Extremism is a Two-Way Street: Mowahid

Washington, DC: The Punjab chief minister’s special adviser Mowahid Hussain Shah Saturday said the London blasts "are a crime against humanity" and also "a violation of basic Islamic values, which explicitly forbid the harming of innocents." "The net result would be damaging to the growing 20 million strong Muslim presence in Europe," he told APP.
Asked to comment, he said it is pertinent to ask the question: "Who stands to benefit the most? Does it help or hurt the Muslim cause? "It is entirely plausible that some impressionable elements amongst Muslim youth could have been unwitting dupes of vested interests, especially so, in Britain where Muslims are slowly making a headway in mainstream society.
"But curbing extremism cannot be one-way. It has to be a two-way street," he maintained.
Mowahid Hussain said, "Extremist actions of the West are causing extremist reactions amongst elements in the global Muslim community. This escalating cycle of confrontation can only be checked through intellectual honesty and moral courage."
He added, "What is fueling zealotry are two key factors. First, it is the forcible occupation of Muslim lands and, second, it is the imbalance caused by Muslims' exclusion from global power centers. These palpable injustices require corrective measures.
"While Muslims are asked to repudiate actions of the extremist fringe, mainstream Western policy-making elites continue to issue inflammatory statements about Islam with impunity."
For example, he cited the recent comments of Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo, advocating military strikes against the Holy City of Mecca.
These, he added, "are inexcusable and should be unequivocally denounced by US officialdom, given the fact, too, that Congressman Tancredo is a declared candidate for the US presidency for 2008.
"It sends a message of implacable hostility to Muslims at a time when there is an acute need for reconciliation and understanding," he added.
Mowahid, who practices law in the United States, arrived here Tuesday on a few weeks visit from Lahore. During his stay here, he will address various forums and think-tanks and explain a Muslim’s point of view.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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