Condemning Attacks on Places of Worship

Religious Tensions in Pakistan

We recently reported on threats against a Shi’a Muslim leader in Pakistan Dialogue – Waging Peace in Difficult Times and the Anti-Terrorism Fatwa. We take this opportunity to share these press releases.
28 May 2010, MINAB Condemns Attacks on Places of Worship

Reports from Pakistan claim that two centres of worship belonging to the Ahmadi/Qadiani sect in Lahore have been attacked. Even though this sect is not regarded as belonging to the fold of Islam by the majority of Muslims in the world, it is the belief of MINAB that all places of worship should be safe from any such attack, no matter to which faith or group they belong.

The Chair of MINAB, Maulana Shahid Raza, OBE, has condemned the attacks. “It is a human right to be able to worship in peace and security, so any attack on a place of worship is abhorrent,” he said. “It is hoped that such sectarianism does not raise its head in Britain.”
The message from MINAB is that Britain’s mosques should be places of safety for all who attend them, and Muslims must respect all other places where people gather for religious purposes.

The Christian Muslim Forum echoes this message that Christians and Muslims, and their places of worship, should be safe from each other and that people of other religions and those of no faith should all be respected and valued as God’s creations.

The Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) is the representative body of all UK Muslim denominations set up to promote good governance in Mosques and Imam Training Institutions through a process of self regulation. It has over six hundred mosques and training institutions as its members. It is a community led independent body, non sectarian in its outlook, representing the diversity of Islam with no role in matters of theology and is broad based with an accountable system of representation.
Press Release from Allama Inayat Ali Shakir, Chairman Tehrik-e-Akhuwat-e-Islami Pakistan and Interfaith Dialogue Committee
Islamabad: Chairman Tehrik-e-Akhuwat-e-Islami Pakistan and Interfaith Dialogue Committee and prominent Shia scholar Allama Inayat Ali Shakir has strongly condemned the terrorist attacks on the worship places of Ahmadiyyas in Lahore in which hundreds of Ahmadiyyas were killed and several injured and termed it an attempt to destabilize the country and worsen the law and order situation.
He was talking to a delegation of Ulemas of different faiths, who called on him in the central secretariat of Tehrik-e-Akhuwat-e-Islami (T.A.I) Islamabad. Allama Shakir said that Islam is a universal religion and guaranteed the protection of rights of all minorities, therefore the minorities in Pakistan have been given complete rights according to law. “Any religion of the world does not permit to assassinate the innocent people and attacks of worship places of other faiths”, he added and said that terrorists have no religion and enemies of entire humanity.
He said that incidents of terrorism on one hand are an attempt to defame the image of the country, while on other hand its object is to sabotage the efforts made for the promotion of interfaith harmony. Allama Shakir said that it is not only the responsibility of government to curb terrorism and extremism but the Ulemas and religious scholars should also play their active role for the elimination of this menace along with government functionaries.
He maintained that it is the dire need of hour to promote interfaith harmony, peace and religious tolerance in the country. “Government should initiate high-level inquiry to probe into the matter of Lahore blasts and unveil this conspiracy and brought the culprits to book and give them exemplary punishment, who are allegedly involve in this heinous crime” he demanded. Allama Shakir expressed sympathy and solidarity with the bereaved families and prayed for the early recovery of injured.