Sharia versus secularism?

Daily Times: Sharia to these two extremes is what the Taliban propose: beheadings, harsh punishments, closing up of women behind closed doors and a rebellion against reason and rationality. Secularism to both these groups is a complete and total negation of religion.

Maulana Abdul Aziz represents that very vocal section of our extreme right-wing, which thinks that everyone who disagrees with them is a kafir (infidel) and an enemy of Islam. There is another vocal section even smaller in number that feels that anyone who disagrees with their militant ‘anti-religion-ism’ is automatically an Islamist. To the former, sharia or shariat, and that too only their version, is a panacea for all ills confronting Pakistan. The other section feels that there are absolutely no redeeming features of religion and that religion, especially Islam, is in complete contravention of the principles of secularism, democracy and modernity.
Yet these two extremes have more in common than they would accept. For one thing they both have a very narrow and absolutist view of Islam as a religion, which one extreme champions and the other extreme denigrates. Both these extremes believe that Islam is inherently bigoted, misogynist, violent and anti-modern. One section celebrates this worldview while the other castigates it but both agree on the substance. Historically, they have another thing in common: both opposed the creation of this country —

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Categories: Asia

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