Thursday, July 25, 2013

Zaid Hamid, Misuse of Blasphemy Law & Conspiracy Theories

Daily Dawn Pakistan (2000) Convicted for blasphemy - A kind, benevolent and honourable Muslim Sufi of a small order has been sentenced to death on blasphemy charges by a court in Lahore. I am an eyewitness to what happened in the court and how the prosecution murdered justice, human dignity, Islamic and contemporary law and all norms of humanity in the name of Islam. Mohammad Yusuf Ali is a staunch Muslim and a scholar of the Holy Quran. He has rendered meritorious services to Islam, Pakistan and humanity in his career. It was only a difference of interpretation which was exploited by extremist mullahs and some Urdu newspapers. Yusuf Ali had already spent two years in jail and now he has been convicted. I was present in the courtroom to assist the defence lawyers. It was barred to the outside world. I am witness to what happened inside and how he has been convicted. The prosecution had based their case on four items: audio cassette of Juma Khutba, video cassettes of Juma Khutba, Yousuf Ali`s purported diary, and one Pir and his few followers, who claimed that he had claimed to be “Muhammad“ in front of them many years ago! There was nothing objectionable in the cassettes, and even according to Qanoon-i-Shahadat, they were inadmissible, as the one who had made these was not known. They were highly edited, doctored and manipulated. The diary was not of Yusuf Ali`s at all, and even the prosecution admitted that they were not sure of its origin. It had no name, no handwriting match, no owner. It was simply alleged on Yusuf Ali and was torn to shreds in its originality and credibility. The Pir and his followers were again torn to shreds, as none of them was the complainant. They never reported the alleged blasphemy to the police or any other authority, which supposedly happened many years ago. Their credibility did not exist at all in terms of contradictions in cross examinations. One of them was on bail on fraud charges. The complainant had all the info on hearsay. He had never met the accused in his life. All his info was through Urdu newspapers. He accused Yusuf Ali of adultery, but even in the FIR, the relevant section was not mentioned for lack of evidence, making the complainant liable to “Qazaf“. His testimony was not admissible at all. Yusuf Ali had categorically, even before the registration of the FIR, made it clear through paid ads that he had not claimed to be a prophet and he was a staunch Muslim. Top religious scholars like Maulana Abdul Sattar Niazi had declared him a true Muslim and asked the charges to be dropped. According to all legal and Shariat requirements he had proved himself to be a true Muslim. Still the prosecution insisted that he called himself a prophet. How can anyone be the judge of someone`s faith? The prosecution lawyers went so overboard that even the judge had to stop them from committing blasphemy in trying to prove Yusuf Ali wrong. Even though Yusuf Ali was on bail, he was arrested one day earlier against all rules, laws and norms. It is extraordinary how the bail given by a High Court was cancelled by the Sessions Court and the accused was arrested. The whole trial was in camera and the media was not allowed in to hear Yusuf Ali`s explanations, his speeches and comments. The media was also barred from seeing the hopelessness of the prosecution witnesses and their lawyers. It was on this quality of evidence that a great living sufi has been condemned to death on so many counts that we have lost count. Now Yusuf Ali is in the line for gallows. Will we wait and let the evil win or raise our voices for our own survival? by Z.Z. HAMID Rawalpindi : Special Thanks to : Convicted for Blasphemy, Zaid Hamid's Article In Daily DAWN 13 Aug 2000 [Original Scan] March 24, 2010 / Regarding Zaid Hamid’s article/letter in Dawn

Fitnah of Takfir by Ibn Baz, Nasiruddin Al-Albani and Ibn Al-Uthaymeen 

Conspiracy Theorists by Nadeem F. Paracha (Dawn News)

Conspiracy Theorists by Nadeem F... by SalimJanMazari

What are we first of all: Muslim or Pakistani? Is our ultimate commitment with Pakistani citizenship or a global Muslim brotherhood? What kind of Pakistan should we aim at: a progressive multi-ethnic social democracy or some kind of medieval caliphate? FATA continues to be used and abused as a strategic space by the security establishment of Pakistan in violent pursuit of strategic depth in Afghanistan. In short, strategic depth means Pakistan must have a pro-Pakistan government in Afghanistan by any and all means. People of FATA have suffered more than people in any other part of Pakistan due to this policy. They dread and hate ‘strategic depth’. Some people of FATA drew my attention towards Zaid Hamid, who, they said, is a new charm offensive of the military establishment to popularise the notion of strategic depth among the youth from affluent families in the big cities of Pakistan. He is frequently given air time by the electronic media, also an evidence that the media, especially the Urdu media, is not free and has to toe the establishment’s line in security matters. Show biz celebrities have joined him. Those who oppose the strategic depth, especially the Pakhtun, who are the biggest casualty of it, are never given so much media attention. The main concern of the people of FATA vis-a-vis Zaid Hamid is his use of a particularly narrow interpretation of Islam that proposes a belligerent agenda for the Pakistan Army and drawing on controversial Islamic literature. Thus the authenticity of the hadiths — sayings of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) — on Ghazwa-e-Hind that he often refers to in terms of the ultimate defeat of the Indians at the hands of the Pakistan Army is highly questionable. Zaid Hamid claims in his speeches to young people that God determines the destiny of Pakistan. Pakistan will become a grand Caliphate. Pakistan army will cut India down to the size of Sri Lanka. Pakistan will lead the entire Muslim world and its army will be deployed in Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya and Afghanistan. The corrupt judicial system, consisting of the lawyers and the Supreme Court of Pakistan, will be replaced by an Islamic judicial system that would ensure — Taliban style — speedy and cheap justice. He claims that the current elected set up in Pakistan is implanted by the CIA and prophesies that the current rulers in Pakistan will have their dead bodies hanging on poles in Islamabad, an indirect appreciation of what the Taliban did in Afghanistan with the dead body of Dr Najibullah, the then Afghan president. He openly threatens the nationalists, especially the Pakhtun and Baloch nationalists, for their aspirations. The Taliban government in Afghanistan, he declares, was Pakistan-friendly and condemns its removal by the US in the post-9/11 attack on the country. He glorifies the biggest mass murderer of the Pakhtun — General Zia, the former dictator of Pakistan. Judging by the obscurantist message that he communicates, Zaid Hamid does not seem to be a new invention of the establishment. He is an addition to the long list of people who have been handpicked to promote an anti-people agenda in the name of religion and hate of India, like the people from the Jamaat-e-Islami. What seems to be new is his apparent ‘tolerance’ of the ‘un-Islamic’ lifestyle of the urban youth and in this context there are some interesting discussions about Zaid Hamid on some blogs and mailing lists. One blogger writes that Zaid Hamid is using a new strategy to communicate the same old conspiracy theories to young people. The strategy is that unlike classical Islamic scholars, joining Zaid Hamid’s group does not necessarily require the youth to shed their sophisticated lifestyle and adjust to hijab, a ban on music and gender segregation. The only thing they have to do is to glorify the Pakistan Army, including its pursuit of strategic depth, and hate Jews, Americans and Indians. A writer on one of the mailing lists argues that Zaid Hamid is a Pied Piper for our youth from the prosperous sections of Punjab who have no dreams to be proud of. Zaid Hamid sells the dreams of conquering the world, though they are nonsense, yet still work for the youth who are now caught up in an identity crisis, continues the writer. The writer understands that the fault lies with the leftist intellectuals who have lost direction by joining NGOs and leaving the anti-imperialist struggle open for people like Zaid Hamid or Imran Khan. REFERENCE: analysis: Zaid Hamid and strategic depth —Farhat Taj Saturday, February 13, 2010

Marvi Sirmed and Zaid Hamid on National Security (Shahid Naama – 25th August 2011)


Marvi Sirmed & Zaid Hamid on National Security... by SalimJanMazari

 Zaid Hamid, in his show, sets a dangerous agenda for the youth of Pakistan; the very same youth who are living a comfortable life in poverty-stricken Pakistan. They lack any ambitions in life to give it some purpose. This lack of goals is rooted in the identity crisis being faced by the Pakistani youth. The crisis is expressed in questions like these: what are we first of all: Muslim or Pakistani? Is our ultimate commitment with Pakistani citizenship or a global Muslim brotherhood? What kind of Pakistan should we aim at: a progressive multi-ethnic social democracy or some kind of medieval caliphate? Secondly, one has to strive very hard for ideals. If the ideal is the former (multi-ethnic social democratic Pakistan), the youth from affluent families will have to share their riches with the poor, downtrodden fellow citizens. This is very hard for this class of people, otherwise I would at least have seen them working for bringing normalcy in the shattered lives of the people of FATA, who have been living in deplorable conditions in refugee camps for over two years now. In the latter case (caliphate) they can placate their conscience by attaching themselves with the higher ideal without having to give up something from their comfortable lives. The only thing they have to do is to support the belligerent agenda of the military establishment and their poor fellow Pakistanis can go to hell. Zaid Hamid’s campaign is like opium for the young that makes them run away from reality, i.e. Pakistan is a class-based multi-ethnic society that cannot be held together with mere Islamic rhetoric and military ambitions. What is even more dangerous is the fact that Zaid Hamid is glorifying the same Taliban that the people of FATA hold responsible for their massacre at the behest of the military establishment of Pakistan. Case in point, Jalaluddin Haqqani who occupies North Waziristan. I would invite the young fans of Zaid Hamid to take a tour of FATA, or at least FATA IDP camps in various parts of the NWFP, to observe firsthand what the Taliban and the military did to these people. I would remind the youth that people all over FATA hold the generals of the Pakistan Army more than the Taliban responsible for the death and destruction in their area. They view the Taliban — all Taliban, good, bad, Afghan or Pakistani — as a creation of the intelligence agencies of our country. How much more do the people of FATA need to sacrifice for strategic depth in Afghanistan? The never-ending human sufferings in the area could transform into widespread anti-state sentiments. The youth around Zaid Hamid must know that the current pursuit of strategic depth may turn into — as rightly described in this paper’s editorial ‘Strategic death’? (Daily Times, February 3, 2010) –’strategic death’ for Pakistan rather than securing a friendly Afghanistan. REFERENCE: analysis: Zaid Hamid and strategic depth —Farhat Taj Saturday, February 13, 2010

Meet the Conspiracy Theorist Zaid Hamid (Talaash – 20th July 2013 Dunya News)


Meet the Conspiracy Theorist Zaid Hamid... by SalimJanMazari

Zaid Hamid and his followers will not shy away from using religious texts of doubtful authenticity, with totally wrong and self-serving interpretations, to promote war. But the Pakistani youth is no more willing to be at the receiving end of this twisted interpretation of Islam -- Zaid Hamid is the latest tool in the arsenal of the Pakistani security establishment to misguide, brainwash and indoctrinate the Pakistani youth, to win support for its belligerent agenda. To achieve his nefarious designs, especially to instill bellicosity and flare up anti-India emotions, Zaid Hamid delivers sermons on private television channels, gives inteviews and holds seminars and workshops in universities to impress and influence impressionable young minds. In order to authenticate his message of attacking and conquering India, Zaid Hamid repeats, ad nauseum, a set of ahadith [sayings of the Prophet (PBUH)] of doubtful authenticity about Ghazwa-i-Hind. Through such a medium, he tries to make his audience and viewers believe that conquering India is indeed a sacred duty of the Pakistani Muslims. Most religious scholars do not consider these ahadith to be authenic. Some who do consider them authentic say that the predictions and prophecies made in them have already been fulfilled during the first century of Islam, and are not at all applicable to what Zaid Hamid would like us to believe — the invasion of India by Pakistan. These scholars contend that none of these ahadith are found in the ahadith books considered to be the most authentic by the Sunnis, books like Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Daud, Ibn-i-Maja, Tirmidhi and Muwatta. Two of these ahadith appear in the collections of ahadith by Imam Nisai but not in Sunan an-Nisai al Sughra, the book considered to be among the Sihah-e-Sitta. The others are not even found in the reliable collections of respected muhadiseen (compilers of ahadith). These scholars also argue that Imam Nisai died in 915, after the death of all other respected muhadiseen to whom Sihah-e-Sitta are attributed. It, therefore, does not make much sense that we have these ahadith being narrated through Imam Nisai, but not through any of the other respected muhadiseen who lived before him. REFERENCE: VIEW: Zaid Hamid and Ghuzwa-i-Hind BY Tayyab Shah Thursday, March 18, 2010

 Ejaz Haider on Zaid Hamid (Bay Laag Capital TV )

Ejaz Haider on Zaid Hamid (Bay Laag Capital TV ) by SalimJanMazari

Another argument put forward by these learned men is that the chain of narrators of these ahadith contains people like Baqiyyah, Asad ibn Musa and Hushaim who have been declared as unreliable, untrustworthy and abominable by experts like Al-Zahabiy, Ibn Hajar and Al-Uqaily. It is clear that not even one of these chains of narrators consists of people who are reliable enough for us to say, with any degree of confidence, that the narratives under consideration are correctly ascribed to the Prophet (PBUH). They also add that, considering the reward for participating in this war and the importance of it, as these ahadith tell, they should have been narrated by more companions of the Prophet (PBUH) and should have been included in more books of the ahadith. These scholars also draw attention to the fact that none of these ahadith are found in any of the collections of ahadith, which the Shia Muslims consider authentic. This raises the question: did the Ummayads/Abbasids, considering their expansionist designs, invent them? It should also be noted that the Ummayads did reach Sindh, a part of Hind back then. Many scholars believe that it is possible that these ahadith are not genuine at all and that they might have been fabricated at the time of Muhammad bin Qasim’s invasion of Sindh in order to justify it. These scholars also note the fact that we do not have any historical report telling us about the use of these ahadith in the past by Muslim rulers or conquerors, even those who did invade India or waged a war on it and claimed to do it for religious purposes. If they were respected and authentic ahadith, we should have such historical reports. It would have been very easy for Muslim conquerors of India like Mahmud of Ghazni, Shihabuddin Ghauri, Timur, Nadir Shah and so on, to present the ahadith about the Ghuzwa-i-Hind, and use them to justify their attacks on the country. The scholars associated with their courts could well have suggested these to them had they wished. However, no such mention is made about this in history books. In the 18th century, the well-known Islamic scholar Shah Waliullah of Delhi invited the Afghan king, Ahmad Shah Abdali to invade India and drive out the Marathas, which he accepted, yet Shah Waliullah, too, did not use these ahadith as a part of his argument. Those who consider these authentic argue that the battle against India that these ahadith predicted was fulfilled in the early Islamic period itself, and is not something that will happen in the future. They also add that it is quite likely that the predicted Ghuzwa-i-Hind took the form of an attack by an Arab Muslim force on Thana and Bharuch, in coastal western India, in the 15th year of the Hijra calendar, during the reign of the Caliph Umar. Some scholars also argue that these ahadith could, possibly, have been fulfilled in the form of missionary efforts by some of the Prophet’s (PBUH) companions soon after, during the reign of the Caliphs Usman and Ali, in Sindh and Gujarat. Other ulema consider these predictions to have been fulfilled in the form of the attack and occupation of Sindh by Arab Muslims, led by Muhammad bin Qasim in the 93rd year of the Islamic calendar, which then facilitated the spread of Islam in the country. In any case, these ahadith do not talk about Pakistanis fighting Indians. They talk about Arabs on an expedition to India, after which they conquer it. The above clearly shows the extent to which Zaid Hamid and his supporters will go to further their agenda. They will not shy away from using religious texts of doubtful authenticity, with totally wrong and self-serving interpretations, to promote war. But the Pakistani youth is no more willing to be at the receiving end of this twisted interpretation of Islam, as was amply demonstrated by the students of Islamia College University, Peshawar, when Zaid Hamid tried to address them. REFERENCE: VIEW: Zaid Hamid and Ghuzwa-i-Hind BY Tayyab Shah Thursday, March 18, 2010

Please note that Ms. Nasreen Pervaiz (Former Government Servant of Pakistan) was on a payroll of Brigadier (R) Imtiaz (Former Official of ISI and then Director General Intelligence Bureau)

Kamran Shahid and Zaid Hamid (On The Front – 21th July 2013)


Kamran Shahid and Zaid Hamid (On The Front... by SalimJanMazari

Conspiracy theories and their authors become a cause for concern when they begin to hallucinate and can no longer distinguish between their own flights of imagination and the world around them. When they hijack a whole nation or community into another world, then they ought to be held accountable These are very troubled times. Such times are a bonanza for conspiracy theorists because they know how best to simplify extremely complex situations while simultaneously grossly exaggerating the evil ingenuity of the plotters, and thus create thorough confusion. If such confusion can generate panic, then the conspiracy theorist has earned his living through real hard work. The art then is to top it off with an ending that results in the defeat of the evildoers. Such stuff is the bread and butter of writers of mystery stories and thrillers. Their works help shed everyday boredom, even if only for the moment. Conspiracy theories and their authors become a cause for concern when they begin to hallucinate and can no longer distinguish between their own flights of imagination and the world around them. If such delirious moments only carry them into a world of make-believe, then the harm is limited. However, when they hijack a whole nation or community into another world, then they ought to be held accountable. When such characters appear in popular talk shows or, much worse, begin exploiting TV channels to present programmes full of war games and prophecies against a demonised group of plotters threatening the existence of a nation — nay, a universal community such as that of the Muslims — then I believe such persons should be held accountable for taking people on a ride with their yarns. By now the readers must have guessed that I have no other person in mind other than Mr Zaid Hamid. Initially I was reluctant to comment on the farce he pedals in his talks and his TV programmes. The reason is that one can end up giving more importance to individuals than is due. On the other hand, the danger is that the angst and fears that run deep in Pakistani society will push our society even deeper into a pathological state of mind or national outlook. The daily bomb blasts by remote control or by suicide bombers, the galloping rate of unemployment and politicians who specialise in making a mockery of democracy and responsible governments have taken a huge toll on the spirits of the Pakistani people. Last year when I visited Lahore I took a long walk beginning from Anarkali up to Lohari Gate and then eastwards till I came to Mochi Gate. Then I walked down to Gawalmandi, from there I went down Nisbet Road till I came to Lakshmi Chowk. I can tell you that for the first time in my life I felt that Lahore was in mourning. People could not take any longer all the betrayal of hopes for a Pakistan without want and hunger. Mr Zaid Hamid’s grand conspiracy has a happy ending, however. The Muslim world and the Islamic Ummah in general and Pakistan in particular are the victims of a Zionist-Brahminical-CIA-Mossad-RAW-MI5-MI6, and all the rest, plot, according to this celebrated defence and security analyst. Our only true friend is China. The latter of course is still wedded to Marxism-Leninism and thus to atheism, but that does not matter. Just as there are good and bad Taliban, there can be good and bad atheists. Is that not logical? Once upon a time, I remember, the Chinese with their special eye shape and high cheekbones, we were told, were the people that Islam would fight, also accordingly to some prophecies. That was of course when Pakistan and China had not become friends, whose friendship was later described as higher than the Himalayas. So, there is a season for prophecies — some come in while others go out. Mr Zaid Hamid tells us not to worry. Pakistan is a nuclear power and the defeat of Hind (India) has been prophesied 1,400 years ago. It will not only be the end of India but Israel and the US and all other evil powers, including Russia. Pakistan and China and some true Muslims will triumph in the final father of all battles — the mother of all battles is dead since a long time, I believe. Hopefully then we will convert all the Chinese, otherwise what is the point? What will happen to all the nuclear weapons that the enemies of Islam possess? Their total is in the thousands! Well, they will become un-useable or explode in their own countries so the Islamic forces will not be responsible for the genocide of billions of members of the human race. In any case, such details, which disturb the elegance of a simple but sensational conspiracy theory, have to be ignored. The green flag will fly atop the Delhi Fort as it should have had we not created Pakistan and denied ourselves that opportunity 63 years earlier. Is there any chance that such prophecy may not hold or rather that no such prophecy has existed in the past and it has been manufactured by Mr Zaid Hamid to support his grand theory, which has already declared a Muslim victory? I think such questions should suffice to explain to interested readers to distinguish between conspiracies and conspiracy theories. Attributing so much power to the Zionists or Mossad also makes no sense. The way Mossad has messed up its crime in Dubai when a hit squad was sent to assassinate a Hamas leader only shows that such an agency cannot sometimes manage even simple operations. RAW is even less likely to pull off an attack on Pakistan with impunity. Recently the Taliban killed a number of CIA operatives in Afghanistan. If Mossad-Raw-CIA were to join ranks, would they perform better or is it likely that in the absence of a common chain of command they can mess up things even more? I do not know. But I do know that neither Mr Zaid Hamid nor his theory allow for an error, and in any case whatever initial advantage these evil agencies and powers may have, our victory is a foregone conclusion. That is exactly a conspiracy theory. Another thing to keep in mind is the following: conspiracies by their very nature are secretive and oftentimes catch their targets off-guard. ‘Et tu, Bruté?’ (Even you, Brutus?), exclaimed Julius Caesar, as his best friend joined other plotters and stabbed him to death. Of course his (Julius Caesar’s) wife, Calpurnia, had been seeing such a nightmare many times, Shakespeare informed his readers. So, maybe one can see visions about such happenings. In any case, conspiracy theories that have already exposed the culprits and punished them and defeated them are just flights of the imagination, or, could be deep dives into a bottomless void inside the belly of the earth. REFERENCE: view: Conspiracy theories and theorists —Ishtiaq Ahmed Tuesday, February 23, 2010

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