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The solution to the growing radicalism…By Shariq Rasul

Pakistan was established as a state idealizing the Islamic Ideology of acquiring a separate state for the Muslims. But now it is expressing consequences as the land now has just been limited to the Muslims. How the meaning of life in Pakistan can be expanded by the inclusion of religious minorities.

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It is observed the demand for inclusion of minorities and of a tolerant society among the public in Pakistan is growing especially after the heart-wrenching event of Sialkot where a Sri Lankan man was burnt alive for allegedly disgracing the holy prophet; nothing more than allegations but destined to death by mob lynching.

Serious elements in policy and decision-making positions and in public circles have shown concerns about the recent development which has negatively hurt the image of the country. The vision for a balanced society with such a level of intolerance cannot be achieved no progress in different fields can be made. The shocking incident of the murder of the Sri-Lankan Citizen would only provide the impetus for the global community to look down upon Pakistan as a bastion of religious radicalism.

After the undefined formation of the Ideology of Pakistan limiting itself to Muslims only and getting blanked for others the diaspora of Pakistan is demanding major reforms for compensating with its meaning to open the doors for freedom of opinions and thoughts in Pakistan which might discourage the incidents like Sialkot any more.

In my opinion, there is a need to choke down the windows for the radical and politically motivated clerics on the ideological front to the extent that they are unable to claim that Pakistan is made only for their sake. This can be maintained that Pakistan was made for the defence of Indian Muslims but not for the sake of eliminating the Non-Muslims. A huge gap remains to be opened in ideology needs to be filled now in order to avoid incidents like the one tragic event of Sialkot.

Why many among us are following radicalism? It is because we haven’t destined our policies to limit the extremist actions despite the laws and regulations which do not work. They provide the culprits with loopholes provided by exclusionary ideologies.

What could we do more in the ideological sphere? Here are some of my suggestions that can help curb radicalism:

  1. Keep an unbiased check and balance on Madrasas

The specific study material of Madrasas requires an alternatives syllabus and must be updated with the current knowledge systems so that an understanding might be developed. The necessity of change in the syllabus should emphasize upon inclusion of Computer Science, Calculus and Theories but more importantly, another thing has to be urgently focused on; students were reported studying the ideas which provoke them to think of Non-Muslims as an alien or some other kind which leads to selfishness and hatred, still, it is continuing in the form of religious education. That encourages hateful crimes and induces radicalism. The importance of shifting courses in Madrasas, thus, cannot be over-emphasized. Moreover, the money trail of some Madrasas has to be maintained and properly documented. This process has to be continued again.

  • Limiting media from interacting with the extremists

Media has its responsibility of keeping up-to-date their audience with the ongoing developments but unfortunately, the media platform is misguided when elements from radical means are treated as a matter of public interest in media coverage. Politics is a tool that news channels use as information for their audiences but now somehow politics is revolving around the religious figures too for the promotion of their rightist ideology at the National Level. That is why the government and stakeholders of Pakistan are also watering these rooted extremist activities. Media houses are creating an opportunity for airing and promoting the opinion of the extremists to drill their inappropriate jargon into the consciousness of the masses. This needs to be controlled through normalizing the ban on the publicity of respective groups in the form of interviews and reporting their events such as meet-ups, rallies and speeches, etc.

  • Influence and act in the interest of the society not the party

Yes, a few months ago Federal Government had taken a bold step of declaring an extremist political party as an Illegal setup but they only did it for the reason they had a routine clash of interest with the political party. Now in the recent past, the government has lifted up the imposed ban without explaining why this has been done. It is clear there was the involvement of their personal and political relations, nothing was done for the sake of the country and its population.

I would like to suggest that tasks are required to be accomplished in the interest of the Society rather than the Party. Not only bringing bans but the adaptation of steps for eliminating roots of radicalism and intolerance will work out for bringing peace in the society. For that, a consistent and well-organized plan is required and expected from the Government which may not get affected by any kind of inner or outer influence.

The writer is an undergrad student of media studies at the University of Management Sciences (UMT). He can be reached at E-mail: rhymingbazaar@gmail.com.

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