KARACHI: Over two dozen religious scholars belonging to the Deoband, Ahle Hadith, Barelvi and Ahle Tashi schools of thought condemned sectarian killings in Quetta, Gilgit, Para Chinnar, Dera Ghazi Khan, Karachi and other areas and vowed to work together to curb hatred in the society.
They were speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Thursday under the banner of the Bain-ul-Muslimeen Forum (BMF).
“Muslims of different sects are being targeted, and almost all sacred places have been attacked by terrorists,” said BMF president Maulana Tanveerul Haq Thanvi. He suspected that a controversy to destabilise the country was on foot, and added that law enforcement agencies and the government were acting as “spectators” in the whole situation.
Thanvi also lamented that while Muslims belonging to different sects live peacefully with each other in other countries, it was only in Pakistan where such ethnic and sectarian clashes were taking place. “Jinnah made the country for people belonging to all sects and religions. [But now] people are compelled to migrate to other countries. The business community is also shifting its investment,” he added.
Allama Abbas Kumaili said that the country had already lost a part to ethnic violence in 1971, and he felt that “non-state actors” were once again active in the country. “I see dollars and riyals being spent for the spread of sectarianism.”
Thanvi, Kumaili and others present on the occasion said that they would contact other religious scholars as well, and ask them to play their role in controlling incidents of sectarian violence in cities.
Some people who had gathered outside the press club with national flags, chanted slogans in favour of Shia-Sunni unity. “We are peace-loving people. We condemn the suicide attacks and targeted killings that are taking place in the name of Islam,” said Allama Hafiz Jamil Rathore.
The BMF was formed after the Muttahida Qaumi Movement had organised a Bain-ul-Muslimeen Conference on September 1.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2012.