Next to Islamic Fundamentalists at the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore — I want to make sure that everyone understands that a common misconception to think a big number of people in Pakistan are Islamic fundamentalists. This is simply NOT TRUE. Pakistan is a diverse country with a population of over 220 million people, and like any country, it has a wide range of beliefs and viewpoints. Here are some facts:
- Pakistan is a predominantly Muslim country, but it is home to a number of religious minorities, including Hindus, Christians, and Sikhs.
- Pakistan’s constitution guarantees religious freedom for all its citizens, regardless of their faith
- While Islam is an important part of Pakistani culture and society, it is not the only factor that shapes people’s lives and identities
I have been here for 2 months, and I have mostly met with moderate to very liberal Muslims but is also important to acknowledge that extremist groups do exist in Pakistan. And what are some ideas to counter fundamentalism?
- Promoting education and critical thinking
- Counter social media extremist propaganda
- Supporting moderate voices
- Addressing issues such as poverty, lack of education, and social and political marginalization (root causes for fundamentalist ideas to develop and spread)
Pakistan has been a country where they are so many lessons to be learned, being here has provided me with massive insight into every single aspect of human life and myself. I am grateful to be here in Pakistan…