For the sake of sectarian harmony

ASHURA Muharram is approaching. It is the day which is marked to pay tributes to the supreme sacrifice of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA), the grandson of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) but regrettably over the years due to some black sheep in our ranks, following enemies’ agenda, use the occasion to stoke divisions on sectarian lines in order to turn the sacred day violent and bloody.
To ensure that no untoward incident happens on Ashura, the Ministry of Religious Affairs over the last few days held meetings with religious scholars of all schools of thought and got approved a code of conduct in which it was emphasised that the Ulema will refrain from such provocative statements that hurt the sentiments of others. To deal with the issue of hate speech, Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yusuf while chairing the meeting of National Ulema and Mushaikh Council in the federal capital on Tuesday stated that Ulema and Mushaikh Councils would be constituted at the provincial, district and tehsil levels in order to collectively address the issues. Undoubtedly, Sardar Muhammad Yusuf has earned praise for the steps he has taken over the years for promotion of sectarian harmony in the society. Though his initiative of observing uniform timing of Azaan in Islamabad did not meet much success but it was the first time that such an initiative was given serious consideration with the aim to promote greater understanding and harmony amongst all schools of thought. Now the federal minister has also proposed setting up Ulema and Mushaikh Councils first at the provincial and then at the tehsil levels. There is no denying the fact that Ulema have an important role to give a counter narrative to terrorism and sectarianism. Bringing them at one platform is a step in the right direction to identify and root out the black sheep that are always out to create division on sectarian lines for their vested interests. This platform of Ulema Councils should not only become a debating club but also help take genuine practical steps in order to rid our society of the curse of sectarianism.

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