Peace, Education and Inter-Faith Harmony

The Peace, Education And Inter-Faith Harmony Campaign was started in 2012 to counter militant and extremist sectarian ideologies, target education and minorities of Pakistan especially in the North-Western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The terrorists' aim is to dislodge peace and harmony and not to educate the new generation.

Mardanwal Khalaq first responded when the Sarhadi Lutheran Church at Mardan was targeted by mobs in protest as retaliation for Prophet Muhammad's insulting cartoons in September 2012. A minority wing of Mardanwal Khalaq was already established and we protested against the church attack and helped reopen it. We held joint Peace Chain meetings of Muslim and Non-Muslim communities and religious leaders.

We protested against terrorism in general and the tragic Peshawar attack in Dec 2014 in particular. We held a Peace and Education Seminar and a Youth Seminar to forge civil unity against terrorism. We also observe religious events of minorities as well.

CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES

To ensure a peaceful environment for education.

To improve and maintain inter-faith harmony by facilitating the engagement of various communities with each other.

To make people aware of the importance of education.

To counter hate and extremist narratives by boldly and bravely facing them in public spheres.

HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED

There has been no incident of hate and sectarianism such as the church burning since 2012.

There has been increasing participation of minority groups in public events in civic space. Mardanwal Khalaq always brings forward people from minority groups to the forefront in civic spaces.

Greatest candle vigils in the history of the region for the victims of terror.

Successful seminars held on Peace, Education and Inter-Faith Harmony with great press and social media coverage.

Bringing people from all sectors of society together, including clerics and even members of the Third Gender community, on the same page and platform.

A network of activists ranging from Special Persons, Lawyers, Poets, Writers, Christian Leaders, Sportsmen, Feminists, Girls, Boys, Students, Teachers and Religious Leaders to focus on the issue of peace, education and inter-faith harmony.

Successful programs in schools to change the thinking of young students.

CAMPAIGN INNOVATIONS

Use of social media as a tool of spreading our message.

Involving people from Third Gender for the first time in our organization.

Involving people with disabilities in our struggle.

Going school to school in our campaign.

Involving the Islamic religious leaders in the promotion of peace.

Using Friday Sermons for spreading our message of peace and harmony

Liaison with Police Department for peace and security, against drugs and crime

CAMPAIGN IMPACT

Mardan city, located at the heart of the worse hit region by terrorism, is considered a tolerant and peaceful city where civil society is vigilant and vibrant as well as valiant.

Inclusion of minorities in civic spaces. Love of education by all sections of unity. Unity in all religious groups for peace.

Community policing is practiced and endorsed by the District Police Office of Mardan.

CHALLENGES FACED

To counter the emotional hate-speech and hate-literature head-on and win the narrative.

The safety of volunteers due terror threats.

Organizing unprecedented programs on the theme of peace and education.

LESSONS LEARNT

The public hears the loudest voice. Activists should be loud, clear and brave even against the most daunting challenges and odds.

Volunteers should be better organized and trained to be tolerant and useful members of society.