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Posts tagged with: Islam

Women threatened for Disrespecting the Quran – Sanghar, Sindh

Sanghar_District SindhIt is as if the news regarding the misuse of Blasphemy Law will never stop. Lala Hassan an activist of the Peoples Resistance movement in Karachi narrated an incident about a woman being wrongly accused of disrespecting the Quran in Sanghar District of Sindh. Considering the ruthlessness of a raging mob, it could be her fortune that the police arrested her before the mob could delivery its judgment which was threatening her with dire circumstances.

According to reports a shopkeeper of the city had made a complaint with the Police that he had gone to recover a loan from the woman while talking she was holding the Holy Quran and refused to give him back his money. According to the complainant the woman put down the Quran with force, but interestingly it he told the media that she first kissed & embraced the holy book & after the talk with him, she then put down the Quran in a forceful manner
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Blasphemy riot in Sheikhupura – leaves two dead

Blasphemous RiotsIn the media frenzy surrounding the Gojra riots just a few days back, another similar incident happened in Sheikupura, Lahore which seemingly never caught the media limelight, remaining submerged within the inside pages of oblivion.

On the 5th of August a riot occurred in a leather factory which left two people dead when a mob of hundreds of people, attacked a leather processing unit near Muridke over alleged desecration of Quranic verses, the owner of the leather factory Sheikh Najeeb Zafar is among the dead. Police suspected that desecration issue had been used to instigate workers of East Leather Factory to settle some personal score. It most likely was the result of a simmering dispute between the management and workers over the wages issue.

A certain Qasim Mughal who was a representative of the workers, held a meeting with Najeeb Zafar to discuss the wages issue Zafar was rolling a calendar carrying Quranic verses at that time. Mughal in turn accused Zafar of desecrating the verses and conveyed his accusations to fellow workers and nearby villagers through his cell phone. It is said that Shabbir, a village prayer leader, played a major role in instigating the villagers through the loudspeaker. He announced that Zafar tore apart the holy book and threw its pages in a nearby drain.
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Joint Declaration from Christian and Muslim leaders & Protest at China Chowk

A meeting was called in local Church to discuss the incident of Gojra. A notable number of 20 Muslim/Christian leadership of Rawalpindi/Islamabad attended the meeting. Meeting was facilitated by Waheed Yousuf.

Fr Rahmat Hakam welcomed the participants for and thanks for their participation on a very short notice. All participants were asked to shared their feelings and suggestion on this incident and many of them addressed the participants including Mian Aslam ex MNA, Allama Inayat Shakir, Moulana Tanveer Ahmad Alvi, Mehboob Sada, Shamsul Haq Awan, Fr Rahmat Hakim, Fr Nadeem Kamran, Malik Ansar, Shafqat Aziz, Amjad Gulzar, Aamir Shehzad, James Jan, Younus Masih, Jamil Khokhar and Basharat. The minutes of the meeting are as follows

Facts of Gojra incidents were shared

  1. Total Death toll is 8 persons, including women and children of one family, who were brunt alive.
  2. 87 houses were brunt or badly damage
  3. 150 families were forced to leave the area
  4. It was also noted that administration of the Gojra took no step to protect the lives and properties of innocent Pakistanis.

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Khatim an-Nabuwwah Fanatics threaten Gojra Activists

In an email from Farooq Tariq a spokesperson of the Labor Party of Pakistan has explained how Islamic Religious group fanatics Khatim an-Nabuwwah have threatened their workers of dire circumstances for having sided with the Christian community during the Gojra riots which left approximately 9 people dead due to intensive burns.

Khatim an-Nabuwwah [Wikipedia] or finality of Prophethood, is an Islamic belief that prophethood came to an end after Muhammad. Many Muslims believe that the line of prophets sent by God ended with the advent of Muhammad, who they believe received the final revelation in the form of the Qur’an.

The concept of the finality of prophethood of Muhammad has caused controversy. The Ahmadiyya Community, hold Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be a prophet subordinate to Muhammad. Ahmed claimed to be the Promised Messiah and Mahdi in 1889 and founded a movement in Qadian, India. His claims resulted in a violent reaction among many Muslims of the India subcontinent. The Salafi and Sunni scholars vehemently opposed him and in subsequent years a movement for the “protection of Khatme Nabuwwat” was founded. This movement, at times violent, is still very active in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries where Ahmadiyya adherents are present.

This Islamic fundamentalist group quote extreme about forcibly reinforcing the Blasphemy law in Pakistan, a law created more or less to outlaw the Ahmedi community in Pakistan. These Gojra riots need to be vehemently condemned and strict criminal action must be taken against these aggressors, it ironic that this organization has the audacity to hold a press conference and in turn is threatening other and also the Government to release their ‘muslim’ friends who were arrested by the police during the Gojra riots, its amazing how they have the balls to threaten after they themselves burnt alive 9 innocent people
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The Innocent of Gojra: Victims of the Half Law

Guest Blog by Brigadier Samson Simon Sharaf is a retired officer of Pakistan Army and a political economist.

gojra christian women cryingThe recent incidents in Gojra are a grim reminder of how existing half laws can be manipulated for personal and political ends. Besides loss of life, property or the reputation of the country, it also reflects an opportunist political system in which strange bedfellows can be espoused for political expediency and where rule of law can be applied selectively. Worse, it exposes false claims of the provincial and federal governments over constant surveillance of banned militant outfits in Punjab.

The entire trail from Jhang to Gojra, Mian Channu and Shantinagar is littered with similar incidents of religiously fanned hatred spearheaded by banned militant outfits. Time and again such incidents take place with impunity and remarkable alacrity. It is to question why the local administration is caught sleeping and why no preventive measures manifest themselves in pre emptive actions.

There is no doubt that the working relationship between the Federal Government and PMLN Government is dysfunctional. It took the Government of Punjab three days to move into a belated action despite warnings given by Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti, the Federal Minister of Minorities Affairs. The provincial government dismissed the factual reporting of the federal minister for over two days and moved reluctantly after all the damage had been done and Faisalabad-Karachi Railway traffic blocked for two days. The Chief Minister has repeatedly postponed his visit to the city citing security reasons. Meanwhile the frustrations continue to grow resulting in resignations of one federal and one provincial minister.
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Gojra Incident: Sparked because of a drunkie being bounced out of a wedding

A summary of events as shared by Dr. Arif Alvi [Sec General of PTI] as he narrated his conversation with one of his party members who was in Gojra to investigate the horrific incident which involved the killing of seven Christians

Gojra RiotsA lot of detail has been published in the newspapers today. Brig. (R) Samson Sharaf of PTI visited Gojra yesterday and has met and interviewed a lot of people.

He informs us that the incident started at a wedding reception where there was some misbehaviour by a drunk person. On my query he said it was a Pakistani but on my insistence he just said that the person did not belong to the Christian community but of the majority religion in Pakistan. This person was, as courteously as possible in such a situation, escorted out.

But he and his friends reacted and created a scene and started making allegations. The easiest way to put non-muslims on the defensive in Pakistan is an accusation of blasphemy. It is like Karo Kari where an allegation is enough for criminals to unleash their venom.
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Bishop Ijaz Inayat Questions the Gojra Killings

I share with you an email sent by Bishop Ijaz Inayat from the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Karachi where he talks about the killing of seven Christians in Gojram Please circulate widely so that people who matter must not pay only lip service every time but come down with a heavy hand on the culprits and prevent such incidents from happening. Compensations alone though cannot compensate for the fear and terror created in the hearts of our Christian and non-Muslim brothers and sisters.

gojra christians for peaceIn reference to the news, “Seven burnt alive in Gojra” printed in Dawn of 2nd July 2009.

According to Print, Electronic media and versions from the eyewitnesses there were veiled persons in the mob that attacked “Christian Town”, Gojra yesterday burning alive persons and creation tension both for public and the Government.

The Police, Administration and the people say they could not be handled. The vital question is, who were they and why they needed to hide their faces while they were protesting the desecration of the “Holy Quran”, thought to be noble cause by the Muslims.
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Return to Jalala – IDP Situation Update

Madey_Baba_SchoolAfter returning from a relief distribution to Mardan in May 2009, I regularly followed up with events concerning the IDPs in N.W.F.P. Regardless of the numerous analyses (and conspiracy theories) emerging in the public discourse about the war and its affects, the priority for me remained in providing assistance to displaced families.

I tried to replicate the great work done by Lahore’s Concerned Citizens of Pakistan (CCP), who have adopted 9 IDP schools in Mardan and Swabi and are looking after the needs of 300 families by collecting donations from Lahore and giving food, medicines and other items through local NGOs of the area. Their families will be assisted after their return to Swat as well.

Besides the obvious difficulty of managing such a program alone, the great distance between Karachi and Mardan, my inability to follow up due to a hectic work schedule with Indus Resource Centre (IRC) and the lack of interest shown by people in Karachi discouraged me to the degree of becoming indifferent to the crisis.

By mid June, the IDPs had taken a backseat in the media networks, whereas the plight of displaced families became a routine matter for people, easily ignored and shrugged aside like another hunger strike by haris in Hyderabad or a drone attack in Waziristan. Friends who were trying to collect donations faced what’s called in the NGO world: ‘donor fatigue’. Everyone had given something from their pocket or bought food items, clothes or beddings and deposited them at one of the stalls in their city. Multinational corporations, wealthy businessman and salaried middle classes at home and abroad had given their share to the ‘Prime Minister’s Special Fund for Relief of Victims of Terrorism’ or to an NGO operating in the affected area. Average Pakistanis thought that maybe our role in this crisis had finished or as I heard from many people, ‘The military operation is succeeding and the crisis shall end soon.’
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Psychoanalysis of an Extremist

I am stuck, in middle of nowhere, or at the extremes of somewhere, I don’t know what is right or what is wrong, rather who is right or who is wrong. Height of epistemocracy I might be at, rather in a quest to know more, but got more questions than answers along the way. I am an empiricist, I want to see the missing links, between the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle of reality, but cannot; others though assumes, theorize the nature of connections among events, the reasons of causality, the triggering points of incidents, but I prefer not to deduce, as I don’t get pleased by the release of the excruciating mental tension, due to confusion, but people do rather, like those who train innocent children as suicide bombers.” … I might be lying…

It’s a cognitive requirement, to have a logic (illogic) of what is what, who is who and where is where, how is how, if not, our neural networks don’t abide, rather strive to connect the missing bits, scattered pieces, seemingly random events happening all around us. It happens naturally, unintentionally. Though intentionally we tend to resist, not often though, to keep events from explanations, and people disconnected from our judgments, labels, and tags like Kafir, Murtids, Taliban, etcetera.
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Zakat Deduction dependent on Declaration of Fiqh

Can some thing be done to make the lives of citizens less miserable.

zakatThis is an appeal addressed to the State Bank Chairman and Members. The matter of compulsory deduction of Zakat could have been resolved had the State Bank not succumbed to an obviously unprofessional and illegal requirement imposed by the government. Alternately the state bank could have acted , in the light of Supreme Court decision (March 9, 1999), exempting all shades of Muslims to be exempted from Zakat, and stopped deducting compulsory Zakat. Alas, the State Bank is just as citizen unfriendly and insists on subjecting its clients to the yearly CZ-50 torture.

Every year ordinary citizens are asked to declare their ‘fiqh’ on a judicial stamped paper signed by a notary public and duly witnessed by two witnesses, so as to seek exemption from compulsory deduction of Zakat. This bureaucratic and misery adding document is called Form CZ-50. The zakat is not deducted if you state that your ‘fiqh’ is a recognized one (recognized by who?)
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Pakistan is Not going to Collapse!!!

pak-land-forceThese days you will see massive campaigns against Pakistan identifying its security failures, deal with Talibans and the ultimate fall by loosing Nuclear Weapons to the extremists putting every inch on earth in danger.

Stop getting afraid of this massive propaganda campaigns spreading fear among the Pakistani people that Pakistan is going to collapse. Pakistan is not going to collapse!! It is being pushed towards wall by utmost pressure so that the nation becomes afraid. The best way to control a nation is when it is afraid. This is what the US politicians do with their own people. Dropping fear bombs that Al Qaeda is coming, Terrorists will replay 9/11 and what not to win elections.

The point being criticized by Mr Tariq Fatmi in a recent show “Second opinion – April 20” that the State should not surrender to one stateless actor at gun point is nothing less of non-sense with all due respect. You need to understand that stateless actor pick up guns when the State does not do what it is required to do!! That is to save the lives and provide justice to its people. This is the failure of the government that Stateless actors are emerging….in form of Talibans or Mumbai attackers or Al-Qaida. It is the failure of the Muslim leadership collectively to respond to the Economic Terrorism done by the west to all the under privileged nations of the world especially the Muslim world since these are the countries with greatest wealth…..or a nation without leaders.
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We are a Crowd, not a Nation, not an Ummah …! [Survey Results]

Recently we (The Critic Blog Team) conducted a survey to prove or disprove a hypothesis that “There is a difference of opinion among the masses about the top 5 problems, i.e. every other person focus on different agendas thus there is no channelized effort toward any single issue”.

After receiving replies we complied the data (shown below), which depicts that every person had a different opinion about the problems, there is some agreement on the issues but the ranking given to that issue differed greatly, some agree on macro level, but disagree on details. The data made us think that we are in fact a gigantic crowd living at the same geographical location called Pakistan, we are not connected by any means.

From this analysis we would like to build another hypothesis that as a whole, our disintegrated minds and souls are infact our biggest weakness / problem … we just can’t unite, simply because, in religious terms, our qibla is unique to others … we prioritize as per our own ideals, needs and wants and analyze the world in the same context … In other words for each individual the problem are those elements of society which stand against his own needs or ideals, thus his conclusions stands contrast of others accordingly…
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Swat: Nizam-e-Adl – A Smart Move?

Guest Blog by Insociant

swat-the-peopleNizam-e-Adl 2009 bill was finally tabled in the Parliament and all the major political parties except MQM voted for the bill and it became a law within no time. President Zardari made a clever move by sending the bill in the Parliament. On one hand if the peace lapses or the militants grow strong then the share of blame will now be equally shared by all the political players. On the other hand, the Pakistani government can sell the peace deal abroad with more audacity since it now enjoys the backing of the representatives of people. While some are hailing this move as signs of political maturity, many quarters are criticizing it in the strongest of terms. Many ‘liberal secularists’ are calling it ceding the land of Swat to the fascist Talebans who took up arms against the state. One must not forget the separate status of Swat area that it enjoys as PATA under the constitution of 1973. The presence of a popular demand for the Sharia law among the locals can not be disputed as it has been surfacing for decades. The present militancy in Swat was just another link in the chain which aimed at exploiting the long sown resentment among the masses.
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The Long Road to Talibanisation

By Nosheen Ali
Published initially in The News on April 7th 2009

religious extremism is increasing in country Taliban TalibanisationThe crisis in FATA and Swat has increasingly become reduced to a narrative of the evil Taliban versus the helpless state and society. That the Taliban have instituted a horrendous regime of terror is beyond question. But it is evasive and dangerous to think that the Taliban are the only bogeymen. We need to understand the ongoing crisis in terms of Talibanization as a historical process of Islamist moral policing and militancy, which has been an established part of state policy in Pakistan since its inception. Until we refuse to acknowledge this reality, and tackle it head on, we will be unable to address the existential mess in which we find ourselves today.

As early as the 1950s, senior government officials in Pakistan had begun to authorize hypocritical and intolerant religious policies in the name of promoting an Islamic identity for the new nation. For example, in The State of Martial Rule, Ayesha Jalal discusses how Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan issued an official injunction urging Muslims to fast, which subsequently paved the way for populist Islamist moral policing – mobs stormed restaurants that did not close during fasting hours, non-fasters were paraded through bazaars in NWFP with the support of the local police, and the judiciary in Haripur sentenced people for eating in public.
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Swat Flogging and PTI’s Stand

Guest blog by Dr. Arif Alvi Secretary General Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf

REVOLUTION2There has been a lot of sadness and condemnation of the Swat flogging incident. The day on which Mr Imran Khan’s statement was issued by me there were many press reports in Frontier newspapers in which some elements of the Taliban had condemned the incident and others said that the incident happened during the time of total lawlessness and before the peace deal. A sign that most of them were on the back foot and embarrassed, though some are not.

We feel such reactions from within the Taliban kind of people need to be recognized because change for the better and saner would happen from within them and not because of outside pressure. Had force been effective huge US and NATO presence and billions of dollars of resources would have brought about a major change in Afghanistan and Iraq.

We must condemn the flogging incident in un-equivocal terms before we even talk of why such incidents happen and how to prevent them. Some people want a simplistic assessment and easy answers.
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