Religious scholars attending the two-day International Ulema Conference for Peace and Security in Afghanistan in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday issued a declaration and called on the Taliban to denounce violence and come to the peace talks table.
The scholars from the Islamic world reaffirmed their support for a just, lasting, comprehensive and acceptable resolution of the ongoing war in Afghanistan and called on both the Afghan government and the Taliban to conform to a truce and ceasefire.
They stated that the only way to end the current crisis in Afghanistan and establish durable peace in the war-ravaged Muslim nation was the resumption of the peace process and national reconciliation between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
They also stated that the ongoing violence and killing of innocent people was in contradiction to the teachings of Islam.
The declaration states that the delegates at the summit reviewed the “sufferings endured by the Muslim Afghan people with the shedding of innocent blood, the loss of sacred lives, and the wasting of the Muslim state’s resources in a prevailing environment that is in no way approved by the noble Islamic faith which accords prime value to security and which offers a whole range of texts calling for concerted action to establish peace in the Muslim societies and to encourage reconciliation among Muslims, a reconciliation which Islam places on a high pedestal as a prime act to please Allah, Mighty and Sublime be He.”
Delegates attending the conference issued the following Declaration:
• Afghanistan forms a Muslim state. Its citizens are Muslims whose life is sacrosanct and who all aspire to peace and security, and the perpetrations it has been undergoing in terms of the killings of innocent lives are contrary to the principles and formal teachings of Islam and run counter to the principles of unity, solidarity and social coherence among Muslims.
• We hereby call on Muslim states, organizations and elites to join efforts and pull their weight towards the establishment of peace and security in Afghanistan, using all their potential and influence towards this noble goal to ensure a peaceful and decent life where Muslims cooperate towards building up and developing their nation in harmony with the will of God and His Prophet.
• Based on the texts of the Quran and the Tradition that Islam is a religion of peace and mercy, that the believers should all be merciful towards one another, and that their blood, property and honor are inalienable and should be protected against aggression, we hereby affirm that the suicide attacks targeting innocent people, and that intestine killings among Muslims are all acts that are prohibited by Allah and His Messenger under texts that are conclusively clear and well-established, whereby Allah says “And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his punishment is hell; he shall abide in it, and Allah will send His wrath on him and curse him and prepare for him a painful chastisement.”
• Based on the above we hereby express our condemnation of the intestine killings in Afghanistan and call upon all parties to the conflict to abide by Allah’s injunction, end this strife and resort to reconciliation among brothers and put down the flames of animosity. We call upon Afghanistan’s government and the Taliban movement to conform to a truce and ceasefire and set on a track of direct Afghani negotiations. Reconciling between battling Muslims is one of the greatest and most honored acts of worship, for the spilling of innocent blood is among the greatest sins and an abominable deed that splits the ranks of the Ummah, fragments it and weakens its fabric. We also call on the Taliban Movement to respond to the invitation made by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to eschew violence, end the mutual killings and sit together around the negotiating table.
• We hereby call on Muslims at large, and on the scholars among them in particular, to persist in their fast stand against the advocates of violence and extremism, in defense of their religion and in preservation of their Islamic Ummah’s unity. A national dialogue is the optimal way to end the conflict between the Afghan Government and the Taliban Movement, and the solution to the cause of the Muslim Afghani must particularly go through mutual understanding and direct peaceful negotiations. We, in this respect, endorse and support the recent efforts of the Afghani scholars towards a successful Afghani reconciliation.
Meanwhile, President Ashraf Ghani hailed the declaration issued by the summit delegates, saying Afghanistan welcomes the Ulema’s decision that the war in Afghanistan is a “Fitna” (Rebellion).
“On behalf of Afghanistan I would like to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to the Ulema gathered at the #OICAfghanUlemaConference in Saudi Arabia. I welcome the Ulema's decision that the war in Afghanistan is a "fitna" and has lost its legitimacy,” Ghani tweeted.
The International Ulema Conference on Afghanistan Peace and Security got underway on Tuesday morning in Saudi Arabia - with a 35-member Ulema delegation from Afghanistan led by head of the Ulema Council, Mawlawi Qayamuddin Kashaf, in attendance.
More than 200 representatives from 57 countries and 108 Ulema members from 32 countries attended the summit.
On Tuesday, the OIC called on Afghanistan’s neighboring countries to help Afghanistan reach a peace agreement.
The Saudi government and the OIC jointly organized the two-day event entitled International Conference of Muslim Scholars on Peace and Stability in Afghanistan, which was aimed at supporting efforts to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan and condemn terrorism and violent extremism in all forms and manifestations within the framework of the teachings of Islam.