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Time to reclaim our mosques

Published Oct 17, 2012 08:14am


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The Taliban claim that the attack on Malala Yousafzai is  sanctioned by Shariah because Malala was promoting western values. The modestly dressed Malala, with a headscarf always secured in place, instead only campaigned to be educated, which is not a western, but a universal value.

I, however, wonder when was Islam or Shariah against educating girls? When did Islam sanction murdering children for any crime? Why is my understanding and practice of Islam diametrically opposed from that of the Taliban? And why do I feel intimidated as I raise these questions?

The debate about Islam and Muslims has almost disappeared from Muslim societies out of the fear of being targeted by extremists. The secret police in Iran and Saudi Arabia, the armed thugs belonging to religious parties in Egypt and the rest of the Middle East, and the Taliban and their allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan have used violence and intimidation to stifle the discourse on how Muslims should interpret and practice their religion. Suddenly, the last word on Islam in Muslim societies belongs to the man carrying the biggest gun. This leaves no room for intellect to interject on matters of faith.

And while the Taliban may be singled out for holding the most extremist interpretations of Islam, the overwhelming majority of Muslims in Pakistan may not be far off in their understanding of the religion. The Pew Research Center data collected in 2010 revealed that over 85 per cent of those with Grade 13 or higher education in Pakistan favoured segregating men and women at the workplace. These views are often justified in the name of Islam and they predate the Taliban, who came to life only in the mid 90s.

The systematic perversion of Islam at the hands of semi-literate armed men has been going on in Pakistan and other places for decades. I recall attending a lecture by Asma Jahangir in the late 80s (it could be the early 90s) at Peshawar University in which she mentioned how even the Hadiths written on the boundary walls of mosques in Bannu were not spared edits by the ‘religious scholars’ who omitted ‘women’ from the Hadith that encouraged all Muslim men and women to seek knowledge.

But Bannu is not the only place where religion suffers at the hands of those who act as its ambassadors.  Over the years, the middleman (the mullah) between the man and his faith has become stronger than the faith itself. From a very young age, we are taught to surrender not just to Allah, but to the authority of the stick-wielding middleman.

Naseeruddin Shah, the legendary Indian actor and director, a few weeks ago shared his struggles with religious beliefs in a conversation with an audience in Toronto. He remembered being five and having to learn the Quran from a stick-wielding ‘maulvi sahab’, the middleman! Even a young child’s introduction to the noble Quran is often at the hands of a man carrying a stick, which he uses at his discretion. Were we supposed to be beaten into learning Quran?

Irrespective of the academic and career choices we make or our outward appearances that may present us as “westernised”, religion remains buried deep in our psyche. A discretely delivered prayer while being seated on a hospital bench or one attended as part of a large congregation are manifestations of our religious beliefs and practices. We continue to wonder about us being mortals and are perturbed whenever tyranny and barbarism is justified in the name of Islam.

When Naseeruddin Shah was asked to pick the most memorable role of his career, he picked Khuda Kay Liye where he acted as a religious scholar explaining in a courtroom the tolerant side of Islam.  He mentioned that playing the role helped him answer his own questions about faith and belief.

My former editor at The News in Islamabad had similar strives with faith. She once wondered why the religion she grew up with failed to grow with her? Why is it that religion appears to be at odds with other knowledge? Is it the religion that fails to keep up with our intellectual growth or is it the middleman between us and the faith who is unable to improve upon the message as we mature from being just five-years-old? Could it be true that those who have become the brand ambassadors of religion in Muslim countries, i.e., the militants and mullahs, do not have the intellectual capacity to appreciate religion beyond rituals.

The revenge of the Philistines

Religion in Pakistan is predominantly in the hands of semi-literate men who were unable to receive regular education mostly because of economic hardships. Some could not attend schools because of poverty and others left schools because they were ill-suited to study Chemistry, Physics, and Biology. They were shipped to madrassahs. Similarly, those who were unable to proceed beyond grade 12 in the regular school system were often sent to the military. The rank and file of the Taliban is even less exposed to the regular school system.

The mullahs, military and militants today control the streets and mosques of Pakistan. Their anger could very well be an outcome of the failed education system that does not value improving retention rates and hence made little, if any, attempt to have them last in the regular school systems. No wonder, a favourite pastime of the Pakistani Taliban involve blowing up schools. Had they attended schools, they’d have shown more compassion.

Time to reclaim our mosques

Given that the very reputation of Islam is at stake globally, we may have to return to the mosques to reclaim our right to be heard. For decades we have sat silently listening to the sermons that repeatedly advised us that we may be heading to salvation, but our neighbours and friends were all condemned to hell.  It is the time to speak up, not just in the living rooms, but also in mosques and Imambargahs. By merely listening to the mullahs, we are not truly part of the conversation. We have allowed ignorance to be spread in the name of enlightenment. This needs to stop.

If we were to speak out, we may find support from Imams and other leaders who are willing to take a stand. At Eidul Fitr in Toronto I attended prayers at a mosque mostly attended by Somalis. The mosque had invited a prayer leader from England for a month who also delivered the sermon at Eid. The young preacher took the opportunity to deliver a sermon on domestic abuse and violence against women. He told the congregation that over the past month several women in the community complained of being abused by their husbands and fathers. “This is not permitted in Islam,” he warned the congregation. For the abused women in Toronto’s Somali community, he had a simple message: call the Police.

The Taliban and others have assumed control of the mosques and the narrative because we had let them do so. We have to reclaim mosques and support those who appreciate the tolerant and benevolent side of Islam. If we don’t act, the Taliban and others will keep harming young girls in the name of Islam.


Murtaza Haider, Ph.D. is the Associate Dean of research and graduate programs at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto. He can be reached by email at


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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Murtaza Haider is a Toronto-based academic and the director of

He tweets @regionomics

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (93) Closed

Leo Oct 18, 2012 05:39am
What humanity and esp. Islamic countries suffer from is excess of religion. There is no point in reclaiming mosques. What is required is just leave them where they are. Spirituality needs no religion and certainly no mosque!
Saif Oct 18, 2012 02:58am
Liberal extremists don't kill, religious extremists do. Killers are punished not negotiated.
Sudipto Oct 18, 2012 01:57am
All major religions in this world have gone through this phase where the middleman between the man and his faith had hijacked religion. They used the name of their respective gods to rule over the general people and this rule has always been violent. At some point in history they were all intolerant of other religions. They all came out of that state largely helped by reformists - who were also attacked by the ultra conservatives. Many religious reformists have been killed but reforms went on and those religions became more tolerant and talked of peace. I am hoping something similar will happen to Islam also. It is unfortunate that Islam got hijacked during our lifetime. I am sure we will see its proper restoration during our lifetime.
Keti Zilgish Oct 17, 2012 01:17pm
Sexual segregation is the main weapon employed by the mullah. Desegregation of Mosques is the main issue precisely because it may not have been conceivable in the 7th century AD. Unless humans can pray side by side regardless of gender or sexual preferences, reclaiming mosques will be an ineffective slogun. 7th century sexual hangups imposed on the Indus Valley Civilisation have caused a population explosion ruthlessly exploited by music industry which avoids social and political causes and foolishly sticks to churning out 'pyaar' songs which are reacted to by increasing amounts of hatred and fuelling the taliban.
Arshad Oct 17, 2012 11:42am
We all are there to criticise but solutions lie within us as well described by Dr Sahib. Dr sb please continue with the same argument. When educated person will mix up with those presently in the mosque, picture of Islam will be diffrent.
pasha Oct 18, 2012 04:52am
the last word on Islam in Muslim societies belongs to the man carrying the biggest gun. This leaves no room for intellect to interject on matters of faith. How true..
dks Oct 18, 2012 03:29am
religion beyond rituals---- Are you kidding ??? religion beyond rituals is oxymoron
Amir Baig Oct 18, 2012 03:11am
Awesome man!! Keep it up.
shahid Oct 18, 2012 04:07am
why are we guys blaming Taliban and Mullahs for Occupying the space : who and what stops us from reading Quran and life of Prophet.......... Issue is, its not our priority......
nigar Oct 18, 2012 03:56am
If we analyze the qualification of writer everyone graduated from foreign universities and have none or meager experience to deal with the situation. Their job is to write what so ever comes in their minds without giving any fruitful objectives and results. In Pakistan we criticize alot, and am doing the same thing. If we start comparing military with militant it will be end of the story. I am sorry to say its become fashion of journalists to hit military and gets ur rating up. Alas ........, Allah please safe us from them (black sheeps -- journalists) as well. Ameen
Tahir Oct 17, 2012 12:58pm
Well written Murtaza. I admire your courage and boldness and equally that of Dawn for giving people like yourself the opportunity to express right from wrong. "By merely listening to the mullahs, we are not truly part of the conversation. We have allowed ignorance to be spread in the name of enlightenment. This needs to stop." How right you are! Sadly, I just wonder if the people of Pakistan are at a point of no return at this stage since even amongst the educated newer generation, hatred towards fellow citizens is rife. During my travels to this great country (or what it was once), I get automatically segregated, treated with disdain and hate-filled expression, the moment I utter I belong to such and such faith. Please tell me what I or my relatives living in Pakistan done to deserve this? And this comes from the well educated lot.
Pradeep Oct 18, 2012 06:02am
kumar Oct 18, 2012 06:56am
never too is about time.
Eddied Oct 17, 2012 11:17am
Very well written article which addresses the real issues...God bless you for writing this..
Ahmed Oct 18, 2012 07:36am
unless we dont stop thinking that all the mula says is sacred we may not be able to reclaim our mosques as you say. This will come with educating and informing the people about true spirit of Islam through curriculum right from the beginning.
Ahmed Oct 18, 2012 07:55am
Excellent article, I commend the writer for expressing so eloquenly what we all want to say...It is time to reclaim our mosques from the criminal syndicates, the qabza groups & the merchants of death.
Cheebz Oct 17, 2012 11:22am
Nice article... Bt missed one point.... We can only claim back our mosques if we ourselves know our religion better... We also don't know the basics... Until we understand and read Quran regularly, we will always need a "semi-illiterate" mullah to lead us in our understanding of faith.. We have also made it a convenience to call upon the local molvi to read janaza, nikah, advice on shariah etc...
Ahmed Ali Oct 18, 2012 09:45am
Hello. I happen to have studied in a Ivy League university before going to madrassah to complete a 10 year Mufti course, here are my answers: I, however, wonder when was Islam or Shariah against educating girls? - It is not. When did Islam sanction murdering children for any crime? - Islam does not. Why is my understanding and practice of Islam diametrically opposed from that of the Taliban? - Lets not call them Taliban, or Muslims even. Unfortunately, what these people did is barbaric and against ALL that Islam stands for. So lets not associate them with Islam or Muslims.
Concerned 01 Oct 17, 2012 11:14am
Thnak you Murataza for highlighting this shameful reality. Its's we Muslims, who have shirked away from our basic responsibilities to have allowed a middleman, when that has always been strongly against the basic concept of Islam. Moreover, someone, who propogates hatred against other fellow Muslims and other human beings has no reason to be leading Muslims in prayers and cannot be the custodian of the places of Muslim worship. We have to recailm our mosques, if we want the religion to be practiced as instructed by Allah and promoted and parcticed by our dear Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)
Latif Khan Oct 17, 2012 09:25am
Good thoughts but I am afraid Taliban being illitrate orphans who are ganging up with others with similar mind set people are tools in the hands of mullahs who are actively involved in the politics of Pakistan. Mullah uses them for their own benefits. These mullahs who have no or little knowledge of Islam, science and technology use taliban whenever they wish to divide the public opinion.. On the other hand Taliban feel that they are no match to educated girls in the area and therefore wish to keep their area girls to grow like them so that girls can not reject them. .
AHA Oct 17, 2012 08:36pm
The Last Message of Allah is for all times to come. It necessarily has to have room for interpretation, so that it may be applied according the conditions prevailing at a certain time. The problem is that, over the last few centuries, we have left the interpretation to the most inhumane and the most illiterate amongst us. They come up with the interpretation that suits their tunnel vision, and the rest of us are made to believe that that is all there is in Islam. However, I sympathize with your confusion (and did not give you a thumbs down).
Indian Oct 18, 2012 08:33pm
What harmony?
Maira Oct 18, 2012 08:18pm
Spot on.. very true indeed.
Condemned Oct 17, 2012 08:37am
Very good advice Sir! It's more needed by Pakistanis than any other Muslim state. Violence against women and children had never been the trait of true Muslims right since the time of the Holy Prophet. Those indulged in this shameful practice need to be advised in the most decent way (provided they pay heed to it).
Leftist Oct 17, 2012 09:00am
I really love this idea !
khanm Oct 17, 2012 01:26pm
Time to reclaim our mosques, i could not understand what it really means, may be the writer meant to say, time to reclaim our mind and sanity....
Shahid Latif Oct 17, 2012 01:34pm
Though we do not practice what we preach, religion remains the moral compass of our society. In Pakistan, our conversation revolves and draws from religious thought. The Middleman is only allowed to dictate because of the vacuum provided for him to fill. Attackers of Malala do not represent Islam and not even the lowest form of human values.Let us not legitimize them as our representatives just because they say that Shariah sanctioned their actions and admit guilt for their actions. Stick wielding Quran teacher is no different from the brutal village primary school teacher who only transfers fears to his students.We need to progress. Finally the Middleman will only be replaced when we replace him with a better product and not by wishing him to vanish. In the West now, we do come across that product. Young boys and girls, practicing and proud of their religion and also successful in their careers.
Introspection Oct 17, 2012 12:05pm
Hi Murtaza, I think it would be really nice if you could enlighten your
Khalid Oct 17, 2012 12:08pm
Couldn't agree more. This is exactly what we need. Reclaim our mosques from these illiterate bigoted mullah. Long live Malala. She single handedly is doing what millions of Pakistanis couldn't do.
Avon Oct 17, 2012 11:02am
Am quite impressed by the courage demonstrated in your article - totally agree its time for muslims to open their eyes, brains, heart and mouth too against the middle-man, who virtually have taken control of the religion.
farhaz Oct 17, 2012 12:12pm
Nicely written article throwing light on the ignored issue of following the middlemen's interpretations of religion without applying our brains...!
Sandip Oct 17, 2012 03:42pm
Why do we have to be goverened by other people? Are we sheeps? Its same with any religion, say it Hindu or Chirstian. They have closed there door to the world.
Roma Oct 17, 2012 11:03am
Thanks Murtaza, the future of global Islam lies with people like you. Hope more of them come out.
Samad Chaudhry Oct 17, 2012 10:58am
Superb article It should be read by all intelligent Muslims and our scholars.
AHA Oct 17, 2012 03:45pm
Another excellent piece from this writer.
Asif Oct 18, 2012 12:27am
I kinda agree with Jawwad. Murtaza Haider chose to get a PhD in Management/Business and become an Academic - but he did not choose to join a theological institute in Deoband, Bareli or Qom. Most of the readers of DAWN made similar choices. As long as we leave religious leadership to those who he describes as not having the correct academic "aptitude", we'd not be able to reclaim our mosques.
Mughal Oct 18, 2012 12:00am
Mosques have always existed and still exist where only pertinent and relevant topics only are the subject matter of the sermons. In Pakistan you would witness such instances in what are nowadays referred to as places of worship. Give it a try.
Whatever... Oct 17, 2012 09:09am
Sir, hats off to you ! the way you look at issues, scenarios, and bring out a possible solution is remarkable. We need people like you, who, unlike most of other writers, look at real issues without bashing, maligning Islam. You wonderfully make a clear distinction between Islam and its self proclaimed ambassadors nowadays (although they're as apart as earth and sky), which most people (knowingly or unknowingly) don't do. God bless you sir !
Shams Oct 17, 2012 09:11am
There are two type of extremist one is religious and other is liberal. You mention rightly that we have to reclaim our mosque from Taliban, but do you majority of us are ignorant about the teaching of Islam and even with out of theses mulla we are unable to recite khutba of Nikha, how we will reclaim. The liberal extremist on other hand through everything negative on Mullas and Taliban, and explain the Islam the way the west explain it. I am Muslim and believe anyone who follow Islam the way it mention in Quran and Hadiths will stop the Girls from education but merely blame the Mulla is not the solution of problem. Come up with ideas that start dialogue between these two extremist.
NNi Oct 17, 2012 09:13am
Why an all powerful God will use a messenger to convey his message is beyond my comprehension.... All problem today is because of that, Could he not have used a better method or kept his message simple and clear so that everyone could understand leaving no room for misinterpretation? I think we all are missing something...
Khurram Awan (@thekhomi) Oct 18, 2012 01:12pm
In presence of reason, would u need dogma? teach your kids religion, and there will be no reason to work with
Mohammad Ali Khan Oct 17, 2012 11:21pm
As long as Muslims endorse incomprehensible chanting of Quran and other unreasonable activities in their beliefs, Muslims will not be able to defeat the fanaticism in their society.
Babubiri Oct 17, 2012 10:32pm
The Last Message of Allah is for all times to come. It necessarily has to have room for interpretation, so that it may be applied according the conditions prevailing at a certain time. The problem is that, over the last few centuries, we have left the interpretation to the most inhumane and the most illiterate amongst us. They come up with the interpretation that suits their tunnel vision, and the rest of us are made to believe that that is all there is in Islam
ROHIT PANDEY Oct 17, 2012 10:24pm
Reading over the article it seems to me that Muslims have to reclaim rational thinking to reclaim anything else?
wajahat khan Oct 17, 2012 10:24pm
Mr.Murtaza this is not Toronto this is Pakistan. I am afraid that your suggestions to people to challenge and disrespect the ulema karam does not bode well for the peace, security and harmony of the society. Such an action may even lead to a serious law and order situation because muslims however weak do respect their imams and ulema karam immensely and any would never tolerate their humiliation or insult.
Introspection Oct 18, 2012 08:36am
Enormous damage to the country??? Could kindly elaborate specifically?
G.A. Oct 17, 2012 09:58pm
Every chapter in the Quran (except one) begins with 'In the Name of God, the Most Beneficent, the most Merciful'. Yet the entire introduction to Islam by the clergy starts with the wrath of God and His punishments. As if the personality of God has been moulded using the personality of ruthless or strict Muslim rulers throughout Islam's 1400 year history. Makes one wonder.
G.A. Oct 17, 2012 09:49pm
Her name is Malala. She certainly has give me the courage to take a stand. I am sure there are many more who have been inspired.
AHA Oct 17, 2012 08:27pm
I am a proud Muslim, and I will NEVER "stop the Girls from education". I believe that getting the best education is a fundamental duty of all Muslims.
selina Oct 17, 2012 02:01pm
very well written article, my take home message from this is that by standing by and listening every time someone endorses injustices in the name of a religion, by keeping silent we too are responsible for the consequences that follow. Closed room discussion/status updates on fbk/etc are not enough. If you are at a religious gathering and the preacher misinterprets the religion to encourage an injustice then instead of silently listening, ignoring , and then going home and joking about it, you should question such preaching at that very moment. one of 2 things will happen, either you yourself will learn something new or the preacher will learn something new.
zo UK Oct 17, 2012 08:52am
Agreed. We desperately need educated religious scholars - scholars who are well versed in the Quran as well as in history geography sciences etc. There is a certain mentality in our society, (including myself here) that religious scholarly education is best left for someone from a village, for someone who ends up in a madressah and doesn't have the means to go to a good school. If you come from a relatively well-off family then religious education is (largely) ignored and you're pushed completely towards 'western' education as that will fetch you a better career. E.g. if a person belonging to an affluent family said they wanted to be an aalim, it will largely be frowned upon (at the very least). It is this mentality that we need to target.
Aamir Oct 17, 2012 07:25pm
Good article. But it is going to take time.
Babar Khan Oct 17, 2012 07:12pm
Everyone who can still think and have a spine left
Surendran Oct 18, 2012 09:39am
Nearly all religions known to mankind have had the same experience where a group has arrogated the right to interpret and Islam is experiencing it now. However, the experience across other faiths may not have been as violent as it is in Islam today and Haider is right in exhorting Muslims to reclaim that space.
Jawwad Oct 17, 2012 07:07pm
Murtaza - I commend you for taking the initiative but I am sorry it's not gonna happen. The society was long divided into halves and have-nots. Many of the halves went to West for education and acquired top positions in the country whereas the have-nots could only go go as far as Madressas and Mosques. [They] reclaimed it from more liberal forces and turned into what we have a pariah.
hitesh Oct 17, 2012 11:37am
I would like to recommend latest Hindi movie 'OMG' to watch to clear many a doubt about religion. Faith is between me and my GOD. And I would like to follow religious edicts for the good of me and my society not the other way.
Introspection Oct 17, 2012 11:38am
Hi Murtaza, I think it would be really nice if you could enlighten your
Mukesh Oct 17, 2012 11:33am
Nice article. A mosque or any other religious place should be only used for spiritual purpose. If a person learns hate and killing at such a place - it just defeats the purpose of going to such a place.
Ali Raza Oct 17, 2012 09:52am
Great Murtaza, We should reclaim the right from Mullah to interpret our religion according to his ow mindset.
Imran Oct 17, 2012 09:43am
Honest assessment of the problem. Its about time common muslims start questioning the militants of their wrong interpretations of islam
Jahanzaib Oct 17, 2012 09:40am
Perfectly written, you well narrated the voice of many.
Zafar Malik Oct 17, 2012 02:23pm
Thank you Murtaza, you have hit the nail right on the head. It is the Mosque. It is the largest platform in Pakistan, which has been completely handed over to semi-literate imams, where they have absolute freedom to brainwash the semi-literate millions. Blind leading the blind. Qadari who murdered Salaman Taseer acknowledged that he did just what his two imams preached in their sermons. It is absolutely true that Islam has not grown with the changing times. There were no schools in Medina for boys or girls, so letting or not letting girls go to school is as meaningless as the question: does Islam allow girls to drive cars. Ther were no cars in Medina. If religiouns do not evolve as society does, they become just a collection of dead rituals and not a guiding light.
dinmab Oct 17, 2012 06:16pm
FINALLY !!! I keep telling all my muslim friends this. Every religion goes through this phase. Christian church was corrupt to the core then came the reformation. Hope islam gets to go through its own reformation. To begin a reformation the community should first accept that things arent all good within.
Dhump Oct 17, 2012 06:07pm
Never too late! Never give up!
raika45 Oct 17, 2012 09:35am
Interesting proposition.However one question arises; Who is going to carry the torch and lead this "revolution"?
Razzaq Oct 17, 2012 05:34pm
With all due respect to your advise of speaking out in mosque, may I just remind you the dangerous culture prevailing in the country and specially in mosques where killings are regarded as good deed.
darr Oct 17, 2012 05:16pm
Go and read Quran again
nh Oct 17, 2012 05:14pm
An excellent thought provoking article. You have analised the problem very well, and given the solution too. Great article . Do write more . We need these types of written work to get enlightened.
bluemountain Oct 17, 2012 04:52pm
Money talks.... even in mosques nowadays.
AHA Oct 18, 2012 10:46am
So true.
farrukh Oct 17, 2012 01:56pm
We all have to carry this torch and be leaders of our destiny and religion. God Almighty has given us brain to think and reason and seek logic and knowledge. God has given us Quran to understand His teachings. It
Johnny James Oct 17, 2012 04:42pm
No use at all Murtaza Haider, it's gonna fall into deaf ears
MA Oct 17, 2012 04:32pm
Haider Sahib, how would you suggest reclaiming these Mosques and from who? The unfortunate public of Pakistan has fallen too low in their approach to the Mosque factor, where they don't even hesitate in aiding breaking down the the established Mosques, defacing them is a ritual now and letting prayers be held freely in these mosques is now a dream
Kumar Oct 17, 2012 04:30pm
well written. If people don't speak up, things will only get worse. At the same time govt should provide good security infrastructure so all are protected.
farrukh Oct 17, 2012 01:59pm
Where in Islam it says to stop girls from getting education??
Majaz Amin Oct 17, 2012 02:55pm
Nice article!!!
Aslam Khan Oct 17, 2012 02:52pm
Pakistan has too much religion outside the mosques and too many soldiers outside the barracks. For too long these two forces have done enormous damage to the country.
saleem Oct 17, 2012 02:51pm
If you study the Holy Quran, Allah has answered your this very question, and remember messenger
saleem Oct 17, 2012 02:43pm
It is every Muslim's duty, as no soul will be asked what other did, rather what she did.
Cyrus Howell Oct 17, 2012 02:10pm
"The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened". -- Josef Stalin
T.Sheikh Oct 18, 2012 10:05am
Mr. Haider PHD, the question Muslims in Pakitan ought to ask themselves. How many of us are willing to pursue religious studies as a career? More so, how many of us are willing to allow their off springs to become religious scholars. The Imams in Mosques and / or so called Moulivi's use the cane or display ignorance and prejudice because they may be educated but not possess the capacity to reason. Unless the educated society does not participate, like they do in North America, ignorance and intolerance will multiply. Therein lies the rub!
Raheel Adnan Oct 17, 2012 09:20am
Frankly speaking, most of us haven't studied Islam and we simply believe Islam to be whatever men with beard say. We let the egotistic merchants hijack Islam and hence our society. Eventually everything is terribly wrong and I am not sure, we're in a position to revert the situation. But we should definitely try. Once again, an awesome blog post.
Cyrus Howell Oct 17, 2012 02:16pm
I know second generation Muslims in America who go to their mosque weekly, but have told me they have never read the Koran.
Cyrus Howell Oct 17, 2012 02:19pm
Your answer can only be people who think for themselves.
Kayenn Oct 17, 2012 10:35am
excellent article........ Keep it up sir !!!!
john d'costa Oct 17, 2012 10:28am
too late
Arshad Oct 17, 2012 01:09pm
All very true, but the million dollar question is 'who will bell the cat'?
Giri Nandan Oct 17, 2012 02:18pm
@Murtaza Haider It is not the case of pakistan only . This is same for all the countries where devotees of Islam live . These Middle men are not the main culprits , main culprits are the muslim parents who send their children to Madrasa in stead of school where they are taught J for Jihad . So from the childhood they are being taught not to be moderate .Yesterday a middle man blamed the wedding of two celebrities .A child in childhood should develope logic to scan the things , but they are being trained in Madrasa to scan the things through a lens of middle man.Religion make one's life beaufiful , not I don't thing in current scenario Islam has succeeded in it.
Cyrus Howell Oct 17, 2012 02:17pm
Agree with you 100%
zak Oct 17, 2012 01:09pm
I think it is time that the educated and the elite really learn the Quran and know it well so as to lead in the religion rather than leave it to the illiterate mullahs. At soyums I see the well to do call people from the masjid to read the Quran rather than read it themselves. Time for the educated leadership to Lead in this area as well.
Introspection Oct 18, 2012 09:30am
@Roma What is this global Islam of yours? There is no such thing as a global Islam...There is only a mainstream universal 'Islam' (Deen), which is: the Commandments of Allah (The Creator & Sustainer of the Universe), as related, shown and practiced by His Messenger Muhammad (PBUH) can't get anymore simpler than that...
FN Oct 17, 2012 12:22pm
I oppose the mixing of sexes which eventually leads to immoral actions....which has been somewhat approved above...women should be treated equally on all matters...Our media highlights everything in the name of Taliban as if the terminology is concerned to everyone who enforces shariah...I advice the author to not interpret his way of thinking regarding Islam although most of his objections are valid like violence against women etc. Society should not leave religious matters to middlemen who can easily misguide anyone of weak faith but learn to place ourselves in the domain of Islam & enforce strictness from our side if required based on evidence...Stand up Muslims to the Islamic way of Life!!!
P. Joseph Raju Oct 17, 2012 02:16pm
This is an outstanding and timely article. Every statement is on the mark. Yes, the Mullahs, the militants and the military working hand in hand by scraching each others back for the mutual benefit at the cost of women, children and family. Religion must be a blessing to people, and never a threat to their existence. These three groups are using religion for their selfish interests. Time has come for the people to rise up and take back their rights and lives. Joseph Raju