KARACHI (AFP) – More than 50 senior Pakistani Muslim clerics have publicly declared that suicide bombings and attacks on ordinary citizens and places of worship are un-Islamic, a senior cleric said.
“The decree was issued against the killing of innocent people through bomb blasts or suicide bombing, which have killed thousands of people in Pakistan in the past few years,” prominent Sunni cleric Muneebur Rehman told AFP on Wednesday.
“Too many people have been killed in mosques and through target killings in the name of Islam,” Rehman said.
The decree has been signed by clerics of all the major Muslims sects including Sunni and Shiite, he added.
Thousands of Shiite and Sunni Muslims had been killed in Pakistan in sectarian violence through bomb blasts, suicide bombing and in targeted killings.
“This decree will help bring sanity at least in Pakistan, as it has jointly been signed by clerics who matter,” Federal Minister for State for Religious Affairs, Aamir Liaquat, told AFP.
“The killing of innocent people in public places in Iraq or in Israel or anywhere else is against Islamic teaching,” he said.
Pakistan’s political and religious parties welcomed the decree, but expressed concern that the groups responsible for creating suicide bombers would not respect it.
“It’s something good, but how effective this decree can be is difficult to predict,” said leading politician Ghafoor Ahmed of the six-party alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal.
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf outlawed both Sunni and Shiite extremist groups in August 2001.