Pakistan Ulema Council issued a condemnation of IS militants on Friday as reports of infiltration by the jihadi terrorist group across the country. This condemnation of IS militants by the respected clerics is welcomed, but the qualified statement highlights dangerous double standards toward extremism and militancy that must be addressed.
The PUC statement only addresses one group (IS) and includes the following qualification:
“The PUC appeals to people and youth in Islamic countries to not cooperate with any violent group whose teachings or actions are against the teachings of Islam and Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).”
The problem with this statement is that it gives a free pass to violent groups who do believe their teachings and actions are in line with Islam and Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). In other words...all of them.
Freeing Pakistan of the scourge of extremist violence requires a comprehensive, unqualified condemnation of militancy. No exceptions. Until then, qualified condemnations will not only be fruitless, they will continue to provide an ideological justification for terrorists of all stripes.