300 Islamic scholars attend 3-day conference to tackle extremism
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|Wed, 03-09-2011 - 2:14pm|
"300 Islamic scholars attend 3-day conference to tackle extremism
(AFP, March 8, 2011)
Islamabad, Pakistan - Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday sought Muslim scholars' help in curbing extremism and urged the country's youth to follow Islamic teachings of tolerance and peace.
Gilani's appeal came after suspected militants gunned down his lone Catholic minister Shahbaz Bhatti in broad daylight in Islamabad last week.
Minorities Affairs Minister Bhatti, 42, who was an outspoken campaigner against Pakistan's Islamic blasphemy laws, died in a hail of bullets as he left his mother's home on Wednesday.
Bhatti's murder came months after Punjab provincial governor Salman Taseer, a liberal politician and opponent of the blasphemy law, was shot dead by one of his police bodyguards, who was hailed as a hero by religious groups.
The minister's assassination last week rekindled international fears about extremist violence in Pakistan, a crucial ally in the US-led war in Afghanistan.
"The country's present situation demands that we follow the life of the Prophet Mohammad, who taught us tolerance and brotherhood," Gilani told a conference of Muslim scholars.
Some 300 Islamic scholars from Pakistan and abroad are attending the privately arranged three-day conference aimed at hammering out a strategy to end extremism in the country.
"Today we need to follow the true message of tolerance and understanding preached and practiced by the Holy Prophet," Gilani told the participants."
This is heartening to read. I hope these people are not also at risk for losing their lives, for speaking out! :smileysurprised: We need more religious leaders *and* believers speaking out to live in tolerance, peace and mutual respect. Everywhere. Including my own country, the U.S., where we have laws to protect us from religious domination and theocracy, but other countries do not...and people are suffering and dying every day.