ISLAMABAD: Prominent scholars and intellectuals on Thursday welcomed the decision of the United Kingdom College of Arms for granting the first ever official ‘Coat of Arms’ to British-Pakistani member of the House of Lords, Lord Aamer Sarfraz.

The green dome of the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi mosque in Madina can be seen on the shield with a lion representing the United Kingdom and a snow leopard representing Pakistan; the Himalayan mountains on its crest symbolise Islamabad where Lord Sarfraz grew up and a crescent represents Islam.

The British government has set an example of religious tolerance by doing this, chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Dr Qibla Ayaz said, adding this is an indication that the United Kingdom considers Muslims to be a part of its society.

The role of Lord Aamer Sarfraz towards bringing religious tolerance and culture closer in the UK would live on in history forever, he said, adding the process showed that British society and culture respects other religions.

Chairman of the Interfaith Harmony and Peace Committee Syed Izhar Shah Bukhari said this step of the British government would give rise to religious and cultural tolerance in the world.

Moreover, it will be beneficial for Pakistani expatriates living here, he said.

The shield was designed by the garter principal (King of Arms) and the senior King of Arms of England.

Commenting on the grant, Lord Sarfraz said, “It is a great honour to have the mosque of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) featured prominently on a Coat of Arms. “I would like to thank the Garter and the College of Arms for their excellent work,” he added.

Published in Dawn, January 7th, 2022

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