It’s encouraging to note that Australian National Imams Council and the Grand Mufti, who is the top Muslim religious authority in the country have jointly condemned the Dec. 15 Sydney café siege but is this condemnation enough to face what lies ahead? The hostage-taking incident has once again brought the ugly reality to surface, that there are people among the Muslim community, who are preaching extremism to young people, preparing them both physically and mentally for Jihad against ‘infidels’.

We in Pakistan are suffering the aftermath of the game superpowers played in the name of Jihad in the Afghanistan of 80s. Till today it’s far from over, just now a school in Peshawar is under siege while scores are already dead. In this backdrop where do the Australian Muslim community in general and National Imams Council in particular stand? Australia is a country of migrants, who attracts the talent from across the world and whoever migrates over there should respect the openness and values of the society; therefore religious extremists should not find any place in the Muslims’ run seminaries and other education institutes.

Though it’s easy to say but difficult to take such actions, I believe that this is what Pakistan needs. For all Imams to join hands and condemn all such acts as un-Islamic and tell them openly that they are not martyrs or will go to Jannah. It’s time to act; mere condemnation won’t work as these never worked elsewhere as well.

MASOOD KHAN,

Saudi Arab, December 16.