Islam misunderstood in West
Ptal ARTICIPANTS at a seminar organized by Muslim Institute in the capi
on Wednesday rightly pointed towards the misunderstandings existing in western countries about Islam. The influential and articulate stratum of Western society is guilty of a whole range of negative attitudes towards Islam and the Muslims. At one end of the continuum is ignorance compounded by prejudice while at the other end is aversion alloyed with antagonism.
This problem actually began with Samuel Huntington’s ‘The Clash of Civilizations’ theory which was a diabolic and evil attempt to malign Muslims. In his article, he argued that, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Islam would become the biggest obstacle to Western domination of the world. The West’s next big war therefore, he said, would inevitably be with Islam. Today, the mainstream Western media is also portraying Islam or what it describes as ‘militant Islam’ or ‘fundamentalist Islam’ as a threat to the West. All these negative tendencies which are not based on solid facts have proved to be fundamental and root causes for present day challenges including extremism and terrorism. Given the rising sense of insecurity and timidity in different parts of the world, it is high time to put a lid on the negative campaign against Muslims as like every other religion, Islam also preaches peace, harmony and peaceful coexistence. These are actually the preachers of the religions who twist the messages for their vested interests. Their selective and biased analysis only adds to our ignorance rather than our knowledge, narrows our perspective rather than broadening our understanding, reinforces the problem rather than opening the way to new solutions. Therefore, it is high time that the followers of different religions including Islam, Christianity and Judaism enhance their mutual interaction in order to better understand each other. This will greatly help offset the negative impression and apprehensions existing amongst people of different faiths against each other. The symposium organized in Islamabad was a step in the right direction to develop convergences amongst them and this process should continue to achieve the goal of peace and stability in the world at large.
THE case of Panama documents being released to the world has raised a furor in Pakistan as well as the countries where the political leadership was implicated in the financial scandal. The masses in some of the nations affected have forced their leadership to render their resignations but not so in Pakistan. Here the opposition is bent upon dragging the ruling dispensation into the dock while the rulers are adamant they have committed no wrong.
The case becomes murkier with the disclosure that some members of the opposition bench too are also guilty of the same crime. The onus of responsibility to resolve the issue overwhelmingly lies on the PM and time is the key factor to the outcome of the current political imbroglio - the longer it persists and more intense it becomes. It would be best for the PML-N government to curtail its tempo and find a way out soon.
Though the PM is not directly mentioned in the Panama documents, his addresses to the nation explaining his own position followed by PML-N top leaders jumping into the fray, has further complicated the controversy. A golden opportunity was available to Nawaz Sharif to take the issue by its horns and recommend measures to investigate the accusations as well as ask the parliament to frame fresh legislation to resolve the matter. It may be remembered that the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) was sent a note to form a commission to
HURMAT GROUP OF PUBLICATIONS