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November 7, 2018

Islam is religion of peace


November 7, 2018

Islamabad : Dr Marcia Hermansen, Director, the Islamic World Studies Programme, Theology Department, Loyola University, Chicago, US, has said that Islam is a religion of peace and permits Jihad only in defence and as a last resort.

Dr Hermansen was speaking at a Roundtable on ‘Contemporary Muslim Theologians of Non-violence’ organised by Institute of Regional Studies here Tuesday. Dr Hermansen said that according to Islam, human condition in its normal state gravitates toward peace and that inner Jihad was a higher form than the outer Jihad. She referred to lives and ideas of Muslim preachers of non-violence like the venerated Pakistani political leader Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Sudanese activist Mohammad Mahmoud Taha, Thai Muslim scholar Qader Meheideen, Syrian scholar Jawdat Said, Palestinian-American Islamic scholar Mohammad Abu Nimer and American Muslim activist Rabia Terri Harris.

She said that the concepts of non-violence in Islam could be divided into various categories ranging from pacifism/non-violence to activism for peace, conflict resolution and applying just war Islamic jurisprudence in an ongoing conflict.

Explaining the approaches of Islamic advocates of non-violence through Kurzman’s categorisation, Dr Hermansen observed that Islamic advocates of non-violence had adopted the approaches of arguing within the domain of the Sharia for non-violence, carving out new avenues for non-violence in areas where the Sharia was silent, and re-interpreting the existing interpretations of the Sharia. She referred to “new” Islamic theologies of non-violence where non-violence is broadened to include issues of She said that the Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is considered a Prophet of Peace whereas ISIS believes that Islam is the religion of the sword.

Dr referred to the latest judgment of Supreme Court in Blasphemy case saying that the court aptly explained non-violence in Islam. She said that modern law can also be taken as a theology which stands for humanity and non-violence.

She said that violent attitude and recklessness exhibited frequently right from Umayyads, had nothing to do with religion.

Answering a question, she referred to White House support to Afghan Mujahideen. A participant observed that Gen Ziaul Haq and his cohorts promoted violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan when Islamic fighters were collected in Afghanis-tan from the world over and we are still facing ramification of that era.

Dr Rukhsana Qamber, President of IRS, who conducted the proceedings said that the institute presents views of intellectuals and activists without taking any position.

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