Islamabad - Around 30 prominent religious scholars issued a fatwa on Saturday declaring suicide attacks haram and armed struggle against the state in the name of enforcing of Shriah law against the spirit of Islamic teachings.

The religious scholars of all sects met at the Islamic Research Centre of International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) and endorsed the operation Zarb-e-Azb and Raddul Fasad against saboteurs and terrorists.

In the six-point Fatwa issued here, the religious scholars also supported the state efforts to eliminate terrorism in the country and concurred that it was the only domain of state to announce jihad.

Mufti Rafi Usmani read the fatwa before releasing it to the media, Prof Dr Abdul Qudoos Sohaib, Chairman Islam Studies Department Bahauddin Zakariya University, said while talking to The Nation.

The religious scholars also agreed that it was the jurisdiction of the court to decide about an act against an individual if he or she commits blasphemy. “However, the law does not allow anyone to take the law into his or her hands neither could be allowed to establish a parallel judicial system to dispense justice. It the duty of the religious scholars to issue any order regarding a blasphemous act, but it the responsibility of the court to decide about a profane act,” the fatwa said.

The huddle also agreed that the basic purpose of universities in the country is to provide education and all private and public sector universities will eschew from prompting militancy, hatred, extremism and violence through their curricula.

“And if any individual or institution is involved in any such activity, then it is the responsibility of the government and state institutions to take action against it with evidence,” it said.

The fatwa also said that ‘ideological jihad’ and administrative measures are essential to contain extremist tendencies.

“People of such mindset do not deserve any reprieve,” it said.

The statement said that every school of thought and sect has the right to preach its beliefs as per the law but, according Islamic teachings and law of the country, no one is allowed to spread hatred, verbally or written against any individual, sect or institution. The religious scholars also announced that the use of force in the name of Sharia, armed struggle against state and all forms of terrorism are ‘haram’ and such acts are weakening the country and favouring anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan forces.

“The operation Zarb-e-Azb and Raddul Fasad have been initiated to curb the menace of terrorism and the religious leadership assures full support to make the national strategy against such forces a success,” it said.

According to the fatwa, it was also agreed that the religious scholars stand by the fatwa issued against suicide attacks and it has been issued by representatives of different sects in the line of Sharia teachings.

The fatwa also declared that armed struggles based on ethnic, regional, religious and regional grounds are against Shariah and are motivated to damage the national unity.

“So it is the responsibility of state to take strict action against all such groups”.

The religious leadership also proposed to include ethics of disagreement in the syllabus of all public and private educational institutes.

The fatwa was signed, among others, by Mufti Mohammad Raffi Usmani, Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, Maulana Mohammad Hanif Jalhandahri, Mufti Mohammad Naeem, Prof Dr. Abdul Qudoos, Maulana Mohammad Afzal Haidri and others.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 28-May-2017 here.