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Radical Swat cleric terms democracy as un-Islamic

Radical Swat cleric terms democracy as un-Islamic

Author: Bureau Report
Publication: Zee News
Date: April 19, 2009
URL: http://www.zeenews.com/world/2009-04-19/524897news.html

Hardline cleric Sufi Muhammad, who played a key role in enforcing Islamic law in Pakistan's restive northwestern Swat valley, on Sunday said there is no room for democracy in Islam and it contravenes the Quran.

Addressing a gathering of thousands of people at Mingora, the main city in Swat district, the chief of the banned Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariah Muhammadi (TNSM) described democracy as an un-Islamic system.

The existing political system in the country contravenes Islam and the Quran, he claimed.

Asserting that there is no room for democracy in an Islamic system, he accused Pakistan's rulers of appeasing the West by thrusting the system of 'kafirs' or infidels on the people of the country.

Muhammad said many years of struggle for implementing Shariah or Islamic law in Malakand division, which includes Swat, were now bearing results. He claimed all un-Islamic laws will soon be abolished in Malakand.

The radical cleric, who set up Qazi or Islamic courts in Swat even before President Asif Ali Zardari ratified a controversial law to enforce Shariah in the region, said no appeal could be made against a decision by a Qazi court in civil courts.

Such decision could be appealed only in Darul Qaza, or superior courts in the Shariah system, he added.

High Courts and the Supreme Court contravene Shariah and appeals in such institutions would be 'haram' or unlawful, Muhammad said.

The final decisions of the Darul Qaza too cannot be challenged in High Courts or the Supreme Court, he said.

Muhammad, who has been negotiating with the Taliban on behalf of the government, said Pakistan's judicial system should be in accordance with Shariah. Instead of being divided into different parties, Muslims need unity, he said.

Taliban fighters led by Maulana Fazlullah, the son-in-law of Sufi Muhammad, currently control most parts of Swat, located just 160 km from Islamabad.

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