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Curbing extremism 

Disappointed by the failed counter-extremism strategies, Minister of Hajj and Religious Affairs Faiz Mohammad Osmani expressed concerns over presence of extremist groups in the country. Addressing a three-day seminar aimed at finding solutions to deal with extremism in the war-hit country, the minister said the other day that effective and goal-oriented measures were not initiated so far in the country to fight the extremists. All participants are agreeing that extremist groups who unleashed violence in the country in the name of God are actually tarnishing image of Islam. They agree that the ongoing war in the country is not the war for Islam or Islamic values.

Afghans have been long suffering from extremism and terrorism, as the minister pointed out. Exact number of Afghans killed by the extremists and invaders is still unknown. However, it is clear that hundreds of thousands Afghans were killed and injured in the past over three decades. Tired of violence, several millions left the country for Pakistan, Iran and other countries. Houses and markets were razed to the ground in the current war which is imposed on this nation. Children and women are also the most victims in this endless war which is continuously fuelled by different foreign state actors.

Unfortunately, the religious scholars acknowledge that activities of the militant groups are against the human values and Islamic laws but they seldom speak against terrorism and extremism when they are on the pulpit. Truth always prevails over falsehood. But, it is duty of the Ulema to spread the truth and counter the lies against Islam. Tolerance has not ground in our society despite presence of hundreds of scholars. Killing over petty issues and so-called honor has become an established practice, although, most of these acts are against human values. Brother is killing brother for ideological differences and over a piece of land. Most of crimes are taking place in remote parts of the country where ulema have more presence than urban areas. Our scholars shall not keep hush over issues that are purely social but tarnishing image of Islam. The clerics shall condemn these acts and educate people. It is their duty to show true Islam to the people instead of talking about issues that are mostly of political nature such as who is better leader.

Therefore, the relevant authorities and the religious scholars should craft a comprehensive counter-extremism mechanism. People should be educated. It is necessary to fight extremist groups. Extremism cannot be eliminated unless we cut link between militants and their naive supporters in the country.

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