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Persisting dichotomies
Muhammad Amir Rana

THE religio-political parties and those at the helm of madressahs’ affairs have always seen their interests being threatened whenever the government has decided to take some counterterrorism measures. They would mount pressure and eventually the government would surrender. The outcome has been that terrorism and religious extremism continue to thrive.

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Counter-extremism templates
Muhammad Amir Rana
IN a significant and long-awaited response, Pakistan’s political and military leaders have largely been able to develop a consensus on an action plan for countering terrorism. It took them 14 years to look at the gravity of the situation through the same lens. Meanwhile, thousands of lives have been lost and huge fiscal losses incurred while the negative processes of political, socio-cultural and ideological changes have taken their toll
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THE way Sindhi nationalists reacted to the assassination of the JUI-F Sindh leader Dr Khalid Soomro left many wondering how in these times of an ever-widening religious-secular divide in Pakistan a religious scholar could get so many tributes from the ‘secular’ segments of society.
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Dialogue on Democracy 4: Constitution is supreme and all Pakistanis are bound to abide by it: religious scholars
Pakistan’s Constitution is a national-level social contract and in the light of Islamic teachings every Pakistani is bound to abide by it. National-level disputes and conflicts, which are shared by all and not linked to certain religious sect or community, should be settled through the majority opinion. A minority cannot be granted the right to impose its opinion on majority. Same principle would apply to interpretation and exegesis of Shariah that would be the prerogative of the elected parliamentarians. .... Read On >>
Dialogue on Democracy 3: Muslims should run their state affairs with mutual consultation and consensus: religious scholars
Muslim jurists’ support for monarchy in times of discord, as an alternative system to Islamic caliphate, was based on their understanding that Islam does not provide a specific framework to run the state affairs. It has been left to Muslims to decide about their system of government with mutual consultation and consensus. Once a social contract, or constitution, is agreed upon, its protection is obligatory. Similarly when democracy is related to solving problems with consultation and collective intelligence, then it is very much relevant to Islam. These views were expressed by eminent ..... Read On >>

Dialogue on Democracy 2: Islam puts great emphasis on justice, rights and rule of law: religious scholars
Islam has laid down some guiding principles on justice, rights and responsibilities, equality and rule of law, which should become the basis of any political system that undertakes to govern an Islamic state. In that regard democracy appears very close to Islam. These thoughts were expressed by leading religious scholars in a seminar on “Democracy and constitution of Pakistan: viewpoints of clergy and religious scholars (II),” organized by Pak Institute for Peace Studies in Lahore on May 19, 2014. The first of this series of dialogues was held in Karachi on May 17, 2014.  Read On >>

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