Ulema call for action against armed groups

Moot urges state to take concrete steps to counter terrorism, extremism and hate speech

Our Correspondent January 25, 2023
Representational picture. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE


Religious scholars of different schools of thought have urged the state to take decisive action against all armed groups challenging the country’s integrity.

They also called for taking concrete measures to counter terrorism, religious extremism and hate speech.

They issued a unanimous communique after the “Paigham-e-Pakistan” conference held under the International Islamic University Islamabad.

The religious scholars called “Paigham-e-Pakistan” a treaty of unity against the challenges of terrorism, extremism, and hate speech being faced by Pakistan.

Reading the joint communique, Council of Islamic Ideology Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz said that the gathering of Ulema and Mashaikh representing all the schools of thought believed that the “Paigham-e-Pakistan” — a sequence to the national narrative presented by the president on January 16, 2018 — reflected the Quran and Sunnah, the Constitution of Pakistan and collective thinking of the nation.

He said that the narrative while analysing the country’s problems, presents a practical plan that can be followed not only to achieve the goals of a stable Pakistan but also to establish a strong, unified Islamic and democratic society in the country.

In order to implement the narrative, the communique said that parliament should also pass it and implemented it as a policy.

Dr Qibla said that the use of force in the name of Shariah, armed confrontation against the state, sabotage and all forms of terrorism are absolutely forbidden and prohibited by Shariah law and fall under the category of sedition.

He said that they were weakening the country, the nation and the homeland and inimical, “anti-Islamic and anti-national forces” were benefiting from their activities.

“Therefore, the operations carried out by the state to crush them and the action plan formed by the national consensus are correct and should continue to be implemented,” he said while reading the communique.

He said that in the war on terror, people from all walks of life, including scholars, stood by the state, the armed forces, the police and all institutions that work to establish peace and order.

“It declares its full and unconditional cooperation with the armed forces and other security agencies of Pakistan,” the communique said adding that “this gathering renews the Paigham-e-Pakistan narrative and reiterates its pledge that the armed groups who are engaged in activities against the state in the name of linguistic, regional, religious and sectarian identities, were opposing the Shariah order.”

“It is necessary to take full action against all these groups so that they cannot raise their heads again,” it said adding that imposing one's ideas on others by force was a violation of the laws of Shariah and as well as a serious violation of the Constitution and laws of Pakistan,” the communique said.

“It is a crime, so this type of behaviour should be countered at all levels and strategic, proactive, defensive, social and economic measures should be taken to counter them.”

The communique said that “extortion by terrorist and sectarian organisations in the name of so-called Jihad is a serious violation of Shariah and the law and is a heinous crime. Therefore, peace-keeping agencies should make adequate efforts against these crimes.”

It said that “the main purpose of all educational institutions established in the country was education and training. All public and private educational institutions of the country should not have anything to do with militancy, hatred, extremism, violence and regionalism.”

It said that “the mindset of terrorism and hatred is the enemy of our social peace. The intellectual struggle against this trend is the national responsibility of all institutions and individuals.”

The communique said that according to Islamic teachings and the country's law, writing and speech based on insulting, hating and accusing any person, religion or institution was un-Islamic and illegal. Action must be taken against those who commit this crime, it said.

“Jurisprudence and theoretical studies based on arguments are and will remain a part of our religious and Islamic knowledge capital, but these are the subjects of education and research,” it said.

It said that some so-called Ulema in other countries have given statements in support of the narratives and actions of terrorist organisations active against Pakistan and its security agencies which were a clear violation of Shariah rules and international law.

“So this gathering of Pakistani scholars and Ulema not only condemns this irresponsible act but also demands legal action against them,” it said.

It said a few days ago, the religious sentiments of Muslims around the world have been hurt by the heinous and shameful act of desecration of the Holy Quran by a right-wing extremist in Sweden, and words were not enough to condemn.


Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2023.


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