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Ulema Council vows to launch campaign against extremism

Updated April 15, 2019

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The conference was organised by the PUC in the honour of visiting Imam-i-Kaaba Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al Juhany and presided over by President Arif Alvi. — Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan
The conference was organised by the PUC in the honour of visiting Imam-i-Kaaba Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al Juhany and presided over by President Arif Alvi. — Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) announced on Sunday that it will launch a countrywide campaign for eradication of terrorism, extremism and sectarian violence while the fourth International Message of Islam Conference urged the government to ensure implementation on the National Action Plan against terrorism in letter and spirit.

The conference was organised by the PUC in the honour of visiting Imam-i-Kaaba Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al Juhany and presided over by President Arif Alvi.

The conference decided to evolve an effective and systematic mechanism to streamline the issuance of decrees (fatwas). In this regard Dar-ul-Afta Pakistan will be established in Lahore, in which religious scholars of different schools of thought will get representation. The institution will accomplish its educational and ideological task with the assistance of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Muslim countries to face the challenges confronting the Muslim world.

A joint declaration issued at the conclusion of the conference announced that an Islamic ideological alliance would be formed to contain Islamophobia at the international level. A meeting of the leadership of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other Muslim countries would be called to finalise the mechanism for the alliance.

International conference decides to establish institutions to streamline issuance of fatwas

The conference endorsed the initiative of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government to launch “One-Nation with One-Education” programme. It lauded government efforts to reform educational structure in the country, stating that seminaries as well as conventional school education system should be reformed. “Registration of Madaris-i-Arabia with the education ministry is the best initiative... and practical steps in this regard are inevitable,” the joint declaration said.

It urged the United Nations to enact international laws to ensure respect and protect honour of holy places of all religions.

The conference urged all parties to the Afghan conflict to come to the negotiating table and lauded the role of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE for peace talks between Afghan Taliban and the US.

A resolution adopted at the conference underlined that no organisation or individual would be allowed to do politics on the issue of finality of Prophethood.

The conference pointed out that Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance and forbearance which has nothing to do with terrorism, extremism and sectarian violence. “Elements responsible for fanning these evils are enemies of Islam and Muslims.”

It lauded the role of the armed forces, government and law enforcement agencies for peace and stability in the country.

The joint declaration condemned brutalities being committed against oppressed Muslims of Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Palestine and Kashmir and called on the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the UN to take notice of these atrocities.

The conference observed that the relocation of the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and the US decision to recognise Golan Heights as Israeli territory were sheer violation of international laws.

The conference condemned events in Europe and the US relating to hatred against Muslims and Islam and feared that the attacks on mosques in the US, UK and other European countries would sabotage the efforts for interfaith dialogue and harmony. However, it noted that followers of all religions of the world had rejected the attempts aimed at undermining interfaith harmony.

It praised the role of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and hoped that the world leadership would learn from her and eradicate terrorism and extremism from the globe.

Speaking on the occasion, Imam-i-Kaaba Sheikh Abdullah Awad Al Juhany said ignorance of Islamic teachings was resulting in problems for Muslims. “Muslim Ummah has to purge its heart of ill intentions [and make efforts] to unite the Muslim world. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are playing an effective role for unity of Islamic world,” he said.

President Arif Alvi said the world community should realise that no community or followers of any religion could be suppressed for a long time. “The day is not far off when people of Kashmir and Palestine will get rid of atrocities of Israel and India,” he added.

PUC chief Maulana Tahir Ashrafi said: “Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will stay united to raise voice over issues concerning the Muslim world.”

The Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan, Nawaf Saeed Al-Malkiy, said that Muslims of the world were like a single body and Khadim-i-Harmain Al Sharifain treated pain and misery of every Muslim like his own.

The Minister for State for Interior, Shehryar Khan Afridi, said Pakistan would not accept diktat from any other country and no one should ask it to do more.

He said that mosques and seminaries were a responsibility of the state and the government was giving due respect to these institutions.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2019