Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri speaks on radicalism, education and democracy

On Thursday January 14, a seminar took place at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam titled ‘Challenges for Muslim Youth’, organized by Minhaj-ul-Quran Youth League Netherlands. The chief guest of this evening was Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri, son of the renowned scholar Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri. He urged the youth present there to work hard for promotion of a culture of democracy and education and resist radicalism in all its manifestations.

Before the seminar began, Secretary General of Minhaj-ul-Quran International, Dr Raheeq Abbasi, gave a brief introduction about the aims and objectives of MQI and threw light on its achievements worldwide. The introductory lecture titled ‘From Makkah to Rotterdam’ was given by Mohammad Cheppih. He inspired the youth with his quotation of many examples from the Islamic history and heritage about how to live in a diverse and non-Islamic environment with one’s values and cultural identity intact.

After this Tasneem Sadiq, host of the seminar, invited the chief guest, Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri, to deliver his keynote speech. In his lecture, Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri cautioned the listeners about the dangers of certain scholars and their organizations: “If we send our children to Mosques where narrow-mindedness and radicalism is preached, then we will destroy the liberal and peaceful message of Islam”. He emphasized the fact that narrow thinking lead to extremism, then to radicalism and eventually to terrorism. “Terrorism doesn’t belong to any religion; it actually doesn’t belong to humanity.

He strongly stressed the fact that Islam is for democracy: “Islam promoted democracy in the society. It gave rights to women to participate in the parliament 1400 years ago. The Islamic state of Madina was a democratic state. The third caliph was elected by voting and there was a consultative system. And the grandson of the Prophet (pbuh) fought against Yazid, the leader of the Islamic state at that time, because Yazid was a dictator.” He said that the absence of democracy in most Muslim countries was one of the fundamental reasons that underlined many of socio-political problems.

“Of the more than 50 countries, none can be branded as an incarnation of true and real democracy. In the absence of an inclusive and representative order, radicalism and extremism grow. Democracy and dictatorship were anti-thesis to each other because dictatorship doesn’t give people their rights, resultantly they become violent. Islam is all out for equitable, balanced and harmonious society but our conduct is contrary to that.”

He finally urged the participants of this seminar to realise their responsibility and take the initiative in their hands: “We have seen our elders. They came to this country in critical situation. I call upon youth of every society, culture, and religion to leave hatred and biases behind them and work hard for a peaceful global order that represents the aspirations of the poor and downtrodden people underpinned social, economic and political justice.”