The Punjab University (PU) Department of History arranged a lecture on ‘Multiculturalism and Beyond’ on Saturday.
Prof. Jamal Malik, the chairman of the Religious and Islamic Studies Department at University of Erfurt, Germany, delivered the lecture.
Professor Malik is a renowned scholar of Islamic studies, Sufism and the history of colonialism.
Keeping his focus on the Muslims living in Europe, he highlighted the possibilities of religious pluralism. He said that Europe, particularly Germany, had evolved out of three factors – dominance of the church, marginalisation of those differing with the church’s opinion, and monopolisation of secular modernity and unity of Christian Europe in the post-World War-II period.
“These are the three factors that are the cause of discrimination and cultural bias against three million German Muslims. Islam is inherently pluralistic, but the Western media has projected it as fundamentalist and aggressive” he said.
“These stereotypical images have given rise to extremism and ‘Islamophobia’ in Europe and North America. In order to avoid further conflict, the Muslims and the West should promote interfaith dialogue and mutual understanding that lead to an alliance of civilisations,” he said.
After the lecture, the audience asked several questions. The seminar ended with a note of thanks by Dr. S. Qalb-i-Abid, Chairman of the History Dept.