Pakistanis believe in kill, fight, shoot view of Islam

May 5th, 2008 - 2:59 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, May 5 (ANI): Pakistanis misinterpret Islam by assuming that it requires them to Kill, fight, shoot, and this view of Islam is quite common in Pakistan, said a Turkish Muslim teacher living in Karachi.

He said that schools nourished by Saudi and American money dating back to the 1980s, have spread radicalism through the poorest parts of society.

Mesut Kacmaz, the Turkish Muslim teacher, complained that Pakistanis everywhere assume that he was not a Muslim because he had no beard.

Kacmaz is part of a group of Turkish educators who have come to this battleground with an entirely different vision of Islam. Theirs is moderate, flexible, and comfortably co-exists with the West while remaining distinct from it. Like Muslim Peace Corps volunteers, they promote this approach in schools, which are now established in more than 80 countries, Muslim and Christian, the Daily Times quoted a New York Times report as saying.

According to the NYT report, Pakistans Tribal Areas have become a refuge for the Taliban and Al Qaeda, while the battle against fundamentalism rests on young people and their education, which is extremely weak. The poorest Pakistanis cannot afford to send their children to free public schools, which require fees for books and uniforms. Some choose to send their children to madrassas, which, like aid organisations, offer free food and clothing.

Turkish schools, which have expanded to seven cities in Pakistan, cannot transform the country on their own, but they offer an alternative approach that could help reduce the influence of extremists, the report adds. These schools prescribe a strong Western curriculum, with courses taught in English, from maths and science to literature. They do not teach religion beyond the single, state-required class in Islamic studies. (ANI)

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