In the recently published Islamabad Declaration, hundreds of senior Muslim imams in Pakistan pledged their ardent support of Asia Bibi, the Christian woman and mother of five who radical Islamists still demand to see executed for her alleged blasphemy against Muhammad.

The declaration was signed over the weekend during the “Seerat-e-Rehmat-ul-Alameen (SAW) Conference” a gathering of moderate and pacifist Muslims seeking to end the barbarism and violence marring their religion. In it, terrorists such as those who rioted in protest after Bibi’s acquittal were publicly rebuked for using religious means to achieve grisly political ends.

The document mentioned Asia Bibi, who remains in grave danger in spite of her release from death row, by name. They urged the Pakistani Supreme Court, which ruled in Bibi’s favor in her final appeal before her execution, to settle the matter once and for all as “a priority.”

The Islamabad Declaration, according to Asia News, was comprised of seven key points. The first wholeheartedly denounced any and all murders that are committed “on the pretext of religious belief,” which its authors and signatories affirm are “against the teachings of Islam.” 

The News International reports that points three and four state:

“3) Any Islamic sectarian group could not be declared as infidel. Any Muslim or non-Muslim could not be declared as doomed to death extra-judicially. Faithful of all the religions and religious sects have constitutional rights to live in the country as per their cultural and religious norms.”

In a country such as Pakistan where blasphemy against the Muslim prophet Muhammad is a capital offense, this point is truly groundbreaking.

“4) A complete ban should be ensured on use of loudspeakers except Azan and Juma sermons. People of any religion and religious sects can arrange their congregations with consent of local administration.”  

Point four seems to allude to the paralyzing protests the nation erupted into after the news of Bibi’s acquittal first broke, many of which featured rabid use of megaphones to chant slurs and death threats against Bibi.

The declaration’s fifth point also called for the confiscation of any literature inciting religious hatred or violence.

Point six declared that “it is the responsibility of the government to ensure protection of life and property of non-Muslims living in Pakistan.” 

The bold signatories demanded that the Pakistani government make a massive shift to take the safety and liberty of non-Mulsim religious minorities exponentially more seriously than it currently does.

2019, they hope, will be the year “to annihilate terrorism, extremism and sectarian violence from Pakistan.”

Date published: 13/01/2019
Written by: Alyssa Duvall
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