Pak scholar debunks Islamic stereotypes

Dr Tahir Ul Qadri clears misconceptions, saying the religion is against violence and a true Muslim is one who protects mankind

Posted On Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 01:51:20 AM

Liberal Islam came calling on Bangalore on Saturday in the form of Pakistani Sufi scholar Dr Tahir Ul Qadri who has invited the wrath of international terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Taliban for his views.

“Jihad is not about spreading hatred. It is a fight to end poverty. Quran and Islam don’t allow even rulers to spread religion by forcible conversion. Islam preaches the principle of live and let live,” Dr Qadri said during an interaction with the city’s intelligentsia at the Tennis Pavilion, Palace Grounds.

He said Islam was categorically against violence in any form. “A true Muslim is one who protects mankind, not just Muslims. A true believer is one who is kind to everybody. Islam does not allow anybody to show disrespect towards women, children and immobilised people. Even 1,500 years ago, when wars were being fought, Islam never allowed anybody to kill civilians and unarmed people. Today, people are doing this in the name of religion. Islam should never spread through the sword, but through love,” he said.

Even during war, the Quran categorically states that envoys of nations at war should not be killed. Today, there is the United Nations and other laws, but the Quran was there much before.

Islam is about protecting mankind, being kind to women and the helpless, being generous, respecting your neighbours and not letting them go to bed on an empty stomach. “This is what Islam is about. Please don’t link terrorists and terrorism with Islam. There are terrorists in every religion.”

A childhood dream

“My wish to see Bangalore since my childhood has been fulfilled today,” Dr Tahir Ul Qadri said. “Bangalore is famous worldwide as the IT capital, I admire Bangalore.”

He said the Indian subcontinent should focus on education. “They should allocate most of their budget for education. In India, the scene is better. Pakistan and Bangladesh should follow suit,” he added.

Liberal face of Islam

Mohammad Tahir ul Qadri is a Pakistani Sufi scholar and former professor of international constitutional law at the University of Punjab in Lahore. Born on February 19, 1951, in Jhang district of Punjab in Pakistan, Dr Qadri founded Minhaj-ul-Quran International in 1981, a broad-based global Sufi organisation seeking to promote a moderate and non-extremist version of Islam.

He studied at the madrassa situated in the house of Aby Ayyub Al-Ansari, the first residence of Prophet Mohammad after his migration to Madinah. Regarded as an Islamic scholar of the highest order, Dr Qadri served as a legal advisor to the Supreme Court and the Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan.

He also founded a political party, Pakistani Awami Tehreek.

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