PROMINENT Pakistani scholars from all religious schools of thought issued a unanimous Fatwa on Saturday, condemning terrorism and extremism.
According to APP (via Dawn), the religious decree declared suicide attackers and their supporters to be traitors, jihad a jurisdiction of Islamic state and disallowed the use of force in the name of enforcement of Islamic laws.
The Fatwa also called for action against the forces fanning extremism. And called for the correct use and implementation of the blasphemy laws, aiming to discourage cases of mob justice that have plagued Pakistan in recent years.
The decree, carrying signatures of 31 noted scholars, was released at a seminar entitiled “Reconstruction of Pakistani society in the light of ‘Mithaq-e-Madina’ (Charter of Medina) and announcement of ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan’ (Message of Pakistan)”, which was organised by the Islamic Research Institute of the International Islamic University Islamabad, and attended by high ranking officials, including Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain.
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In his address to the seminar, Hussain urged the religious scholars and intellectuals to promote the true “message of humanity” given in the Medina Charter – the first Islamic Constitution.
Terming the declaration as an historic step, the president stated that Muslims aspired for peace in the world and desired progress, prosperity and welfare for all humanity.
He also emphasised that a counter narrative needs to be built to negate the messages of extremism, hate and terrorism, and to promote peace, harmony and respect of others.
He added that the Medina Charter was not created to protect communal interests, and it did not relate to Muslims only, but was a broad agreement aimed at the welfare and protection of the whole of humanity.
The Medina Charter was created by the Prophet Muhammad in the year 622 CE, it was the first written constitution in the Islamic world. The Charter concerns the rights and responsibilities of the Muslim, Jewish, and other Arab and tribal communities of Medina during the war between the city and its neighbours.
Hussain said the treaty not only had the trust and confidence of followers of Islam but also of non-Muslims, saying “the Holy Prophet always granted due rights to the rightful, gave relief to the oppressed and always treated the marginalised generously, irrespective of their religion, caste, colour or creed.”
Pakistan has been plagued by terrorism in recent years, due in part to the sectarian violence between the Sunni and Shia Muslims and the presence of Islamist insurgent groups and forces such as the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The number of fatalities has grown dramatically over the last 15 years, with 189 fatalities reported in 2003, rising to a staggering 11,704 in 2009, before dropping to 1,803 last year.