Ulema council’s fatwa declares honour killing un-Islamic

Published June 6, 2014
Pakistan Ulema Council Chairman Hafiz Mohammad Tahir  Ashrafi. — File photo
Pakistan Ulema Council Chairman Hafiz Mohammad Tahir Ashrafi. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) has declared in unambiguous terms that murder of women or girls in the name of ‘honour’ is un-Islamic.

The PUC issued a fatwa on Thursday which said such killings were generally devoid of any legal or Islamic justification. “These murders are akin to spreading mischief on Earth.”

The decree was issued by the PUC’s Darul Iftaa.

Hafiz Mohammad Tahir Ashrafi, the chairman of the PUC, presented a draft of the decree at a national conference here. The event was attended by diplomats, religious scholars and representatives of minority communities.

Hafiz Ashrafi said the murders were usually committed due to suspicion and the killers usually didn’t have any witness to support their allegations.

The fatwa was issued on the basis that those killed were generally unmarried girls. “Unmarried girls cannot be murdered even if allegations against them are proven to be correct and there are witnesses against them,” the PUC chairman said.

APP adds: A joint declaration adopted at the conference expressed sorrow over incidents of sectarian violence and attacks on places of worship of non-Muslims.

Addressing the conference, the Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Mohammad Yousuf, urged ulema and the representatives of minority communities to forge a consensus on promoting tolerance in society.

Referring to reports about incidents of forced conversion in Sindh, the minister said such practices were prohibited in Islam.

The participants of the conference urged the government to grant legal status to a proposed code of conduct and make sure that it was implemented.

Following are the main points of the proposed code of conduct:

— Terrorism committed in the name of Islam is a violation of Islam, and the leadership of all religions and sects declare their dissociation from such acts.

— No prayer leader, cleric or speaker will debase or induce his followers to debase any prophets, companions, family members or wives of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH); the four caliphs and Imam Mehdi in his speech or sermon.

— No Muslim sect will be declared non-Muslim and no Muslim or non-Muslim will be declared worthy of being killed.

— Apart from Azan and Arabic sermon, the use of loudspeakers will be completely banned.

— Publication and distribution of offensive and hateful books, literature and pamphlets will be stopped and there will be a complete ban on cassettes and online websites containing objectionable and hateful material.

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2014

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