PESHAWAR, April 24: Principal Officer of the US Consulate in Peshawar, Michael A. Spangler, has said that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the United States and his country is eager to promote Islam’s message of peace and justice.
“We stretch our hands to you in friendship and peace on this auspicious day, the birthday of the Holy Prophet (pbuh)”, he said while speaking at a function held here on Sunday. The function was arranged in connection with Eid Milad-un-Nabi by the US Consulate, Peshawar in collaboration with Jamia Ashrafia, Peshawar.
He said: “The message of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) has strengthened the ideas of democracy, tolerance and moderation in my own thinking and action. I beg all of you Muslims to help me understand the message of Islam more clearly. Please condemn acts of terrorism and stand up for the message of peace and justice that the Holy Prophet has taught.”
He said the US would extend all possible help and assistance to the MMA government in the NWFP to empower and improve lives of people.
Provincial Minister for Local Governments Sardar Mohammad Idris, in his keynote address, said: “We don’t believe in clash of civilisations; rather we wish harmony and cohesion among different world civilisations. We should come closer to each other. This process of nearness can help us understand each other.”
We should follow in the footprints of the Holy Prophet who preached peace, tolerance against barbarism, ignorance and injustice, the minister said. He praised Mr Spangler for arranging a graceful and solemn function on Eid Milad-un-Nabi. He also lauded US’s support for the MMA government in various fields.
The function opened with a few verses from the Holy Quran by Hafiz Asad. Moshin Siddiqui, a student of Peshawar Model Degree College, mesmerised the participants by reciting a Naat and its English rendering. Seven years old Hafiz Behrullah recited verses from the Holy Quran and received applause from the audience. Kaval Kumar, 18-year-old student of St John School, paid glowing tributes to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) by reading out a Naat in his melodious voice.
Mufti Kifayatullah, spokesman for MMA, in his thought-provoking speech said the Muslims, like other nations, should also be viewed as broadminded people. He said: “We believe in Bible as a divine book, Christ and Moses as Prophets of Allah like Muhammad (pbuh). Even we name our children after Christ and Moses. People from other religions should follow us”.
The Muslims were crying for peace and tolerance, he said and added that other nations with power and modern technology had the key to peace and could bring it into the world by listening to the Muslims’ cry, because they are not violent or aggressive.