MQI Workers Convention launches Mawlid campaign

A Workers Convention organised by Minhaj-ul-Quran International Pakistan was held at the central secretariat in Lahore. Leaders and members of MQI from across Pakistan attended the meeting which was held for two primary reasons. Firstly, to assess MQI's response to the caricature issue and secondly to launch the nationwide efforts with regards to Mawlid-un-Nabi and in particular preparations for the annual International Mawlid Conference.

The packed house, once again on behalf of MQI, unanimously condemned the publication of the caricatures in the strongest terms. Speakers appreciated the steps taken by MQI in response to the publication of the blasphemous caricatures. They welcomed the unique approach taken by MQI on the issue which unlike other organisations was much more than just a protest. The integral part of which was the memorandum written by Shaykh-ul-Islam Prof Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri which was posted to the heads of the UN, EU, OIC, UN Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International together with their offices in Pakistan. It was also posted to all heads of states. It was sent to all parliamentarians (MNAs, senators, MPAs), leaders, academics, intellectuals and prominent individuals from all walks of life in Pakistan. The memorandum was published in the majority of Pakistani newspapers particularly in the main national dailies.

The memorandum deals with the fallacy which is being painted over the publication of the caricatures that they were rightly published under the basic human right of freedom of expression. Quoting charters and statutes from Western laws together with statements of world leaders, Shaykh-ul-Islam has proved in this document that although freedom of speech is a basic right, it cannot infringe the basic human rights of other individuals in any way. The dual standards shown in some Western countries on the issue of freedom of expression is also documented.

Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi, Nazim-e-A'ala MQI, addressed the convention making the final speech before that of the telephonic talk by Shaykh-ul-Islam from UK. Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi announced that the Mawlid activities to be arranged by MQI particularly the International Mawlid Conference will continue the efforts in safe guarding the sacred esteemed status of the Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW. He said that the slogan for the mawlid activities will be 'the spread of the love of the Prophet SAW and the safe guarding of his SAW high sacred status'. He emphasised on the importance of doubling our efforts in the propagation of the mission via the 'dawah through cassettes' system and to also use the mawlid activities for this purpose. He said that the aim was to make this year's International Mawlid Conference the largest such event ever held in the sub-continent. His speech motivated the packed house who seemed to be fully satisfied with what they had to hear.

Shaykh-ul-Islam addressed the house by telephone from the UK. He urged everyone to launch a Mawlid Movement throughout Pakistan in the coming few months which would consist of marches, conferences, seminars and any other method which can be used to celebrate the eid of all eids. He said that this year's mawlid conference will have many world renowned scholars and special guests which will make the Conference more special. The house was recharged by just listening to their beloved leader.

The International Mawlid Conference will be held at Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore like it is every year.

The Special guests and world renowned scholars that are as yet confirmed to attend the International Mawlid Conference from outside Pakistan are:

1. Shaykh Assad Muhammad Saeed as-Sagharji (Syria)
2. Shaykh as-Sayyed Habib Umer bin Hafeez (Yemen)
3. Shaykh Sayyed Habib Ali Zain-ul-Abideen al-Jifri (United Arab Emrates)
4. Shaykh Ahmad Babikr as-Sudani (Sudan)
5. Shaykh as-Sayyed Mahmood Abul-Huda al-Husayni (Halab, Syria)
6. Shaykh Yusuf Islam (UK) ' formerly Cat Stevens

There will of course be hundreds of renowned scholars attending the conference from across Pakistan.

Report by Jawed Iqbal Tahiri