In joint declaration, religious scholars demand speedy trials, public punishment for all perpetrators of molestation and harassment
Senior ulema of Pakistan on Sunday called on the government and judiciary to ban “all sources” responsible for spreading obscenity and nudity in society.
A joint declaration issued after a meeting chaired by Special Representative to the P.M. on Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Affairs Tahir Ashrafi said that the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the Ministry of Information should ban all websites that contain pornography and nudity, and should also bar the broadcast or sharing of advertisements on social media. Strangely, it appears the ulema are unaware that “pornographic” websites are already under a blanket ban of the PTA and are not accessible from Pakistani internet service providers.
The ulema also condemned the molestation of a minor girl at a madrassa in Rawalpindi, and demanded speedy trials and public punishments for all individuals found guilty of child molestation; harassment; and rape of women and children. Referring specifically to recent well-publicized incidents such as the molestation of a woman at Greater Iqbal Park in Lahore; the murder of Noor Mukaddam; and the harassment of girls traveling in a rickshaw, they said all the perpetrators should be made an example.
Lamenting the rising incidents of child abuse and women harassment across Pakistan, they declaration urged the prime minister and chief justice of Pakistan to take immediate action against the culprits and order their speedy trials. The ulema said all sections of society must play their role to save the morality of Pakistani society, stressing that the rules of sharia were clear for both men and women.
It is obligatory on both men and women to cover themselves properly and avoid obscenity and nudity. Sharia does not allow a man to touch or harass a woman, the declaration added.
Addressing media later, Ashrafi said that any abuse of women or children at madrassas was a crime and should be treated accordingly. The employment or social class of the perpetrator was irrelevant, he added when questioned on the alleged molestation of a minor girl at the Rawalpindi madrassa.
Organized by the Pakistan Ulema Council, the meeting was attended by Maulana Asad Zakaria Qasmi, Syed Ziaullah Shah Bukhari, Maulana Mufti Muhammad Zia Madani, Allama Arif Wahidi, Allama Abdul Haq Mujahid, and Maulana Muhammad Khan Leghari. Maulana Mufti Muhammad Ali Naqshbandi, Maulana Mufti Abdul Sattar, Maulana Abdul Wahab Rupari, Maulana Muhammad Rafiq Jami, Maulana Noman Hashir, Maulana Aslam Siddiqui, Maulana Pir Asadullah Farooq, Maulana Pir Asad Habib Shah Jamali, Maulana Muhammad Shafi Qasmi, Maulana Anwar-ul-Haq Mujahid, Maulana Tahir Aqeel Awan, Maulana Obaidullah Gormani, Mufti Muhammad Omar Farooq, Maulana Abu Bakar Sabri, Maulana Saadullah Shafiq, Maulana Aziz Akbar Qasmi, Maulana Muhammad Ashfaq Potafi, Mufti Hafeez-ur-Rehman, Maulana Hussain Ahmad Maulana Qasim Qasmi and others were also in attendance.