May 2008: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Jumada I 1429

Volume 24 No 5

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Submitters Perspective

Monthly Bulletin of the International Community of Submitters Published by Masjid Tucson

How to Combat Religious Fanaticism?

Sectarianism and Terrorism born of fanaticism is posing the biggest threat to the peace and order in society and state. This orgy of murder and killing, resulting from years of indoctrination for religious intolerance and bigotry has already taken a huge toll of human lives. The tragic irony is that all these inhuman acts are being committed in the name of Islam that, by its very definition, has its root word in peace. It should attach the highest sanctity to innocent life, human or non-human. In clear and blatant violation of God’s explicit command not to fragment their religion, our so-called professional religious leaders have contributed to this exploitation of religion.

[6:159] Those who divide themselves into sects do not belong with you. Their judgment rests with GOD, then He will inform them of everything they had done.

[3:105] Do not be like those who became divided and disputed, despite the clear proofs that were given to them. For these have incurred a terrible retribution.

No government especially in the so-called Islamic states has made even meager efforts to promote the cause of Islamic moral values such as justice, tolerance, austerity, honesty and accountability. There is only chaos and instability in the so-called Islamic countries. As such unless the fear of answerability in the Hereafter grips the hearts of the ruling classes, massive problems will not be solved because there would be no real commitment to the ethical values of Islam.

Teachings have to be propagated in the most tolerant and liberal approach and not through the ritualistic manner which is the way it is currently done in the Madressahs (Islamic Schools). These institutions are by and large shops of fanaticism and those who run them are mostly the source of sectarianism. They do not impart Islam’s higher ideals of truth and justice, of reason and moderation, of humanity and compassion, of human unity and equality. Instead, they produce types of mind and character that are extremely narrow, closed, intolerant and opinionated. They resort to physical

punishment with rods and sticks, punishments that are repugnant to Islam’s teaching and to modern educational theories. There is a downward and most apparent slide and yet both the rulers and ruled keep denying their wrong beliefs and actions.

Take for example the proliferation of the so-called Madressahs in Pakistan. They run more as business concerns, trade unions, feudal fiefs and states within the state as no government dared ask them even the simple questions: what they are teaching, how they are teaching, what are their financial sources and what quality of human material they are producing? These institutions are not as much concerned with the promotion of Islamic wisdom and learning as with acquiring material benefits and a means of livelihood for the management of the organization.

First and foremost what we need is the total, implicit and unchangeable faith in the Oneness of God and in all His authority, power, glory and command over all creation, with motivation and

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