Leaders of Different faiths stress need for interfaith harmony & sustained engagement to defeat vested interests

Muslim, Christian, Hindu and Sikh leaders forged unity and condemned the desecration of the Holy Quran in the strongest possible words in “Ihtiram-e-Mazahib Conference” organized under the banner of Directorate of Interfaith Relations of Minhaj-ul-Quran International and Muslim-Christian Dialogue Forum in the MQI’s Secretariat in Lahore yesterday. The Conference was presided over by Faiz-ur-Rehman Durrani, Amir of MQI, while Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi, Secretary General of MQI, was the guest of honour on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi said that the reprehensible act of Terry Jones has highlighted yet again the need of legislation at the international level so that the repeat of such heinous acts could be checked through effective measures and none should dare do any such thing in future. He said that civilizations and religions need to forge unity in their ranks and promote dialogue to defeat the like of Terry Jones who tried to damage efforts being made for interfaith harmony in the world. He said that MQI would continue to play it due role in this regard.

Father James Chanan coordinator of United Religions Initiative (URI) Pakistan said that Terry Jones is a self-declared priest and the Christian community does not accept him as a Pastor. He said that the desecration of the Holy Quran is a criminal act, which needs to be condemned at every level. The followers of the Christian religion, he added, take a strong exception to his act. He said that the teachings of Christ are based on peace, love and harmony and a true follower of this religion cannot even think of committing such a horrible crime.

Father Francis Nadeem, Coordinator of National Council for Interfaith Dialogue (NCID), said in his talk that Terry Jones is not a Christian but a terrorist and every follower of Christian community condemns his act in the strongest possible words.

Akram Masih, Member of National Assembly (MNA) from minorities, said on the occasion that Terry Jones is a self-styled Pastor who deals in furniture on internet. He has nothing to do with Christianity. He further said that some vested interests cannot spoil the global peace and harmony in the world.

Reverend Dr. Majeed Abel said in his talk that the forces of evil want to play the followers of different religions against one another but they are destined to fail. He said that Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri is ambassador of peace and the conduct of such conferences would promote the culture of tolerance and harmony in the world. He said that the Christian community does not have anything to do with the idiots such as Terry Jones who is a disciple of Satan. He demanded of the international authorities to indict him on charges of international terrorism.

Bishop Pervaiz Joseph Chairman Christian Wing Central of International Peace Council (IPCIH), Bishop Zaman Masih Anjum President Ever Green Church Ministries in Pakistan, Reverend Joseph C. Lal Chairman National Christian College of Prayer & Worship (NCC), Reverend Chaman Sardar Masih & Dr Kanwal Feroz said in their speech that the act of Terry Jones intended to create fissures and conflict between two religions, which the peace-loving people have foiled. He stressed the need of sustained dialogue amongst civilizations and religions in the interest of global peace and welfare of humanity. He asked the international community to move against the likes of Terry Jones and make an example out of them.

Ijaz Chaudhry, vice president of Tehreek-i-Insaaf, said in this speech that Terry Jones has committed heinous act, which has attracted condemnation from around the world. He demanded that Terry Jones must be tried in the International Court of Justice.

Speaking on the occasion, Rai Muzammil Hussain, President of PPP Ulama Council, said that Terry Jones is an enemy of humanity and a representative of extremist mindset and fundamentalism. He further said that there is no need to worry as people like Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri are present to frustrate the designs of such elements. He said that Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri is working to bring civilizations together on the shared agenda of human welfare, peace and interfaith dialogue.

Hindu leader Pandit Baghit Lal Ji, said in his speech that the Hindu community blasts the sacrilege of the Holy Quran and highlights the need of enhanced engagement among religions for future of humanity. He said that Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri is a second name of love and peace and his community values the efforts he is making for promotion of peace in the world

Pir Athar-ul-Qadri, central leader of Tahaffuz-e-Namoos-e-Risalat, said that Terry Jones would not be able to escape Divine Wrath and demanded of the US government to take strict action against him.

G.M. Malik Chief Coordinator Muslim Christian Dialogue Forum, Sayyid Ali Ghazanfar Kararvi, Dr Badar Munir Saifi; President Ulama o Mashaikh Wing PPP, Hafiz Ghulam Farid Deputy Director Interfaith Relations of MQI, Mirza Ayub Baig; Tanzim Islami, Sayyid Noubahar Shah; Pakistan Shia Political Party, Mehdi Hassan of Jamia-tul-Muntazar, Amjad Hussain Raheemi; leader of JUI-F, Aslam Pervez Masih of PML-Q, Sayyid Tahir Sajjad Kazmi and other leaders also spoke on the occasion.

Allama Muhammad Husain Azad, Raja Jamil Ajmal; Director Foreign Affairs of MQI, Jawad Hamid, Yuel Bhatti; Executive Secretary URI Pakistan, Tahir Malik of National Peace Committee, Pastor Malik Javed Masih, Pastor Noor Masih, Pastor Francis Emunal of International Gospel Mission, Reverend Barber George, Pastor Shahzada Khurram, elder Javed Khan, Ch. Riasat Khokhar of PML-Q, and other personalities were participated.

Text of Resolution - Ihtiram-e-Mazahib Conference

Ihtiram-e-Mazahib Conference organized under the banner of Directorate of Interfaith Relations of Minhaj-ul-Quran International and Muslim-Christian Dialogue Forum drew a broad-based participation from the leading figures of Muslim, Christian, Sikh and Hindu communities. Those who attended the moot included Faiz-ur-Rehman Durrani, Amir of MQI, Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi, Secretary General of MQI, Father James Channan of UR International, Dr Badar Munir Saifi, Pastor Chaman Sardar, G.M. Malik, Mirza Ayub Baig, Noubahar Shah, Reverend Joseph C. Lal, Reverend Dr. Majeed Abel, Dr Kanwal Feroz, Amjad Hussain Raheemi, leader of JUI-F, Sayyid Tahir Sajjad Kazmi, Bishop Rafan Masih, Pastor Malik Javed Masih, Mehdi Hassan of Jamia-tul-Muntazar, Tahir Malik of National Peace Committee for National Peace, Ijaz Chaudhry, vice president of Tehreek-i-Insaaf, Pastor Francis Emunal of International Gospel Mission, Francis Nadeem, Coordinator of Interfaith Dialogue, Pastor Noor Masih, Bishop Pervez Joseph, Reverend Baber George, Pastor Shahzada Khurram, Akram Masih, member of National Assembly from minorities, Javed Khan of Naulakha Church, Aslam Masih Pervez of PML-Q, Ch. Riasat Khokhar.

The participants unanimously adopted a Resolution on the occasion.

Unanimous Communiqué of the Conference

  1. The leaders of all faiths strongly condemn the desecration of the Holy Quran at the hands of so-called Pastor Terry Jones in the U.S. State of Florida.
  2. Such acts are designed to damage global peace and an environment of harmony and understanding among the followers of different religions.
  3. The participants demand of the U.S., U.N., and international human rights organizations to legislate without any further delay to stem the repeat of such acts.
  4. The sacrilege of the founders of all religions and desecration of the holy Books should be declared as criminal offence and the government of Pakistan should play effective role at the international forum.
  5. The followers of all religions especially the members of the Christianity community living in Pakistan have unanimously condemned this act and demonstrated solidarity with the Muslims. The Muslims express their tribute to them for their clear-cut stand.
  6. The participants also condemned the desecration of Bible and other Christian symbols by some malicious elements in Pakistan.
  7. The Conference asks the UN to try Terry Jones on the charges of violation of the UN charter, violation of human rights and terrorism so that repeat of such acts is checked.
  8. The participants also condemn the killing of Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti and demand of the government of Pakistan to bring his killers to justice.