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Sunday, 1 February 2009

Qazi''s statement on the 'non-Islamic' acts of Islamic Taliban in Swat: Too little, too late

Will Qazi Hussain Ahmed, and his allies such as Imran Khan, call for public demonstrations against the atrocities of Taliban?

Sermons and sense
Sunday, February 01, 2009

Delivering his Friday sermon, the ameer of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Qazi Hussain Ahmed, has lashed out against the attacks on schools in Swat and other areas, declaring them ‘un-Islamic’. He also spoke out against the militant threat to barbers and their orders to all men to grow beards. This approach is welcome. If the growing extremism that threatens almost everyone in the country is to be battled, we need the support of our religious leaders. In fact it seems odd that other leading clerics have not spoken out against the acts of the militants who have murdered people in Swat and who enforce orders through the threat of violence. As Qazi Hussain Ahmed emphasized, persuasion, not threat, was the method used by the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

So far, clerics such as Maulana Fazlur Rehman of the JUI-F who has a considerable following in NWFP, have said little about the frenzied militancy we see there. This silence adds to the confusion of people. There is still a belief that the militants, in some way, stand for Islam. Anger against the US and the perception that the war on terror is being fought on its behalf complicates the picture.

Our major religious leaders, who are well-versed with the teachings of Islam and all that it stands for as a faith that advocates peace and tolerance, must act to challenge these thoughts. The senseless acts of militants, who clearly understand little of the religion they profess to be enforcing, go to further damage its image in the world. In order to show the real face of Islam to people everywhere and to clear up lingering confusion, our religious scholars need to speak out and join the struggle we must all wage against people who have destroyed much of life in Swat and other areas of the country. Qazi Hussain Ahmed has in this respect given a sense of direction. Others must follow it

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