The religious scholars from different schools of thought have strongly condemned the ongoing violent protests by Tehrik-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), describing them as immoral, inhumane, un-Islamic and unconstitutional. Referring to different Islamic injunctions, the Ulema believed that killing and injuring the police officials, road blockades, violence and disruption of normal life in the name of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and for fulfillment of their demands was in no way permissible by Islam. In their video messages, they were unanimous in the view that violent protests and attacks on the personnel of army, police or other security institutions, who provide masses with security and protection, should in no way be allowed by the government. Maulana Raghib Naeemi, in his video message, said besides disturbing law and order in various parts of the country, including Rawalpindi and Islamabad, such violent protests also caused economic loss and various problems for the people such as mobility and traffic disruption. He said instead of blocking roads and staging sit-ins, such gatherings should be dispersed after registering their protest over the issue. Zia Ullah Shah Bukhari said as love and respect for the Holy Prophet (PBUH)) was the foremost priority of every Muslim, they would never allow any disrespect for him. “I would appeal to the religious leaders and people involved in the protests that their actions should not disrupt normal life, and cause difficulties and hurdles in the way of the general public, including students, patients, hospital workers, public and private sector employees etc.,” he added. Sahibzada Hamid Raza of Sunni Ittehad Council said they also carried out peaceful protests against the publication of blasphemous caricatures and the statement of French president. He, however, added that given the regional and international situation as well as the challenges faced by the country on domestic and foreign fronts, any violence or violent protests would not only dent the objective of the protests but would also bring a bad name for Pakistan at international level. He said disrupting the peace and security situation in the country would be tantamount to providing an opportunity to the anti-Pakistan elements at home and abroad to benefit from the situation. Allama Iftikhar Hussain Naqvi said since Islam is a religion of peace and harmony, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) himself faced various difficulties but never caused any pain to others rather created ease for others. “Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) always responded even to the illiterates with logic and argument,” he added. While strongly condemning the attitude of French president on the issue of blasphemous caricatures, he also criticized the TLP leaders for staging violent protests in the country that caused martyrdom and injuries of police personnel. “This attitude is neither human nor Islamic as well as against the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Killing a human is the killing of the whole humanity. It is not any service to Islam,” he added. He urged the government to protect the life and property of masses, and take stern action against such miscreants. He, however, added that the issue should immediately be taken to the National Assembly for discussion and decision. Allama Iftikhar Hussain Naqvi appreciated Prime Minister Imran Khan for taking up the issue of blasphemy and respect for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) at international fora and hoped that he would continue raising his voice on the issue. Moulana Yaseen Zafar said any party or group had the right to present its demands but maintaining peace and order was also its responsibility. He said the government should also take the issue to the parliament for discussion. Violence should be avoided, and a prudent approach and strategy should be adopted to deal with the situation, he opined. Dr Pir Ali Raza Bukhari, Member of AJK Legislative Assembly and Sajjada Nasheen of Dargah Basahan Sharif, in his message said the whole Muslim world felt pain of any blasphemous act in any part of the world. He appealed to the protesters to register a peaceful protest as their right but any violence or arson in the name of protest could neither be afforded by the country nor was it permissible under Islamic teachings. Pir Ali Raza Bukhari said the issue of France should be left up to the parliament and also urged the parliament to make a legislation to restrict the blockade of roads in the name of protest demonstrations. Mufti Shahid Javed questioned the protesting party as to what was the fault of innocent people whose properties were being burnt down during the violent protests. He said the credit for highlighting the issue of blasphemy at global level went only to the incumbent government. He questioned who was responsible for people killed during the violent protests and others who died in ambulances stuck up on the blocked roads. Maulana Abdul Kabeer Azad said that violent protests in the name of Islam negated the teachings of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He said that neither the government nor masses would allow any group or party to indulge in violent protests and attack the personnel of army, police or other security institutions, who provide masses with security and protection. As far as the issue blasphemous caricatures vis a vis France was concerned, Maulana Azad said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was the first Muslim leader who raised his voice at international fora, he added. Qari Syed Sadaqat Ali said that though any Muslim cannot be a true “Momin” without loving the Holy Prophet (PBUH), yet Islam did not allow any religious party or group to impose its views on the government or people. The violent protests and damaging public property should not be allowed by the government as it will not only create unrest in the country but will also put a negative effect on Pakistan’s repute at international level, he added. Sahibzada Zahid Mahmood Qasmi described the violent protests by TLP as immoral, unconstitutional and un-Islamic. He said that any group or party can present its demands before the government or state, and then it was the government or state to take up the issue at relevant local and international fora in the way it considered appropriate. He referred to the publication of blasphemous caricatures in France in the past as well and said that resolutions were adopted by National Assembly, Senate and provincial assemblies against such acts. The government had also registered its protest with France and raised the issue at different forums including the Organization of Islamic Conference, he added.