Op Ed: Pakistan Fights for the Soul of Islam
by Dr. Aslam Abdullah
Islam was never in danger, nor were Muslims. Islam claims to be a God-guided faith. How could God be in danger? Those who raise the slogan that their religion is in danger make a mockery of the God they believe in. They deceive people by claiming their monopoly on God and faith.
Pakistan offers the best example of this attitude. In its 75-year-old history, its religious leaders, in cohort with military dictators, selfish politicians and greedy industrialists, have deceived the masses by making them believe 100 times that they alone can save Islam or God.
In the name of Nizame Mustapha and the Islamic State, they have done everything possible to violate Islam’s fundamentals.
The country’s current events highlight the war against Islam and God. Those waging the war are none but those who claim to represent Islam.
In today’s Pakistani elites, few can claim honesty and corruption-free. So no one should be under the illusion that Imran Khan, the Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) founder, is an angel. The reason people support him for his open challenge to the dynastic political and religious role and the rule of the opposition, and the unconstitutional and immoral part the military generals have played.
Pakistan has 65 percent of its 250 million population under 30. It is a generation exposed to rapid global changes. It understands the meaning of freedom and believes that Imran Khan can be the leader to demolish the centuries-old leadership structure Muslims have become used to.
The real danger to their freedom struggle comes from religious opposition parties who, as usual, are busy raising the slogan that Islam is in trouble.
They know their defeat would free the masses from their irreligious rhetoric, which they have played for long. So it is a battle for their survival.
This battle can potentially cleanse Islam from the contamination that power elites have injected through their corrupt policies and practices. Every human deserves a dignified existence, and freedom is its main ingredient. It is the essence of faith, and the ongoing events will determine if Islam will return to its ideals of freedom or will its adherents remain slaves of religious leaders, corrupt politicians, military dictators, and greedy industrialists.