Islam not against modernity: Musharraf
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has said Islam is compatible with modernity as modernisation means access to good education, civic government, development, justice and democracy.
In an interview to beliefnet.com, the president emphasised that Muslims could have a modern way of life and they did not have to be 'westernised' to become 'modernised'.
"We have our own culture; we have our own history. We are proud of that. We must be modern; we must have modernity, which means civic government, a good system of administration, justice, good education, democracy.
"All these features are characteristic of modernisation, and we can have that as Muslims," Musharraf said.
He stressed that Pakistan was most important to him and that the counter-terror drive he had undertaken along with the US was in the country's interest.
Asked about the reform of madrassas (religious schools), the president said Pakistan was in the process of introducing subjects other than religion so that students could be taught subjects like geography and history and even computers.
On the Western perceptions of madrassas as places fomenting fundamentalism and intolerance, Musharraf said, "all madrassas are not violent or extremist".
He said his government's efforts were aimed at bringing the nation more in line with the vision of Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who believed in a modern, democratic society based on human rights.