Two-day conference: Religious scholars for peace and harmony

Prominent religious scholars highlight need to promote tolerance for different sects.

Azam Khan June 24, 2011


Prominent religious scholars, representing various schools of thought, on Thursday pledged to strive for a peaceful and tolerant society.

To avoid misinterpretation of the concepts of blasphemy and ‘kufar’ (non-believers), they also suggested the formation of a forum on national level comprising ulema from all sects that should be authorised to issue decree.

The ulemas expressed these views in a two-day conference “The role of Religious Scholars in establishment of a peaceful and balanced society”, organised by Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) in Islamabad.

They also emphasised that difference of opinion should not be made a source of hatred and enmity among the people. Instead, religious scholars agreed that discouraging all sorts of violent tendencies in society is a collective responsibility.

They also stressed on building good mutual relations and ignoring minor differences. They suggested that names of the mosques should not represent any specific sect. Similarly, during the Islamic months of Muharram and Rajab, ulema from different sects should speak on relevant issues rather than specific sects.

Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Chairperson Mufti Muneebur Rehman said, “We cannot blame others for our every social ill.” Instead, he said, it’s time for serious soul searching and self-accountability. He added that terrorism should not be justified on any pretext or excuse and the government should also take an unambiguous stance regarding war against terror.

He underlined the need of a long-term national agenda to confront with all the challenges effectively.

Institute of Islamic Studies Peshawar Director Dr Qibla Ayaz said the situation regarding peace and tolerance in the province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was ideal before the Afghan War. However, the war has destroyed the entire social fabric of the province and sectarianism also took alarming shape in its aftermath.

Chairperson Islamic Ideological Council Maulana Muhammad Khan Shirani said that many of our problems have emanated from the unconstitutional and undemocratic regimes and the same is true regarding the state of peace and tolerance in society. He added that the religious scholars should spread the message of peace and love and self-accountability should remain a priority before us.

Former Chairperson Islamic Ideological Council Dr Khalid Masood emphasised on establishing the rule of law and said that religious scholars should raise awareness in society about the importance of rule of law in any functional society.

Advisor to Prime Minister on Human Rights Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar said that to address the contemporary issues, a union of Islamic countries needs to constitute on the similar pattern of European Union. He said that religious scholars have an instrumental role in the promotion of peace and tolerance in society.

Director PIPS Amir Rana, said that dialogue is the most powerful weapon in today’s age of globalisation. He appreciated the spirit of the discussion and said that such lively debates are instrumental in finding solutions of confronting various contemporary issues and challenges.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2011.


Rahman | 10 years ago | Reply Only a real Mard-e-Monin can stop these Mullahs to stop exploiting ignorant people on the name of religion. Even though, the “religious mafia” of most of the religions are also using same tactics but Muslims are unproportionately far more victim of this evil. Things are much worse and only lip service will not do any good. I would say "Inna lillah e wainna alaihe rafeon" on the condition of Muslims of the world in general and Muslims of Pakistan and Afghanistan in particular.
mohammed abbasi | 10 years ago | Reply brave attempt by 'scholars' but will the Mullahs listen and give up their hunger for power, control, fear? I think not!
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