A belief system is a system that helps people interpret who they really are in our day-to-day lives. Every person strongly believes in something because they are either raised and taught to believe something or have chosen to believe as their own decision. A belief system can also be someone’s spirituality or religion. There are over 4,200 religions that exist. Generally, a person’s religion truly shapes him or her as a human being and also effects how they live their daily lives. It also shapes their cultures and traditions. For example, an individual that follows Islam would not eat any pork and pray five times a day whereas a person who believes in Christianity would eat pork if they wanted and go to church every Sunday. Christians would celebrate Halloween however Muslims would celebrate Eid instead. In most cases, these people are not willing to give up their religion for anything and are fully dedicated to following it. This sometimes leads to controversial internal uprisings and cases of blasphemy may also arise within a country. Sometimes people aren’t as open minded and accepting to other people’s beliefs and this often causes conflicts within and out of a country.
One cause of an internal religious uprising is when an individual’s religion or belief is challenged or questioned. In countries where people of more than one religion exists like the United States of America, beliefs often get challenged by other beliefs. Often, someone or the other takes it personally and is not willing to accept the other’s belief. This will eventually cause a disagreement and a major conflict and an uprising may occur. An example of this is that in March of 2013, a powerful bomb blast occurred in Abbas Town located in Karachi, Pakistan outside of a Shia mosque in which over 40 people were killed and 150 injured. It caused parts of the mosque to be destroyed, nearby buildings caught fire and a city-wide power outage took place. This was a targeted attack against the minority Shia community in Pakistan.
Another major cause of an internal uprising is when a minority religious community is persecuted for not accepting the larger religion. People often aren’t willing to give up their religions and beliefs so easily for another religion and therefore, get persecuted for it. This could lead to an uprising and maybe even a large war. A clear example of this was during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in Makkah. After Muhammad declared his Prophet Hood, him and his followers were met with much opposition and persecution by the Quraish tribe who were in majority at the time. On one occasion, when the Prophet (PBUH) was offering prayers in the Ka’bah, a Quraish man rolled a sheet around his neck in an attempt to strangulate him. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had no other option but to migrate to Medina with his followers. Not much time later, the Battle of Badr and Battle of Uhad occurred. Moreover, persecution to a minority community had resulted in an uprising which was then followed by a war.
In August 1947, British-India was divided into two separate nations, India and Pakistan. The main reason behind this was that during the British Raj over India, the Muslims and Hindus were never able to get along. They simply could not live next to each other and were not willing to accept their differences. This led to many occasions of internal wars between the two. Eventually, Pakistan fought through all the opposition and persecution and earned their own nation on the 14th of August, 1947. This just goes to show that not being open-minded towards other’s religions can cause a lot of conflict and uprisings within a country.
A major consequence of an internal war is that it would slow down the development of a country. This is because everyone would focus more on resolving the conflicts instead of trying to improve their country and its economy. The growth of GDP will also significantly decrease. Research was conducted by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute on two similar countries named Burundi and Burkina Faso, both in Africa. Burundi faced some internal conflicts whereas Burkina did not. The research clearly shows that the GDP development of Burundi slowed down by a large margin compared to Burkina. The process of industrialization is also delayed for some 3rd world countries. All of these conflicts could easily be stopped if people were more accepting towards other beliefs.
One course of action I have thought of is to simply learn to accept that other people have the right to believe whatever they chose to. Every person believes in something and others should respect their decision and just let them believe in what they like. People can also learn new things from other religions like their traditions, views and their way of life. Understanding more about other religions may also remove some previous misconceptions and prejudice you have. Many people around the world have various misconceptions about Muslims even though they’ve never even met one in their entire lives. If they chose to befriend a Muslim person and learn from them, they will easily be able to clear any misconceptions they have towards Islam.
Sweden is a very modern and developed country. It is one of the best countries in terms of religious freedom for its people. Sweden allows its citizens to believe in whichever religion they please. Due to this, it is a 1st world country that is very developed and is home to some of the most generous people in it. They lack any religious uprisings and conflicts which significantly benefits their way of life and economy. On the other hand, Burma, a city in Myanmar, has a preference for Therveda Buddhists. The Rohingya Muslims and Christians are in minority over there and face a lot of persecution. The government does not allow the minorities to have building permits. They constantly face pressure to convert to the majority faith. Therefore, more than 32% of the population in Myanmar live under the poverty line. Moreover, according to the facts, if a country promotes religious freedom and acceptance, they will succeed more whereas a country that persecutes the minorities will not succeed.
In conclusion, I fully believe that belief systems in a country do indeed cause internal uprisings in some case. These uprisings can be extremely damaging to a country in many ways as stated in my report. To construct this report, I used the help of my Islamiat and History textbooks and reliable sources from the internet like Stockholm Research Institute.