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Schools, colleges are teaching extremism, not madrassas, says Fawad

Updated 18 Nov, 2021
Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said everyone had the right to present his point of view and ideas.
Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said everyone had the right to present his point of view and ideas.

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry Thursday triggered a new controversy, saying that extremism in Pakistan was not rooted in madrassas but schools and colleges.

Addressing a consultative conference on terrorism here, Fawad Chaudhry said that during 1990s and 80s due to recruitment of extreme minded people, the youth became extremists. Fawad added that Islam is the religion that promotes peace and balance in one’s life.

Chaudhry said that the students of ‘ordinary schools and colleges’ had been involved in notable incidents of extremism in Pakistan and not of madrassas.

“You closed their (school and college students’) minds. If you cultivate a society where an opposing view is immediately declared kufr (heresy) … how can you present an opposing view?” he maintained.

The Minister said labeling people on the basis of their views is a stumbling block in the way of progress and development of the society.

“And if no opposing views are tolerated, how will you bring a soft change in society?” he asked.

Recalling the past, he said the country’s eminent religious scholar Maulana Hassan Jan was martyred on charges of issuing a religious decree declaring suicide attacks unIslamic.

Everyone had the right to present his point of view and ideas, however imposing one’s views was inappropriate, he said, adding the main pillars of British India’s law enforcement system were ‘Chokidar, Lumberdar and Thanidar’.

During the British rule in Indian subcontinent, he said the British government had established an effective law enforcement system, but unfortunately after its independence, the successive governments neither practiced it nor gave any alternative system to ensure writ of the state. “We saw destruction of many countries caused by the tendencies of extremism,” he added.

He said Pakistan, being a nuclear power and sixth largest military force in the world, faced no potential threat from its arch rival India, but the country faced threats from within. However, the government and state were ready to combat the menace of extremism.