Muslim scholar to issue peace declaration
A prominent Britain-based Muslim scholar announced his plans to issue a historic global peace declaration next week in London, protesting against terrorism and educating the whole world against anti-Muslim racism and xenophobia.
“We want to give the message to the whole of the Muslim world that this is Islam and what it stands for: peace, harmony, tolerance, moderation and love and compassion for humanity,” Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri told ‘The Independent’. “This message will go out all over the world, from coast to coast.”The peace declaration would be announced during the “Peace for Humanity Conference 2011” at Wembley Arena this Saturday.It will call for an end to terrorism and for the protection of human rights in new Arab regimes.It is expected to be signed by major religious and political leaders, including David Cameron and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The announcement celebration would also be attended by Tariq Jahan, whose son was killed in the Birmingham riots.Qadri said the “historic document” was needed a decade after 9/11 to ensure that the Arab Spring became an opportunity for democracy and upholding of human rights. In addition to terrorism condemnation and upholding human rights, the declaration calls for supporting interfaith relations between the Muslim world and the West.“Number one will be the absolute condemnation of terrorism; number two the protection of complete human rights, as it is seen in the Western world and endorsed by the United Nations,” Qadri said.It will also call for “support for the concept of humanity and fraternity between all cultures, religions and human beings”; “democracy and good governance in the Muslim world” and “total ecological and environmental responsibility”.
The influential Pakistani scholar, who lives in Canada, has issued a ‘fatwa’ (edict) last May condemning suicide bombings as a brazen violation of peaceful Islamic tenets. Known for his unequivocal condemnation of terrorism, Sheikh Qadri has issued several fatwas against suicide bombings and violence against innocent people.He is famous for his emphasis on promoting integration and interfaith dialogue to tackle Islamophobia in the West.Among the events planned for the day, the influential scholar would hold the first collective cross-religious peace prayer instigated by a Muslim.“Mankind is burning now in a fire of hatred and fanaticism and aggression and terrorism,” said Sheikh Qadri.“The peace prayer is another way to show that all religions can come together to pray for global peace.”The last collective peace prayer was called by the late Pope John Paul in Assisi a decade ago.These events would help in stretching new bridges between Muslim world and the West. “We want to emphasize education to bring an end to extremism, violence, hatred and racism,” he said.“To educate the Muslim people and youth and at the same time educate the West so that the hatreds are removed.”These connections can only be sustained through condemning xenophobia which mars the West relation with its Muslim population. “We will be condemning every kind of racism and xenophobia and we will support all Muslims living in Western countries to have integration and citizenship and we will condemn isolation,”
Sheikh Qadri added.Muslims in Europe and America have been suffering from bigotry and Islamophobia over the past decade.For example, British Muslims, estimated at nearly two million, have been in the eye of storm since the 7/7 attacks.A’ Financial Times’ opinion poll showed that Britain is the most suspicious nation about Muslims. A poll of the ‘Evening Standard’ found that a sizable section of London residents harbor negative opinions about Muslims.