Friday, August 24, 2012

Blasphemy Law and American Funding to Pakistani Mullahs.

ISLAMABAD: A cleric who handed over a young Christian girl to police on blasphemy charges after she burned papers containing Quranic verses said Friday what she did was a “conspiracy” to insult Muslims. Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti, the imam of the mosque in the Islamabad suburb of Mehrabad, insisted he had saved the girl, Rimsha, from mob violence by handing her to police but said the incident arose because Muslims had not stopped local Christians’ “anti-Islam activities” earlier. Rimsha was arrested and remanded in custody for a fortnight last Thursday after being accused of burning pages from a children’s religious instruction book, which were inscribed with verses from the Muslim holy text. The youngster reportedly has Down’s Syndrome and her treatment has prompted outrage from rights groups and concern from Western governments, but Chishti insisted she was fully aware of what she was doing. “The girl who burnt the Holy Quran has no mental illness and is a normal girl,” Chishti told AFP. “She did it knowingly, this is a conspiracy and not a mistake. She confessed what she did.” Chishti claimed the local Christian community had previously caused antagonism by playing music in services at their makeshift church during Muslim prayer time and said burning the pages was deliberate. “They committed this crime to insult us further. This happened because we did not stop their anti-Islam activities before,” he said. “Last Christmas, they played musical instruments and there was vulgarity in the streets during our prayers time. I warned them but they did not stop.” During his sermon at Friday prayers Chishti told worshippers it was “time for Muslims to wake up” and protect the Holy Quran. Mehrabad is home to around 500 Christian families but many fled after the page-burning, fearing a repeat of a 2009 incident in Gojra, in which young Muslim radicals burned Christian houses, killing seven, after a rumour that a page from the Holy Quran had been desecrated during a wedding. REFERENCE: Imam accuses Christian girl of 'conspiracy' By AFP Published: August 24, 2012

Sunni Tehreek demolishes Masjid & Commit Blasphemy

2012 US government website shows the Sunni Ittehad Council receiving $36,607 from Washington in 2009. US aided Pakistan group which supported Extremists  ISLAMABAD: The US gave money to a Pakistani Muslim group that organised anti-Taliban rallies, but which later demonstrated in support of an extremist who killed a leading liberal politician, the US Embassy in Pakistan said Wednesday. US government website shows that the group, the Sunni Ittehad Council, received $36,607 from Washington in 2009. A US diplomat said that the embassy had given money to the group to organise the rallies, but that it had since changed direction and leadership. He said it was a one-off grant, and wouldn’t be repeated. He didn’t give his name because he wasn’t authorised to speak about the issue on the record. The grant was first reported by the Council of Foreign Relations on its website. The Ittehad council was formed in 2009 to counter extremism. It groups politicians and clerics from Pakistan’s traditionalist Barelvi Muslim movement, often referred to as theological moderates in the Pakistani context. The American money was used to organise nationwide rallies against militants and suicide bombings, the embassy official said. The demonstrations received widespread media coverage, and were some of the first against extremism in the country. The rhetoric at the rallies was mostly focused on opposing militant attacks on shrines, which Barelvis frequent but are opposed by Deobandi Muslims, Pakistan’s other main Muslim sect. In 2011 and also this month, however, the council led demonstrations in support of the killer of Salman Taseer, a governor who was killed a year ago for his criticism of anti-blasphemy laws. The displays have appalled Pakistani liberals and stoked international fears that the country is buckling under the weight of extremism. Taseer’s assassin, Mumtaz Qadri, is a Barelvi. He claimed he acted to defend the honour of Prophet Mohammed. At its rallies, the group maintains its criticism of the Taliban even as it supports Qadri — a seemingly contradictory stance that suggests its leaders may be more interested in harnessing the political support and street power of Barelvis than in genuinely countering militancy. Two leading members of the council who have been with the group from the beginning of its existence denied receiving any American funds. The apparent discrepancy could be explained by lack of transparency within the organisation. However, given the current anti-American climate, owning up to receiving funds from the United States would invite criticism. ”This propaganda is being unleashed against us because we are strongly opposed to Western democracy and American policies in the region and in the world,” said Sahibzada Fazal Karim, the head of the council, before reiterating the group’s support for Qadri. ”We are against extremism, but we support Qadri because he did a right thing,” he said. REFERENCE: US aided Pakistan group which supported extremists AP | 11th January, 2012

American Funded Sunni Ittehad Council Threatens Judges and State

ST (Sunni Tehrik – Sunni Movement) ———————————- 9. (S) ST is a small religious/political group with a presence in small pockets of Karachi. The group has only managed to win a handful of council seats in local elections but militarily it is disproportionably powerful because of the influx of MQM-H gunmen after the government crack-down on MQM-H (see above). ST has organized the party and its gunmen along the lines of MQM by dividing its areas of influence into sectors and units, with sector and unit commanders. ST and MQM have allegedly been killing each other’s leadership since the April 2006 Nishtar Park bombing that killed most of ST’s leadership. ST blames MQM for the attack. There appears to have been a reduction in these targeted killings since 2008. REFERENCE: 2009: US assessment of Karachi violence DAWN.COM | 23rd May, 2011

Pakistani Muslims desecrated Holy Quran and Hadith Books in 2010 in Faisalabad Punjab

January 05, 2011 JI sees Taseer’s assassin in ‘seventh heaven’ In a shockingly blunt endorsement of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer’s assassination, Ameer Jamat-e-Islami in Sindh Asadullah Bhutto has declared that the assassin will directly go to the “seventh heaven”. He said this after a press conference addressed by JI Ameer Munawar Hasan at Idara-e-Noor-e-Haq on Tuesday. The press conference ended abruptly when a JI spokesman Sarfaraz Ahmad broke the news of Taseer’s assassination to Munawar. “Is he alive?” was his first reaction. “Whoever has killed him is a pious man and will go directly to heaven,” replied Bhutto to a question put forward by this correspondent. He even went on to say that Taseer would not have got killed if the government had replaced him. “Aasia Bibi will suffer the same fate if the punishment awarded to her by the court for using derogatory remarks against Hazrat Mohammed Mustafa (PBUH) is not implemented,” he added. Earlier, during the press conference, Syed Munawar Hasan said that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) should also clear its position in Sindh after parting ways with the government at the Centre. He said that Altaf Hussain’s party’s stand would sound vague unless all members of his party resign, including the governor, resign and sit on the opposition benches. He said Altaf had twice contacted him on the phone to discuss the political situation. He was in favour of the government completing its five-year tenure, but he added the people should be provided with some relief by reducing the inflation rate and addressing unemployment issues. He informed the media that his party would stage a sit-in in Peshawar on January 23 against the forced disappearances and drone attacks. REFERENCE: JI sees Taseer’s assassin in ‘seventh heaven’ Shamim Bano Wednesday, January 05, 2011

2011: The PUC chairman questioned that why the blasphemy law was not implemented when on 12th Rabbiul Awwal of this Islamic year (in 2010), some 750 copies of the holy Quran and several books of Hadith and Tafseer were set on fire by unidentified people at late Allama Ziaul Haq Qasmi’s residence in Faisalabad and a footage of this incident was also present. “After the incident, Sunni Ittehad Council Chairman Sahibzada Fazal Karim sought registration of an FIR under 295-C against Zahid Qasmi, son of late Qasmi. Both the sides, sects ‘Deobandi’ and ‘Barelvi’, requested police seeking FIRs against each other, but the issue was resolved later,” he recalled and questioned why such a settlement was not counted as blasphemy or profanity, the channel reported. REFERENCE Sentiments were exploited against Salmaan Taseer: Ashrafi * Pakistan Ulema Council chairman says whosoever declared it was justified to kill Taseer should come on media to prove his claim before nation Daily Times Monitor Sunday, January 09, 2011

FAISALABAD: Relatives of a 12-year old Christian boy, whose mutilated body was found on August 20, along with other community members protested against the brutal killing on Narowal Road in Faisalabad on Wednesday. The body was identified by the relatives today. According to police, Suneel Masih’s body was found near Chamra Mandi by police Constable Ali Raza, who then filed a case against unknown persons. Raza said the murder weapon was also found near the body. Brother of the deceased, Pitras Masih said Suneel went out of his house to get food on August 19 but did not come back. The family – with the help of relatives and Christian leaders – searched for him but to no avail. Suneel’s body was kept in a hospital’s morgue and a post mortem was also conducted on his body. As per the details provided by Raza and the post mortem report, Suneel’s body had 23 injuries inflicted by a sharp weapon. His body was later burnt in an attempt to make it unidentifiable, the report stated. A police investigation team has been constituted to investigate the incident. REFERENCE: Body of murdered 12-year-old Christian boy identified By Shamsul Islam Published: August 22, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Everyone in the teeming, tense community of Muslims and Christians just outside Islamabad seems to have a different story about the young girl and the Koran. The 12-year-old Christian deliberately burned the Muslim holy book, some say. No, she innocently put pages from a non-sacred teaching text into the trash, say others, and nothing was burned. Still another version holds that an older Muslim boy planted pages of the Koran for the cleaning girl to find and then leveled the accusation of desecration because she had spurned him. Amid the conflicting claims, this much is certain: As many as 600 Christians have fled their colony bordering the capital, fearing for their lives, officials said, after a mob last week called for the child to be burned to death as a blasphemer. The girl, who authorities have described as mentally challenged, sits in jail in Rawalpindi, charged by police with blasphemy, while her family has been put in federal protective custody. The evidence against her is muddled at best, but police said they arrested her in part to assuage the mob and also because they knew she would be safer in jail. REFERENCE: Pakistani Christians, fearing backlash, flee community after girl is accused of blasphemy By Richard Leiby

2011: Taseer killer's case should be decided as per Shariah law: JuD Lahore, Fri Jan 07 2011 Pakistan-based terror outfit JuD has asked the country's courts to decide the case of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer's assassin in line with the 'Shariah' or Islamic law and 'sentiments of Muslims'. Jamaat-ud-Dawah leader Maulana Amir Hamza, who is convener of Tehrik-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool that has been opposing any move to amend the controversial blasphemy law, also hailed the clerics who refused to lead the funeral prayer of Taseer. Taseer, the Governor of Pakistan's most populous province of Punjab and senior PPP leader, was gunned down by his extremist bodyguard Mumtaz Qadri at a posh market in the heart of Islamabad on Tuesday for opposing the blasphemy law. Hamza asked courts to decide the case of Qadri in accordance with the Islamic law and the "sentiments of Muslims" of the country. "The courts must respect our sentiments," he said in a statement. The clerics, who refused to lead Taseer's funeral prayer on Wednesday, had proved that they had great respect for the Prophet Mohammad, Hamza said. "God will reward you (clerics) for your brave act," he said. After an influential grouping of scholars and clerics of the Barelvi school of thought asked Muslims not to offer or lead the funeral prayer for Taseer, the clerics of three mosques in Lahore, including the one at the Governor's House, refused to lead the 'namaz-e-janaza'. The prayer was finally led by a member of the PPP's clerics' wing. Hamza also criticised the US and European countries for condemning the murder of Taseer. The JuD leader also warned PPP lawmaker Sherry Rehman to immediately withdraw a private bill submitted to Parliament to amend the blasphemy law. He made it clear that "no one can think of changing the blasphemy law". Blaming Taseer for his death, Hamza questioned why the Governor had sought clemency from President Asif Ali Zardari for Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death for allegedly insulting Prophet Mohammed. "We want to tell everyone that there can be no debate on the blasphemy law," said Hamza of JuD, which is blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks. REFERENCE: Taseer killer's case should be decided as per Shariah law: JuD Lahore, Fri Jan 07 2011, 14:36 hrs

Gustakh E Rasool (s.a.w) Barelvi Say Barh Kar Koi Nahi Hai

Allaamah Kaukab Noorani Okarvi Declares: Deobandis are Kaafir (Apostate)

It is said that one of the key Cleric of Jamatud Dawa i.e. Maulana Ibrahim Salafi was allegedly murdered on the False Charge of Blasphemy by Rival Barelvi Sect in 2004

2004: ISLAMABAD: A senior leader of Jamaat-ud Dawa, the parent organisation of the banned Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Toeba, was on Sunday shot dead by unidentified assailants in Lahore, police said. Maulana Ibrahim Salafi, 55, was killed while returning home after offering morning prayers at a mosque in Township locality, police in Lahore said. Salafi, who was a prayer leader at the mosque, was sprayed with bullets by the gunmen riding on a motorcycle, who fled after the incident. Salafi died on the spot. Salafi's murder followed reports in Pakistani media that a number of Jamaat-ud Dawa (JD) leaders, including its founder Hafeez Saeed, apprehended violence following the recent split in the organisation. REFERENCE: Jamaat-ud Dawa senior leader killed in Lahore PTI Sep 12, 2004, 06.31am IST

Sectarian Militancy in Pakistan - 1 (Choraha 10 July 2010)

Sectarian Militancy in Pakistan - 2 (Choraha 10 July 2010)

2011 Agencies explore Qadri’s links Amir Mir Friday, January 07, 2011 LAHORE: Security agencies investigating the assassination of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer are trying to explore his killer’s links with Dawat-e-Islami, a non-political Sunni Barelvi religious organisation. The agencies want to ascertain whether the murder was an individual act or someone orchestrated it. Informed police sources say Mumtaz Qadri, the self-confessed assassin, has already admitted during interrogations that he was an active member of Dawat-e-Islami. However, he has denied having been persuaded by any religious figure to carry out Taseer’s assassination, saying it was his personal decision. Preliminary investigations show that Qadri was heavily influenced by the teaching of Dawat-e-Islami, which had been founded by Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Attar Qadri in Karachi in 1980. As a matter of fact, Qadri was not a part of his name originally but Mumtaz had added it as a surname being a follower of Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Attar Qadri, a scholar of traditional Islam who says his organisation is an international movement for propagation of the key Islamic sources — the Quran and the Sunnah. The sources in the security agencies say Qadri’s arrested colleagues from the Elite Force of the Punjab Police as well as his close relatives are also being investigated to ascertain those in his close circles who could have influenced his decisions in the past. Qadri’s cell phone record is also being scrutinised and all the suspected people in his call log have already been asked by the investigators to personally appear for investigations. Having five brothers and two sisters, Mumtaz Qadri got married one year and four months back. Born in Rawalpindi in 1985, he was recruited in Punjab Police in 2002 and was elevated to the Elite Force in 2007. He was made a part of the Elite Force police squad deployed for security of Taseer almost seven months ago.

Coming from a humble family, Qadri’s father is a vegetable seller, residing in Yousuf Colony of Rawalpindi. A week before carrying out Taseer’s assassination, Mumtaz Qadri had reportedly attended a protest demonstration in Islamabad, which was organised by the Sunni Tehrik. The rally warned the government to refrain from granting pardon to Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman already condemned to death on blasphemy charges and introducing changes in the blasphemy law, as had been demanded by Taseer. It has further been transpired that on January 1, 2010, hardly three days before killing the Governor Punjab, Malik Mumtaz Qadri, an extremely religious person, had organised a religious congregation at his home in Rawalpindi. A police party that went to the assassin’s house in Rawalpindi a few hours after the incident had found some religious books in his room titled ìTarbiyati Halqasî and ìMasnoon Duasî, thus proving that he was a committed member of the Dawat-e-Islami which maintains international headquarters in Karachi, and has several national and regional headquarters in 72 countries of the world. Two most significant activities of Dawat-e-Islami, whose Karachi headquarters are called Faizaan-e-Madina, are known as Madani Qafila (missionary travel) and Madani Inamaat (self assessment). Dawat-e-Islami also operates its own non-commercial television channel, the Madani Channel, which only broadcasts Islamic programmes and the activities of the outfit 24 hours a day. The programmes broadcast include Hamd, Naat, sermons, and question-answer sessions.

Dawat-e-Islami actually came into being in 1980 as a splinter group of Jamaat Ahl-e-Sunnat, which at that time was headed by late Allama Ahmed Saeed Kazmi. The Jamaat Ahl-e-Sunnat was in fact the religious wing of a leading political party at that time — the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP), led by late Maulana Shah Ahmed Noorani. Maulana Muhammad Ilyas Qadri, the then Punjab president of the Anjuman Talaba-e-Islam, the youth wing of the JUP, is in fact the founding ameer of Dawat-e-Islami. The same split in the Sunni Barelvi parties gave birth to Sunni Tehrik (ST), which at that time was led by late Maulana Muhammad Saleem Qadri. While the followers of Dawat-e-Islami, which claims to be a party of preachers, are identified by their green turbans, the members of the Sunni Tehrik are identified by their dark brown turbans. However, when approached for comments, a Dawat-e-Islami spokesman said: “It’s a totally propagational outfit which confines itself to preaching the teachings of Quran and Sunnah. Ours is an extremely peaceful and non violent outfit which does not believe in any sort of extremist activity.” REFERENCE: Agencies explore Qadri’s links Amir Mir Friday, January 07, 2011

Sectarian Militancy in Pakistan - 3 (Choraha 10 July 2010)

2011 Qadri is not a religious fanatic: report Tahir Khalil Monday, January 10, 2011 ISLAMABAD: Mumtaz Qadri, the assassin of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, is not a religious fanatic having extremist ideologies. This was disclosed in the initial report submitted to Interior Minister Rehman Malik. According to the report, Mumtaz Qadri had fulfilled all worldly requirements and was married 11 months ago. Before his marriage, he had a long love affair with a girl residing in Karachi. He some times grew beard or trimmed it. The report said Mumtaz Qadri had been performing the VIP duties since 2007, and had served in the security squad of Governor Taseer eight times earlier. He used to take the accused of blasphemy from jail to courts. Officials are investigating how the idea of attacking Governor Taseer came to his mind because he is not religious fanatic. Mumtaz Qadri never enrolled at any Madrassa; however, he used to visit shrines. He belongs to village Attall of Barakao where his grandparents live, and presently he is living in Muslim Town, Rawalpindi.

His record shows that he regularly used to attend gatherings of Dawat-e-Islami. It is surprising for security officials that how a man having inclination towards the Dawat-e-Islami took the extreme step of killing Governor Taseer when no suspected militant out of the 150 arrested from the suburbs of the capital belongs to this religious party. The officials, while giving a briefing to Interior Minister Rehman Malik, said Mumtaz Qadri did not conceal anything and described each and everything clearly and, therefore, there was no need to use ‘third degree’ torture. The interior minister directed them to complete the investigation as soon as possible, so that legal action could be taken against the accused. Meanwhile, as a result of the investigation from Mumtaz Qadri, an official has been held from the security squad of the Punjab chief minister after the arrest of a policeman from the security contingent of the prime minister. REFERENCE: Qadri is not a religious fanatic: report Tahir Khalil Monday, January 10, 2011

Sectarian Militancy in Pakistan - 4 (Choraha 10 July 2010)

Sectarian Militancy in Pakistan - 5 (Choraha 10 July 2010)

2011  Sentiments were exploited against Salmaan Taseer: Ashrafi * Pakistan Ulema Council chairman says whosoever declared it was justified to kill Taseer should come on media to prove his claim before nation LAHORE: Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) Chairman Allama Tahir Ashrafi has admitted that late Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer was right in his claims regarding the misuse of the blasphemy law against minorities and said that sentiments were exploited against him, a private TV channel reported on Saturday. Ashrafi maintained that there had been several statements of Taseer, in which he had condemned the blasphemy, adding that not only the late governor, but many Ulemas, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leaders had also spoken in similar manner. He pointed out that none of them was a mufti, who decreed that Taseer had turned to be a non-believer, saying that it was the work of a mufti and Darul Iftaa to deliver such edicts. Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman and Abul Khair Zubair, a few days back, maintained that no authentic mufti gave an edict of killing Taseer, the channel quoted Ashrafi as saying. The PUC chairman questioned that why the blasphemy law was not implemented when on 12th Rabbiul Awwal of this Islamic year (in 2010), some 750 copies of the holy Quran and several books of Hadith and Tafseer were set on fire by unidentified people at late Allama Ziaul Haq Qasmi’s residence in Faisalabad and a footage of this incident was also present.

“After the incident, Sunni Ittehad Council Chairman Sahibzada Fazal Karim sought registration of an FIR under 295-C against Zahid Qasmi, son of late Qasmi. Both the sides, sects ‘Deobandi’ and ‘Barelvi’, requested police seeking FIRs against each other, but the issue was resolved later,” he recalled and questioned why such a settlement was not counted as blasphemy or profanity, the channel reported. Ashrafi also questioned that the case of Aasia Bibi was in court and “if the high court releases her”, the clerics would, then, accept this decision or not. Adding to the same point, he said, “If the clerics accepts her release by the high court, then who would be responsible for Salmaan Taseer’s blood.” He strongly criticised those who had been providing safety to the murdered the governor, the channel said. Ashrafi further said, “If an accused says that he/she has not committed blasphemy, even Ulema-e-Ahnaf have the capacity to acquit him/her.” Salmaan’s matter was political, he added. He questioned why this matter gained attention when Fazlur Rehman quitted the coalition. He also said that Mazhar Saeed Kazmi, brother of former religious minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi, was now saying that it was not appropriate to offer the funeral prayers of Salmaan Taseer. “This is so unfortunate. Why Kazmi did not talk such thing when he was enjoying the ministry of religious affairs,” he added.

Neither Salmaan Taseer was Rajpal nor Mumtaz Qadri was Ghazi Ilm Din Shaheed, the PUC chairman said and claimed that even the most impious person could not dare to commit blasphemy. Salmaan’s statement was on record and he could not even imagine doing so, he maintained. He recalled that Taseer’s father MD Taseer was the person who provided a death-bed to Ghazi Ilm Din Shaheed and Syed Ataullah Shah Bukhari called Taseer’s mother his sister. He said that the governor could be a bold person, offensive to a maulvi but he could not be a blasphemer. Ashrafi said that the one who declared that it was justified to kill Salmaan Taseer should come on media and prove it in front of the nation. Senior Analyst Syed Mumtaz Shah, who also participated in the TV programme, said that, in 1981, there was a baton-carrying mob, in which two parties were raising different voices on Naara e Risaalat and were harming each other. One was saying Ya Rasool Allah and the other was saying Muhammad-ur Rasool Allah, he said, adding that cases were filed against each other.

Renowned Journalist Abbas Athar said that Barelvi ulemas banned offering Salmaan’s funeral prayers, adding that they had also remarked on the funerals of Lal Mosque’s girls that they were against the state. He questioned that did Mumtaz Qadri, being on duty, showed his loyalty with the state by shooting the governor. He asked that why not his treachery be highlighted. He also said that the biggest problem in the blasphemy law was that “when anyone gets blamed for committing blasphemy then it suddenly becomes a mob’s law”. He said that whenever it would be exposed there would be money behind the assassin and conspiracy too, adding that Mumtaz Qadri was not alone in it. Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) member Azam Nazeer Tararr advocate said that everyone was agreed on the punishment of blasphemy, but haste was used while imposing it. He said that an inquiry should be made for complaints against the government officials, adding that “our problem is that the law is handed over to those who don’t have any training to bear the public pressure and use to surrender in front of it”. He said that according to the constitution, everyone had the right to defend themselves, adding that Article 4 and 9 defended the basic rights of living. He further said that extrajudicial killing was the violation of the constitution and human rights, adding that Taseer’s murder was an extrajudicial killing, which could not be justified. He further said that there was a decision of the Lahore High Court (LHC) former chief justice, Khawaja Sharif, present in the light of a Hadith saying that “the Prophet (PBUH) said that 10 guilty ones can be freed but no innocent can be punished on the base of doubt”, the channel said. REFERENCE: Sentiments were exploited against Salmaan Taseer: Ashrafi * Pakistan Ulema Council chairman says whosoever declared it was justified to kill Taseer should come on media to prove his claim before nation Daily Times Monitor Sunday, January 09, 2011

Sectarian Militancy in Pakistan - 6 (Choraha 10 July 2010)

2011 Qadri is a murderer, not a hero: Ashrafi * Pakistan Ulema Council chairman says JUI-F playing politics in name of religion * Says Fazl liked PPP up until Swati was sacked LAHORE: Pakistan Ulema Council Chairman Allama Tahir Ashrafi condemned the attitude of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), saying that the party was playing politics in the name of religion, adding that Mumtaz Qadri was a murderer not a hero, a private TV channel reported on Friday. Speaking in a private TV channel programme, Ahrafi asked what JUI-F member Ismael Buleedi did when Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Sherry Rehman presented the blasphemy law bill in parliament. He said he heard Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani saying on the floor of National Assembly that the blasphemy law would not be amended. He said that the JUI-F regarded the PM and the PPP-led government as favourable up until the point that Azam Swati got sacked, adding that the blasphemy law issue was raised prior to Swati’s dismissal. He said the blasphemy law was a sacred law because no one could question on the holy Prophet (PBUH)’s sayings. He raised a question as to why the JUI-F demanded to bring the blasphemy law in the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), after terming it a ‘sacred law’? He asked if the members of the Council of Islamic Ideology were angels? He further questioned that if the council would term its point of view on any issue as Shariat and parliament or the Senate would turn it down, would it be the rejection of Shariat by parliament, the channel said.

In the programme, he presented an edict, collectively given by all schools of thoughts, according to which if any person would go against Shariat incidentally, then only the ruler would be the authorised person to punish him. He said that supporting Mumtaz Qadri or terming him a hero was not the right thing to do. He critically said that he was not the one delivering honour to slain Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer’s assassin, while addressing thousands in a gathering in Karachi. He was of the view that if the late Punjab governor was not justified in visiting Aasia Bibi in jail, then what Qadri did was also not an appreciable act. He said that when Sufi Muhammad said he did not obey the court and the rule of the country, he faced army action, adding that when the Taliban say that lashing women publicly is in accordance with Shariat, we term them as brutes. He said that when someone commits a crime in Islamabad, then the attitude of the leading processions are in his favour and distributing sweets creates conflict. He asked that if the blasphemy law was from God, then why was the Council of Islamic Ideology amending it. He criticised the council by saying that none of its proposals were ever implemented. He said the nation had not even reached a consensus on the authority to issue an edict, the channel reported. Speaking in the same programme, Defence Analyst Dr Ayesha Siddiqua said that we are living in a country where minorities also have equal rights and late Taseer was a political figure. She said the late governor was not overturning the law as he was portrayed in the processions, as if (God forbid) he had committed blasphemy. The other participants of the programme were Ismael Buleedi, Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat Punjab President Shamsur Rehman Muawiya and formal interior secretary Tasneem Noorani. REFERENCE: Qadri is a murderer, not a hero: Ashrafi * Pakistan Ulema Council chairman says JUI-F playing politics in name of religion * Says Fazl liked PPP up until Swati was sacked Daily Times Monitor Saturday, January 29, 2011

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