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June 20, 2009

Ulema in Britain reaffirm support for Army action

LONDON: Influential Sunni Ulema of Britain’s 2 million strong Muslim community have appealed to the Pakistan Army to continue the Operation Rah-e-Raast till the obliteration of the Taliban and their al-Qaeda supporters.

The unequivocal support for the military action against the Taliban came at a reference organised in the Central Mosque Brent to pay tribute to esteemed religious scholar Dr Sarfaraz Naeemi, who embraced martyrdom after being killed by a Taliban suicide bomber at Jamia Naeemia in Lahore, sacrificing his life to uphold the tolerant and peaceful teachings of Islam. The outspoken anti-Taliban cleric never shied from criticising the Taliban for bringing Islam into disrepute and for killing innocent Pakistani citizens and attacking the Pakistani defence institutions through their campaign of violence and intimidation. Dr Naeemi played a key role in facilitating the consensus of Sunni ulema against the Taliban’s version of Islam and declared suicide bombings as un-Islamic and anti-Pakistan.

The Ulema said that there was little doubt that Taliban were working at the behest of the enemies of Pakistan, who wanted to break up Pakistan by destroying its culture based on harmony and coexistence and everything else that is dear to Pakistan and symbolizes Pakistan as a diverse and multicultural nation.

The founder of Ahl-e-Sunnat Jamaat Syed Abdul Qadir Jeelani said that the Pakistan Army was bound under Islam’s teachings on Jihad to continue its campaign against the terrorists until they either throw down their weapons or surrender. Jeelani said that those who had taken up weapons against Pakistan’s defence forces were violating the Islamic law and Pakistan’s Constitution.

Jeelani said those politicians and parties urging the Army to stop operation against the militants never asked the militants to stop their anti-Pakistan activities. These politicians, he said, were silent when Taliban were blowing up schools and shrines of revered Muslim saints.

Peer Munawar Hussain Jamaati said Dr Naeemi believed in the unity of Muslims and a strong Pakistan and sacrificed his life for his principles.

Allama Syed Zahid Hussain Rizvi said the Sunni Ulema were fully endorsing the Fatwa against Taliban’s treason because their mission was to destroy Pakistan and its ideological foundations. He said some of the religious parties today supporting Taliban historically opposed the creation of Pakistan and they needed to be exposed.

The chair of British Muslim Forum, which represents over 500 Sunni mosques in the UK, Peer Habib-ur-Rehman, told The News that change was coming in the attitude of Pakistanis and they were now seeing Taliban as the biggest threat confronting Pakistan at the moment. He said the killing of Dr Naeemi should come as a wake up call to all Pakistanis.

Allama Bostan Qadri, the leader of the Confederation of Sunni Mosques, said that the Pakistan Army had assured the masses by finally starting a clean up operation against the terrorists who challenged the writ of the state and worried Pakistanis all over the world.

Hundreds of ulema and representatives of dozens of Sunni organisations attended the conference from all parts of the UK. Through different resolutions, the participants fully supported the civilian and military government in its efforts against Taliban terrorists. They appreciated Pakistan’s armed forces for bravely taking up the challenge and rendering the supreme sacrifice of the lives of hundreds of soldiers in the way of defending Pakistan. They also demanded of the government to provide security to religious scholars and mosques opposed to the Taliban’s version of Islam.