Newspaper Article 24/01/2023
A significant decision was recently made when famous scholar Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani of Pakistan issued a Fatwa (decree), stating that any armed activity against the state of Pakistan constituted “rebellion,” which was “haram” and forbidden by Islamic law. This has effectively disproved exaggerated claims of “jihad” made by terrorist groups like the TTP, ISIS, and others. Speaking at the Paigham-e-Pakistan National Conference on “Countering Violent Extremism, Radicalism, and Hate Speech,” hosted by the International Islamic University in Islamabad, Mufti Muhammed Taqi Usmani called the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), who were engaged in anti-state activities and fighting the Pakistan Army, “rebels.” He stated that engaging in anti-state actions and fighting against national security agencies fall under the category of mutiny and have nothing to do with jihad.
The Ulema and Mashaykh of all schools of thought present at the conference likewise unanimously approved the decree. According to Mufti Taqi Usmani, who was leading a group and attended talks in Kabul, the Afghan Taliban also voiced their displeasure with the TTP members who were engaged in terrorist actions in Pakistan. Dr. Qibla Ayaz, Chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology, claimed that the tragic tragedy at Army Public School had brought the entire country together to combat the threat of terrorism.
The Pakistani government developed “Paigham-e-Pakistan,” a unified policy, with the assistance of Ulema, Mashaykhs, and religious scholars, in order to close the communication gap and eliminate religious divisions for peace and serenity in the nation. The parliament should grant “Paigham-e-Pakistan” constitutional protection so that it can be put into effect at the local level.
On January 15, 2018, Paigham-e-Pakistan was officially launched in front of national religious and political leaders. In actuality, the story is a repetition of Islam’s core teachings, which deny the root causes of extremism, radicalization, and terrorism. It promotes respecting variety, inclusion, acceptance, and peaceful coexistence with other people of different races and beliefs. The diversity of the nation’s cultures is respected and appreciated, but extremists and those of hatred are detested. Unity, peace, interfaith harmony, social justice, and gender equality are prioritized. The effort emphasizes the significance of preserving freedom of expression, association, and belief. Rights in the political, economic, and cultural spheres are promoted and safeguarded. Additionally, Paigham-e-Pakistan fights against violations of human rights such as harassment and discrimination. Through the improvement of democratic systems, the government promotes accountability, transparency, and the preservation of fundamental rights. The Paigham-e-Pakistan concept needs to be fully embraced and recognized as the country’s story. This will entail promoting accountability and transparency, promoting diversity and accepting other cultures, religions, and beliefs, defending fundamental rights, and working to strengthen national unity, counter extremism, and forge national identity. The government has already taken a number of actions to guarantee that Paigham-e-fundamental Pakistan’s principles be upheld. The programme included the introduction of “The National Action Plan” by the government to combat terrorism, sectarianism, and religious extremism. As part of its efforts to advance diversity, pluralism, and social acceptability, the government has also put in place a number of laws and initiatives that improve access to healthcare, education, and civil liberties for the most disadvantaged members of society.
The document is divided into two parts: the preamble, which offers a contextual analysis of the intellectual and political environment, and the religious edict, which was originally signed by 1829 religious experts who represented all of the nation’s theological schools of thought. The paper has already been signed by more than 4000 religious academics, and it is projected that this figure will surpass 50,000 in the near future.
In terms of its content, Paigham-e-Pakistan appears to be quite thorough and persuasive. When discussing Pakistan’s society’s reconstruction, it is stated that “Pakistanis neither denigrate other religions nor denigrate the founders of other religions. Muslims must practise their own faith freely and independently while converting non-Muslims to Islam through persuasive discourse. The text also affirms the constitutional protections for religious liberty and states that they are consistent with the core values of Islam. According to Paigham-e-Pakistan, who describes the declaration’s setting, this nation has implemented the most legislation possible in accordance with Islamic teachings and ideals.
One of the significant accomplishments of Pakistan’s religious intellectuals is Paigham e Pakistan, a logical framework that has fostered discussion of delicate topics and challenging beliefs related to religious thought. Other policy initiatives now have a place to go thanks to this text. However, the Paigham e Pakistan guidelines should be implemented more quickly. Through the media and education system, Paigham-e-Pakistan should be widely promoted. Islam is mostly about promoting positive education, love, and peace. The present anti-Islamic narratives spread by terrorists hiding behind Islam have alarmed young people, and this needs to be stopped.
Note: This article appeared in Eurasia, dated 24 January 2023.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are of the author and do not necessarily represent Institute’s policy.