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ISLAMABAD: Condemning the suicide attack at a church in Peshawar, ulema from different schools of thought issued on Monday Fatwas which declared killing of innocent minorities as ‘un-Islamic’.

The ulema urged the government that elements involved in the killing of members of Christian community should not be invited to peace dialogue, adding that they deserved exemplary punishment for this heinous and inhumane act.

Mufti Taqi Usmani, Dr Abdul Razzaq, Maulana Samiullah and Maulana Mufti Rafi Usmani of Deobandi sect issued a decree which said that such acts were against the teachings of Islam and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).

They said such incidents were part of a campaign against Islam and Pakistan. “We believe that the attack on the church was a conspiracy against Islam and Pakistan,” they said.

The ulema said that the Holy Quran and Sunnah laid emphasis on the protection of life and property of minorities.

They also said that drone attacks which killed innocent citizens of Pakistan were not acceptable.

Another 30 ulema of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) issued a separate decree, declaring that Islam did not allow killing of innocent non-Muslims, SIC spokesman Nawaz Kharal told Dawn.

He said a meeting of the ulema took place with SIC chairman Sahibzada Hamid Raza in the chair and issued a detailed decree on the Peshawar church attack that claimed over 80 lives and injured more than 120 people.

They said the attack was not only an un-Islamic and criminal act but a major sin. “Islam does not allow attacks on innocent minorities and makes it mandatory to protect their lives and property.”

The decree said it was the basic duty of the government to provide security and protection to the minorities. “Islam teaches that places of worship of non-Muslims should not be demolished or damaged,” it said.

The clerics said those who attacked Christians in Peshawar had mutilated the face of Islam. “In Islam murder of an innocent human being is the murder of the entire humanity,” the decree said.

The ulema urged the government to take effective steps to safeguard minorities in the country and bring the perpetrators of the Peshawar church attack to book because they had also violated the constitution of the country which guaranteed complete protection to the minorities.