Peace and Education Foundation (PEF) in collaboration with Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) organized one-day national conference on Policy, practices, and success of interreligious peacebuilding in Pakistan held in Lahore on February 14, 2019. The President of PEF explained the methodologies and results of peace building models in Pakistan, followed by the panel discussions of faith-based organizations on the various approaches of peace building models and their effectiveness the conference then shifted to policy discussions in context of National Action Plan (NAP) and its importance.
PEF recognized people of faith, community members and religious organizations who have extraordinarily served in the front lines of the reconciliation efforts, assisting communities affected by violence, discrimination and threats of persecution because of their faith.
By engaging diverse religious leaders PEF has developed a sustainable mechanism to combat sectarian conflicts and violence, emanating from the misunderstanding of each other’ sects. PEF built a capacity of hundreds of religious leaders, Imams and madrasa teachers to combat violent sectarianism. These trained Imams and religious leaders (Sunni and Shia) then mobilized to disseminate the message of reconciliation and peace within their communities.
With the support of religious scholars and Ulama from all sects and civil society members in Shah Rukan-e-Alam town, Punjab, Peace and Education Foundation (PEF) has effectively decreased the sectarian narratives that promulgate hate and violence in society through promoting the narrative of sectarian reconciliation and harmony across Pakistan. At the moment, about 56 imam champions and 10 mentors are actively promoting the narrative of sectarian reconciliation. They have established Mohalla-based “21 community peace committees” within their communities to sustained reconciliation. PEF ‘Imam Champions’ have organized more than 200 community-based activities to curtail the sectarian violence, hate speech, incitement to violence against any particular sect and maintain peace during the month of Muharram and other religious holidays where violent sectarian attacks were a common place. The religious scholars further suggested greater interaction and communication among religious scholars and seminary students.
Peace Champions Expressing their views
Muhammad Zahid Iqbal sharing his personal transformational story with the audience during Peace Conference e
Local Poet Rizwan Mahir Narrating his poem on Peace and Education’s effort for peace during Peace conference