Islamabad - President International Islamic University Dr Ahmed Yousif Ahmed Al Draiweesh said that the university was endeavouring to inculcate a moderate approach among the students.

“Unfortunately, extremism is associated with Islam which is totally wrong perception as our religion disseminates message of love, peace, tolerance, humanity and respect for all”, he said.

Addressing the concluding ceremony of a two-day workshop on “Muslim women as agent of change to promote peace, tolerance and social reciprocity for countering violent extremism” jointly organised by the IIUI and Ministry of Religious Affairs, he said that Muslims were not pursuing teachings of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in their lives which was main cause of their decline.

He stated that revival of fundamental lessons of Islam was the only way to strengthen ourselves and regain our status internationally. It is time to counter extremism, he said, adding that the only way to get this objective was through adopting balance and moderate approach in day-to-day business.

“Our university has taken the initiative to disseminate this concept and for the purpose, women role is pivotal as they have to up bring children and build their minds. Women teach children difference between the right and the wrong and how to tolerate negative thoughts of others with patience and respect”, he said.

Issue-resolving skills and attitude of tolerance among personalities should be basic powers of the new generation which could be taught only by women as their different roles in society including mothers, daughters, wives and sisters to bring a change in their family members, the president said. Dr Asma Shakir of the department of peace and development studies at National Defence University, Islamabad, said that our perspective in others’ eyes was our identity. “The perception of a nation is built by its portrayal in media, books, movies and documentaries, which sketches its image in minds of those who do not have personal interaction with them and it is more important than reality”, she said.

A general concept and personal liking and disliking also played a major role in image building, she said, adding that reacting on wrong perceptions in peaceful, tolerant and respectable way was more effective which left positive impact on the minds of others rather than being violent.

“In our domestic and social framework, women have the responsibility to makeup minds of younger generation who can bring change in society through their knowledge and wisdom”, she remarked.

If women voice was considered in decision making, the societies would be more peaceful because their first priority is to safeguard their children and ensure environment for their healthy brought up, she said.

Women can change conflict-based world views to peace-based narrative through inculcating skills of controlling anger, reading psyche, organisational behaviour and social norms of the respondents and tackle them logically without being rude, she said.

MNA Farhana Qamar and Prof Azra Saeed Awan, head of department at Foundation University, also shared their views on the occasion.