It is very common nowadays to hear people say that the main cause for the present circumstances of Pakistan is the fact that religion has always interfered with politics. This particular lobby in Pakistan stresses upon the fact that religion should always be kept separate from politics, and according to historical facts whenever religion has interfered with politics, anarchy has prevailed in that particular region. History however on the other hand shows some contradictory facts. In the year 1908 the Church was formally separated from the legislature of the United Kingdom. This was part of a process which had begun since the French revolution in the 1780s, and had later on engulfed the whole of Europe, and for the very first time the concept of a democratic and secular state was introduced. This was done for the betterment of the society and for 'peace to prevail. However after 1908 over the span of about four decades two brutal world wars were fought among the European nations. Which religion governed these countries then? Was this done under the orders of the Pope? One saw the killing of about 20 million people and the massacre of 6 million Jews. Were these people killed in the name of religion? Were Hitler and Mussolini Catholic priests? The answer is no. These wars were fought for personal gains and geographical dominance like most of the wars which have been fought in history. People also give examples of the Western countries, that they adopted the principles of secularism and therefore have prospered in science and technology unlike Muslim countries which are lagging far behind. It is true that these countries have prospered in science and technology, but does it mean that progressing in science and technology will necessarily make a country more livable or a country has progressed in human development as well? The biggest drawback these countries have faced is that their moral structure has been completely destroyed. Christianity is the dominant religion in this region, however one finds very few practicing Christians. Most of the women in these countries are either divorced or have separated from their husbands. Parents when they get old are sent to old age homes as they are treated as a burden to the society. Most of the people there have developed diseases like hyper tension, and depression. The concept of 'survival of the fittest is promoted, due to which everybody is trying to compete with each other and leave everyone else behind in the race for power and wealth. This has resulted in income disparities, increasing crime rates and a very materialistic society. Religion demands a person to develop a relationship with God, so that he doesnt indulge in anti-social activities and is free from depression and sorrow. Islam in particular has laid down foundations for a very healthy socio-economic, and a progressive society according to the verses of the Holy Quran and the sayings of the Holy Prophet (Saw). These laws if implemented can solve many of the problems faced by the Muslim Ummah. It is high time that the conservative clergy in Pakistan should stop fighting on petty issues, and focus on the real essence and beauty of Islam. Even if there are disagreements and differences of opinions, they should be sorted out peacefully, through dialogue rather than violence. On the other hand these liberal fascists or enlightened moderates must stop blaming religion for everything and should analyze facts on a broader perspective. If some cleric do some objectionable acts, it is not religion or Islam that has to be blamed but the clerics should alone be held responsible. DANISH HASAN, Lahore, June 14.