Pakistan: ‘Taliban have hijacked Islam’, says Freemuse ambassador



‘Taliban have hijacked Islam’,
says Freemuse ambassador

Responding to the situation in Swat valley where music has been silenced by the Taliban, Pakistani rockstar Salman Ahmad puts forward his view that the Islam of Pakistan is the faith that takes inspiration from the tolerant Sufi teachings of poets and philosophers like Rumi, Bulleh Shah and Iqbal.

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     Salman Ahmad

As the Taliban are repeating their ‘death kiss’ to music in the Swat Valley, once again the cultural conflict within Pakistan is bursting out.

In an article published by Washington Post in USA, Freemuse ambassador Salman Ahmad and filmmaker Karam Pasha criticise the Taliban of hijacking Islam and compare them to Christian crusaders who ransacked Europe and the Middle East.

“Both the Taliban and their Christian counterparts represent a political movement meant to dominate and destroy rather than strengthen faith and build human society,” says Salman Ahmad who for years has been a very outspoken critic of religious censorship in Pakistan. He even confronted militant mullahs in Peshawar directly, as it was documented in the film ‘The Rock Star and the Mullahs’.

Ahmad and Pasha criticise Pakistani politicians for lack of leadership and claim that “the brand the Taliban wish to sell is not one the people of Pakistan have any interest in buying.”

Ahmad has always confronted fundamentalists on their own religious ground, whether it is Taliban attacks on music or the role of religion in society. In the article the two artists write:
“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.”

About the writers
Salman Ahmad is the founder of the Pakistani rock band Junoon, author of the forthcoming book ‘Rock n Roll Jihad’ a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, and a Freemuse Ambassador.

Kamran Pasha is a filmmaker and the author of ‘Mother of the Believers,’ — a novel on the birth of Islam.

The authors can be contacted on this e-mail address:

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Read the article

The Washington Post, On Faith – 27 April 2009: 

‘Taliban are Enemies of Pakistan and Islam’

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