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Academics seek true projection of Islam: Moot on facets of
Ummah in globalize world
The Dawn International, Wed, December 07, 2005
KARACHI, Dec 6: Poverty and injustices were considered as the main cause
of violence and terrorism and the need to correct the distorted image of
Islam presented by the Western media was stressed in the inaugural
session of the two-day international conference on Tuesday.
The conference on “Different facets of the Islamic Ummah in a Globalized
World” has been organized by the Area Study Centre for Europe, Karachi
University, in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut, Karachi.
Dr Gunter Mullack, German ambassador, advocated dialogue between Western
and Islamic civilizations and said that Islam was not what it was being
projected daily. The projection of the people in the West, especially on
television, was distorting the image of Islam. He said that violence,
terrorism and abduction were highlighted on the electronic media in the
context of Iraq and elsewhere.
The German ambassador stressed the need for repairing the image of
Islam. In this context, he welcomed the OIC summit called in Mecca to
deliberate on the priorities for the Muslim Ummah in the 21st century in
a globalized world. He welcomed the initiative Gen Musharraf had taken
for projecting the soft image through his enlightened moderation
approach and hoped the summit would go a long way in shaping the future
destiny of the Ummah.
He said that it was not wise to consider only one’s own point of view as
correct and term others as infidels. However, he regretted that hatred
was order of the day in Pakistan and the policy of enlightened
moderation had not yet taken its roots. He also referred to the attack
on churches and called upon Muslims to indulge in self-criticism about
what was happening here and elsewhere.
KU Vice-Chancellor Prof (Dr) Pirzada Qasim referred to the negative
image of Islam and Muslims across the world, especially since 9/11. He
was of the view that the Western media had not helped matters because
they hand not only stereotyped Muslims, but had also not hesitated to
vilify the religion and its prophet. He nevertheless recognized the
efforts in the west to institutionalize dialogue with Islam. In this
context, he appreciated the role of German government. He said that this
process would help in removing mutual misgivings and bring Muslim
communities living in Europe closer to their European compatriots.
But, he impressed upon the Muslims to indulge in some sort of
introspection. He said that Islam upheld peace, harmony, justice,
fair-play and tolerance in society and granted civil rights and cultural
and religious freedom to non-Muslim communities residing in Muslim
ASCE Director Dr Naveed Ahmad Tahir, in her welcome address, referred to
challenges in economic, political and cultural fields and called upon
the Muslim scholars to convince the world that Islam was not regressive
and repressive religion, but a vibrant, egalitarian and tolerant
philosophy which had thrived on “synthesis and plural human values.”
She was of the view that unconditional support to Israel, which was
holding on to occupied Palestinian territories and engaged in altering
their demographic composition, was one of the factors responsible for
the alienation of Muslims from the West. Another factor was the
perception that the need to ensure regular oil supply led the West, in
particular the US, to prop up regimes that were not based on popular
Dr Petra Raymond, Director Goethe-Institut, said that understanding the
equal coexistence of different facets of Islam and their roots in
history, tradition and culture of the respective countries represented
first step towards tolerance and hoped the conference would go a long
way in promoting understanding about each other.
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