HEC Stresses Awareness about Prevention of Blasphemous Activities on Social Media

Islamabad, March15, 2024: Every individual segment of society has the responsibility to play its role in prevention of uploading, sharing, and engaging with blasphemous activities on social media. This was stated by the Chairman, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed while addressing on Friday the Awareness Session for Prevention of Blasphemous Material/Activities on Social Media on the occasion of Youm-e-Tahaffuz Namoos-e-Risalat (PBUH).

Chairman, Legal Commission on Blasphemy Pakistan, Mr. Rao Abdur Rahim and Director General, Islamic Research Institute and Professor of Shariah & Islamic Law at International Islamic University, Dr. Muhammad Zia ul Haque also addressed the seminar, which was attended online by Vice Chancellors, Deans, Registrars, faculty members, and officials of HEC as well as public and private sector higher education institutions.

In his address, the Chairman HEC emphasized that parents and teachers have a major role in inculcating the importance and respect for religions, Prophets, holy books and holy figures. He said that the youth must be kept abreast of positive and negative aspects of novel technologies.

The Chairman urged all the universities to play their role in raising awareness, mobilising resources, and taking corrective measures in curbing the menace of blasphemy on social media. He underlined the needs for holding awareness sessions as a regular feature on digital literacy and responsible online behaviour, in addition to arranging discussions on the consequences of hate speech and blasphemy.

He observed that Pakistani youth have a great potential that needs to be tapped by making them understand the true perspectives of complex issues with logic and rationale.

Apprising the audience of the gravity of situation, Rao Abdur Rahim made a shocking revelation that 400,000 social media accounts have recently been involved in sacrilegious activities. The more concerning point, he added, is that 160 out of 300 people arrested by FIA Cyber Crime Wing on charges of blasphemous activities, are students or graduates. He cautioned that the enemies of Pakistan have joined their hands to create law and order situation in Pakistan to fulfill their nefarious designs.

“To deal with the threat, there is a dire need for strong awareness efforts to sensitise the masses about the sacredness of holy figures, books, and religious matters. The state’s intervention and role is must for prevention of the misuse of social media,” he said.

In his remarks, Dr. Zia Ul Haque highlighted the role of academia and parents for prevention of the abuse of ICT tools and applications. He said Pakistan is the contemporary version of the State of Medina as the country was founded in the name of Islam. He said the life of the Last Prophet (PBUH) is a role model for the Muslims and his Seerah is the strength based on which Pakistan can be given its due status. He said that teachers, parents, and religious, social and political leaders are duty-bound to tell the youth that Islam, the Last Prophet (PBUH), Pakistan and its institutions, and the institution of family are the redlines in the freedom they enjoy in the independent Pakistan.

It is worth mentioning here that the HEC seminar is a sequel of the Action Plan prepared by the Ministry of Religious Af