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. Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.