Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday called on the country’s religious leadership to play its role to “prevent the war between ideologies from falling into the hands of those who are doing no service to our religion”.

Addressing a seminar in Lahore, Chaudhry said the protests that erupted countrywide following a Supreme Court verdict acquitting Asia Bibi – a Christian woman who had been on death row for eight years in a blasphemy case – reflected a societal crisis.

“It was not a crisis of the government, or the state, but a societal crisis. Pakistan is not facing a political crisis, it is facing an ideological crisis,” said the info minister.

He pointed out that an ideological war is not won with weapons but with arguments and logic.

“Some people are doing politics under the garb of religion. Those seeking anarchy are devoid of the power of argument,” he eluded to the rioters, who damaged property and harassed citizens during the three-day long demonstrations spearheaded by the religious parties, mainly Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan.

“Those [who rioted], these people come up with a new issue every week and engage in political point-scoring,” the minister said.

He called on the religious leadership to become part of the government’s efforts to spread the message of love of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

“The current government will stand shoulder to shoulder with the religious leadership of the country, and we will prevent this ideological fight from falling into hands of those who are not doing any service to our religion.”

Chaudhry said that for the first time, the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal is being observed on a state level. Renowned scholars from across the world have been invited to attend the conferences on the occasion, he added.