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February 24, 2020

Scholars stress need to create unity to ensure peace in world as International Seerah Conference ends

Karachi

 
February 24, 2020

The Government of Pakistan is committed to fully cooperating with all the efforts being made in every part of the world to establish peace and security, said University of Karachi acting vice chancellor Prof Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi on Sunday.

He said that in this scenario KU has taken a positive initiative by organising the International Seerah Conference 2020, which reflects the university’s efforts for promoting peace on national and international levels.

He was addressing the concluding ceremony of the two-day conference, which was held at the Professor Salimuzzaman Siddiqui Auditorium, International Centre for Chemical & Biological Sciences, KU.

The theme of the conference was ‘Prophetic Teachings: Peace, Coexistence & Reconciliation’, and it was organised by the Seerat Chair, Faculty of Islamic Studies, KU. Over 40 research papers were presented during the programme.

“I assure you that this Seerah Conference is in line with the policy of the Government of Pakistan relating to sustainable domestic, regional and global peace,” said Iraqi.

He said the world does not need atomic or biological or chemical weapons but joint efforts to fight against social problems such as poverty, hunger, illiteracy and injustice to bring durable peace in the world.

“We should have the ability to listen to others’ points of view as well as understand and accept them regardless of not agreeing with them,” he also said, adding that societies, particularly youngsters, should focus on getting knowledge and not give up the learning process.

Good memories

Prof Dr Ioan Dura from Romania said he will return to his country with lots of good memories and after making many friends during a very short stay in Karachi. He said he would like to invite the faculty members of KU to Romania so that the message of interfaith harmony could be spread easily.

Warm welcome

Prof Dr Michal Valco from Slovakia said he was touched by the warm welcome he and other foreign scholars received on the campus, adding that such dialogues and moots are essential in strengthening interfaith harmony. He also said he made a lot of new friends during his stay in the city.

Unity for peace

Earlier, Sahibzada Moazzam Qureshi, who is a member of the board of trustees of many mosques, religious institutions and schools in Pakistan and abroad, said if we ponder a little, it becomes clear that life’s interdependence underlies all human activities of both groups — big or small — so we need to create unity to ensure peace in the world.

He said that the smallest unit is family, which consists of parents and kith and kin, and there exist high feelings of confidence and sense of service among them.

“We must replicate the same practices at societal level so that we can treat each and every member with equality and respect. Such practices strengthen society and result in an egalitarian system, which becomes critical for the growth of the country.”

Fatal weapons

Dr M Akram Sharif, the conference’s coordinator, feared that today we live in a very highly advanced technological world; even after large-scale destructions during World War II, most of the technological advancements focus on producing more and more sophisticated fatal weapons, and millions of human lives can be turned into ashes within minutes.

“A part of technological advancements is sincerely and skilfully engaged in minimising diseases, ailments and health risks to humans,” he said. Researchers, scientists and scholars from different parts of this planet, with different religions and beliefs, associated with the fields of health and medicine, have discovered during the past several decades surprising remedies that have eliminated some grave diseases in human societies, he added.

Unique personalities

Dr Seema Manzoor of KU’s Centre of Excellence for Women’s Studies said that the social structure of our society is designed on the basis of different elements and characteristics, which are unique in nature, and every individual possesses a unique personality.

She said that these humanly attributes are meant to lay the foundation of a society having ethical and moral values based on loyalty, sincerity, tolerance, peace and harmony. Among these characteristics, tolerance is of prime importance, as today’s world has become a smaller place due to globalisation, she added.

“People from different religions, backgrounds and cultures bear different lifestyles, but they share some common socio-economic attributes, thus making the world more diverse and multi-cultural. Sharing common cultural characteristics establishes and fosters a more tolerance-oriented and harmonious society.”

She said that all religions promote tolerance, and respecting every religion is the key for maintaining an equitable society. It should be considered a basic right of every human to enjoy the freedom to worship according to their religious faith because this can lead to a society having fewer conflicts and battles, she added.

“Islam teaches us all to enjoy religious freedom within the context of tolerance and peace. Islam teaches us to practise it rather than just praise it.”

Coexistence

Pakistan Air Force Wing Commander Nasir Majeed said that the underlying principle of the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims is coexistence. He said Islam teaches us tolerance, humanity and humbleness to maintain peace and harmony in societal life and within the state.

He also said history shows that under Islamic rule, non-Muslim communities were allowed full protection and opportunity to thrive in life. In today’s world, growing unrest and divisions along racial, ethnic and religious lines across the globe are sounding the alarm for human civilisation, he added.

“Even developed countries with socio-economic advancement have failed to sustain equitable societies that provide mutual respect and harmony among nations and different groups to coexist peacefully. Humanity will soon realise that the principles lain down by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) guarantee coexistence with justice and wisdom in this age of globalisation and the future.”

He said the assessment of Islamic attitude towards coexistence is deemed significant. Unfortunately, not only has establishing peaceful coexistence now become a challenge in the world but several Muslim countries are suffering from internal conflict and resistance, he added.