Last update: Wed, 10 Feb 2016 10pm

Tempers get frayed at CII moot

A session of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on Tuesday turned unpleasant when a scuffle broke out over an argument between CII Chairman Maulana Mohammad Khan Sherani and one of the council members Allama Tahir Ashrafi. CII members and eyewitnesses said a brawl took place when the council was discussing the status of Ahmadis under the Constitution and Sherani and Ashrafi got into a heated debate.

Later, addressing a press conference, Ashrafi said Sherani grabbed him by collar. "He tore my collar with his own hands," said Ashrafi. According to Ashrafi, council members including him were opposed to the idea of debating the status of Ahmadis, because there is a consensus on the issue.

The CII is a constitutional body that advises the legislature whether or not a certain law is repugnant to Sharia. According to Maulana Ashrafi, the topic of Ahmadis was not on meeting's agenda; however, Maulana Sherani brought it up which led to a fight. "We were opposed to reopening this discussion as it would cause unrest in society. We wanted them to clarify that this discussion was not included in the agenda by CII members," said Ashrafi.

"Maulana Sherani wants to make the law on Ahmadis controversial, and push the country towards violence," Ashrafi alleged. Participants in the meeting intervened to defuse the situation. However, Maulana Sherani, talking to reporters said, "Ahmadis are non-Muslims under the Constitution and there is a unanimous Fatwa on the matter." He said the council had no intention of declaring Ahmadis as Muslim.

Sherani said the matter was taken up by the council because the Ahmadi issue has been a bone of contention in society, with new fatwas on the matter appearing every other day. But, speaking to reporters at a separate press conference, Shirani denied Ashrafi's allegations, saying the matter was taken up by the council because the Ahmadi issue is a contentious matter in society. He denied hitting Ashrafi, saying that he had only removed him as he was standing in his way.

Ashrafi accused Sherani of making the CII a controversial forum, and said he was neither worthy of being CII chairman nor a member of the National Assembly. "Maulana Sherani should answer whether attempts to torture a CII member are part of his responsibilities. Can a person who resorts to torture be the head of the CII?" Ashrafi questioned.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015