Muslims Have to Step-up Worldwide: Mowahid

The leading think-tank of Pakistan, the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad, organized a Public Talk “Western-Muslim Tensions: Key Challenges” wherein the sole guest speaker was Mowahid Shah, attorney-at-law, author, former Punjab Cabinet Minister, and Pakistan Link columnist. The talk was moderated by former Pakistan Ambassador to the UN Masood Khan, currently the Director General ISSI.

Addressing the gathering, Mowahid mentioned that the term “terrorism” that dominates the West-Muslim discourse is often used as a tool to disparage Muslims and Islam. Little attention, he said, is paid to the unlawful occupation of Kashmir and Palestine.

Mowahid reminded the audience that despite Islam being the predominant faith in the world, Muslims are excluded from global forums, and where it matters, they don’t matter. Even the term “Judeo-Christian heritage,” he added, is loaded, as it is meant to marginalize the Muslim community.

For their part, Mowahid called for self-accountability as he posited that Muslim elites have not framed coherent counter-narratives, and poor representation and presentation have cost on-going Muslim causes heavily in the ‘battle of ideas.’

Mowahid said that the OIC, instead of being a problem-solver, has become part of the problem. He called for the revitalization of the spirit that made the 1974 Islamic Summit at Lahore such a galvanizing force.

Mowahid said that the Western Muslim community has to shed the paralyzing effects of fear, insecurity, and defeatism, which are empowering its foes. He gave the example of Muhammad Ali, who risked all while standing up for fair play, when few could 50 years ago in America, only to be embraced today as an inspirational beacon of hope.

The talk – spontaneously honored by a standing ovation – was followed by a vibrant Q&A exchange with the packed audience, which included ambassadors, generals, academia, students, and a cross-section of city notables.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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