The name of this quarterly, “Criterion,” is derived from the Greek kriterion or krites (judge) which, in English, means “a standard or principle on which to base a judgement.” The purpose of the journal is to help evolve principles for policy formulation on pivotal issues that affect the lives of millions.
The foremost contemporary threat to global peace and security is terrorism from which no nation, big or small, is immune. Although this scourge has neither religion nor culture nor country, it has become commonplace after 9/11 to stigmatize Muslims as terrorists and extremists because most of these acts of violence have been perpetrated by a radicalized minority that profess Islam. The religion’s doctrinaire emphasis on peace is ignored as is the incontrovertible truth that Muslims themselves are among the major victims of terrorism and have been in the forefront in the fight against this menace.
The two overarching objectives of “Criterion” are to emphasise: (i) the need for Muslims to re-establish the fundamental tenets of their religion, so that there can be genuine reform in line with modern concepts within their societies, and; (ii) the need for the international community to understand the doctrinal emphasis on rationalism in Islam as well as its worldview which is based on peace and harmony.
These objectives encompass a vast canvass because Islam is much more than a mere personal faith. It signifies a will to political expression in the form of laws, juridical principles, polity, economics, education, social advancement, human rights especially those of women and minorities, culture, science and technology, environmental issues and foreign policy.
Most of the articles in “Criterion” are Pakistan-specific because of the importance of the country. With a population of more than a hundred and sixty million, Pakistan is one of the seven countries of the world that has demonstrated its nuclear weapons capability. It is also the major battleground where terrorism and extremist violence are being fought. The success or failure of the political, economic and social reforms being undertaken by Pakistan will not only be consequential for the country itself but will also impact on regional and global peace and stability. The success of the Pakistan experiment will provide a model for an ideal Islamic state while failure will strengthen the forces of extremism. “Criterion,” therefore, aims to address the problems being faced by the country and to suggest remedial steps that the government could take.
The views expressed in “Criterion” articles are entirely those of the authors. The journal is neither for nor against any political party. It aspires to present its readers with different opinions which they are welcome to accept or reject through letters to the editor.