ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s topmost Islamic clerics call for an end to the “hate speech.”
In line with details, Pakistan’s apex body of Islamic scholars is insists on a onslaught on “hate speech” in religious sermons- as an attempt to restrain intra-faith hostility in Pakistan. In the wake of rising religious antagonism in Pakistani society marked by ever increasing incidents major Islamic sects unanimously agreed upon a code of conduct- prohibiting hate speech against other religious beliefs.
Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi- Heads the Pakistan Ulema Council said: my own example proves that Islamic extremists can change. If we don’t put an end to such fighting, Pakistan will suffer, and the rest of the world won’t be spared either.
For this purpose, 32 groups as representatives of the main Islamic sects in Pakistan signed on a code of conduct. This document forbids hate speech against other sects, religions while restricting the use of mosque loudspeakers moreover banning provocative literature. These religious leaders had gathered in an effort to come up with a way out to fight against the sturdy increase in sectarian disputes. According to the chronicles of the Pakistan Institute for Peace: in 2012, at least 537 Pakistanis were killed in attacks related to religious sect, a 71 percent increase from the previous year. Nevertheless, the attempt has been praised for its goals, there is widespread scepticism that it can be enforced.
Moreover, the endorsers of the code also assured to hold conferences across Pakistan to uphold religious tolerance end communal and social hostility. They also expressed determination to meet with members of parliament to insist them to legalize the code thus enforcing it.
While reflecting on Ashrafi’s resolution to promote inter-faith and intra-faith harmony in Pakistan, a security expert Aysha Siddiqa said: Ashrafi does not necessarily represent the mainstream perception. She cautioned: even if the heads of Muslim groups agree to stop inciting violence against each other and other religious communities, their rank and file is another issue.
In recent times, Pakistan has seen an exceptional rise in religious and sectarian intolerance so much so that Pakistan now ranks high among the countries with most religious hostility.