THIS is with reference to the article ‘Co-optation and expediency’ (May 3) which has talked about some sort of collusion between the state and the religious right as and when the former finds it expedient to scramble out of some imbroglio, especially when cornered by the opposition.

This makes one think whether our seminaries have the wherewithal to roll out youths fully conversant with the golden principals of Islamic polity. If the answer is in the negative, then the state stands to take the blame. For how long will we be overlooking the roots, and focusing our attention on blighted branches?

The curriculum taught in the seminaries leaves much to be desired. On the flip side, the postgraduates in Islamiat are found hesitant, almost reluctant, to take up employment as prayer-leaders in mosques. The state should build model mosques in big concentrations of population, recruiting prayer-leaders through the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC). The Auqaf department has sufficient funds to take up such a project.

The selected prayer-leaders should shed light on the universality of Islam, highlighting such values as tolerance, inclusiveness and forbearance, and emphasising the need for character building.

Muhammad Saleem

Islamabad

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2021

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