Musharraf: Muslims Must Correct Western Misperceptions About Islam

(VOA) Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says the Muslim world must correct Western misperceptions created by clerics about Islam as a religion that fosters militant extremism.

He told a meeting of the World Islamic Economic Forum in Islamabad the rise in extremism in the Muslim world has been caused by semi-literate clerics who hold sway over the masses. He said this is the critical malaise that spawns terrorism.

In a wide-ranging speech, General Musharraf painted a bleak picture of the social and economic prospects facing the world’s 57 Muslim nations, pointing out that their combined gross national products were less than that of a single European nation, Germany.

He also urged Muslim nations to fight corruption, set up good governance and empower women in order to achieve economic development.