Religious harmony, really?

Recently, in the newspapers, there have been a couple of praise or mention of religious harmony in Singapore. One letter in the forum section of the Straits Times even commented that "The Prime News photograph yesterday (above) of Rabbi Mordechai Abergel, Buddhist monk the Venerable Fa Rong and Mufti Syed Isa Mohamed Semait nearly moved me to tears." (The Straits Times - ST Forum - Picture perfect harmony)

It's good so far
Before I continue, I need to say that I do like the fact that Singapore enjoys religious harmony. Religions do not make much issue here unlike some of our neighbours (such as Christianity vs Islam in Indonesia).

To be clear, I am all for religious harmony.

Now here comes the big "but",
But, I don't think that that is a solution in the long run.

Exclusivity of religious truth
Religions make truth claims. Unless the religion advocates the kind of universalism where it teaches that all religions are different paths to god(s), religions are mutually exclusive. No two religion can be simultaneously correct.

Look at Old Testament (Christianity) or Tanakh (Judaism) on the issue of other gods

From the Book of Deuteronomy (Tanakh/Bible)

Deuteronomy 17:2-7 (New International Version, NIV)
If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the LORD gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God in violation of his covenant, and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars in the sky, and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death. On the testimony of two or three witnesses a person is to be put to death, but no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. The hands of the witnesses must be the first in putting that person to death, and then the hands of all the people. You must purge the evil from among you.

What about the Koran's (Islam's) view of Christianity,

From the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam

Qur'an 5:72-78 (Yusufali translation)
They do blaspheme who say: "Allah is Christ the son of Mary." But said Christ: "O Children of Israel! worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord." Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid him the garden, and the Fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help. They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.

Why turn they not to Allah, and seek His forgiveness? For Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

Christ the son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth!

Say: "Will ye worship, besides Allah, something which hath no power either to harm or benefit you? But Allah,- He it is that heareth and knoweth all things." Say: "O people of the Book! exceed not in your religion the bounds (of what is proper), trespassing beyond the truth, nor follow the vain desires of people who went wrong in times gone by,- who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the even way.
Curses were pronounced on those among the Children of Israel who rejected Faith, by the tongue of David and of Jesus the son of Mary: because they disobeyed and persisted in excesses.

I think I need not say more about the exclusivity of the truth claims of the fore mentioned religions.

Even without these intolerant ideas in their holy books, religions feeds off human tribalism. It fosters divisiveness explicitly or implicitly, creating a Us versus Them situation whenever it is deemed fit.

The inherent danger of reversion
Yes, I understand believers have various reasons to ignore or not act on behalf of their holy books. But the fact remains that those verses are in their holy books. A simple reversion to fundamentalism or literalism will unleash yet more evils of religion upon the society.

Religious fervor transcend educational and economic boundaries (and indeed, national ones). This is notably true in present day events. The perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks were educated Muslims from middle income families from different countries. There was the assassinations of abortion-providing doctors in the United States of America. Religion is clearly capable of inspiring insane atrocities.

Really harmony?
Is this harmony (in Singapore) we see truly what it seems?
Can it survive the religious fanaticism emanating from the rest of the globe?

Are the religions in Singapore really holding hands and skipping across the beautiful meadows of peace?

Or is it just begrudging tolerance - with religions sitting around a table with weapons behind them waiting for someone to say or do the wrong thing?

I am simply saying that we need to recognize this issue and actually address it. This fluffed up image of harmony fails to address this inherent danger of religions.

Peace does not come about by ignoring clear and present danger.