Pakistan’s premier says Rehmatullil Aalamin Authority will comprise scholars from across the world and urges citizens to work with government to counter corruption
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday announced plans to establish a Rehmatullil Aalamin Authority (RAA) to “explain Islam” to the world and educate Pakistan’s youth on the teachings of Islam’s Prophet.
Addressing a conference to mark the launch of 10-day Eid Miladun Nabi celebrations across Pakistan, Khan said he would personally serve as the patron of the proposed authority. He said the government had launched the search for a competent scholar to head the authority, adding that it would comprise Muslim scholars from across the world.
The RAA, he said, would monitor the effectiveness of Seeratun Nabi material that is being added to the curriculum of schools. It would also, he said, forward recommendations to add teachings of other religions on humanity and inclusivity so both Muslims and non-Muslims could learn the “true spirit” of their respective religions.
According to the prime minister, the RSS would facilitate research at the university-level on the ‘Golden Age of Islam,’ with a focus on the leadership and moral standings of Islamic leaders of yore. “Khalid Bin Waleed was perhaps the greatest general in the world history who had never lost a war. But [Caliph] Hazrat Umar told him to leave the command as he was to appoint someone else as commander,” he said. He said the RAA would also be tasked with monitoring all forms of media to suggest ideas for alternative content that matched the ethos of Islam.
The prime minister’s speech, spanning roughly 55 minutes, comprised his routine reflection of his years abroad, with an emphasis on the differences between Pakistani and Western cultures. “For how long can the government fight corruption alone? A society can fight it because it is the society’s money, which is stolen,” he said, as he lashed out at people “celebrating” allegedly corrupt individuals.
“A man is delivering speeches while sitting in London after looting the public money. When his people will shower flowers on him, then who will consider theft a bad thing. If the society will not fight, then how many corrupts can a government catch?” he said.
Khan reiterated his belief that obscenity was the “second biggest” problem facing Pakistan after corruption and lamented that he was accused of trying to revert society to the dark ages every time he discussed it. Repeating his earlier claims that “sex crimes” were rising across Pakistan, he once again blamed Hollywood and Bollywood for the spread of obscenity in Pakistani society and claimed that this was because there was no formal role for scholars to dissuade youth from such evils.
“What action can the government take against them [rapists]?” he said, noting that many people did not even want to report sexual assaults because of societal pressure. “It is the society which will have to fight the growing sex crime. It is up to the society to make a decision,” he said.
Blaming obscenity for having a negative impact on the makeup of families and society, he urged religious scholars to play their role in “saving” Pakistan’s family system. Regretting that the divorce rate in Pakistan had reached “alarming” levels, he said that his personal experience—Khan is twice divorced and is currently on his third marriage—had taught him that divorce had a very adverse and painful impact on children. “I have seen what destruction is caused by divorce. I have the children. We had divorce. There is no bigger curse than divorce,” he said, adding that it was also regrettable that the government had been forced to enact legislation to put a halt to children expelling their aged parents from their homes.
Urging the media to play its role in shaping societal views, he said this required the imparting of Islamic values. “We cannot stop the expansion of media, social media and technology, but we should engage our youth and tell them about the Islamic values and the two choices they have,” he said, adding that the government would soon launch a cartoon series to create awareness among children on the national ethos and Pakistani culture.