MULTAN: Islamic Research Institute (IRI) of International Islamic University (IIU) Director General Dr Muhammad Ziaul Haq on Friday called upon for the need of a national narrative to address issues related to sectarianism.
He said the division of the society, the hatred and arrogant behaviours of individuals and prioritising sects over the religion were some major causes behind this issue.
Dr Zia expressed these views while addressing the concluding session of a two-day training seminar titled “Ethics of inter- sect Harmony” here at the BZU Islamic Studies department.
He said it was mandatory to respect the sects and religions of each other for the promotion of peace.
IRI DG stated that the ‘Holy Quran and Hadith’ were faultless, however, understandings and interpretations by individuals could vary from person to person which led to the division of the society. The extremists exploited the people on the basis of sectarian division, he explained.
Dr Zia said it was the authority of the state to declare any sect non-muslim as Qadiyanis were declared constitutionally in the past, adding that Ulema should teach the people about right and wrong.
He said the seminar was aimed at conveying the message of coexistence, brotherhood and inter-sect harmony.
Speaking on the occasion, BZU Registrar Dr Omer Chaudhry said that Islam teaches us the message of peace, brotherhood and tolerance.
Islam stands for peace and tranquillity, adding that how it could be the source of hatred, he questioned.
BZU Islamic Studies Department Chairman Dr Abdul Quddus Sohaib urged the participants to further convey the message of inter-sect harmony to others.
He suggested the IRI compile a book on ethics of inter-sect harmony and recommend it to the varsities for making it a part of the curriculum.
Political Science Department Chairman Dr Muqarab Akber said that constitution of Pakistan permitted each citizen to lead a life according to his religion or sect. He maintained that rights and duties go side by side, adding, we should respect others’ beliefs.
A large number of religious scholars from all schools of thought, BZU faculty members, students and civil society members attended the seminar.
The seminar was organised under the auspices of Ministry of Religious Affairs, Higher Education Commission (HEC), Bahaudddin Zakariya University (BZU) and a non-governmental organisation Bargad.