Role of education in countering extremism and intolerance

mashal_khanDr. Jawad Syed recently spoke with the newspaper, Pakistan Today, about “Role of Education in Countering Extremism and Intolerance”. He spoke about the importance of tolerance in educational institutes and sharing of knowledge, belief and ideas without conflict. On April 13, 2017, Mashal Khan, 23, a student at the Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan was lynched by a mob, allegedly comprising of his fellow students riled up by allegations of blasphemy against the young man.

The extract of the interview is given below, while the entire script is given here: ‘Justice for Mashal Khan is good, preventing such monstrosities from happening is better’

“A few very important things should promptly be added to the co/extracurricular activities,” said Jawad Syed, Dean of the Suleman Dawood School of Business at LUMS. “The concept of pluralism that two or

more principles or opinions can coexist should be introduced in classrooms.”

He said that a basic training of individuals is necessary for them to understand that resorting to violence under any circumstances is just not acceptable. “Significance of inter-faith conversations has never been greater than today.”

“Parents, teachers and caretakers must address the tell-tale signs of intolerance in children, right from the beginning,” he asserted.

“There is a dire need in the masses to be aware of the fact that their opinion is not supreme and that there exists a diversity of opinion, which should be accepted and respected,” said Dr Jawad Syed.

He stated that in order to improve the deplorable situation, “it is imperative that the issue is addressed at the grass root level instead of just focusing on the symptoms, no matter how challenging the task might seem.”

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