LAHORE: Clerics belonging to various Sunni schools of thought met here on Sunday to decide the future line of action for ensuring implementation of Tahaffuz Bunyad-e-Islam (protection of foundation of Islam) Bill passed by the Punjab Assembly a fortnight ago.
The participants included Maulana Zahidur Rashidi, Liaquat Baloch, Dr Fareed Paracha, Maulana Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi, Syed Kafeel Bukhari, Hafiz Abdul Gaffar Ropri, Maulan Ilyas Chinioti, Qari Zawwar Bahadur, Hafiz Ibtisam Elahi Zaheer, Hafiz Asad Ubaid and others, while the sitting was hosted by Jamiat Ulema Islam (Samiul Haq) general secretary Maulana Abdur Rauf Farooqi.
Announcing the decisions at a press conference made by the gathering, Maulana Farooqi said the participants welcomed the Clerics to push for passage of the bill and called it a manifestation of the love and devotion of the members of the Punjab Assembly towards the holy personalities of Islam.
It congratulated the provincial government, the speaker of the Punjab Assembly, movers and all those members who voted for the bill and hoped that the same would be enacted into a law at the earliest.
It said that “vicious” attempts have been made by some quarters “in the name of reservations on this Bill” to make the sanctity of holy personalities controversial and termed it an intolerable act.
The meeting said serious scholars of all schools of thought have always expressed positive thoughts and feelings on the sanctity of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his companions, and that the expression of any negative impression in this regard is not only against the unanimous position of the sanctity of holy persons but also an attempt to escalate sectarian tensions.
“Therefore, this meeting considers it necessary to warn such elements that their activities are not tolerated at any level. The sanctity of holy personalities will be protected and defended at all costs.”
The sitting called for forming a joint platform to defend the bill and empowered Maulan Farooqi to convene a summit of religious parties’ heads for the purpose.
It demanded that concerns of scholars, researchers and publishing houses regarding this bill should be removed and suggested the government to sit with clerics of all schools of thought to take them into confidence on the legislation.
It also demanded that contentious content should be scrutinized by the Muttahida Ulema Board instead of bureaucrats.
The meeting condemned the shooting of a film at the historic Wazir Khan Mosque in Lahore and demanded the government take notice of this incident and bring its perpetrators to book as well as disciplinary action against the officials who had given permission for the shooting.
It criticized the US response to the killing of Tahir Naseem in Peshawar, calling it interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs and urged the authorities to effectively implement the law of protection of the honor of the Prophet (PBUH) to prevent people from taking law into their own hands.
Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2020