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Pak to lead drive against defamation of religions: PM

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ISLAMABAD: At the opening of the two-day international Rehmatul-lil-Alameen Conference at Islamabad’s Jinnah Convention Centre on Tuesday, PM Imran Khan said that Pakistan would lead an international campaign against the defamation of religions.
The conference, organised by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony in connection with the countrywide celebration of 12th Rabiul Awwal, marking the birthday of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). The two-day conference titled, ‘Finality of Prophethood and responsibilities of Muslims in light of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’, is the 43rd conference aimed at promoting religious harmony, tolerance, brotherhood and equality, respect for humanity, non-violence, unity, reconciliation and culture of dialogue.
Congratulating the organisers of the conference, the prime minister talked about religion, including his own personal religious journey, and stated, “There is a misconception that a person undergoes an immediate transformation when he embraces faith. No, it is just the starting point of a struggle”, and added, “You can only follow the path of blessed people when you love the Prophet”.
PM said that he had asked the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to establish chairs for research on the Prophet’s life in three different universities, adding that “… we (Pakistanis) should study the life of the Prophet who changed the world. We should examine what it was that the Prophet did, that later led to the defeats of super powers at the hands of Muslims”.
Lamenting about the present religious condition and philosophy, he said, “Those people who are unable to understand the philosophy of the life of the Prophet have now become guardians of religion.” The prime minister said that he had witnessed people from all religions including Hinduism visit the shrines of great personalities like Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya and Baba Farid, stating that “…”they visit their mausoleums because they were great men.”
Talking about the blasphemous cartoon contest started by the Dutch politician Geert Wilders, he said that Pakistan had taken strong action against the Dutch politician by gathering the support of the Muslim world through the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and had taken up the matter with the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN), which had subsequently led to the cancellation of the contest, and an admission from the EU that freedom of expression cannot be used to guise blasphemy.
Further speaking on the matter, he said, “Pakistan will spearhead a campaign for an international declaration against the defamation of religions. I have appointed Ahmer Bilal Sufi, a law expert, to reach out to various countries and convince them to sign the declaration.” Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri, in his opening address to attendees of the event, paid tribute to the services of the Prophet for humanity and shed light on various aspects of his personality.
He talked about how Prophet Muhammad treated non-Muslims and even his foes, saying he had pardoned even his worst enemies. —Online
Scholars from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Afghanistan, Syria, Morocco, and the United Kingdom are participating in the event, during which, cash awards and certificates will be given to 53 authors, whose books or articles were selected after a due process, in nine categories.
These categories are Seerat and Naat Books in Urdu, English, Arabic, and regional languages of Pakistan.
Federal ministers, politicians, and diplomats of various countries are also attending the event.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Imran Khan, while speaking to Qadri, had said that the government wishes to present an image of peaceful Islam before the world. For this purpose, “Rehmatul-il-Alameen Conferences” will be held across the country, while a two-day ‘Khatm-i-Nabuwwat International Conference’ will be held in Islamabad, he had said.
He had added that it was the responsibility of the state to present the true teachings of the Prophet to the next generation. PM Khan had also said that research on the life of the Prophet would be promoted under the government’s supervision.

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