In the name of religion


Editorial May 09, 2010



The Faisal Shahzad case brings to light the fact that recruitment for terrorist organisations still takes place, often openly, in mosques all over Pakistan.

Shahzad, for instance, seems to have been recruited out of a mosque in a middle-class neighbourhood of North Nazimabad in Karachi. Details that have emerged about that mosque should disturb most Pakistanis. It appears that the mosque has an open affiliation with the banned militant group Jaish-i-Muhammad. How and why the city government allows such an organisation to operate in a mosque is beyond comprehension.

We believe in freedom of speech and freedom of religion and support both as constitutionally-guaranteed rights. Yet there are limitations to that right especially when they involve incitement to violence or the dissemination of hate speech and literature. One is constrained to make this point because the unfortunate reality is that many of the sermons that are delivered in mosques across the country exhort the faithful not to follow the true spirit of Islam but to consider themselves superior to other faiths and to be intolerant of those of other beliefs.

Often, the prayer leaders incite those who come to listen to them to commit acts of violence — all in the name of religion. Despite repeated intentions to regulate the content of sermons, successive governments have tended to treat this issue with kid-gloves, fearing being seen as somehow anti-Islam. Yet if Pakistan is to become a functioning republic, the government has to enforce the law equally and this means clamping down on purveyors of hate and hate literature. Legitimate advocacy of a different interpretation of one’s set of beliefs is one thing and inciting the faithful towards acts of wanton violence targeting innocent people of other faiths is quite another — and must not be tolerated by either the state or society.

COMMENTS (3)

jahanzaib.haque | 10 years ago | Reply

@nadir corrected. Thanks! (Web Editor)

Ali Haider | 10 years ago | Reply Let alone the shia sunni divide. Has anyone ever seen a sunni vs sunni manazra? Once I saw a video on youtube that had a moulvi with a "toka" (yes the one used by a butcher) claiming that whoever loses (out of the two sunni sects) today can be killed and it will be lawful. And make no mistake this moulvi is one of the biggest manazar. This can be interpreted in many ways. The situation we are in today, eventually narrows down to how much liberty these so-called moulvis have in our country. Any such liberty is unheard of in any other Muslim country i.e., Saudi Arabia. The imam has to deliver a pre-written khuttba. If Islam does not get effected by having strong control over masjids there, how can it be effected in Pakistan? Why is Pakistan always made hostage to in every possible situation? Islam does not need this illiterate lot to have an eternal life. Islam is eternal and will live for ever, but if we do not get rid of these malicious agents, Islam's repute as a peaceful religion will never be restored. They are only doing dis-service to the religion of peace, to the nation, and to the world, and we must not allow them to do it!!!
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