Clean Islam before reforming Muslims, jailed Kashmiri leader tells scholars

Dr Qasim Faqtoo has been languishing in jail for over two decades.

An incarcerated but an influential Kashmiri leader has called for moderation in Islam to end the divide among the Muslims, his group said in a press release on Sunday.

Dr. Muhammad Qasim, who heads the Muslim Deeni Mahaz, in a press release issued through his group’s spokesperson said: “The Muslim society has been divided into two extremist ideologies that has led to internal discord and disputes amongst Muslims.”

The one ideology is that the first and the only aim of Islam is government formation and the other ideology is that Islam has no relation with politics or state, Qasim, who is incarcerated in a central prison in this disputed Kashmir region, said.

“The outcome of these two ideologies has been a strife in Muslim societies. The former ideology has degraded the importance of worship  in Islam and has brought it closer to communism in the passion of grabbing power,” he added.

Kashmir has remained in the grip of an insurgency against the Indian state since the late 1980s, but the movement has seen a systematic ideological revival since the beginning of current decade with al Qaeda backing one of the insurgent commanders Zakir Musa.

Qasim said in the press release: “The later ideology has separated Islam from the politics, economics, society, judicial system and education. This has led to secularization of Muslims and today Muslims feel no harm in accepting the sovereignty of unbelievers.”

Waving Islamic flags during anti-India protests in the region contested by nuclear rivals India and Pakistan has become a norm since the beginning of incumbent decade.

“Islam is a religion of justice and moderation, it encompasses the principles for beliefs, modes of worship, lawful and prohibitions and morality. Islamic teachings gives appropriate  importance to all these,” Qasim, who was a militant commander in 1990s, said.

“Therefore until these two extremist ideologies are shunned and an intermediate and  moderate approach is adopted by Muslims the strife in our societies won’t end and the ever increasing secularization won’t be contained,” he added.

“Those scholars who present Islam as a way to usurp power  and those scholars who present  Islam as just like Buddhism and Jainism should be watched out for,” the jailed leader said.

“Islam has discourages extremism in everything be it beliefs or any other practical field of life and preaches moderation. It is therefore imperative upon scholars that they should first clean up Islam from these extremist ideologies and then work for reforms among Muslims,” he concluded.