Conflation of Religion and Culture

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The problem is that we often resort to conflating culture with religion, which ultimately binds us to see cultural critique as an attack on religion. Although I agree that sometimes such critique is hypocritical, biased, and uninformed. In addition to this, I must acknowledge that sometimes it is done with the right intent. There are many shortcomings of our society that are explicitly outcome of our culture, not religion. While criticizing them, one can expect a plethora of “Fatwas.” I will acknowledge some of the cultural shortcomings, criticism on which is considered to be a criticism of religion.

Why do religious scholars hold a de facto position on religious matters? Why can’t they be questioned? Is this a religious implication, or is it just another sub-continent cultural norm? In Hinduism, Brahmins and Pandits can’t be questioned. If the same happens in Islam, How are we different from them? Although we have gained an independent land for Muslims, we have a déjà vu. The shortcomings of culture are somehow holed up in the sanctuary provided by religious fanaticism. One point to be clear that I am not exhorting disrespectful terms against religious scholars. We need to understand that disagreement doesn’t mean being rude.

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In addition to this, why are abusive relationships being normalized in our culture? Why marrying a divorce is considered to be a taboo is a society? Our society doesn’t spare a second to accuse a divorce of immodesty, unable to run a house. Again it is a cultural shortcoming due to our Indian roots. Instead of the legal and Islamic rights of a woman to get a divorce from an abusive relationship, she is enforced by her culture, her parents and her society that she needs to save the marriage and live in an abusive relationship. Quite relatable to Hinduism, not Islam, Isn’t it? Alas! That we actually read Islam instead of listening to what the Maulvis have to tell us.

The bottom line is to remember that culture doesn’t equate religion. Another important point that needs to be underscored is that religion is going be to your staunchest ally in the fight against shortcomings of cultural practices. As you can see in my aforementioned arguments, I used religion to debunk the fallacies of culture.

Well a lot of shortcomings can be observed in our culture, I just mentioned a few of them.

Do tell us in the comments section as what do you think about this?