MAULANA Sufi Muhammad, who concluded a peace agreement with the government the other day has ventured into the political field, giving vent to highly questionable views about democracy. The Maulana undertook to try to persuade his son-in-law Maulana Fazlullah, the Chief of Tehrik-i-Taliban of Pakistan in Swat, that in return for the enforcement of Sharia in the Valley he should lay down his arms. Talking to a private TV channel on Wednesday, Maulana Sufi Muhammad, Convenor of Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Muhammadi, denigrated democracy as kufr, saying it was against the teachings of the Holy Quran and thus, unfortunately, he fell into the trap of certain religious leaders who use the term kufr at the drop of the hat, for virtually anything that does not appeal to them. The Maulana had similar views about elections as well, which is a logical conclusion of his strong opposition to democracy. There is little doubt that an overwhelming majority of religious scholars of Islam, who have also studied the principles and working of democratic governance, maintain that the spirit of this glorious religion finds its reflection in this system, which is prevalent in various parts of the world. One would be hard put to point out any specific instruction in the Holy Quran forbidding the system, which should be essential for regarding something as kufr or, for that matter, any implied meaning to that effect. And, besides, most religious political parties in the country and elsewhere in the world actively participate in general elections and hold cabinet positions in democracies. The very creation of Pakistan took place on the basis of a majority of Muslims voting for it. Besides, parliamentary democracy forms the lynchpin of the country's Constitution. This chapter should be considered finally closed. Maulana Sufi Muhammad's views are, perhaps, best suited for a session of religious polemics.