Taliban are Enemies of Pakistan and Islam
By Salman Ahmad and Kamran Pasha
Washington Post, April 27, 2009
The Taliban hordes now sit dangerously close to Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, and many both inside and outside the country fear that they are poised to possess the souls of a nation of 173 million. As Pakistanis living in America we stand united and join the people of Pakistan to resist the murderous Taliban and their proven malice toward Islam.
Malice toward Islam? But aren't the Taliban true Muslims who seek only to establish a pure Islamic state based on Sharia, or Islamic law? That is certainly how they present themselves. But the Taliban are no more representative of mainstream Islam than the Crusaders who ransacked Europe and the Middle East were of Christianity. Both the Taliban and their Crusading counterparts represent a political movement meant to dominate and destroy rather than strengthen faith and build human society.
Despite the distorted teaching of extremists like the Taliban, the truth is that the Holy Qur'an does not establish any form of government. Indeed, it is disputes over politics and leadership that split the Muslim community into two sects, Sunni and Shia. The very idea of imposition of religion on others goes against the heart of the Qur'an. In Surah 2:256, the Qur'an says forcefully: "There is no compulsion in religion."
Even the notion of imposing "Islamic law" is nonsensical, as the very idea of a monolithic body of religious rules agreed to by the Muslim community has no basis in Islamic history. There is no unified notion of Sharia. Over the past 1,400 years, many schools of law have developed, each with its own doctrines and jurisprudence, and with contradictory rulings on many matters. Sharia is not a codified body of rules, but a dynamic interaction between scholars, jurists and the Muslim community.
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