Is Musharraf the leader Islam is looking for?
Pakistan's major English language paper (DAWN) reported Saturday that President General Musharraf "speaking at a gathering of eminent Muslim scholars from various parts of the world" called on Islamic leaders to work together to regain control of Islam from the small but violent extremist section that has taken control of Islam in recent years.
"The Muslim world has to reject extremism and go for socio-economic development, but at the same time, the West must resolve political disputes affecting Muslims with justice and help in addressing the root causes of extremism including poverty and illiteracy, other than political deprivation and human sufferings."
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We certainly welcome any attempt by any Muslim in a position of power to reign in the extremists who are murdering aid workers and film producers, policeman, tourists and commuters around the world. We are afraid, however, that Musharraf has fallen into the common trap apologists for the islomofascists have so long adored. Poverty and illiteracy are not the root causes of extremism. Just look to the 19 September 11th terrorists for proof- highly educated and most certainly literate men. Musharraf and others like him who truly seek change must look inward, not outward.
What is being taught in the religious schools, and what are the qualifications of the teachers? Who is it being taught too, boys only? How does the ability to recite verses of the Koran apply directly to the need to feed oneself and family? America should indeed seek to help the Arab world lift itself out of poverty- but not through direct infusions of cash. The Arab world needs an infusion of ideas, and we are growing those in Afghanistan and Iraq as we speak. When those crops are ripe we must help to export them to those who would use them best.