The Messiah Herald Issue 05 June 2017 | Page 9

women’s fashion, we see a drastic shift towards unapologetic displays of the female figure among all social classes - something which only became acceptable in our recent past. The standard of morality religions render to their followers very much depends on the regions where religions were established. Islamic moral values are relevant to seventh century Arabia while Christian morality is more in sync with Jerusalem’s society over 2000 years ago. While moral values are constantly evolving in secular culture, in religious culture, moral values are frozen; they have become stagnant. If you have strictly adopted the moral codes of ancient religions, you are unable to adapt. Children of first generation immigrants in Western countries experience the clash of cultures first-hand. Immigrants from countries like Pakistan and India bring their traditions with them when they immigrate to Western countries. Their children, however, are brought up in the West; they are fully integrated into the secular society. At school and college, they see their friends practising Western culture; when they go home, their parents place restrictions on them and tell them, ‘This is not allowed.’ This confuses them and causes a mental imbalance. For example, girls who come as students to the United Kingdom from Pakistan transition from a religious society to a secular society. In the UK, they are free to do things that they could never dream of doing in their home country, such as drinking alcohol and wearing revealing clothing. Since they were never allowed to do these things at home, they might be inclined to take it to the extreme when they come to study abroad. On the other hand, children of immigrants who come from religious households may be influenced towards religious culture while living in a secular society. When they c ome to the West, rather than integrating into the secular society, more religiosity is hammered into their minds than ever could have been done in their home country. Religions catered for people of a specific area and era; the temperament and culture of the nation a religion was made for heavily influenced its moral values. Secular ethics reflect the ever-changing standards of modern, Western society. Neither are fully acceptable on a global scale; for this, universal morality is the answer. MESSIAH HERALD / ISSUE 05 / JUN 2017 HH Younus AlGohar adds, ‘When we talk about morality, our morality is not universal. Our morality is more regional than global.’ The Solution: Universal Morality According to religions, there are two types of sins: those that are confined to you and those that also affect people around you. Punishments awarded for sins, which only affect your own spiritual health are less severe than they are for sins that affect your fellow men. As a religious person, you should never impose your beliefs on others; let everyone live the way they want. The policy of ‘live and let live’ is a fundamental principle of universal morality. Universal morality has to do with tolerance. What you like to do, you should be allowed to do. You shouldn’t be bothered about what others like to do. In every era, those who learnt spiritual knowledge managed to elevate their emotional intelligence beyond that of the common public. They didn’t pick up their moral values from a religion, but rather spirituality. The standard of moral values in spirituality is vast, as such, those who adopt spirituality embrace and forgive others. For a spiritual person, whether or not someone does something society frowns upon is irrelevant; they accept that people can do what they wish to do as long as they do not harm others. There is a voice within everybody that guides them and tells them not to do wrong, no matter what religion they practise. Some acts are against basic human instincts, such as incestuous relationships or cannibalism and it is our conscience that distinguishes right from wrong. If we let our moral values derive from basic principles of humanity, peace is attainable. 9