ISLAMABAD: Following their meeting with the prime minister last week, religious scholars and clerics have endorsed the government’s move to tackle sectarianism, adding that they will help draft a bill in this regard.
Ulema Council chairman Maulana Tahir Ashrafi told The Express Tribune that particulars for the proposed bill will be taken up during the upcoming meeting of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), adding that members of the council are expected to finalise a draft after Eidul Azha.
“We have always supported the government whenever it has decided to fight against people spreading sectarianism and hatred and one of the best examples is that we have fully endorsed National Plan of Action,” he said. Along with sectarianism, the proposed bill will also list Takfir – the act of a Muslim declaring another Muslim a ‘Kafir’ – as a serious offence.
Wafaqul Madaris Al-Arabia secretary general Qari Muhammad Hanif Jalandhari said that the government should ensure across the board implementation of the law without any discrimination.
“After legislating the government should ensure that no foreign involvement should have an impact on its implementation.”
He was of the belief that availability of objectionable foreign literature played a major role in spreading sectarianism, and should be adequately tackled.
Punjab proposes 4 bills
Meanwhile, Punjab has proposed four bills to counter sectarianism.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said that all provinces are currently in the process of devising similar legislation, particularly Sindh.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2015.