Punjab government has recently ordered a ban on ‘Tablighi Jamaat’, a religious movement that preaches Islam across the globe, in private as well as public universities in Punjab. This development has come in a time when pressure is building up on the government to take necessary measures to curb terrorism which is once again on the rise in the country.
The decision of putting a ban on this non-violent and peaceful religious organization in the institutes of higher learning is being questioned by many analysts. One can differ with the sect of this organization and also we may have a difference of opinion so far the style of preaching by this organization is concerned. However, this fact cannot be ignored that Tablighi Jamaat is a strictly apolitical and nonviolent organization. So much so that even after 9/11 this purely Islamic organization was not banned in the United States. In fact, the Jamaat itself has been a victim of terrorism a several times.
The said decision of the provincial government of Punjab seems to be an example of unthorough homework on the subject. It would not be wrong to say that Tablighi Jamaat is a part of treatment to the cancer of terrorism rather than a part of the disease. Its Ulema and speakers have consistently been preaching for a ‘Jihad’ to make infidels residents of the Paradise instead of throwing them into Hell, in the hereafter. Presence of Tablighi Jamaat in more than two hundred countries including Israel and the United States speaks of the peaceful nature of this religious movement.
Moreover, in a country like Pakistan which was established in the name of Islam and is one of the only two nation-states of the world, other than Israel; if musical concerts, fashion shows and every type of westernization are allowed in the universities, one wonders why only Islamic movements are being banned?
Therefore, the government should review its decision on this matter otherwise; the young generation may fall prey to and become a part of the militant and violent movements of the time.