CAIRO - Adhering to Islamic principles and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Pakistani Muslims are forming human chains around churches to protect Christian minorities following deadly attacks last September.
Muslims linked their arms to from a symbolic human shield around the church to express their defiance to the extremist forces and solidarity with the minorities, the Express Tribune reported on Sunday, October 6.
Marking the National Day of Prayer and Resistance' worshippers at St Anthony's Church have held prayers on Sunday for the victims, who passed away in the twin suicide blasts in Peshawar, under the protection of Pakistani Muslims.
Organized by 'Pakistan for All', was attended by scores of civil society members, religious scholars, politicians, artists and academics who stood cautious during the prayers in solidarity with Christian community.
Last September, a pair of suicide bombings in the northwestern city of Peshawar killed over 80 and injured nearly 130 people in a packed Church when Christians were performing Sunday's service.
Pakistani Muslim scholars have condemned the attacks, terming it against the teachings of Islam, Qur'an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
A banned group called Jundullah has claimed responsibility for the attacks and its spokesman, Ahmed Marwat, said the attacks were in revenge for the US drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal regions.
He warned that attacks on non-Muslims will continue unless the US stopped drone attacks.
The parliament has also expressed solidarity with the Christian community and sympathized with the bereaved families and prayed for early recovery of the injured.
In 2011, Pakistani-born scholar Sheikh Tahir ul-Qadri issued a fatwa condemning suicide bombings as a brazen violation of the peaceful Islamic tenets.
Christians make up around 3 percent of Pakistan's 180 million people, with the majority of them residing in Punjab, the country's most populous and richest province.
A majority of Christians belong to the low-income bracket and settle in Punjab, the country's largest province, and the southern port city of Karachi.
Appalled by the terror attacks, leading Pakistani scholars have condemned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) support for the attacks on Peshawar's churches.
Taliban's view point that attacks on churches is in line with the principles of Islam is totally wrong and against the teaching of Islam, the scholars' statement was quoted by the Economic Times on Sunday.
"Islam forbids damaging the places of worship of all religions."
Although Taliban (TTP) spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid denied the group's responsibility for deadly Peshawar attacks, he expressed Taliban's acceptance' of the attacks claiming that they were according Islamic Shari`ah.
"Shahid's statement is based on the ideology of terrorists, which has no connection with or roots in Islam. Such a stance is against the Holy Quran and Sunnah," the scholars' statements said.
The scholars added that Taliban used to present a negative image of Islam just to defame the peaceful religion.
Moreover, they urged the Pakistani government to halt peace talks with TTP over their shameful stance.
"If the government holds peace talks with the Taliban, it should also hold dialogues with all prisoners who have committed heinous crimes, they said.
Formed in 2007, the TTP is an umbrella group of various Pakistani militant factions operating in Pakistan's unruly northwestern tribal areas along the porous border with Afghanistan.
It is blamed for many of the suicide bombings across nuclear-armed Pakistan, one of the world's most unstable, but strategically important countries.
Some TTP factions are at war with the Pakistani state while others concentrate on the fight against the United States and its allies in Afghanistan.
TTP founder, Baitullah Mehsud, was killed by a US drone aircraft missile strike in northwest Pakistan in 2009.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net