News Analysis |
The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on Thursday urged the government to enhance punishments for those misusing their authority to issue religious edicts (fatwas). According to media reports, the CII meeting was chaired by its chief Dr. Qibla Ayaz, and senior scholars of all four mainstream schools of thought in the country.
All the participants reportedly acknowledged the Paigham-e-Pakistan, a comprehensive document that was prepared by the council earlier this year to counter extremism in Pakistan. It is important to mention here that the narrative, titled ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan’ consists of 22-point Fatwa (religious decree), declares armed struggle against the Country, its government or armed forces illegal.
Prime Minster Imran Khan has also said that the writ of the state will be maintained and nobody will ever be allowed to blackmail the state.
It also maintains that if someone, except the government, takes arms to enforce Islamic values in the society it will amount to Fasaad-fil-Arz; and therefore not permissible. The 121-page document also declares suicide attacks un-Islamic and a grave sin.
Dr. Ayaz said that it was the government’s duty to enforce the CII’s recommendations. “We want severe punishments for those clerics who misuse their powers and issue decrees declaring a Muslim non-believer and pronouncing him liable to be killed; as per Sharia all such decrees have been rejected by the CII,” he maintained.
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There is no denying of the fact that religious parties misuse the religion to seek political support in Pakistan. The latest example is the series of protests by a religious party after the acquittal of Ms. Asia Bibi, a Christian woman accused of blasphemy. The Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted her for not having enough evidence to convict her.
According to media reports, the CII meeting was chaired by its chief Dr. Qibla Ayaz, and senior scholars of all four mainstream schools of thought in the country.
Protests across the country halted the life and compelled the government to sign an agreement with the leaders of the protesters. Later on, the government decided to put an end to the policy of blackmailing by the religious groups. Dr. Shireen Mazari, Minister for Human Rights, categorically stated that the policy of appeasement to avoid bloodshed would send a dangerous message to the non-state actors.
The minister shared her thoughts on how “appeasement historically never worked”, citing the example of the 1938 Munich pact in which Britain and France told Nazi Germany they would not object to its annexation of parts of former Czechoslovakia.
Appeasement to "avoid bloodshed" sends a dangerous msg to non-state actors & undermines the very concept of democratic peaceful protest. The State has to enforce Rule of Law, Constitution & stand by state institutions esp when they are targeted. #IStandWithSupremeCourt https://t.co/nWPOvbEcDS— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) November 4, 2018
“Appeasement to avoid ‘bloodshed’ in a war-weary Europe led to massive bloodshed and destruction in the form of World War II,” Mazari said. Prime Minster Imran Khan has also said that the writ of the state will be maintained and nobody will ever be allowed to blackmail the state.
For analysts in Pakistan, these are welcome moves and they give us a hope that the future of the country is going to be free of religious fanaticism. Information Minster Fawad Ch. has repeatedly claimed that the government will ensure that nobody is threatened or killed for having a particular religion. The state will ensure the protection of every citizen, he has said.