Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Misuse of Blasphemy Law on Non-Muslims & Muslims.

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 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=23953&Cat=4

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


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 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C01%5C09%5Cstory_9-1-2011_pg7_18

August 2012: Pakistani president wades into 'Down's Syndrome' blasphemy case The fate of an 11-year-old Christian girl in Pakistan who was jailed last week after being accused of burning religious texts hangs on a pending medical report from authorities confirming that she is mentally disabled. Under Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law, the desecration of Islamic scriptures is punishable by death. Local media have reported the girl has Down's Syndrome, which could give authorities a means of exonerating her. Pakistan has struggled to handle blasphemy cases in recent years. With the country in the global spotlight, such cases bring strong condemnations not just from elites and minorities here but from an international community worried about Pakistan's heated religious climate. Pakistani leaders also face pressure from local communities prepared to violently punish any accused blasphemers. In this case, Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari has stepped in early, saying he is taking "notice" of the issue and directed officials to investigate. Some analysts here see that as a silver lining in the case. “The case … demonstrates the growing bigotry in the society where people cannot even spare a mentally challenged child,” says Raza Rumi, a noted columnist, adding that efforts to even conduct a debate on the colonial-era blasphemy law have resulted in murders and threats to progressive Pakistani Muslims. “However the intervention by the president is a healthy sign indicating that the moderate coalition parties in the government may take up the issue of reforming the blasphemy law again,” he adds. REFERENCE: Pakistani president wades into 'Down's Syndrome' blasphemy case President Zardari's intervention may signal that moderate coalition parties in the government will take up the issue of reforming the blasphemy law again. By Taha Siddiqui, Correspondent / August 20, 2012 http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2012/0820/Pakistani-president-wades-into-Down-s-Syndrome-blasphemy-case

Jang Group & GEO TV Murdered Salman Taseer (Abbas Athar BBC)


ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani police official says thousands of people beat a man to death, and burned his corpse after he was accused of desecrating the holy Quran. A senior police officer Mohammed Azhar Gujar said that in the incident on Tuesday in the Ahmedpur East area of Punjab’s Bahawalpur district, attackers stormed a police station where the man was being interrogated. He said the victim seemed to be mentally unstable. He was arrested after residents said he threw pages of the Quran into the street. While the man was being questioned, some people started making announcements over mosque loudspeakers, urging residents to go to the police station and punish him. Within hours, thousands gathered outside and demanded the man be handed over to them. Gujar said police tried to protect him, but the mob turned violent. They burned several police vehicles and wounded seven officers before grabbing the man and dragging him into the street, where he was beaten to death and his body set on fire. Gujar said the mob also attacked the house of an area police chief and burned his furniture and possessions. It was unclear whether the man was Muslim, a member of Pakistan’s Christian minority or belonged to another religion. His name was not released. Pakistani Christians live in fear of being arrested under the blasphemy laws, which critics say are often misused to settle personal scores or family feuds. Efforts to change the laws have made little headway. Last year, two prominent Pakistani political figures who spoke out against the blasphemy laws were killed in attacks that raised concerns about the rise of religious extremism in Pakistan. On June 17, a crowd attempted to lynch a blasphemy suspect as they tried to storm into the police station where he was held. A group of lawyers attempted to attack the same suspect the next day following his production in court but policemen successfully foiled both attacks. In Quetta last month, a man was killed as a mob attacked a police station holding a “mentally retarded” man also suspected of desecrating the holy book. Former Punjab governor Salman Taseer was shot dead in January last year by one of his police bodyguards for opposing the blasphemy law. The incident highlighted the highly charged nature of the country’s blasphemy laws, under which anyone found guilty of insulting the prophet or the Quran can be sentenced to death. Sometimes, however, people take the matter into their own hands. During a visit to Pakistan in May, Gabriela Knaul, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, said lawyers are often reluctant to defend clients accused under the blasphemy laws because of intimidation, and judges are often pressured to convict. Mob kills man, burns corpse for desecrating Quran http://dawn.com/2012/07/04/mob-kills-man-burns-corpse-for-desecrating-quran/

Those who have set a Human being on Fire should read The Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) who has forbidden burning people with fire. He said, "Lord of fire is the only One Who can punish by fire.", narrated by Abu-Dawud and al-Dârimî.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012, Shaban 13, 1433 A.H.

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 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C01%5C09%5Cstory_9-1-2011_pg7_18

Misuse of Blasphemy Law - 1 (Column Kaar - 8th Jan 2011)


March 2010 Muslims desecrated Holy Quran in these Riots in Faisalabad, Punjab: Milad processions also attacked in Faisalabad, Sargodha Seven killed in DI Khan violence Monday, March 01, 2010 DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Police and security forces on Sunday arrested over 100 suspects in a swoop launched after sectarian clashes during the Milad-un-Nabi procession and, subsequently, between protesters and the police in Dhaki village. The two clashes left seven people dead and many others injured. The situation remained calm and under control after Saturday’s violence in Dhaki, some 50 kilometres from the Dera Ismail Khan city.The authorities had enforced curfew from 6:00 am to 4:00 pm and took strict security measures to avert any further untoward incident. At least, seven people were killed and 32 others sustained injuries in the violence and clashes between the protesters and personnel of police and security forces. Eyewitnesses said that a procession was taken out from the Bilal Mosque in connection with the Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) in Dhaki village on the Dera-Chashma Road. After covering some distance, the students of a seminary of another sect blocked the road for the procession and did not allow them to proceed.The situation worsened when participants of the procession and the students exchanged hot words. Subsequently, the sources said, the religious students started firing at the procession in which Muhammad Irfan Kanju was killed on the spot while nine others sustained injuries.Some of the wounded persons were identified as Muhammad Abid, Jehanzeb, Muhammad Naveed, Mumtaz and Ijaz. The sources said the students involved in the firing on the procession fled after the incident.However, the members of the procession took out a protest rally as a large number of people from the nearby villages thronged the place and joined the protesters.

Eyewitnesses said a fierce clash between the enraged protesters and the police erupted after the former attempted to block the road and set the seminary and the house of the cleric heading it on fire. The police, led by District Police Officer (DPO) Gul Afzal Khan, tried to stop the mob by blocking the road.However, the protesters did not disperse, which forced the police to use batons and fire teargas shells at the protesters. The protesters, the sources said, reportedly opened fire on the police in which Sepoy Sanaullah of the Elite Force, Sepoy Asmatullah of Paharpur police station and the DPO’s security guard Tahir sustained injuries. The sources said the police and protesters exchanged heavy fire in which six people were killed and 32 others were injured.Those killed included Muhammad Hanif, Azizullah, Hafiz Alam Sher, Sanaullah, Hashmat Ali and Ahsan. Some of the wounded persons were identified as Muneer Ahmed, Kifayat, Muhammad Ramzan, Naseer Ahmed, Muhammad Yousaf, Zafar Iqbal, Ghulam Dastagir, Khadim Hussain, Mehroban, Gul Sher and Fida Hussain. Most of the injured were admitted to the DHQ and Paharpur hospitals while the seriously-wounded persons were shifted to various hospitals in Islamabad, Multan and Peshawar. Maulana Zahid Mahmood told journalists in police custody that the participants of the procession allegedly pelted the main gate of Gole Masjid with stones and used abusive language. According to sources, Gole Masjid Ghulam Muhammadabad was considered the main centre of banned Sipha-e-Sahaba.

FAISALABAD: Some unidentified persons opened fire on Eid Milad-un-Nabi procession near a mosque in Ghulam Muhammadabad on Saturday afternoon, injuring at least four persons seriously. Infuriated participants of the procession blocked the road by setting tyres on fire and later attacked the Ghulam Muhammadabad police station. They pelted stones and torched vehicles parked on the police station premises. More than 100 vehicles, including impounded vehicles, wagons, motorcycles and cars and motorcycles of the police officials, were set ablaze, while the criminal cases record of the police station was also burnt to ashes. However, a local official denied the earlier reports about torching of 150 vehicles and motorcycles. He confirmed that 50 vehicles and 10 motorcycles and record of the police station were gutted during the incident. When the fire-brigade staff reached the police station, the furious religious workers pelted them with stones. The police have reportedly arrested four persons on charge of involvement in firing on Milad-un-Nabi procession and damaging the public property. However, their names were not disclosed by the police. After setting on fire the police station record, the protesters ransacked the house of Maulana Zahid Qasmi, looted valuables and set his house on fire. This caused serious damage to a gas pipeline in the area, which resulted in burning of a nearby house and two cars parked along the road. The furious protesters also burst into the Madrassa run by Zahid Qasmi, but the police took prompt action and got vacated the building.

Meanwhile, both factions of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan, Sahibzada Fazle Karim faction and the Rasool Group, announced to observe a complete strike in Faisalabad on Sunday against the incident of firing on Milad-un-Nabi procession and asked the trade organisations to close down their businesses on Sunday against the incident. The JUP leaders also announced taking out protest rallies in Faisalabad and stage sit-ins at various points, including Ghanta Ghar Chowk. Police have registered a case against 25 persons, including 15 top activists of different sects under 7-ATA and various sections of the PPC. The police have also arrested 10 people, including Maulana Ziaul Qasmi, general secretary of the International Khatme Nubuwwat Movement. Meanwhile, religious scholars staged a protest to condemn the attack on the house and seminary of Jamia Qasmia. The eight bazaars were closed as the protest demonstration entered the downtown area. Addressing the protesters at Ghanta Ghar Chowk, Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi and Maulana Ilyas Chinioti termed the incident a conspiracy against peace of this city. Meanwhile, the Khurrianwala police have also booked 12 activists on the charge of displaying arms on Eid Milad-un-Nabi. Those booked included Bilal, Tanveerur Rehman, Naveed Zafar, Saleem, Naveed Taj, Rizwan Afzal and Abdul Ghafoor.

SARGODHA: About 12 people were injured in an attack on Eid Milad-un-Nabi procession at Chak 35/NB on Saturday. A complainant, Asif, told the Sadr police that dozens of people attacked the Eid Milad procession with sticks at the behest of Aziz. As a result, he, Faisal, Azhar, Atta Muhammad and others sustained minor injuries. The police have registered a case against Faisal Munir, Ansar Munir, Atta Muhammad, Mumtaz, Ashraf, Imran, Fayyaz, Allah Ditta, Qaisar Abbas and Aziz. The police have also arrested some of the accused. Meanwhile, Markazi Milad Committee Convener Khalid Iqbal Musarrat demanded strict action against the attackers. In the meantime, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif ordered the IG Punjab to conduct an inquiry into the incidents, while the IG reviewed the situation. ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik has also ordered a joint investigation to probe the incidents occurring on Saturday in Dera Ismail Khan and Faisalabad. REFERENCE: Milad processions also attacked in Faisalabad, Sargodha Seven killed in DI Khan violence our correspondent Monday, March 01, 2010 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=27541&Cat=13&dt=3/1/2010

Misuse of Blasphemy Law - 2 (Column Kaar - 8th Jan 2011)


March 2010 Muslims desecrated Holy Quran in these Riots in Faisalabad, Punjab: Faisalabad tense after riots break out FAISALABAD The City remained tense as factions belonging to two different sects clashed over the issue of a disputed mosque on Sunday morning. The angry mob burnt dozens of cars and bikes in Usman Town Mithopura within Sargodha Road Police Stations area. Police arrested some 15 persons and were able to bring the situation under control. RPO Faisalabad Muhammad Tahir has meanwhile suspended the SHO of Sargodha Road Police Station on the charges of showing negligence. Earlier, DCO Saeed Wahla had imposed restrictions under Section 144 CrPC across the district after shots were fired on an Eid Milad-un-Nabi procession in Ghulam Muham-madabad area on Saturday night. During the violence that followed one person was killed, as demonstrators and police fought pitched battles in the locality. The clashes erupted when unknown armed men resorted to indiscriminate firing on the procession near Goll Mosque critically injuring three people. The angry protestors burnt dozens of cars, bikes and building of the local police station. The house of International Khatm-e-Nabuwwat General Secretary Zahid Mehmood Qasmi was also set ablaze. Meanwhile, 55-year-old Mushtaq died on the spot during the clashes with the cops who baton-charged and fired tear gas shells in a bid to disperse the crowd but was unable to bring the situation under control till late Saturday night. People also pelted stones on Goll Mosque and attacked Ghulamabad Police Station while setting a fire dozens of vehicle parked there besides torching the building and some records as well. The crowd destroyed the house of Zahid Qasmi and did not let the fire fighters to extinguish the inferno. Later, on the appeal of police high ups, Qasmi surrendered himself before police along with ten of his cronies and some weapons. Police conducted a search operation at Goll Mosque and took more arms and ammunition into possession. DCO Saeed Iqbal Wahla told this scribe that the weapons recovered were of the security guards at the mosque while Qasmi was still in the police custody. Meanwhile, on the directive of Punjab government, IGP Tariq Salim Dogar also reached Faisalabad. On the other hand, both the sects are accusing each other for indulging in violence. After his arrival in the city, Maulana Saeed Ludhianwi condemned the incident and blamed the government for its alleged negligence. In a press conference at the destroyed house of Zahid Qasmi, he showed burnt copies of the Holy Quran to the media persons and said police and district administration arrested their people despite the fact that they were subjected to attack. But the other party is also accusing Zahid Qasmi alleging that his men opened fire from the mosque on the procession. A special meeting of district peace committee was held late on Saturday night during which clerics belonging to different sects expressed their resolve to maintain harmony, brotherhood and peace. But according to the sources concerned, the district administration failed to make the meeting a success, which resulted in clashes on Sunday. In a clear violation of Section 144, Sipha Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), a banned militant outfit, organised a large rally in favour of Zahid Qasmi and openly displayed weapons. REFERENCE: Faisalabad tense after riots break out By: Ahmad Jamal Nizami | March 01, 2010 http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/politics/01-Mar-2010/Faisalabad-tense-after-riots-break-out

Misuse of Blasphemy Law - 3 (Column Kaar - 8th Jan 2011)


March 2010 Muslims desecrated Holy Quran in these Riots in Faisalabad, Punjab: Second Editorial: Religious intolerance An attack on Eid Milad-un-Nabi Barelvi processions in Faisalabad and D I Khan, retaliation by the participants and the subsequent damage to public and private property, loss of life and injuries have revealed that religious intolerance is seething just beneath the surface. In such incidents, the first suspicion is cast upon the opposing sect, who might normally have been assumed to be Shias in this case, but the Barelvi victims have accused the Deobandi groups in their respective areas. The occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi in Pakistan is usually marked by celebrations comprising lighting up of streets, model-making, na’at competitions and processions in all big cities. The Barelvis, more rooted in the culture of the Subcontinent and deeply influenced by Sufism, have always promoted the more human side of religion by spearheading celebrations of the birth of the Prophet (PBUH). Fun-starved youngsters make full use of the opportunity to give vent to their artistic skills and provide healthy entertainment to the general public. However, this has irked the conservative schools of Sunni Islam, notably the Deobandis, who had been campaigning before the occasion that celebrating the birth of the Prophet (PBUH) was a heresy because neither he nor his companions celebrated the event. The eruption of violence on such an insignificant issue between two Sunni denominations is an indicator of deep insecurities and a wish to impose one’s interpretation of religion on all others.

It is a source of great concern that more people were injured in exchange of firing between the police and the rioters in D I Khan. In a tense situation like this, the police are expected to dexterously manage the situation to cool down sentiments, which otherwise may swirl out of control. Once riots start, they may not necessarily remain confined to their origin and may become an opportunity to vent other kinds of resentments. Occasions such as Ashura and Eid Milad-un-Nabi, when sentiments run high, provide a ripe opportunity for mischief-makers to ignite trouble and disrupt religious harmony. Masked men have been reported to have carried out sabotage activities on several occasions in the past to avoid being identified and arrested. In a fraught situation like this, the Punjab government appears to be in denial that there are extremist forces at work in Punjab, particularly Southern Punjab. Reluctance to adopt a clear policy against such outfits may ultimately land this government in deep trouble as a result of internecine violence among these groups, in which ordinary people are also caught in the crossfire. * REFERENCE: Second Editorial: Religious intolerance Tuesday, March 02, 2010 http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010%5C03%5C02%5Cstory_2-3-2010_pg3_1

Misuse of Blasphemy Law - 4 (Column Kaar - 8th Jan 2011)


March 2010 Muslims desecrated Holy Quran in these Riots in Faisalabad, Punjab: Religious holidays in the country are fast becoming marked by violence. Over the weekend, processions celebrating Eid Miladun Nabi in Faisalabad and D.I. Khan were attacked causing death, injuries and mayhem. Thankfully, the violence was quickly contained and did not rise to the level of terribleness that the country has unfortunately witnessed in recent times. Pakistanis hardly need reminding that the country is in the grip of religious intolerance and violence the war against militancy has touched every corner of the country inflicting a terrible toll, and for a while certain areas were virtually ceded to the militants without a fight. But there is another, more insidious, religious poison that is spreading, largely unnoticed, across the country, and it is not quite as easy to explain as the territorial ambitions of the Taliban. That poison has pit Sunni against Shia, Deobandi against Barelvi, Muslim against religious minorities — and it defies easy categorisation. The only thing its various strands seem to have in common is a hatred for everything that is `different`, where `different` is inevitably judged as an unacceptable deviation and therefore deserving of punishment, even death, in many instances. Invariably — perhaps suggesting where the cure must first begin — a steady diet of dogmatic preaching is to be found wherever such violence occurs. In Faisalabad, the khatib of a local mosque was arrested on charges of inciting people to violence. It will take great political will but such violent elements need to be purged from the mosques and madressahs, for without that it will not be possible to roll back the tide of hate that is threatening to engulf the country. Nor should it be viewed as some-thing that is impossible to do. After all, only a few years ago, processions such as those witnessed on Saturday were low-key and passed off peacefully. Thhat is new is the sense of one-upmanship each group wants to have a bigger and louder affair and is ever keen to rattle or taunt rival groups. In the event, the police and local administrations largely manage to do a good job and keep tensions to a minimum. But that is mere fire-fighting and ends up dealing with only the symptom and not the disease. The infrastructure of hate that has slowly taken hold at the grass-roots level is really what needs to be dismantled. Further delay in initiating that process will only cause the problem to grow in magnitude. REFERENCE: Religious violence Dawn Editorial March 2010 http://archives.dawn.com/archives/32519

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