That Proper Interpretation of Islam which will allow for Muslims to coexist peacefully with non-Muslims as equals on an indefinite basis, without implementing any endeavor to impose Sharia, continues to be the great unicorn in which everyone believes but no one has actually seen.
It would be great for the Pakistani authorities to reform the madrassas. But what will be taught in the reformed madrassas? How will the reformed madrassas counter the jihadist claim to represent the pure, true teachings of Islam? If such a counter to that claim is readily available, why do the condemnations of terrorism by American Muslim advocacy groups continue to be so vague and hollow?
Everyone believes in this Proper Interpretation of Islam that is peaceful and tolerant — why then is it so hard for Muslims actually to point to it and explain its contents in contradistinction to the Islamic arguments of the jihadists?
Perhaps in reply someone will trot out the soothing theories of some Western academic, the latest from Akbar Ahmed or Khaled Abou El Fadl or Reza Aslan or the moderate du jour. These are, however, in the final analysis, just that: theories. Where is the mainstream Islamic theological construct that abjures Islamic supremacism? The peaceful Muslims of the world, who exist in huge numbers, are the products of cultural and political factors, not of theological reform of Islam’s jihad doctrines. Consequently the exponents of such doctrines can always portray themselves as the exponents of the full, and true, and pure practice of Islam. And they do.
By Hina Farooq and Adnan Lodhi in the Daily Times (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
LAHORE: Students from various educational institutions have concluded that misinterpretation of Islam is one of the major root causes of terrorism in Pakistan, which, according to them, has become a label for the country.
Talking to Daily Times, they said terrorism and extremism were being attributed to Pakistan across the world.
The students said that misinterpretation of Islam, poverty and unemployment had been the causes of terrorism in the country. Moreover, most of the students held external forces responsible for it, adding that violence had been nurtured during the Ziaul Haq regime. They said the madrassas (seminaries) that groomed students in the name of jihad (holy war) and “˜promoted” extremism were also responsible for cultivating this scenario.
Memona Yousaf of the Lahore College for Women University said Pakistan’s image had been adversely affected by terrorism, which had given an open invitation to the United States to enter the country in the name of the fight against extremists. “The government is not taking positive steps to control the situation. The current strategies are leading us towards a civil war,” she said. “The government should control inflation, create internal peace boundaries, restore the judiciary, and maintain law and order in the country.”
Sanniya Khan of the Defence Degree College suggested that there were two schools of thought in the country; one was supporting liberalism and supporting the war against terrorism, and the other was promoting extremism, urging people to die in the name of jihad and fight for the spread of Islam. “The government is taking action to some extent, but only to show the western media that it is trying to resolve the issue,” she said. ” The government should facilitate and bring reforms in madrassas instead of attacking them, call back the Army from Waziristan and Swat, and negotiate with the militants in order to protect the lives of other Pakistanis.”