No place for extremism in Islam - Zuhair

Terrorism and extremism have no place in Islam. But certain tribal and traditional customs and practices, which had nothing to do with Islam and in fact were contrary to its teachings sadly prevail in some regions of South Asia. Some of these tribal customs still persisted in parts of the Muslim world, former Member of Parliament, M.M. Zuhair, PC said.

He was addressing the felicitation ceremony for students who had obtained 9 A’s at the December 2011 GCE (O/L) examination at the Hajara Hall, Muslim Ladies College, Bambalapitiya amidst a well attended audience of students, teachers and parents.  President of the Muslim Educational Progress Society Al-Haj M.Z Ahamed Munawar, presided.

Honour killings for instance prevalent in some parts of the sub-continent had nothing to dowith Islam, Though still prevalent amongst Muslims, living mostly in the tribal areas of this region. Another example relates to Muslim female education. Though Islam encourages both male and female education, in some tribal regions along the Hindukush mountain ranges extremist cults continued to obstruct female education amongst Muslims, Zuhair noted.

Regrettably those tribal customs and practices, he said were being often misjudged, sometimes deliberately as "Islamic extremism".  There were also those who justify wars to eliminate extremism even though extremism was a matter of opinion and very much insignificant, compared to crimes that wars generate. It, was not unknown that extremism could be eliminated only through education and dialogue which were less costly from all angles of humanitarian considerations than unleashing wars on people who differ.

"Although we are living in the 21st century and its 6o years since the historical Declaration of Universal Human Rights, this era had seen powerful countries engaged in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and even Pakistan at massive cost to civilian life. Very unfortunately, they have ended up creating more extremism through counter – terrorism."

The Holy Quran was very clear that Muslims were commanded to live as moderates following the middle path.There was no place for extremism,Zuhair observed. " Our role, according to the Holy Prophet of Islam is to be good models, a path that all students should fervently follow."

Vice Chancellor of the South Eastern University Dr.S.M.M Ismail, Senior Lecturer and former Head of the Department of Mathematics of the University of Moratuwa Dr. M. Z. M. Malhardeen, Principal, Muslim Ladies College Dr. Hajarjan Mansoor, Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Colombo and Deshamanya Dr. M. S. H. Mohamed were among those who addressed the gathering.

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