Ethnic and religious strife must never happen in Guyana

Dear Editor,
Over the last seven years in Guyana, the growth of ethnic and religious strife has been monumental and painful as has never been seen before. This is something that is very difficult for me to accept in my capacity as an Ambassador for Peace, Humanist and Religious Leader.

Unfortunately, for some people, while the two major political platforms often vie for power and hearts, they see any statement not aligned with their view of thinking as ethnically biased and racist. For me, Dr. Haji Roshan Khan, any accusation of racism goes against the grain of my existence, soul, heart and mind.
I truly believe in the concept of Islam: that Mankind is a Single Nation (Qur’an 2:213). The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), in his famous last sermon of Hajj, said: “{O people! Your God is one and your forefather (Adam) is one… white is not greater than black nor is the black greater than the white…, Arab not greater than a Non-Arab and a Non-Arab not greater than an Arab”.
The philosophy of Holy Father Sun Myung Moon, Founder of the Universal Peace Federation, is: “One Human Family under God”. In the Holy Bible, it is stated: “Whoever does not love, does not know God, because God is Love” (John 4:8). The Bhagwat Gita admonishes: “Bhakti or pure love for God and genuine compassion for all beings”.
In any sphere of the universe, we, as a people, cannot live without each other. While here in Guyana there is strife between the Indo and Afro-Guyanese, it is clear we cannot live without each other. This division only happens by political machinations, particularly at election time. I have personally found Afro-Guyanese to be the best of friends; the best in skills; the best teachers, nurses, medical doctors, community leaders, statesmen, etc.
Afro-Guyanese have ingrained their wisdom, skills of leadership, and knowledge into my heart, and most of it I have passed on to my children and anyone else who shares time and space with me.
I have also observed that everything that was done by the APNU+AFC Coalition Government was looked upon with suspicion, and persons were taught that they were racist. Same for the PPP Civic or anyone that speaks on their behalf concerning action taken by them for the development of Guyana and the good of the nation as a whole. These persons making these accusations have a limited view (myopic), have limited vision, and are the ones who are being racist or ethnically prejudiced.
Everyone has the right to his or her political view, or to support his or her political group of choice. Everyone has this inalienable right. This is a prerequisite of decency and elegance in any society. No one has the right to attack, target, or demoralise anyone.
Fortunately for Guyanese, we have a Government whose manifesto is to reach every “nook and cranny” of Guyana to foster peace, harmony, and unity. Some of the elements of the Opposition are opposing just for the sake of opposing and causing discord. This is destructive behaviour and unstatesmanlike, and does not foster peace and goodwill for all of Guyana.
I do believe in the principle of the One Human Family under God. The creation of a One World Society and a National Front Government. If the two political sides can cast aside their imaginations by overcoming suspicions, Guyana can rise to glory. Strife between the two major races in Guyana exists, but this strife must not overshadow the goodwill of the people to live in harmony and at peace with each other.
The two major political parties to look upon must work together, in my view, to create the “One Government Society”. In the Santayana Dharma (Hindu: Eternal Love) it is stated: “Let us exist together, let us work together, Om, Peace, Peace, and Peace.” The Holy Bible records in Hebrews 12:14– “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness, without which no one will see God”. In the Qur’an, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) teaches us: “The true servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk the earth with humility, and when the uncivilised address them, they respond with words of peace (Salman)” (The Holy Qur’an 25:43).
So, my appeal to the leaders of our great country, political and non-governmental, is to realise that Guyana can never reach that high platform destined for us by our Creator unless we make the effort to work in respect. I know it is impossible for mankind to have “absolute unity”, but we definitely can have “absolute respect”. And “respect” is the foundation on which we can build the great edifice of Peace, Happiness, and Joy.

Dr. Haji Roshan Khan