By Haq Nawaz Baloch, Pasni
In the 20th century, the Muslim world embraced modernity by accepting the concept of Nation-state system, which emerged in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. The secular nationalist’s movements fought for the right of self-determination and got independence from the colonial powers. But in 21st century, the extremist groups have rejected the concept of nation state and promoted the culture of Jihad in ideological ground. Jihadi mindset negatives the concept of modernity. Moreover in Muslim world, the madaris have played an important role in producing Islamic scholars and clerics. However, now the Madaris have become a new breeding ground for radical Islamist militants. Religious fatwa further added the sense of hatred for minorities. Less uneducated clerics openly accused and blamed any religious minorities; moreover, they misinterpret the verses of holy Quran, as the result, hatred and Jealousies feelings are occurring in every nook and corner of country. Around 10 to 15 percent of the madaris are affiliated with extremist religious outfits, which are totally bigotry kinds of religious education.
These madaris have distorted view of Islam where hatred is permissible.
After the creation of Pakistan, the number of madaris kept growing at a slow pace without any state patronage in the first three decades. During 1980s madaris system underwent a complete change. The war in Afghanistan brought from across the border millions of refugees and the radicals of the Jihadi movement. Thousands of new madaris were formed, and supported by foreign donations from rich individuals and Islamic charities, mainly from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.
The exact number of madaris in Pakistan is unknown. However, the rough estimate ranges from 45,000. With the passage of time, the number of madris has increased. It is a fact that the rise of madaris in Pakistan not only has threatened the social, cultural, economic and political life of the country, but also weakened the Pakistani state. Due to the religious extremism, educational system of Pakistan has come to the brink of failure. Pakistan spends very little amount of its Gross National Product (GNP) on education. Government runs schools are generally horrendous. They often lack of teachers, water, electricity, latrine, and boundary and even though roof.
On the country, the rich elite class of Pakistan sends their children in expensive private schools. The poor can’t afford the private schools fees and send their children to madris which provide food, clothing and even some their children. Thus for the lower classes and refuge population, the madaris have become attractive institutions.
The madris were established in large number by Zia regime for two reasons, to win support from the religious cleric and broaden his political base for recruiting Mujahideen to wage war in Afghanistan and also gain the support of religious parties. Moreover, the dictators played a destructive role to bring religion into politics. They have used Islam for their ultimate political goals. For instance, Ayub Khan‘s modernist Islam, Zia’s theocratic Islam and Musharaf’s liberal Islam has been the continuation of the same policy prepared by the state since its formation. However, the drastic change came when Zia came to power in 1977. Religious groups supported Zia and provided him an Ideological framework, based on a particular brand of an Islamic system.
The wave of religious extremism has erupted, after the 9/11 incident in 2001. In this way particular groups whom used religion as a recognized tools against minorities as well as many sects of Islam, no doubt, these groups are directly and indirectly are supported by foreign states fought proxy war in Afghanistan, due to difference of religious Ideology. Now this war is directly fighting in Pakistan. The killing of Shia, particularly Hazara community is under a severe barbarism in this religious war in Quetta, Balochistan.
Thousand, have been killed by suicide attacks and millions have been migrated across the country. Another shocking reality is the opinion adopted by the orthodox religious scholars whom issued Fatwa against religious minorities and other sects of Islam. These actions of Ulemas diverges the perception of general mass which caused of hatred against other sects of Islam. Now, it makes high responsibility of federal as well as provincial government to create such atmosphere which would bring religious harmony in entire country. The need of hour is to reject the culture of “Religious extremism” and pave the way for a broad based consensus among various sects and religious minorities. If this fire would not be extinguished, it completely burns all the fabric of society.
Prophet (PBUH) categorically said that “All Muslims are brother and shouldn’t make any division amongst themselves in sect, creed and color.”
Another place Allah says in Baqarah, 190, “Fight in the cause of Allah though who fight you, but don’t transgress limit Allah love not transgressors limits.”