Religious leaders at an inter religious prayer service in Lahore
Christians have praised an Islamic party for reversing its decision to demand a ban on the Bible.
Julius Salik, convener of World Minorities Alliance has appreciated the solidarity statement. “It is a commendable move by a religious scholar who knows the true teachings of Islam. It is hard to find people working for religious harmony”, said the Islamabad based former federal minister in a press release yesterday.
The welcome reaction came after Maulana Sami Ul Haq, chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, told media that he has censured his party leader, a cleric, for demanding the ban.
“We believe in religious solidarity; I inquired with the person who demanded banning the Holy Bible. All Muslims are obliged to respect Divine books but this also goes for the followers of other religions”, he said on June 13.
Clerics asked the supreme court last month to ban the book under the country’s blasphemy laws. The demand came as a reaction to the burning in the US of a Qur’an, organized by Pastor Terry Jones.
Father Francis Nadeem, patron of the National Council for Interfaith Dialogue, said the party’s decision neither benefits nor harms the cause of interfaith harmony in the country.
“It is withdrawal from a stand which was wrong in the first place. Nobody would have filed the case or put any of the divine books on trial anyway”, he said.
“Jesus Christ is mentioned in the Qur’an as Isa. Any future move against the Bible would be in contradiction to the belief of the majority”, the Capuchin priest added.
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