03 January 2012
The violence in Pakistan has cost the lives of tens of thousands of Pakistanis and with a growing sense of desperation in the country. Many have felt isolated and have also felt that there is no-one that they can trust to bring peace to their local areas. Muslim and Christian relations which have generally been based on both faith communities quietly getting on with their lives, have been brought to the forefront by attacks against minority communities and faiths. Yet, Pakistan was founded on the strengths of many Muslims and some non-Muslims and many Muslims feel angry that their fellow Pakistanis who happen to be Christians are being targeted by groups who continue to play with their lives. Added to this, many other communities are under threat like the Ahmaddiyah community who have lived in Pakistan and many whom fought for the creation of Pakistan.
Islam is based on core elements that include (i) ensuring that your fellow citizens feels the power of God through your good deeds and actions (ii) ensuring that through the protection of life, one can also find God (iii) by protecting the weak, Muslims can protect the sacred bond that was given to them through the Holy Quran which is to protect those 'People of the Book' who believe in the Divine God. The last element is extremely powerful since there is a direct divine code to protect those Christians and Jews who believe in God. In today's world, this translates into the protection of life (of all life) and the development of a special bond between Muslims and the 'People of the Book - Ahl-e-Kitab.' Indeed, the Quran speaks of the protection of the whole of humanity if 1 life is saved!
With these key tenets in mind, Faith Matters Pakistan developed this Charter of Non-Violence between Christian and Muslim communities. Pakistani Muslims and Christians working within Faith Matters Pakistan developed this charter and ensured that it was signed by key dignitaries, some of whom are listed below. We hope that this charter can be used to inspire people to push back those who hate and to energise those who want to bring peace and stability to Pakistan.
Some of the signatories to this Charter of Non-Violence in Pakistan included:
- Peer Zahid, Dewan, Dargah Hazrat Baba Ganj Shakar (R.A)
- Senator- Malik Hakimeen Khan, Member of the Central Executive Committee of PPP
- Mr.I.A.Rehman, Secretary General, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
- Mr.Samuel Pervez, General Secretary, YMCA, Pakistan
- Mr.Ali Raza Shah, President Rawalpindi Chambers of Commerce, Pakistan
- Miss Aqsa, Deputy Director Pakistan Housing Authority
- Mr.Olif Kailer Kellerhoff, Social Activist from Germany
- Miss.Urooj Khalid Correspondent, AAJ TV, Pakistan
- Mr.Abdul Razaq, Finance Secretary, Jamiyat Ahlehadees Pakistan
- Mr.Syed Hassan Murtaza, Member of Provisional Assembly (MPA)
- Mr.Faheem Gohar, Senior Jounalist, Jang Group Pakistan
- Chan Naseeb, President of the Minhaj Youth League, Mihaj-ul-Quran, Pakistan
In total, Faith Matters Pakistan ensured that 246 dignitaries from Sindh, Balochistan and the Punjab signed the Charter of Non-Violence Between Christians and Muslims in Pakistan.