Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Debate of Takfir (Apostasy) - Part 1

KARACHI, March 4: Demanding formation of a world forum of all religions on the pattern of the United Nations, the World Council of Religions termed it the need of the hour to promote peace by sorting out interfaith disputes and safeguarding rights of religious minorities through negotiations. This demand was made at a seminar held under the auspices of the WCR on ‘Challenge of peace — our religious and social responsibilities’ held on Sunday at a hotel. Speakers from different faiths and sects participated in the programme. Father Pervez Gulzar, Bishop Sadiq Daniel and Michael Javed from the Christian community, Maulana Altaf-ur-Rehman Rehmani of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Pandit Chamandas from Hinduseva, Maulana Muhammad Sulfi of Jamia Sattaria, Qari Zamir Akhtar Mansoori of the Jamaat-i-Islami, Sardar Ramesh Singh of the Sikh Council, Qazi Ahmad Noorani of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan and others spoke at the seminar. The speakers were of the opinion that with the disintegration of the Soviet Union and present crises in the capitalist world, it had become clear that the man-made system of governance had failed to deliver and the only system that could end sufferings and worries of the people was the one bestowed upon us by God through His message. Describing the council’s objective as a ‘peaceful co-existence’ of people from all religions, Qari Mohammad Hanif Jalandhry, chairman of the WCR Pakistan chapter, said vested interests were the cause of all wars and riots in the world. The arms industry was based on wars, he said, adding that people faced insecurity because of international politics. Peace is the need of everyone regardless of which religion they follow, he said. “Arms can never be a guarantee of peace but a cause of death and destruction,” said Mr Jalandhry, adding that all issues, including the one related to Balochistan, should be resolved through talks. “The solution lies in bringing all parties and groups to the negotiation table.” Father Pervez Gulzar, Bishop Sadiq Daniel, Michael Javed, Pandit Chamandas and Sardar Ramesh Singh were of the opinion that no religion preached hatred against humanity. Every religion in the world taught its followers to work for peace and love among human beings, they said. Maulana Muhammad Sulfi of Jamia Sattaria, Qari Zamir Akhtar Mansoori of the JI, Maulana Altaf-ur-Rehman Rehmani of the JUI, Qazi Ahmad Noorani of the JUP said terrorism could not be associated with Muslims, as Islam did not preach it. They said even after wars, all issues were resolved through talks. REFERENCE: Interfaith harmony through dialogue stressed Habib Khan Ghori http://www.dawn.com/2012/03/05/interfaith-harmony-through-dialogue-stressed.html

Salafi Scholar Ibn Uthaymeen's Warning to Takfiris.


Postcolonial Insanity by Abbas Zaidi

Courtesy: Postcolonial insanity Abbas Zaidi Journal of Postcolonial Cultures and Societies ISSN No. 1948-1845 (Print); 1948-1853 (Electronic) http://www.jpcs.in/admin/upload/1688410488Postcolonial%20insanity.pdf

Salafi Scholar Tauseef ur Rehman's Fatwa Against Suicide Attacks on Shrines.


Islamic scholars of Ahle Hadees faith here on Wednesday accused their Pakistani counterpart representing the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and its parent body Markaz Dawa-al-Irshad of being part of a global conspiracy to malign Islam. The Markazi Jamiat Ahle-e-Hadees, which is hosting the Imam of Holy shrine of Islam in Makkah, Dr Saud Bin Ibrahim Al Shoraim, here on March 2-3, said their faith even does not recognise street protests, and strongly denounces hijacking, bombing, or suicide missions. The main feature of two conferences of Markazi Jamiat Ahle-e-Hadees would be the presence of Imam-e-Kaaba Dr Alsharami. The Saudi Islamic scholar is also travelling to world famous Islamic seminary Deoband on Saturday. The organisers are expecting Shankaracharia Swami Adokshanand and some Buddhist leaders also to join the Imam of Kaaba at the Ramlila grounds on Friday. Often labeled as ‘Wahabis’ and accused of promoting radical brand of Islam, secretary general of the host organisation Maulana Asghar Ali Imam Mahdi Salfi said suicide bombing and terrorism has done a great harm to Islam. “Even logically if a Palestinian bomber kills four or five Israeli Jews, the cost of retaliation is too heavy. Israelis in retaliation kills many more or arrest hundreds of Palestinians. There is no incentive. Even against oppression, there is need to continue peaceful struggle and create international awareness,” said the Maulana. “We believe Hafiz Mohamamd Sayeed, the chief of LeT, is a Khawarij (seceder or the rebel) and needs to be punished under the book,” he said. The Ahle Hadees sect often comes under attack in India for sharing ideology with the LeT or Dawa al Irshad headed by Hafiz Mohammad Sayeed. Clarifying his stance, Maulana Salfi said both Hafiz Sayeed and Taliban were part of an international conspiracy. He called these groups marauders and said their struggle was nowhere near ‘jihad’. He pointed out how America promoted these very groups when they were aligning with it to fight against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Claiming that a majority of Ahle Hadees followers in Pakistan were also up in arms against Hafiz Sayeed for taking over their mosques and establishments, Maulana said Islam does not believe taking extreme lines. REFERENCE: Taliban, LeT maligning Islam: Scholars Published: Thursday, Mar 1, 2012, 9:00 IST By DNA Correspondent | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_taliban-let-maligning-islam-scholars_1656913
Ahmed Ludhiyanvi's Fatwa of Apostasy Against Pakistani Shia Community

The roots of the sectarian division between Sunni and Shiite Muslims go back to early history and relate to Muslims' disagreement on the succession to Muhammad's prophetic authority. Throughout the medieval era, hostility has flared between Sunnis and Shiites. But in the course of European colonial domination of the Arab and Muslim world, and following the old Latin doctrine of "divide and rule," such sectarian divisions, as in those between Muslims and Hindus or Muslims and Christians, have been abused, exaggerated, and exacerbated. The overwhelming majority of Muslims are Sunni, or "orthodox." A significant minority of Muslims, about 10 to 15%, are Shiites, or "heterodox." The Shiites are mainly concentrated in Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Bahrain, and Yemen, but significant Shiite communities live throughout the Muslim world. Soon after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, political strategists and military analysts, seeking to divert attention from the principal culprit in the misbegotten war, attributed much of the violence in Iraq to this sectarian division and the emerging rivalry between the Islamic Republic and Saudi Arabia for dominance in the region. Echoing these strategists' assessments of a transnational Shiite uprising against Sunni domination, King Abdullah II of Jordan even spoke of the formation of a "Shi'i crescent."

In the revolutionary uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, particularly in countries such as Bahrain with a significant Shiite population ruled by a small Sunni leadership, the question of Sunni-Shiite hostility and rivalry has again resurfaced in predicting the course of the unfolding dramatic events. This fear of a "Shiite crescent" or a resurrection of sectarian rivalries in the Muslim world, as in the fear of a renewed militant Islamism, is a false alarm built on a flawed reading of Muslims' multifaceted political cultures. Recent history instantly discredits any assumption of a transnational Shiite solidarity against Sunnism. For eight long and bloody years, Iran and Iraq, two major Shiite countries, were at each other's throats -- Shiites killing Shiites on two sides of a national divide. Shi'a, or even Islam in general, has never been the sole deciding factor in people's political identity. Today in Bahrain, people are much more attuned to Arab nationalism and even pan-Arabism than they are to Shi'ism. Within specific Shiite countries, loyalties and identities are fractious along many crisscrossing lines. In Iran, a major Shi'a country, we are witness to a massive civil rights movement, recently galvanized and radicalized by the uprisings in the region. Shiites chanting "Allahu Akbar/God is Great" are engaged in street demonstrations against an Islamic Republic, a government based on Shi'a doctrines. All of these point out that Shi'ism is one among many other factors in determining people's political persuasions and social actions. What we are witnessing in much of the Arab and Muslim world is not a re-enactment of Sunni-Shiite rivalries. It is the defiant retrieval of a vast and variegated cosmopolitan culture -- the assertion of a syncretic identity that is the result of distant and recent history. This vibrant and multifaceted culture can't be reduced to any sect or ideology. Against all odds, people from Morocco to Iran, from Bahrain to Yemen, have arisen almost at the same time against a corrupt, disabling, and denigrating politics of despair -- against a colonial geography code-named "the Middle East" that no longer means anything. It is imperative for Americans, their elected officials and policy analysts, to come to terms with what is happening on its immediate terms and not reduce them to cliché. Political cultures are neither reducible to their constituent factors nor fixed and stagnant. People from Morocco to Oman, from Yemen to Iran are determined to change their destiny from a politics of despair to an open-ended moral imagination that navigates entirely uncharted course for liberty and dignity. In this process, every aspect of their religions and cultures will come forward only to the degree that they can restore their sense of pride of place and chart a new destiny. The opinions in this commentary are solely those of Hamid Dabashi. REFERENCE: It's not a Shiite-Sunni divide March 02, 2011|By Hamid Dabashi, Special to CNN http://articles.cnn.com/2011-03-02/opinion/dabashi.islamic.sectarianism_1_sunni-shiite-shiite-sunni-shiite-crescent?_s=PM:OPINION

Non Barelvis Are Kaafir (Apostate) says Pir Syed Irfan Shah


On February 28, 2012, once again, we slept calmly for having proved ourselves to be good pious Muslims. We killed 19 Shia pilgrims returning from ziyarat (pilgrimage) in Iran to their homes in Gilgit-Baltistan. On their way, in District Kohistan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, their vehicles were stopped, they were asked for their identities, some of them were made to get down, stand in a line, and were shot dead at point blank range. All of them belonged to Shia community that we so want to get rid of. The data from banks shows a majority of account holders are from the Fiqh-e-Jafariya for the simple reason that they are exempt from automatic deduction of Zakat. This community, nevertheless, remains a ‘minority’ sect in Pakistan. With a long and rich history of harmony between the Shia and Sunni communities of Pakistan, it is rather intriguing to see such widespread hate crimes — well, let’s call a spade a spade, organised Shia killings — throughout the length and breadth of this country. Karachi, Quetta, Parachinar, Gilgit-Baltistan and now Kohistan — this is increasingly becoming an organised genocide of Shias in Pakistan. Lamenting a perceived Shia-Sunni divide and radicalism as the cause of this genocide would be a painful ignorance of facts. Pakistan’s society could never fall into this trap of violent sectarian clashes even after the decades long “hard work” by the sectarian militants. Shias and Sunnis are still living — or at least trying real hard at it — with each other. Allama Nazir Abbas Taqvi, a Shia scholar, after the latest tragic murders of 19 Shias in Kohistan, completely rejected the notion that there was any tension between the two communities. In fact, both the communities were together against the Ahmedis in the 1950s, and then in the early 1090s. It was the 1980s that brought this gift for Pakistan. Not much of a labour for digging out what else was happening in the 1980s. Remember? Afghan Jihad, the CIA, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan — errr...Pakistan’s ISI — rings some bell? In the same decade, Pakistan saw sprouting of many sectarian outfits, aggressive in their speech and violent in their actions. Some of these groups were volunteering for our most pious cause...Kashmir. The others were furious against the godless Soviet Union (while being completely at ease with China). There were yet others who were eager to offer themselves for ‘crushing India’ and ‘destroying Israel’. Perfect setting for you know who! REFERENCE: BAAGHI: More kicks than half pence! —Marvi Sirmed Monday, March 05, 2012 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012%5C03%5C05%5Cstory_5-3-2012_pg3_2

Blasphemous Sermon of Dr Tahirul Qadri

Denominational differences are not new to Islam, just as they are not to other religions. However, the history of sectarian violence in Pakistan is a phenomenon that, while drawing on old differences of faith, has unfolded in a modern context. The recent rise in sectarian killings, for instance, is a continuation of the trends already gathering pace in Pakistani society from the 1980s. They indicate the growing retreat or failure of state and law enforcement agencies against the expanding power of militant groups that deploy guerrilla tactics to achieve their goals. Sectarianism in its contemporary manifestation, therefore, cannot be delinked from the larger growth of Pakistan-based terror groups and their alliance with the global Jihadist project negotiated by the loose conglomerate known as Al Qaeda. Three developments are most worrying for Pakistan. First, as Khaled Ahmed in his various TFT articles has noted, the widespread acceptance of Al Qaeda's anti-West stance has permeated large swathes of the population. Second, the US policy of targeting Al Qaeda and its affiliates through drone strikes has forced its leaders to spread out and find new operational bases within urban Pakistan. Karachi, for instance, has been cited as a major ground for the continuation of its operations, in addition to Faisalabad, Lahore and other areas. Third and most dangerously, in the past decade, Al Qaeda may have entered into an alliance with home-grown militants such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and old sectarian outfits. REFERENCE: The rise of violent sectarianism Excerpt By Raza Rumi Sectarian violence March 02-08, 2012 - Vol. XXIV, No. 03 http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta2/tft/article.php?issue=20120302&page=7 Courtesy: Postcolonial insanity Abbas Zaidi Journal of Postcolonial Cultures and Societies ISSN No. 1948-1845 (Print); 1948-1853 (Electronic) http://www.jpcs.in/admin/upload/1688410488Postcolonial%20insanity.pdf

Debate of Takfir (Apostasy) by Irfan Haider Abidi - 1


Sectarian conflict in Pakistan traces its roots to the Pakistani state's attempts to forge a national identity based on Islam. Muslim nationalism in India at the start of the Pakistan movement was broadly pan-Islamic in nature and aloof to sectarianism. However, as early as the 1950s when new textbooks were commissioned for junior classes, the official narrative began to shift. The Pakistani state, as a matter of policy, decided to formulate a new identity was based as much on constructs of Pakistan's Islamic identity as it was on a virulent anti-Indianism. In making public education the site for building a non-inclusive identity, the state privileged the history and teachings of a number of religious personages, including Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and Shah Waliullah, who abhorred Shiaism. Decrees of apostasy against the Shias of Pakistan in the '90s would refer to the works of the same religious figures to justify their pedigree. In addition to the emphasis on a singular Muslim identity, which excluded the Shias, the 1974 constitutional amendment stoked fresh fires of sectarianism by launching apostasy verdicts against the Ahmadi community of Pakistan. The amendment explicitly targetted the Ahmadi community but has also been used by hardliner Sunni clerics to target the Shia community in Pakistan. Sectarianism in Pakistan reached its pinnacle under the dictatorial regime of Zia-ul-Haq. In his nine years in office, Zia proceeded to impose a rigid interpretation of Islamic law on Pakistan, in part to legitimize his illegal rule and in part as a result of his own ideological inclinations. A gradual movement from the more tolerant, pluralist expression of Islam to a more austere and puritanical Deobandi Islam had already begun in the country earlier. Khaled Ahmed in his book (Sectarian War, OUP, 2011) calls this phenomenon a movement from the 'Low Church Islam', native to the unsettled plains of the Punjab and Sindh to the 'High Church Islam' of the seminaries of Northern India and Afghanistan. Once the nation's policy elite decided that Islam was to be the primary factor around which Pakistan's identity would be constructed, it was clear that the more rigid 'High Church' Deobandi creed would dominate the ideological landscape of Pakistan, with its influential seminaries in urban centers and its emphasis on laws and punishment. The 'Low Church' Barelvi clerics, who were tolerant of the rural Shrine culture and of Shiaism were gradually sidelined. The Deobandi creed was further strengthened with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the advent of the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979. Afghanistan had always practised the Deobandi variant of FiqhHanafia and the 'jihad' against the Soviet Union increased the charisma of the Deobandi seminary. The geopolitics of Shia-Sunni tensions in the Middle East after the Iranian revolution also added to the hardening of religious identities. In Pakistan, the local Shia population mobilised in protest when Zia made the payment of Zakat, the Islamic poor due, obligatory. All Muslims, regardless of their sectarian affiliation were to pay the Zakat, 2.5% of the value of their annual savings and assets, to the state. The Shias, who differed in their interpretation of the Zakat edict, refused. Zia eventually had to announce an exemption for the community. The Zakat law, specifically on the Sunni population of the country, further strengthened the hand of the High Church clergy in the country. King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was reported to have given seed money for Zia's Zakat fund on precondition that a part of the money would be donated to the Ahl-e-Hadith, an Islamic party closely allied with the puritanical Wahabbi movement of Saudi Arabia. The number of Deobandi madrassahs shot up exponentially following the imposition of the Zakat law, from 401 in 1960 to 1745 in 1979. Zakat money was an important factor in this growth, though not the only one. REFERENCE: http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta2/tft/article.php?issue=20120302&page=7 Courtesy: Postcolonial insanity Abbas Zaidi Journal of Postcolonial Cultures and Societies ISSN No. 1948-1845 (Print); 1948-1853 (Electronic) http://www.jpcs.in/admin/upload/1688410488Postcolonial%20insanity.pdf

Debate of Takfir (Apostasy) by Irfan Haider Abidi - 2


But with Shias and Ahmadis it was different. Whatever they might feel now, they were enthusiastic about Pakistan. Mr Jinnah, born a Gujrati Shia Muslim, believed that Muslims and Hindus could never live together peacefully but that Muslims, of course, could. Chaudhry Zafarullah Khan, an Ahmadi leader, was commended by Jinnah for having eloquently argued the Two-Nation theory, and then appointed by him in 1947 as Pakistan’s first foreign minister. Mr Jinnah died early, but Zafarullah Khan lived long enough to see disillusionment. The inevitable had happened: once the partition was complete, the question of which version of Islam was correct became bitterly contentious. Until recently, Pakistan’s Shias did not have the self-image of a religious minority. They had joined Sunnis in supporting Mr Bhutto’s 1974 decision to declare Ahmadis as non-Muslim. But now they are worried. The Tribal Areas are convulsed in sectarian warfare: Kurram, Parachinar and Hangu (in the settled districts) are killing grounds for both Sunni and Shia, but with most casualties being Shia. City life has also become increasingly insecure and segregated; Karachi’s Shia neighborhoods are visibly barricaded and fortified. But while Shias are numerous enough to put up a defence, Ahmadis are not. Last month, a raging 5,000-strong mob descended upon their sole worship place in Satellite Town, Rawalpindi. Organised by the Jamaat-i-Islami, various leaders from Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Sipah-e-Sahaba addressed the rally demanding the worship place’s security cameras and protective barricades be removed. The police agreed with the mob’s demands, advising the Ahmadis to cease praying. The worship place has now been closed down. Forbidden from calling themselves Muslims, Ahmadi children are expelled from school once their religion is discovered. Just a hint may be enough to destroy a career. Knowing this, the school staff at a high school in Mansehra added the word ‘Qadiani’ to the name of an Ahmadi student, Raheel Ahmad, effectively eliminating the boy’s chances of getting a university education. The same school also held an anti-Ahmadi programme, distributing prizes to winners. The latest outrage is that new ID cards, issued by the Punjab government, require the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to insert a ‘Qadiani’ entry in the online forms. Ahmadis now do not have the option of declaring themselves non-Muslims. Instead the government demands that they open themselves to public persecution, a method that Nazi Germany used against Jews. Even dead Ahmadis are not spared: news had reached the Khatm-e-Nabuwat that Nadia Hanif, a 17-year old school teacher who had died of illness ten days ago, was actually an Ahmadi but buried in a Muslim graveyard in Chanda Singh village, Kasur. Her grave was promptly dug up, and the body removed for reburial. REFERENCE: Run for your life By Pervez Hoodbhoy Published: March 4, 2012 http://tribune.com.pk/story/345377/run-for-your-life/ 

Debate of Takfir (Apostasy) by Irfan Haider Abidi - 3


The government enforced harsh legal and policy restrictions on religious freedom. During the reporting period, respect for religious freedom in the country continued to deteriorate. Government rhetoric and actions created a threatening atmosphere for nearly all non-Shia religious groups, most notably for Bahais, as well as Sufi Muslims, evangelical Christians, Jews, and Shia groups who do not share the government's sanctioned religious views. Reports of government imprisonment, harassment, intimidation, and discrimination based on religious beliefs continued during the reporting period. Bahai religious groups reported arbitrary arrest, prolonged detention, expulsions from universities, and confiscation of property. Government-controlled broadcast and print media intensified negative campaigns against religious minorities, particularly the Bahais, during the reporting period. All non-Shia religious minorities suffered varying degrees of officially sanctioned discrimination, particularly in the areas of employment, education, and housing. Particularly since the June 2009 elections, the government intensified its campaign against non-Muslim religious minorities. The Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance (Ershad) and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) monitored religious activity closely. Members of recognized religious minorities were not required to register with the government; however, authorities closely monitored their communal, religious, and cultural events and organizations, including schools. Registration of Bahais was a police function during the reporting period. The government also required evangelical Christian groups to compile and submit membership lists of their congregations.

The government generally allowed recognized religious minority groups to conduct religious education for their adherents in separate schools, although it restricted this right considerably in some cases. The Ministry of Education, which imposed certain curriculum requirements, supervised these schools. With few exceptions, the directors of such private schools must be Muslim. Attendance at the schools was not mandatory for recognized religious minorities. The Ministry of Education must approve all textbooks used in coursework, including religious texts. Recognized religious minorities could provide religious instruction in non-Persian languages, but such texts required approval by the authorities. This approval requirement sometimes imposed significant translation expenses on minority communities. Assyrian Christians reported that their community was permitted to write its own textbooks which, following government authorization, were printed at the government's expense and distributed to the Assyrian community. Christians of all denominations reported the presence of security cameras outside their churches allegedly to confirm that no non-Christians participate in services. Broad restrictions on Bahais severely undermined their ability to practice their faith freely and function as a community. Bahai groups reported that the government often denied applications for new or renewed business and trade licenses to Bahais. The government repeatedly pressured Bahais to accept relief from mistreatment in exchange for recanting their religious beliefs. The government prevented many Bahais from leaving the country. Bahais could not teach or practice their religious beliefs or maintain links with coreligionists abroad. Bahais were often officially charged with "espionage on behalf of Zionism," in part due to the fact that the Bahai world headquarters is located in Israel. These charges were more acute when Bahais were caught communicating with or sending monetary contributions to the Bahai headquarters. Public and private universities continued to deny admittance to or expel Bahai students. Although the government maintained publicly that Bahais were free to attend university, reports indicated that the implicit policy of preventing Bahais from obtaining higher education remained in effect during the reporting period. In a December 7 report, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported that at least seventeen Bahai were barred or expelled from universities in 2010 on political or religious grounds. Furthermore, during the past few years, young Bahai schoolchildren in primary and high schools increasingly have been vilified, pressured to convert to Islam, and in many cases expelled on account of their religion. There were reports that the government compiled a list of Bahais and their trades and employment using information from the Association of Chambers of Commerce and related organizations, which are nominally independent and heavily influenced by the government. In October 2010 Deputy Culture Minister Mohsen Parviz issued a statement stating there is "no place for the promotion of Sufism in Shia dominated Iran." REFERENCE: REFERENCE: Restrictions on Religious Freedom Iran BUREAU OF DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND LABOR July-December, 2010 International Religious Freedom Report Report September 13, 2011 http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/2010_5/168264.htm 

Debate of Takfir (Apostasy) by Irfan Haider Abidi - 4


Many Sunnis claimed the government discriminated against them; however, it is difficult to distinguish whether the cause of discrimination was religious or ethnic, since most Sunnis are also members of ethnic minorities. Sunnis cited the absence of a Sunni mosque in Tehran, despite the presence of more than one million adherents in the city, as a prominent example. Sunni leaders reported bans on Sunni religious literature and teachings in public schools, even in predominantly Sunni areas. Sunnis also noted the underrepresentation of Sunnis in government-appointed positions in the provinces where they form a majority, such as Kurdistan and Khuzestan Provinces, as well as their inability to obtain senior government positions. While the government recognizes Judaism as an official religious minority, the Jewish community experienced official discrimination. The government continued to sanction anti-Semitic propaganda involving official statements, media outlets, publications, and books. The government's anti-Semitic rhetoric, along with a perception among radical Muslims that all Jewish citizens of the country support Zionism and the state of Israel, continued to create a hostile atmosphere for Jews. The rhetorical attacks also further blurred the line between Zionism, Judaism, and Israel and contributed to increased concerns about the future security of the Jewish community in the country.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continued a virulent anti-Semitic campaign. During the reporting period, the president publically called for the destruction of Israel. President Ahmadinejad continued to regularly question the existence and the scope of the Holocaust, which created a more hostile environment for the Jewish community. In a September 2009 speech at the annual Al Quds Day rally in Tehran, the president stated the West created the myth of the Holocaust as a pretext for the creation of the "Zionist" regime. The government promoted and condoned anti-Semitism in state media; however, with some exceptions, there was little government restriction of, or interference with, Jewish religious practice. The government reportedly allowed Hebrew instruction but limited the distribution of Hebrew texts, particularly nonreligious texts, making it difficult to teach the language. Moreover, the government required that in conformity with the schedule of other schools, Jewish schools must remain open on Saturdays, which violated Jewish law.

Jewish citizens were free to travel out of the country, and the government did not enforce the general restriction against travel by the country's citizens to Israel on Jews. The Sabean-Mandaean religious community reportedly faced harassment and repression by authorities similar to that faced by other religious minorities. The government often denied members of the Sabean-Mandaean community access to higher education. The government repressed Sufi communities and religious practices, including increased harassment and intimidation of prominent Sufi leaders by the intelligence and security services. Government restrictions on Sufi groups and husseiniya (houses of worship) became more pronounced in recent reporting periods. There were numerous reports of Shia clerics and prayer leaders denouncing Sufism and the activities of Sufis in the country in both sermons and public statements. The government carefully monitored the statements and views of senior Shia religious leaders. The Special Clerical Courts, established to investigate offenses and crimes committed by clerics and which the supreme leader oversees directly, were not provided for in the constitution and so have operated outside the judiciary. In particular, critics alleged that the clerical courts were used to prosecute certain clerics for expressing controversial political ideas and for participating in nonreligious activities, including journalism. Non-Shia religious leaders reported bans on Sunni teachings in public schools and Sunni religious literature. Residents of provinces with large Sunni populations, including Kurdistan, Khuzestan, and Sistan-va-Baluchestan, reported discrimination and lack of resources, but it was difficult to determine if this discrimination was based on religion, ethnicity, or both. Laws based on religious affiliation continued to be used to stifle freedom of expression. Independent newspapers and magazines have been closed, and leading publishers and journalists have been imprisoned on vague charges of "insulting Islam" or "calling into question the Islamic foundation of the Republic." REFERENCE: Restrictions on Religious Freedom Iran BUREAU OF DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND LABOR July-December, 2010 International Religious Freedom Report Report September 13, 2011 http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/2010_5/168264.htm 

Dr Tahir ul Qadri "ISSUES" Fatwa of Kufr (Disbelief) against Ahl-e-Hadith (Muslims)

Administering Justice and awarding punishment is the responsibility of the Ruler/State [even in the harshest Islamic State] not of the Masses or Mullahs. A detail view is as under for kind perusal. I guarantee you that those (Non-State Actors) commit murder in the name of Blasphemy Law are also the most ignorant about Islam, Quran and Shariah. "Killing" is the Right of "Judiciary" - Qazi, means Enforcement of Law and Administering "Punishment" is the Responsibility of State not the "Masses" and what Muslims in Pakistanis do is this "they violate very religion they claim to follow" - lets assume that Blasphemy Law is right and Guilty is to be punished through Death Sentence then that "sentence" would be implemented by the State not the "Public".It is not permissible for individuals to carry out this punishment themselves. Rather the matter must be referred to the ruler or his deputy to prove the crime and carry out the punishment, because if individuals carry out hadd punishments, that will lead to a great deal of corruption and evil. Ibn Muflih al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Furoo’ (6/53): It is haraam for anyone to carry out a hadd punishment except the ruler or his deputy. This is something on which the fuqaha’ of Islam are unanimously agreed, as was stated in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (5/280): The fuqaha’ are unanimously agreed that the one who should carry out hadd punishments is the ruler or his deputy, whether the punishment is transgressing one of the limits of Allaah, may He be exalted, such as zina, or a transgression against another person, such as slander. {Further References: Durrul Al Behy by Shawkani, Baloogh Al Maram by Hajar Asqalani - both are in Arabic and available in English and Urdu as well]

Takfiris and Apostasy by Sheikh Nasiruddin Albani

The judgement of apostasy and expelling someone from the religion is only appropriate for the people of knowledge who are firmly grounded in knowledge, and they are the judges in the various Sharee’ah law courts, and those who are able of giving legal verdicts. And this is just like the other matters, and it is not the right of every person, or from the right of those who are learning, or those who ascribe themselves to knowledge, but who have deficiency in understanding. It is not appropriate for them to make judgements of apostasy (upon others). Since, mischief will arise from this, and sometimes a Muslim might be judged as an apostate but he is not actually so. And the takfir of a Muslim who has not committed one of the nullifications of Islaam contains great danger. Whoever says to his brother “O Kaafir” or “O Faasiq”, and he is not like that, then the words will fall back upon the one who said them. Hence, the ones who actually judge with apostasy are the legislative judges and those who are able and fit for giving legal verdicts. And as for those who enforce the judgements they are the leaders of the Muslims (wullaat al-amr). As for whatever is other than this, then it is mere confusion.” “Meting out the punishments is only appropriate for the leader of the Muslims and it is not for every person to establish the punishment, since confusion, and corruption necessarily follows from this, and also the cutting off of the society, tribulations and provocations occur. Establishing the punishments is appropriate (i.e. befits only) to the Muslim leader. The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Pardon each other for the punishments that are between you, but when the execution of the punishment reaches the [authority of the] Sultaan, then Allaah curses both the one who seeks intercession and the one who grants the intercession [i.e. to revoke the punishment]”. And from the responsibilities of the Sultaan in Islaam, and from those matters that befit him is the establishment of the punishments after they have been established legislatively, via the Sharee’ah law courts, upon the one who fell into the crime for which the legislator has designated a specific punishment, such as for stealing. So what has been said is that establishing the punishments (i.e. meting them out) is from the rights of the Sultaan, and when the Muslims do not have a Sultaan amongst them, then they should just suffice with commanding the good and forbidding the evil, and calling to Allaah, the Might and Majestic, with wisdom, good admonition and arguing with that which is best. And it is not permissible for individuals (in the society) to establish the hudood, since that, as we have mentioned, will bring about chaos, and also provocations, and tribulations will arise, and this contains greater corruption than it contains rectification. And from amongst the Sharee’ah principles that are submitted to is, “Repelling the harmful things takes precedence over bringing about the beneficial things”. FURTHER REFERENCES/READING: The Takfiris make unlicensed Takfeer of Governments and scholars and call the common-folk to bloody revolution as a way to remove such governments and establish Islaamic Law. http://www.salafipublications.com/sps/downloads/pdf/MSC060006.pdf 

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