Renaissance Foundation for Social Innovation was established in 2011 by the social activist M Ayub Ayubi, The past 4 years — to date — gave RESIP very fine opportunities for giving its passion a logical shape. With the help and tireless efforts of RESIP’s diverse team we had been able to conduct several tailored dialogues which have helped us in spreading our cause right in the manner desired and also helped in gaining a sizable number of Youth activist as our volunteer. Out of many, the most responsive workshops included Democracy & Islam, Violence and Gender Equity, Self-Inquiry Who am I and Unleashing Human Potential. The trainers from specialized background, relevant to the theme selected, were invited to assist the program by their knowledge. Continuing the series of our serving journey, RESIP have covered several universities with building network by arranging orientation for desiring need for real & lasting peace.

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