Now is the time to take action on peace, say Bamyan community leaders

30 Jun 2016

Now is the time to take action on peace, say Bamyan community leaders

BAMYAN - The role of Islamic scholars in the promotion of social harmony was the topic of a UNAMA-backed radio roundtable broadcast throughout central Bamyan province.   

Sadiq Aliyar, one of the panelists and head of the provincial high peace council, told listeners that religious scholars are an influential segment of society who can play a significant role in restoring and maintaining peace.

“Religious scholars can change the behavior of people through their preaching and awareness-raising activities,” said Mr. Aliyar, noting that peace is the only option for progress in Afghanistan.

“The survival of our country depends in our actions now, and this is the time we need act,” he said. “We need to decide now what kind of place we want to leave for our children.”

Bamyan province is home to a sizeable population of the Hazara ethnic group, along with Pashtuns and other ethnicities. Historically, the province was an important trading route linking Europe with the Far East.

A fellow panelist, Mawlavi Sher Ahmad Masroor – a religious scholar and professor at Bamyan’s government-run Islamic school -- said that Islam contains clear messages on non-violence and peace, and does not allow, under any circumstances, innocent people to be harmed.

“I believe the acts of violence and killings [in the country] are due to ignorance of the true teachings of Islam,” he said, calling on fellow scholars to take action to support peace in Afghanistan. “Those people who preach violence are not Islamic scholars at all.”

The roundtable was broadcast on Radio Bamyan – understood to be the first independent radio station in Afghanistan established in 2002 – to an estimated audience of 80,000 people.

UNAMA is mandated to support the Afghan Government and the people of Afghanistan as a political mission that provides good offices; promotes coherent development support by the international community; supports the process of peace and reconciliation; monitors and promotes human rights and the protection of civilians in armed conflict; promotes good governance; and encourages regional cooperation.