Calling the promotion of interfaith harmony and tolerance vital for peaceful coexistence in society, President Mamnoon Hussain on Sunday urged religious scholars to guide their followers in accordance with the true spirit of Islam.
Addressing a conference on ‘Interfaith Harmony’ at a hotel in Islamabad, the president said practicing “Islamic teachings in their true spirit guarantee our betterment in this world and in the life hereafter”. The conference was organised by the Nazaria Pakistan Council (NPC) Trust.
The president said that the whole nation was united on the issues of terrorism, sectarianism and extremism and the government was also striving to fulfill its responsibilities.
He hoped the government would take the issue of terrorism and extremism to its logical conclusion and purge the country of these menaces. He advised the Muslims of Pakistan and the world to promote love and harmony, respect the non-believers, and collectively work for the country’s progress.
“Unfortunately, the country which was created to freely practise our faith has been caught up by terrorism and sectarianism. Regrettably, neither mosques and imambargahs nor churches and shrines are safe. Today, schools are being blown up and innocent people are being oppressed,” President Mamnoon said.
He said, “Islam never allows imposing our faith on others” and that it was because of religious tolerance that Muslims ruled the subcontinent for hundreds of years and people converted to Islam under the influence of the universal message of Muslim saints. He called for following the philosophy of saints to regain the grandeur of Islam and introduce the religion to the world in its true form.
President Mamnoon said terrorism had created panic across the globe and unluckily Muslims were being blamed for the prevailing situation. Owing to the attitude of a few unguided people, Islam is being illogically linked with extremism and terrorism, he said. “In fact, our religion preaches peace, brotherhood and harmony. Islam strictly prohibits bloodshed and chaos.”
He said Islam is a universal religion and its teachings provide solution to problems of every age. “If we follow these [teachings] in their true spirit, we can surely rid the country of current difficulties. We should always keep in mind that war and conflict never provide solution to any problem. The Holy Quran also teaches the lesson of adopting the path of peace,” he said.
Renowned religious scholars, including Sahibzada Sajidur Rehman, Maulana Shah Awais Noorani, Alama Qari Niaz Hussain Naqvi, Maulana Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, Khawaja Ghulam Qutbuddin Faridi, Mufti Munibur Rehman, Maulana Samiul Haq, Alama Sajid Ali Naqvi, Senator Prof Sajir Mir, and Maulana Muhammad Hanif Jalandhri also addressed the conference.
They expressed their views on the challenges facing the country, particularly on the issue of killings in the garb of sectarian differences and stressed the need for inter-faith harmony among followers of different faiths and religions and sects.
They agreed that there were no differences among Pakistanis and it was a conspiracy of anti-state elements to destabilise the country by fanning sectarianism and spreading hatred among people of various sects and faiths.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2013.
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Who is this guy?
Nawaz Sharif and PML N would be laughing at your statements Mr. President !
Need to back up this message with citations to religious texts and a revamping of education system, otherwise message falls on deaf ears. PS - where does death penalty for blasphemy fit in with this message of peace, brotherhood and harmony?