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“We need respect – it starts with knowledge”
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“We need respect – it starts with knowledge”

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Zainab Shamim PotrickReading an article that reported ill-informed statements prompted Zainab Shamim Potrick, 24, a Correspondent from Karachi in Pakistan, to put the record straight as she makes a plea for understanding and respect among cultures and religions.

I read an article recently about a famous tourist who has traveled all the listed countries on the world map. In that article-cum-interview, he stated his short judgement almost about every country.

Unintentionally, I was seeking his words about Pakistan. While doing that, a controversial review about Kuwait, an Islamic country, caught my eyes. That not only amazed me but lead my mind towards unstoppable thoughts. As a result, I decided to defend my religion and to give you a clear picture about Islam. I feel this explanation is necessary because any statements like the ones in the review can mislead  people around the globe.

Honourable tourists were cited in the review as saying that Kuwait is a combination of two worst extremes: capitalism and Islam.

It is very obvious that one should do research before making any such comments, especially when one is speaking on a very sensitive issue of world politics and when one’s voice can reach toward every corner of the universe.

In my view, this review about Kuwait is based on little knowledge and portrays a so-called liberalism theory, in which a group of people struggles to prove Islam as a religion of terrorism. The tourist himself mentioned that there were days when he had to visit more than one country in a day, so one can easily question how he could inspect a country with so much certainty in an extremely short period of time. He has no right to point a finger over a religion without knowing the details.

First of all, there is the very important issue of how he considered Kuwait to be a country where Islam is at its peak. Kuwait laws and government are Islamic, but in a daily life Islamic practices are not as evident.

Secondly, Islam is not an extreme religion. In fact, it has a balanced set of practices and it teaches its followers to be moderate in every manner of life, be it living style, prayers, family life, sorrows or anything. In the maximum sense, Islam restricts killing of women, children and old people even during wars. Islam prohibits its followers to practice monasticism. It prohibits its admirers to disconnect from worldly life and relationships. It forbids Muslims to go beyond the limits even in worshiping God. Islam is the religion which does not allow its companions to cross the limits even in extreme grief. Islam is a simple and natural religion.

Another aspect of his observation is that he might use the word extremism in place of fundamentals of Islam. Even if that is the case, he is completely wrong. If a society would follow Islam completely or operate under the system provided by the Islam, it would be a successful society, as Islamic rules are very practical. In today’s epoch there isn’t any society or country which is actually governed according to Islam. Some anti-Islamic bodies are always trying to demolish countries where Islam tends to grow.

Muslims are tortured in Burma, Palestine, Syria, Bosnia and many more countries. Have you ever tried to know why? Have you ever raised a point over this brutal behaviour? And yet it is called an extreme religion and Muslims are called terrorists. Muslims are common people – soft-hearted, peaceful and disciplined like every other human being. Treat the followers of Islam as you treat everyone. Stop criticism against them.

I request the honourable tourist and all the people who agree with him: Do not believe rumours about Islam. I invite them to study this religion, read our holy book, and figure out the realities themselves. After that, if they would stick to this statement, then it would be accepted.

I just want to say Islam doesn’t promote terrorism. Muslim are not terrorists. Not at all!

Photo credit: Fibonacci Blue March against Islamophobia via photopin (license)

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About me: I have always wanted to become a successful author, analyst or to indulge in anything connected with writing because it is my passion to read and write.

I want to promote good about Pakistan and Islam. It gives me a sense of achievement to have my stories published.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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