ISLAMABAD: Speakers at the Paigham-e-Pakistan conference here on Tuesday stressed that reasoning and debate is the right way to convince others as enforcement of beliefs through force or coercion has serious consequences for peace and tranquility in a society.
“Roots of extremism and militancy lie in intolerance and not listening to others’ point of view, which wipe out moderation and foster extremism in a society,” said Tanzeem-ul-Madaris Vice President (VP) Allama Raghib Naeemi while addressing the seminar.
He said that an emphasis must be laid on inclusive citizenship as all citizens, whether Muslims or non-Muslims, should enjoy equal rights in Pakistan. “An individual declaring another person as an infidel is against the teachings of Islam. It is a very dangerous approach and the Muslim Ummah should play its role to counter such trends,” he said, adding that punishing anyone for any wrongdoings is the purview of the state and the judiciary.
“Individuals must not take law into hand for punishing the sinners or wrongdoers,” he stated.
Naeemi reminded that Islam preaches peace and harmony, giving a very clear message of the respect for humanity. “Saints and Sufis have always propagated love and brotherhood. There is no place for terrorism, extremism, intolerance and narrow mindedness in Islam,” he said while adding that ulema, mashaikh, scholars and intellectuals need to play their role to save society from destruction.
Other speakers said that Paigham-e-Pakistan was a unanimous declaration of scholars from all schools of thought against the menace of terrorism and was in fact, a message of prosperity and peace in Pakistan. They said the unanimous narrative was a step in the right direction, reiterating that Pakistan was an Islamic state believing in peace, tolerance, justice and love.
At a separate event organised by the Islamic Research Institute (IRI) Faisal Mosque Campus, speakers stressed the need to raise awareness among students on how to play their role in eradicating the menaces of terrorism and extremism from society.
Addressing the attendees of the occasion, Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz highlighted the importance of education for achieving durable peace and prosperity in Pakistan. He said that the younger generation had a key role in national development as the youth wants peace in tranquility in society as a whole. He underlined the need for eliminating extremism and terrorism as well as achieving lasting peace through education and creating awareness among public, especially youth.
Furthermore, IRI Director General (DG) Dr Ziaul Haq took to the stage to say that the country’s bright future is linked with the youth. He said that only education can bring peace in society, and urged teachers to focus on character-building of students so that they may effectively deal with the tendencies of extremism and violence.
“A large part of the community is suffering from mutual hatred, ethnocentric mindsets, intolerance, extremism and terrorism. The Paigham-e-Pakistan initiative will help eradicate terrorism and prove instrumental in reforming the youth who have lost their path due to negative propaganda by some aberrant elements,” he said.
International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) President Dr Ahmed Yousuf Al Darwish also called for promoting a culture of accommodation, tolerance and harmony across all kinds of divides.
“We need to build bridges of cooperation, positive interaction, dialogue and mutual sharing rather than barriers and walls that divide us and cause mutual distrust and conflict. Religious and cultural extremism and terrorism adversely affects the society and it loses the societal feature of cultural and religious tolerance and political accommodation,” he said while adding that academicians and intellectuals have a leading role in inculcating the values of pluralism, brotherhood and tolerance in society, especially the youth.
The basic objective of the activities was to sensitise students and the youth about the horrific dangers and risks associated with the wave of terrorism and extremism and train them on how to safeguard the community from such threats.