April 4, 2013

Christian Houses Burnt Over Blasphemy
Cordoba Initiative's Statement on Burning of Christian Homes in Pakistan, March 2013

It is with sad hearts that we mourn the burning of the homes of our Christian brothers and sisters in Pakistan this past weekend. Such violence can never be justified, and the targeting of innocents is a tragedy for all of Pakistan.

As Muslims we must remember that even if we perceive someone to be hostile towards us or our faith, the Qur’an is very clear that violence is never an acceptable response: “And let not the hatred of some people in shutting you out of the Sacred Mosque lead you into transgression and hostility on your part.” (Qur’an 5:2) As Imam Feisal wrote recently, Pakistan must champion Islam as a religion of peace and not allow a handful of extremists to define it for all Muslims; such extremists confuse ordinary Muslims into thinking that Shari’ah law is about punishment rather than about promoting harmony and human flourishing.

We hope and pray that the afflicted families will receive every assistance as they rebuild their lives in the wake of this tragedy, and that their assailants be brought to justice. As Imam Feisal recently said, “We can’t do enough to combat the militancy that you see in Muslim countries in various parts of the world against their fellow countrymen who are Christian.”

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