With an increasing focus on Islam in the wake of a series of terror attacks around the world perpetrated by terrorist groups while claiming that the act was carried out in the name of Islam, there is a need to clarify the true message of Islam.
This was stated by Dr Shawki Ibrahim Abdel Karim Allam, the grand mufti of Egypt. He was speaking at a seminar on Paigham-e-Pakistan, held at the Allama Iqbal Auditorium at the Faisal Mosque Campus of the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI). The seminar had been jointly organised by IRI, Dawah Academy and Iqbal International Institute for Research and Dialogue (IRD), IIUI.
He emphasised that it was the need of the time to clarify that the true message of Islam is one of peace and harmony, as it was the only way to counter the currently trending problem of terrorism and extremist mindsets.
Dr Allam acknowledged and hailed Pakistan’s consistent efforts against extremism and said that the meaning of Paigham-i-Pakistan should be spread across the globe to eradicate the extremist mindset, a message which has become a crucial need worldwide.
Paigham-i-Pakistan is a fatwa prepared by the IIUI to counter terrorism narrative. It has been signed by 1,829 religious scholars — belonging to nearly all mainstream sects in the country.
The Egyptian grand mufti stressed that modern tools for spreading information such as social media and social networks should be used to counter radicalism.
He disclosed that Egypt — which too has seen upheaval and terror attacks in recent years — too was in the process of formulating its national narrative on similar lines. Once prepared, it will be signed by mainstream clerics of Egypt, he said.
Dr Allam emphasised the need to eliminate the brutal concepts of extremism and terrorism while advocating the true message of Islam: a religion of peace and humanity. He urged ulema, intellectuals, educationists and civil society activists refocus their efforts on this initiative.
He stressed that now is the time to take substantial actions to halt the promotion of terrorism and we should spread the message of Islam through good behaviour and good character.
Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf noted that “Paigham-e-Pakistan” had been endorsed by both, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
“It is the need of the hour to spread this message of peace among all Muslim countries for ensuring peace in the world,” he said, adding that the enemies of Muslims are trying to damage Islam and such efforts can foil the lethal attempts.
IIUI Rector Prof Dr Masoom Yasinzai stated that there is a vital need to promote peace and harmony among the various sects of Islam if “Paigham-e-Pakistan” is to be implemented.
He hoped the narrative would help Muslim countries build peace and to live in harmony with members of other faiths across the world.
He said that national narrative against terrorism is a continuous process and all institutions will remain helpful and supportive in spreading this message to the entire world.
IIUI President Prof Dr Ahmed Yousif Al Draiweesh pointed out that the role of Ulemas was critical in preparing the “Paigham-e-Pakistan” document. He called on the Muslim world to endorse the decree.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2018.