Public Talk on “Western-Muslim Tensions: Key Challenges” April 14, 2016
The term “terrorism” dominates tensions between the West and the Muslims, and in recent times, there have been constant attacks on Islam, Islamic culture, Islamic ethos, philosophy and concepts. This was stated by Mr. MowahidHussain Shah, an attorney-at-law, author, and Member of the Lahore High Court at a Public Talk organized today at the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad on “Western-Muslim Tensions: Key Challenges”. Mr. Mowahid lamented the fact that the language of hate has become more acceptable and more profitable. Referring to the situation in Palestine and Kashmir, he said that more attention is given to individual or group terrorism, but State terrorism escapes the attention of people. Similarly, discussions on nuclear issues are also one-sided as Israel’s nuclear programme is kept out of any discussions. He highlighted the problems of the Muslim world which lack representation and impressive presentation to come up with counter narratives in this battle of ideas. He emphasised the role of think tanks in general and ISSI in particular to address this serious issue.
Earlier, welcoming the guest speaker, the Director the Director General ISSI Ambassador Masood Khan highlighted the importance of the subject. He was of the view that the relations between Muslims and the Western world present a challenge not only for Muslims, but the Western world as well. He said that “Clash of Civilisations” will have consequences not only for the Muslim world but also for the West. There are forces of darkness in the West as well as the Muslim world, but there are also forces of enlightenment both in the West and the Muslim world and there is a need to have an interface between these forces of enlightenment through a dialogue between civilizations. For its part, the Muslim world should invest in knowledge and innovation, as well as consolidate the power it has already attained and build on it.
Speaking at the occasion, Chairman Board of Governance ISSI Ambassador Khalid Mahmood said that terrorism is a buzz word and all the blame is placed on Muslims and Islam. At the same time it has to be kept in mind that Muslims are marginalised, excluded and discriminated against around the world. However, he emphasised that Muslims need to do some introspect instead putting the entire blame on West.
The presentation was followed by a vibrant question and answer session.