If Not the UN Charter, Muslim Countries Ought to At Least Follow Their Personal Major Scripture, the Holy Quran, Sultan Shahin Tells UNHRC at Geneva

The Proper to Freedom of Believed and Religion has been an article of faith for the world since the formation of the UN. A lot work has been created to turn it into reality, the most current becoming Resolution 16/18 adopted in 2011. Based as it was on a consensus of Islamic and Western nations, it had specifically raised hopes of minorities in Muslim countries. The assumption was that now member nations would repeal blasphemy and other anti-democratic, sectarian and anti-minority laws.

But nothing at all significantly seems to have changed. A moderate Muslim nation like Indonesia prosecutes a Christian Governor for quoting Quran. One more country Malaysia continues to uphold a ban on Christians employing the word Allah to denote God. Madrasas continue to teach xenophobia and intolerance across the globe, including in the West.

Blasphemy laws continue to be on the statute books, for instance, in Pakistan. Salman Taseer, the liberal Governor of Punjab was murdered merely due to the fact he showed compassion for a Christian lady wrongly accused of blasphemy and asked for the repeal of the blasphemy law. On the basis of this law, religious minorities can be arbitrarily accused of blasphemy and killed, either by a lynch mob or by the judiciary. No evidence is essential, as that would allegedly quantity to accusers becoming asked to blaspheme the Prophet once more. Similarly, attacks on minority Hindu, Christian, Shias and Ahmadis continue below diverse legislations. Pakistani laws prohibit the Ahmadis from identifying themselves as Muslims.

It is time the Council discovered some way to see that the countries that agree to its covenants also practice it.
Such anti-minority legislations not only violate the UN Resolution, but also Islam’s primary scripture. The Holy Quran does not prescribe any punishment for blasphemy. Nor does it permit any a single to declare other people kafir. It clearly says: La Ikraha fid Deen, (There can be no compulsion in religion). (Chapter two: verse 256).

If not the UN Charter, Muslim nations must at least follow their personal major scripture, the Holy Quran.
The Resolution 16/18 was particularly adopted by the Human Rights Council to combat intolerance, damaging stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief. It had evolved as a consensus measure by the two blocs in the council represented by OIC and Group of Western European and other States. Since 2000, OIC had been calling for a resolution castigating Defamation of Religions, while Western nations had opposed this and referred to as for comprehensive freedom of expression.

In the case of Pakistan, the implications of Resolution 16/18 would include not just the repeal of the blasphemy law but also the law declaring Ahmadis as non-Muslims. A secular, democratic government, particularly a single that is a signatory to the UN Charter and a variety of other covenants which includes Resolution 16/18, has no reason to be figuring out who does or does not belong to which religion. This has to be totally the prerogative of the person or neighborhood.

Indeed in Quran Chapter 49, verse14, God talks about those nomadic desert Arabs who have been claiming to have accepted Islamic faith following the Muslim victory at Mecca. They have been told that Faith has not but entered your hearts, but you will be rewarded for your very good deeds. These men and women have been not stopped from practising Islam in any way, though God had Himself testified that Faith had not yet entered their hearts. And right here in Pakistan a single finds a entire community of believing, practising Muslims, being denied their inalienable right to pick their personal religion, basically on account of some marginal theological variations. What offers the Pakistani government the authority to make a decision who is and is not a Muslim? Is that the function of a government? Clearly the passage of consensus Resolution 16/18 and Pakistan agreeing to it has produced no difference to its practices.

Similarly, literature that preaches hate continues to be taught at madrasas and schools in Muslim nations around the planet, including in the West. Saudi Salafi textbooks continue to teach xenophobia to Muslim students the world over. They are told, for instance, that they ought to neither operate for nor employ a non-Muslim, if there are other possibilities. The term non-Muslim, for Saudi textbooks, indicates all non-Salafis, non-Wahhabis, such as Muslims of other sects, especially Sufism-oriented Muslims. Attacks on Sufi shrines like the 1 that occurred lately in Sindh, Pakistan, killing nearly a hundred devotees and injuring 250, is a natural outcome of such teachings.

It will be wrong, nevertheless, to put the whole blame on Salafi-Wahhabi ideology, which no doubt gives an extremist interpretation of Islamic tenets and has been spread around the world with an investment of tens of billions of petrodollars. The truth remains that Mumtaz Quadri, the murderer of Governor Salman Taseer came from a non-Wahhabi Barelvi sect and was incited into his act and promised Heaven in lieu of this murder by a Barelvi Mullah Hanif Qureshi. A shrine has now been built in the outskirts of Islamabad to worship him.

Barelvis are regarded Sufism-oriented and have been the principal victims of Salafi-Wahhabi attacks on Sufi shrines. The half a million folks who thronged the murderer Mumtaz Qadri’s funeral and the tens of thousands who are going to his so-referred to as shrine, nonetheless, are largely from Barelvi sect. They think about Governor Salman Taseer to be a blasphemer and his murderer an Aashiq-e-Rasool, i.e., some one particular who loves the Prophet (pbuh). The reality is Salman Taseer had merely known as for the repeal of this black Blasphemy law. Due to the fact of this law, religious minorities can be arbitrarily accused of blasphemy and killed, either by a lynch mob or by the judiciary. No evidence is essential. Asked to offer proof, the accusers or witnesses ask if they are getting asked to blaspheme the Prophet by repeating the accused’s blasphemy. Therefore no distinct accusation, no debate, no proof is necessary for pronouncing a guilty verdict which invariably implies death sentence. An estimated quantity of 1,274 people have been charged below the blasphemy laws of Pakistan among 1986, from when they were included in the Constitution by Basic Zia-ul-Haq, until 2010. Presently, there are at least 17 individuals convicted of blasphemy on death row in Pakistan, with an additional 19 serving life sentences, according to United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Several have died in custody or on the death row.
Clearly there is extremism of a single sort or another in many Islamic sects and no one certain sect ought to be blamed entirely for the present state of affairs, in spite of the involvement largely of individuals from Salafi-Wahhabi school of believed in the extremist violence being perpetrated around the planet.

It is strange that nations with such hateful practices, in clear violation of UN Charter and UNHRC’s resolutions continue to play an important function in the Council’s deliberations. Clearly there is need to have for each the Muslim governments and the larger international neighborhood to introspect if they have really accepted the consensus Resolution 16/18. If they are committed to it, they need to be concerned about its non-implementation by member-nations, specifically from the OIC block. If absolutely nothing else the UN HRC rapporteurs should be naming and shaming these nations which continue to teach xenophobia and hate in their classrooms. It should not be challenging to bring out Saudi textbooks for students from class VIII to XII, for instance, and inform the planet what is becoming taught not only in Saudi Arabia but across the Muslim globe exactly where Saudis distributes their books for free. Even in the West most mosques and Islamic centres distribute Saudi published Salafi books.

Muslims have no choice but to rethink their theology and bring it in line with the spirit of Islam, the Qur’anic ideals, as nicely as the requirements of life in the globalised, deeply inter-connected 21st-century world. We Muslims want an internally consistent, coherent Islamic theology of peace and pluralism. All of us Muslims should accept that Islam is a spiritual path to salvation, one particular of the numerous, as we have been told in the Holy Quran, and not a totalitarian, fascist ideology of planet domination.

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