Diversity in Islam

Islam should be at peace with itself. How this can be achieved? At the out set Muslims should accept the fact that Islam is not and can not be a uniform religion. Though its essence is same, there is a wide variation in its theology, culture, perception and preaching in different Muslim population groups in different parts of the world. Secondly, the concept of Ummah should be left behind since it is utopian. Once the Muslims accept the variability of Islam and impossibility of Ummah, Islam will be at peace with itself.

The variability of Islam and impossibility of Ummah became clear particularly during last three decades. Take the example of Iraq. During Saddam’s period the minority Sunnis were at the helm of power. After the fall of Saddam, the Shia-Sunni rift showed violent outbursts. The sectoral violence in Pakistan is another burning example. In Afghanistan also, the Mujehadins from different countries had different priorities, objectives and day to day life style. So was the case with Islamic terrorists in Europe. Even Al Queda head bin Laden was accepted by different Muslim groups differently. All such differences were due to the difference in perceptions about Islam among different Muslim groups. If we accept all such different perceptions of Islam as true, we cannot but accept the diversity of Islam. And there is nothing bad about it. Over the centuries, local customs, traditions, cultures and needs have influenced Islam and transformed it differently in different places. Practice of Islam in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Bangladesh is overtly different.

Denial of the above mentioned facts, mainly by the contractors of Islam, is an important cause as to why Islam is not at peace with itself.

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