Pakistan: Muslim Leader Says Bill Banning Forced Conversions Is “Against The Spirit of Islam”
The secretary-general of Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP) – Noorani, Shah Ovais Noorani, has said that his party will not accept the recently adopted bill banning forced conversion because it is ‘against the spirit of Islam’.
The bill, the first of its kind in Pakistan, was passed in the Sindh Assembly recently to promote religious freedom and protect the rights of minorities.
Addressing a press conference at Jamia Ghousia in Sukkur on Sunday, he said that any non-Muslim child who can differentiate between good and bad can embrace the religion of their choice, referring to a clause in the law that says conversions undertaken before the age of 18 will not be recognised.
This clause has been added to safeguard the rights of children and prevent forcible conversions.
“Many Syeds and Pirs are sitting in the Sindh Assembly and I am confused how they have adopted such a bill,” wondered Noorani, who claimed he had contacted other religious parties to ‘carve out a strategy against the bill’.
There are no representatives of the JUP in the Sindh Assembly.