Reform seminaries curriculum to eradicate extremism

Reform seminaries curriculum to eradicate extremism

Understanding religion is the basic right of everybody in this world. Perception is distorted under the absence of religious beliefs during meditation. But in the modern world, religious beliefs are being set aside to deceive oneself with the notion that factual reasoning is done by out-of-box thinking which ultimately leads him/her to nowhere owing to the transgression of inner beliefs and discursive thoughts. It is generally believed that science and religion are like two banks of a running stream, never to merge with each other.

Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance and tells a complete code of life. It teaches the message of equality and justice. The Islamic injunctions are preserved in the Quran and Hadith. Islam teaches believers to go to great lengths for acquiring knowledge. No dichotomy prevails between religious and modern education.

Pakistan is one such country, which is home to a citadel of different sects. The majority of Muslims are sadly divided into a host of sects and creeds. What seems to be a startling concern is the growing rate of sectarian divisions due to a lack of solidarity on the part of sectarian clerics. This paved the ground for the occurrence of sectarianism and extremism.

Wherever the menace of apartheid prevails, animosity in human behaviour is always expected.

This can be seen from the fact that the contemporary world is heavily dipped into the state of acute inequalities. From the level of the dispensation of a veto right at Security Council to justice at the municipal level of a state, inequalities prevail everywhere. The mighty states assume to have got the immunity to resort to cynical attacks against humanity on the pretext of the war on terror and breaking the influence of a state's political leadership.

The so-called war has been created everywhere to retain the supremacy or hegemonic control for long by the bigwigs who overtly assume to have got a role of global police. The arch-rival mighty states: USA and Russia are presently indulged into proxy wars to demonstrate their power by costing the life of innocent civilians everywhere. Therefore, a looming threat of an eruption of third world war has taken out of the shadow of United Nations Organization due to its abject failure.

Likewise, the writ of Pakistan seems to have overtly been challenged by the mob when it comes to alleging anyone with the blasphemous attempt. In such a situation, the law enforcement agency also seems paralysed before the raged mob assault.

The National Action Plan was devised following the cruel attack on the APS school children, in January 2015 to crack down on terrorism, sectarianism and extremism. In order to combat terrorism military undertook operations Zarb-e-Azb and Raddul-Fasad, to clamp down on militants and their hideouts. In the aftermath, a considerable spate of terrorism has been curtailed to its lowest ebb.

However, the scourge of extremism and sectarianism still continue to exist owing to the prevalence of conservative mindset of graduates of seminaries, religious insinuation by sects and inequalities in the society.

There are reports that the curriculum of madrassah education is obsolete and outdated, which needs to be revised with the inclusion of modern education. But, paltry budgetary allocation to education by government, which stands at 2.5 percent of GDP is compelling the poor students to get a cheap education from seminaries.

Apart from this, it is argued that vibrant democracy will need vibrant freedom of expression. No progress takes place in a society where freedom of expression does not thrive. There is a saying that ‘Dissent is better for a social progress’.

Life always demands to apply reason to resolve the knotty problems of life. Knowing or understanding religion through questions and rational reasoning is a better way to understand all sects and to make rational interpretation of religion. Reasonable religious scholars and clerics are not brought in as an aid to find right answers to their questions and also the development of religious understanding. In allusion, whenever one understands the religious beliefs apprehensively then propagation of one’s understandings to others by himself costs him.

Similarly, there is a dire need to bring a necessary amendment to the blasphemy act. Freedom of expression should have a limitation, particularly on the religious beliefs of common people. The wheels of consultation with the honourable clerics should be put into action to amount to the personal understanding of the religion. Everybody is responsible for his deeds in the court of Allah but not for others. So telling others about the personal understandings of the religion may cost him under diversified sectarian society.

Moreover, it is requested to the government to make sure of necessary revision of curriculum of madrassa education in accordance with modern needs, not trends. The students of seminaries should also be authorised for sitting in the examination of federal and provincial commissions, after making of necessary modern changes in their syllabi. Also, budgetary allocation to education should be increased to 5 percent of GDP.


The writer is an independent journalist and political commentator