Guarding mosques and Imambargahs

FAITHFUL gathered in large number in mosques and imambargahs to offer last Juma prayers of Ramazan (Jumatul Wida), seeking mercy of Allah Almighty for themselves and the country. However, it was painful to observe that in Rawalpindi alone, the administration had to deploy one thousand cops to guard mosques and imambargahs on the occasion.
Increased security, especially for places of worship is understandable as there have been frequent attacks even on mosques resulting into scores of casualties. Therefore, as part of the security arrangements, there was no permission to park vehicles, motorcycles, cycles and handcarts near mosques and places of worship. It is, however, indeed a matter of shame that places of worship, which spread message of peace, brotherhood and affection, had to be guarded by police personnel to ensure that people worship with peace of mind. This should be a matter of great concern not only for the Government but also for our religious leaders and religious parties. No doubt, there are also threats to these places from agents of some foreign agencies that want to destabilize Pakistan through different tactics but major threat comes from extremists of different schools of thought. There is self-serving interpretation of Islam and its injunctions and attempts are made to impose one’s views on others through force. Those indulging in such tactics forget that they are inflicting more harm to the religion than its traditional enemies. The entire nation will have to stand up against preachers of violence and it is duty of religious scholars and leaders to play their part in promoting peace and harmony.

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