ISLAMABAD: Senior clerics and members of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) here on Tuesday issued a code of conduct for the upcoming Islamic month of Muharram and demanded the religio- political parties to discourage extremists within their ranks.
In this regard, CII chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz chaired a convention, which noted that foreign forces were planning to fan sectarianism during Muharram and it was the collective responsibility of religious segments to foil any such move.
The council asked all the ulema and religious figures not only to be careful while handling social media, but also to remain fully vigilant about any miscreants trying to fan differences.
Declarations were also made at the convention, organised by the CII, where it was acknowledged that serious ideological issues should not be discussed at the level of general public and the senior clerics should promote interactions among each other for such discussions.
One of the declarations said the policy of literary debate should be adopted by the elders of all the sects to avoid any confrontation in the country instead of hurling faith-based challenges at others.
The CII convention also announced that the managements of mosques, religious seminaries, imambargahs and other religious places should have a welcoming attitude towards each other.
It was decided that no group would allow their platform to be used by any speaker who could create controversies in the society, while sermons promoting tolerance and coherence will be delivered during the Friday prayers.
Committees will be established by the Ministry of Religious Affairs to monitor and prevent spread of any material that could be offensive to any group.
Addressing the convention, Special Representative of the Prime Minister on Interfaith Harmony Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi asked the religious leaders, including Ulema and Zakireen, to follow the code of conduct and abide by the laws of the country.
“The region was changing and the offices of Indian intelligence agencies in Afghanistan were being exposed,” Hafiz Ashrafi said, adding that Pakistan had taken 20 years fighting religious extremism and the country had been successful in defeating terrorism.
He announced that interfaith liaison committees had been established who would coordinate with the relevant law and order authorities to maintain public order during Muharram.
“Code of conduct in the form of Payam-i-Pakistan has been agreed upon by the religious elders of all sects,” Hafiz Ashrafi said.
Unity, tolerance stressed
Ulema Ittehad Bainul Muslimeen Committee of Punjab on Tuesday urged the religious scholars of all sects of Islam to promote tolerance and brotherhood as Muharram teaches unity, love and tolerance.
In order to promote interfaith harmony and tolerance in Muharram, a special delegation of the Ulema Ittehad Bainul Muslimeen Committee of Punjab visited Rawalpindi under the leadership of Data Darbar Khateeb Mufti Ramzan Sialvi.
The delegation reviewed the security arrangements and held a meeting with the divisional administration and local ulema. The meeting was attended by Commissioner Rawalpindi Syed Gulzar Hussain Shah, Deputy Commissioner Aamir Aqiq, Regional Police Officer Imran Ahmar, Allama Azhar Bukhari and local ulema from all schools of thought.
On this occasion, the commissioner said security arrangements would be further improved keeping in view the local requirements and suggestions of ulema, and members of Aman committees.
Additional reporting by Aamir Yasin
Published in Dawn, August 4th, 2021