Killing over unproven blasphemy allegation not allowed: ulema

Published December 11, 2021
Lahore: Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, Special Representative of the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony, prays along with others during Friday prayers to observe a ‘day of condemnation’ and to pay respect to the Sri Lankan factory manager who was beaten to death and set ablaze by a mob.— AFP
Lahore: Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, Special Representative of the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony, prays along with others during Friday prayers to observe a ‘day of condemnation’ and to pay respect to the Sri Lankan factory manager who was beaten to death and set ablaze by a mob.— AFP

ISLAMABAD: Ulema in their Friday sermons vociferously condemned recent lynching of a Sri Lankan national in Sialkot and said the killing of any person over unsubstantiated blasphemy accusations is not permissible in any circumstances.

The ‘day of condemnation’ was observed in mosques across the country on Friday. The religious leadership stressed that all sections of society had to come out against the extremist mindset and extremist thinking.

Special Representative of the Prime Minister on Reli­gious Harmony Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi and other prayer lea­ders in their Friday sermons said that the entire nation was united and agreed on punishment to the perpetrators of the Sialkot tragedy.

According to the ulema, the courts have the authority to punish the perpetrator of blasphemy and taking law into one’s hands is not permissible according to Sharia and law of the land.

Mr Ashrafi said the lynching of the Sri Lankan national had embarrassed the entire nation. A person accused of blasphemy should be brought to justice and a complaint should be lodged with police and then one should wait for a court decision. Elements involved in making blasphemy allegations for their vested objectives would also be punished under the blasphemy law, he added.

He said the leadership of religions and religious schools of thought agreed to launch a nationwide public campaign against extremism.

Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2021

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