If you’re still living under the illusion that all the world’s problems are caused by religious people and that world peace lies in the rejection of religion, open a book and study some history. You need not go back far to see that this is completely untrue.

Both religious people and atheists have shown themselves capable of intolerance, persecution and oppression. The reverse is equally true. Many mass killings and genocides witnessed through the twentieth century took place at the hands of regimes which enforced atheism on religious populations.

But acknowledging this is not to absolve religious communities of such crimes. It is just to point out humans can perpetrate unspeakable evil, regardless of their beliefs. Even the angels queried the creator on the wisdom of creating mankind:

And when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we exalt You with praise and declare Your perfection?” He said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know.”

Quran 2:30

Mankind is in indeed capable of unspeakable evil, but the best of mankind is also capable of remarkable good. Here the answer to the question of the angels. Man is given freewill to decide how he will live. To be greedy or generous. To be selfish or selfless. To help the needy, or trample on them. To free the slave or to enslave.

All mankind has a choice to make, whatever they believe. To be just, or not. To be good or bad. To strive for peace or to make war. What you call yourself doesn’t really matter; it’s how you behave that’s important. Choose the path of those who put others first, who tame their ego and misplaced pride.

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