Author Topic: Scholars ask for steps to promote interfaith harmony  (Read 222 times)

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Scholars ask for steps to promote interfaith harmony
« on: July 28, 2019, 12:35:04 PM »
Scholars ask for steps to promote interfaith harmony
LAHORE :July 28: Scholars from different faiths on Saturday called for unity among all communities and urged the government to create an atmosphere at the provincial and national level where everyone can play an active role in promotion peaceful coexistence and to counter negative thoughts.

Sharing a stage in front of diverse audience at an interactive seminar titled Interfaith Harmony at the Punjab Institute for Language, Art & Culture (PILAC), the scholars discussed the role of religious institutions in promoting interfaith harmony and the encouragement of interfaith acceptability through better coordination between the people of different faiths.

Expressing their views, Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) member Mufti Raghib Hussain Naeemi, Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw, Bishop Azad Marshal, Baha’i community member Dr Faramarz Roshani, Father Nadeem Francis, Hindu leader Amarnath Randhawa and Sikh scholar Prof Kalyan Singh urged the people to develop the spirit of coexistence by maintaining religious harmony and peace.

All the speakers also signed a resolution of peace as an agreement towards ensuring interfaith harmony, and declared that they would work with the government in promoting peaceful coexistence.

A thorough discussion was held on the importance of implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP), Hate Speech Ordinance, and other laws.

Archbishop Sebastian Shaw said dialogue was important to walk on the path of truth and peace.

“We need to respect a person on the basis of humanity. No one ever asked me to change my religion nor we ever asked anyone to change theirs’,” he said.

Mufti Raghib Naeemi suggested dialogue and open discussions on all faiths through similar platforms to ensure interfaith harmony and coexistence.

“Islam does not teach aggression and no one is allowed to force people from other faiths to convert to Islam,” he said, adding that tension and conflict arise when someone targets other faiths. “It is important to negate such conflict by having educational debates with learned people from all faiths,” he said.

Bishop Azad Marshal said that Pakistan was created with an idea that it would be a Muslim majority state, but it would not be intolerant towards other religions and faiths. “Interfaith harmony is our need and it will come when we have tolerance and acceptability for each other,” he said. “We need to create strategies, ways and means to promote interfaith harmony,” he added.

“We need to have knowledge, dialogue and discussion on broader levels in order to ensure interfaith harmony,” said Dr Faramarz Roshani, member of Baha’i community. He said that nothing could be more damaging than intolerance and hatred. “We need to end blame game and bring about a change through peace among all faiths and sects,” he said.

Hindu leader Amarnath Randhawa suggested interfaith harmony through educational and religious institutions, saying Pakistanis can counter hatred with love and peace.

He said that no faith promoted hatred or intolerance. Prof Kalyan Singh said content to promot interfaith harmony and humanity should be included the textbooks.

He pointed out that all religious places were always open to everyone and no one would even ask anyone’s religion. Suggesting a change in syllabus, Father Nadeem Francis said there could be no peace or interfaith harmony until the government and the media gave equal representation and acceptance to the minorities.

Allama Asim Makhdoom said that there was an urgent need to ensure interfaith harmony at the government level. “I am here to say that it is the government’s negligence and attitude which are leading minorities into problems,” he said.

Participants from Multan also shared their success stories about how they ensured interfaith harmony and peaceful coexistence in their respective areas of South Punjab through various activities, focused on promoting coexistence and harmony.The news.
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