ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Sunday rising corruption and sex crimes were the two main evils confronting the Muslim world, with international scholars suggesting that Islamic nations needed to make collective efforts to fight against these "negative" trends.
The prime minister was speaking at the ‘Riyasat-i-Madina: Islam, Society and Ethical Revival’ panel, a dialogue with international scholars organised by the newly-minted National Rehmatul-lil-Aalameen Authority (NRAA), which the government says has been set up to help portray the ‘true image’ of Islam, research the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and monitor the media and school curriculum to ensure it is in line with Islamic teachings.
“There are two sorts of crime in society, one is corruption and the other is sex crime,” Khan said in conversation with a group of international scholars. “Sex crime has risen sharply in our society, i.e. rape and child abuse and only one percent of this is reported. The other 99 percent, I believe, society has to fight it.”
“The same is the case with corruption… Society has to make corruption unacceptable. Unfortunately, when you have leadership which is corrupt over time, they make corruption acceptable.”
The prime minister said Muslim youth needed to be "saved" from obscenity and pornographic material available on the internet. He raised various questions on the availability of pornographic material via social media and its affects on young Muslims, corruption, the rising number of sex offences against women and children, and other challenges faced by Muslim youth and contemporary society.
The scholars in attendance suggested collective efforts by Muslim countries to counter these “negative” trends, saying awareness about the life and sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) could equip young Muslims with the skills and qualities needed to navigate the challenges of the modern age.
“Today, the world is a more precarious and dangerous place for the youth,” Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Professor of Islamic Studies at the George Washington University, said, adding that Muslim countries were blessed with tremendous resources to help revive and preserve their culture on the basis of faith.
Speaking about sexual crimes, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, an American scholar, said Islam had tasked men to take care of women and children in society, adding that young people should be taught to honour women.
Yusuf said women needed to understand why the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had always stressed on certain concepts like “mehram,” which in Islam is a member of one's family with whom marriage is not permissible, from whom purdah, or concealment of the body with hijab, is not obligatory and with whom, if he is an adult male, she may be escorted during a journey.
“”The onus is first and foremost on the men and we can’t blame the victims,” Yusuf said. “At the same time women need to understand there are wolves out there and those wolves are real.”