Around the world today, we see discrimination against or targeting of religious minorities associated with rising social tensions, intercommunal strife, violence and even mass atrocities. Muslims in India, Rohingya in Myanmar, Uyghurs in China, Yazidis in Iraq, Christians in Pakistan, Muslim in Thailand : all are subject to forms of violence that have corollary effects on broader prospects for peace and stability in their respective contexts.

Human Rights Watch 2022 reports that after the Taliban took over the country on August 15 2021, the Taliban immediately rolled back women’s rights advances and media freedom—among the foremost achievements of the post-2001 reconstruction effort. Most secondary schools for girls were closed, and women were prohibited from working in most government jobs and many other areas. The Taliban beat and detained journalists; many media outlets closed or drastically scaled back their reporting, partly because many journalists had fled the country. The new Taliban cabinet included no women and no ministers from outside the Taliban’s own ranks. The United Nations reported that Taliban forces were responsible for nearly 40 percent of civilian deaths and injuries in the first six months of 2021, although many incidents were unclaimed. Women and children comprised nearly half of all civilian casualties. Attacks by the ISKP included assassinations and a number of deadly bombings.

Similarly, the death of Mahsa Amini (22) after arrested by the police chief of Tehran because she was not wearing her headscarf improperly and for wearing tight pants. Protests are emerging in many cities inside the country to protest authoritarianism and strong demand for freedom of expression and religion. Iranian authorities continued their crackdown on peaceful dissent, prosecuting human rights defenders and dissidents while serious human rights violators enjoyed impunity. Deteriorating economic conditions due to US unilateral sanctions and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic have increased poverty and reduced living standards for millions in Iran. The government’s response to the pandemic, especially its mismanaged national vaccine procurement plan, has been criticized for its opacity and politicization.

The report also remarks that the Chinese authorities are committing crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang. Abuses committed included mass arbitrary detention, torture, enforced disappearances, mass surveillance, cultural and religious persecution, separation of families, forced returns to China, forced labor, and sexual violence and violations of reproductive rights. Little news trickled out of Xinjiang in 2021, however, as the authorities maintained tight control over information, and as access to the region, already limited, was further constrained due to Covid-19 movement restrictions. Authorities in Tibetan areas continue to severely restrict freedoms of religion, expression, movement, and assembly. They also fail to address popular concerns about mining and land grabs by local officials, which often involve intimidation and unlawful use of force by security forces.

Weak democratic institutions in many Muslim-majority countries have been susceptible to authoritarianism. These weak institutions are often the result of limited political freedoms, corruption, and lack of political accountability. Some authoritarian leaders in the Muslim world have used religion as a tool to justify their rule and suppress dissent. They may promote a particular interpretation of Islam or use religious institutions to legitimize their authority.Political manipulation, where Political leaders may use religion as a tool to gain support, control, or power. By portraying certain religious groups as enemies, they can incite violence and create a sense of fear among their supporters

Other possible reasons underlying the existence of religious inspired conflict due to ability to accept ideological differences. When people strongly hold on to their religious beliefs, they may perceive other beliefs as a threat to their own. This perception can fuel anger, resentment, and intolerance towards other religious groups, leading to violence. Religious violence can stem from a lack of education and awareness about different religious beliefs and practices. This can lead to misunderstanding and misinterpretation of religious texts, which can fuel hostility and intolerance. Moreover, religious violence can also be driven by economic factors, such as competition for resources or jobs. When a particular religious group is perceived as controlling a disproportionate amount of resources, it can lead to resentment and violence. Past conflicts between religious groups can also fuel present-day violence. Deep-seated historical grievances and resentments can create a cycle of violence that is difficult to break. The most crucial is lack of education and awareness, in which in some cases, religious violence can stem from a lack of education and awareness about different religious beliefs and practices. This can lead to misunderstanding and misinterpretation of religious texts, which can fuel hostility and intolerance.

The AMAN Assembly will provide an exchange room for muslim and other faith leaders, actors and communities to share achievement, gaps, and challenges of muslim around Asia and beyond, and in relation to pluralism and inclusion. The forum will also provide space for sharing good practices on religious harmony, interfaith dialogue, women’s leadership in taking a reform, and many more.[]





Oct 14, 2023 - Oct 17, 2023