03/21/2008, 00.00
PAKISTAN

Christians and Muslims together against violence in Faisalabad

by Qaiser Felix
On the occasion of Muhammad’s birthday, which fell in the middle of Holy Week, the Diocesan Commission for Interfaith Dialogue and the Ulama Council met to condemn violence done in the name of religion.

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) – Christians and Muslims jointly demanded peace and mutual respect, rejecting all forms of intolerance and violence tied to religion. The demand came as they gathered together on Tuesday to celebrate the birthday of Muhammad, which this year fell in the middle of Holy Week. The meeting was organised by the Diocesan Commission for Interfaith Dialogue and the Ulama Council for Interfaith Dialogue.

“We are doing whatever we can do and will continue interfaith dialogue and activities for interfaith harmony and a peaceful society,” said Mgr Joseph Coutts, bishop of Faisalabad.

He noted that Christians and Muslims have to be aware of what is happening at home and abroad. They must understand the current situation which requires communication and dialogue on everyone’s part. To avoid tragedies we must act with calm and great care.

Sayyad Muhammad Zacheriah, president of the Ulama council, said no religion teaches violence, hate and war but that there are some evil forces who are targeting Islam and Christianity. We must be united to fight them.

For the Muslim clergyman, blasphemy against Muhammad and Christ should be equally condemned, and the government should make sure that there are no more humiliating caricatures about the prophet.

Lastly, Fr Aftab James Paul, director of the Diocesan Commission for Interfaith Dialogue in Faisalabad, said: “We are here to show social harmony and solidarity to each other, and peace lovers should be happy to see us united” to fight those who would like to see us divided by dark interests.

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