Usually, when we talk about religious violence, we’re talking about Muslims, or somewhat less commonly, Christians. But pretty much any religion can turn violent when their most cherished beliefs, no matter how irrational, get challenged.
Take this case in India, where a mob of Hindus in the village of Bisara, near Delhi, murdered a Muslim blacksmith and beat his son badly, following reports that a cow was killed in a nearby neighborhood.
Mohammad Akhlaq, a local blacksmith, was beaten to death by the Hindu mob and his son, Danish was beaten and hospitalized with critical injuries.
Local Hindu priest Sukhdas Mahatma said, “Two young men came to me that night and asked me to announce on the loudspeaker that there’s a carcass of a cow lying nearby. They pressured me to make that announcement. What could I do? I had to make that announcement.” A crowd of Hindus gathered near the temple and reasoned that the blacksmith must be responsible because his religion doesn’t prohibit eating beef. Apparently, there was no evidence whatsoever linking him to the death of the cow.
Mother of Mohammad Akhlaq, Asghari Begum said, “”I heard loud bangs on the front door of our house. Then I heard them shouting expletives.” This was just before the mob climbed the wall surrounding her house and attacked. “They pushed me, then punched me on my face, in the abdomen,” she said. “It was blood all over my son’s face. He is gone.”
The mob dragged her son and grandson out into the street and were beating them with “whatever they (attackers) could lay their hands on,” said police superintendent Kiran Sivakumar. This is what happens when the religiously irrational decide to take justice into their own hands.
It’s not that uncommon unfortunately. I’ve done several stories on Horror Show Sunday that detail Hindu violence against non-Hindus for entirely irrational reasons. But this is religion we’re talking about. It has nothing to do with reality, it has to do with following ridiculous beliefs that have no place in factual reality, for the sake of emotion, not intellect. So long as these religions remain, violence will always follow close behind. It’s just what religion does.