Pakistan Clerics Issue Fatwa Against Terror in Name of Religion
Wracked by terrorism, extremism and sectarianism, the Pakistan government, on 16 January issued a fatwa signed by over 1,800 Islamic scholars from different schools of thought against the use of violence, including suicide bombings, for religious purposes.
Titled as 'Paigham-e-Pakistan' (the message of Pakistan), the fatwa issued at a grand ceremony was prepared under the supervision of Islamabad-based International Islamic University.
The decree came at a time when US President Donald Trump has asked Pakistan to act against terror groups on its soil and warned against providing safe havens to terrorists.
Addressing the ceremony, President Mamnoon Hussain said the launch of national narrative on counter-terrorism manifested that the whole nation was extremely serious on the issue.
In a statement, the government said the fatwa was part of national narrative on extremism and terrorism. It was endorsed by religious scholars, parliamentarians, intellectuals and policy makers.
The fatwa also declares armed struggle against the country, its government or armed forces "illegal".
It acknowledges that it is responsibility of the government to fully implement Islamic provisions of the Constitution, but it rejects use of force for it and says that taking up arms to achieve this purpose amounts to 'Fasaad-fil- Arz' or spreading willful violence on earth.
Quoting verses from holy Quran and Hadith, the fatwa says suicide is unacceptable in Islam and a grave sin. Supporting such (suicide) attacks has also been described as tantamount to supporting a collection of sins.
President Hussain said the decree would not only promote positive image of the Islamic teachings and Pakistani society in the world but would also help in overcoming the menace of extremism.
In his remarks, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif expressed the confidence that the national narrative against militancy will prove to be a turning point for the country.
"We have rejected all forms of terrorism and extremism," he asserted.
"The land of Pakistan at no time shall be allowed to be used for the propagation of any kind of terrorism," Asif said, adding that this included training and recruitment of terrorists, along with execution of terror activities in other countries "and other such ulterior motives".