Clerics may join MMA’s drive against madrassas ordinance
Give government until June 28 to accept demands, else face countrywide protest
By Amir Nafees
LAHORE: The religious clerics gathered on the platform of the ‘Ittehad Tanzeemat Madaris Dinya Pakistan’ (ITMDP) – an alliance of national religious institutions – may join hands with the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) against the expected ordinance on the registration of madrassas.
Sources told Daily Times on Sunday that the clerics would first try to ‘persuade’ the government to revise its decision on the registration of madrassas and in case of a negative response would join with the MMA.
The ITDMP had earlier announced June 28 as ‘Yaum-e-Tahaffaz-e-Madaris-e-Dinya’ – a day for the protection of religious institutions.
Sources said that if the government did not demonstrate any ‘flexibility’ in its attitude towards religious institutions before this deadline, a countrywide protest movement would be launched.
A senior cleric told Daily Times on condition of anonymity that although the ulema did not want to make the ordinance a ‘political issue’, the chances of joining hands with the MMA could not be ruled out.
Another cleric said that the ulema running the madrassas did not want any conflict with the government, but if the government took any action dictated by ‘its foreign masters’, they (the ulema) would have no option.
He said the ulema believed in peace, but if necessary, would launch a nation wide protest campaign.
In the first phase, the ulema will launch protest campaigns from mosques and will tell people about the ‘malign intentions of anti-Muslim elements’. In the second phase, the people will be asked to come out into the streets to register their protest, as well as to force the government to revise its decision.
When MMA insiders were contacted, they said that so far they had not been contacted by any of the religious institutions, adding that if they wished to join hands with the MMA, the alliance’s central leadership would make a final decision.