Dawn News

Ulema want JIT for blasphemy case probe

Police escort blindfolded cleric Khalid Jadoon Chishti as he is brought before a judge at a court in Islamabad, Sept 2, 2012. — Photo by Reuters

ISLAMABAD, Sept 3: The chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council, Allama Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, demanded on Monday that a joint investigation team (JIT) of intelligence agencies should be constituted to clear confusion about the registration of a blasphemy case against a Christian girl and detention of a prayer leader on the charge of tampering with the evidence.

Addressing a news conference along with Pakistan Interfaith League chairman Sajid Essaq, he alleged that the issue was being handled in a manner that smacked of a conspiracy to do away with the blasphemy law which, he said, would never be allowed.

“To sort out truth from fiction and to identify the real culprit an investigation team comprising representatives from various intelligence agencies should be formed to carry out an impartial investigation,” he said.

The case took a new turn on Friday when the muezzin of a mosque gave his second statement in police custody and asserted that the prayer leader Khalid Jadoon Chishti had added a few pages of the Quran in the evidence to implicate the poor girl in the blasphemy case and also incited people of the area to hold a protest outside the local police station.

“We support the demand of judicious use of blasphemy law but will never allow repeal of the law on flimsy grounds or under international pressure,” Allama Ashrafi said.

He asked how the SHO had registered the case under pressure of a few hundred protesters when the law provided that an officer not below the rank of superintendent of police would investigate an allegation of blasphemy before registering a case.

“It means that one day cases would be registered against the president or prime minister if a few thousand people besiege a police station.”

He also demanded that a medical board should ascertain if the girl was mentally handicapped. And if it was so, he said, the accusers should be proceeded against immediately.

Sajid Essaq said the Interfaith League had worked in coordination with the Ulema Council to highlight the case.

He said his organisation had been able to provide protection to Christian families of Mehrabad with the help of ulema and their rehabilitation was under way.

He demanded that the authorities should not spare the prayer leader if he was proven guilty of burning pages of the Quran to implicate the girl in a false blasphemy case.

Comments (49) Closed

Sep 04, 2012 06:55am
Ah! So now that for once a person from your own folds has been implicated you want a Joint Investigations Team! When it was "other" people there was no need to separate the "fiction from the truth" was there?
Cyrus Howell
Sep 04, 2012 08:17am
Why would a 13 year old trash collector be under surveillance by the mosque? Why would they be inspecting her trash? Is that something you or I would do? I think the Christians were a burden for them, so they decided to pick on the most helpless of the Christians to frighten them away. Allah is specific about giving false evidence. The illiterate do not know what the Laws of God are, so the clerics are there to instruct them. A nobody junior cleric might be tempted to do something like that to advance his career. He was the one watching too much Pakistan television - the realm of Islamic ideas. The ignorant are on the march. The Religious Police the soon will be stopping women on the streets to inspect their purses according to the new Islamic Stop and Frisk fatwa.
Sep 04, 2012 08:55am
Hi gerry, Iam a christian and I would like to point out to u that even we should make a blasphemy case against the muslims if we ever find them burning our bibles. Why is it only sepecified to the quran and not bibles. If they want to argue then let me tell u that the bible mentioned their last prophet Muhammad. Desecrating the bible means desecrating Muhammad. Therefore we can teach these muslim a taste of their own lesson. Dont we follow the same GOD that muslims to so why shouldnt we file a case against the muslims if our Bibles are desecrated? you may contact me at bald_solutions@yahoo.com.
Sep 04, 2012 08:13am
It is a dire need of the hour to hold frequently seminars consisting of real Islamic schollars where so called Moulvis/prayer leaders who do not know much about Islam and are shinning their shops based on few stories of the past on Islam religion be invited and they need to be fully educated for performing their duties. The most they should learn is the "TOLLERENCE" which was one of the major beauties of our Prophet (PBUH). This is my humble request to all Pakistani Muslims to respect minorities and let them live side by side with honour and dignity as this responsibility had been assigned to us by founder of our country Mohammad Ali Jinnah and it is also obligatory on us from our religion. As nothing is currently working in our country please try to share your love with each other at least. If you think this makes sense, please follow this advice.
Sep 04, 2012 10:23pm
Is anyone looking at all the impacts in terms of human suffering, deaths and certainly not the least, the cost impacts of this blasphemy law. If you are really serious about respecting ANY religion, you wouldn't glorify the temple raiders and destroyers like Mehmoud Ghazni and Ghori. Blasphemy law is clearly a cheap tool to boss over non-muslims. Somewhere deep inside most pakistanis, there seems to be a deep urge to demonstrate muslims as better than the rest of the citizens. This is going to bite back.
Sep 04, 2012 04:44pm
Sep 04, 2012 10:58pm
We should respect all version of bibles beciause each version is holy to some christian sect. If we study islam more objectively, we will find to our surprise that what we have learned from half educated sectarian teachers is not all that fully accuarte. Let us open our heard to Quran and Sunnah. Let us considerate study Islam with out any biases. Surely, we find love and mercy for others, irrespective of their religion, sect, cast or creed. Please let us not defame islam. One day we are all answerable to the Lord of the worlds of all our deeds and thoughts. Injustice to any creature is unjust before the Lord of the world.
Sep 04, 2012 11:22am
Correct. Burning bibles should be included in Blasphemy, because it contains the names and stories of all the past Prophets that Muslims believe in.
Sep 04, 2012 11:33am
Which Bible mentions islam's prophet only you must be knowing, but its a good way of patronizing muslims.....anyways Quran in almost the photocopy of the Bible, especially the old testament, so anyone who berates the bible to prove quran's authenticity is undoubtedly mad.....BTW im a muslim and i havent seen the prophet mentioned anywhere in the Bible.....this is after all another bone of contention between muslims and christians, with Muslims accusing the Vatican of changing the Bible just so they could deny the presence of Prophet Muhammed's name in it. And dont depend on anyone standing up for the Bible in Pakistan or the world....since in Pakistan the Blasphemy Law is for leveling personal grievances , as is obvious and the rest of the world dosent really care since christians themselves seem to go along fine with people insulting christ, Bible and their religion.
Fazal Karim
Sep 05, 2012 12:02am
Quran does not prescribe non balable warrant and death sentence for blasphemy. The law was bulldozed during Zia and American era to fight Russians and prolong Zia rule. It is in the inerest of Islam , muslims and humanity to scap the law forthwith. If some body has committed crime he will be punished by God on the day of judgement. Dont we believe in God and day of judgement. Which otrher country has prescribed this harsh punisment? There are so many evils prevailing in Pakistan first address them.
Sep 05, 2012 10:41pm
very few will be left after such a punishment
Gerry D'Cunha
Sep 06, 2012 07:54am
Naz: Prophet Muhammad's name is not mention in the Holy Bible, so please don't give false statement.
Sep 05, 2012 10:45pm
I would say lets behead him in public and see how many from the blasphemous mob come his rescue. Trust me, his follower will gather around at the site and chant obscenities at this fellow. This is the truth of the state today.
Sep 06, 2012 01:29pm
after what you said you might want to go & chk the ref which he gave or feel free to deny...choice is yours http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orPqlRnXBQU&feature=plcp
Samad Chaudhry
Sep 04, 2012 03:57pm
Such Mullahs who play with religion to create hate should be punished and punishment to be seen
Sep 04, 2012 04:25pm
The titles "maulvi", "mullah" should simply be banned. All who want to acquire the ability to speak to the masses with such title should be required to have a degree in comparative religion, preferably a masters degree to begin matters. The "blasphemy" law is just a political tactic to feed innocent people for sacrifice to the blood hungry masses, no different from human sacrifices and burning of witches. These so called mullahs, maulvis and all have not done one darn thing for public service, no projects built, no services rendered, no laws that might better the lives of pakistanis, certainly no protests on the streets for lack of electricity and law and order situation, and yet when it comes down to blasphemy they will ignore every common sensical notion and have pakistan regress into the dark ages?. Pakistan is not a "mosque" and Pakistanis are free to live whichever they feel like it free from these Jahil mullahs. I say ban these maulvis now and forever and we can and will prosper with one less evil. They are doing Islam and Pakistan a disservice, and neither of them requires the mullahs or their parties to survive.
Sep 04, 2012 06:35pm
@ A reluctant Pakistani - don't be reluctant - say what is RIGHT and the TRUTH. And the Truth is that these IGNORANT people have HIJACKED ISLAM and are the main reason the SOCIETY is in DECLINE. The Whole Society is now a becoming really a SICK SICK Society -where it is difficult to even Breath......
Sep 04, 2012 06:31pm
i live in a modern muslim country and thanks god they have a very controlled version of Islam here. No Maulvi is allowed to say a word - other than the one written by a CENTRAL Maulvi committee - who are highly Educated (Ph.Ds in Islam) from Al Azhar and other Top Universities of the world. Each Imam is asked (by Law) to keep a recorded copy of their KHUTBA. I know - it looks odd - but after this control - the their is PEACE in society.
Gangez Khan
Sep 05, 2012 01:00pm
May i know which is this beautiful country?Turkey,UAE,,Saudi Arab
Yemeen Zuberi
Sep 04, 2012 09:33pm
I would say that a thorough investigation should be carried out; and the true findings must be accepted by all the parties involved. Maulvis must tell their followers that they will have to accept the truth.
Sep 05, 2012 10:39pm
there is absolutely no faith in our country blind or otherwise. there is just hypocritical safeguarding of self interests.
Gerry D'Cunha
Sep 04, 2012 08:26am
Are there any sane muslims left in the parliament or in the government to realise the fate of this innocent child in prison on false accusion now that it has been proved that your own muslims are bent to defame islam.
Sep 04, 2012 10:41am
if molvi proved guilty in this case then court should also look for previous cases that either in those cases also court hadent punish the inocent people?? court will play the major role in such a case..
Sep 04, 2012 10:51am
@ Cyrus Howell: "Why would a 13 year old trash collector be under surveillance by the mosque? Why would they be inspecting her trash? Is that something you or I would do?" A twisted, evil minded cleric of any religious denomination checks out everyone and everything......from young boys, to unsuspecting girls to mentally challenged kids to animals. This is the life of a cleric who lives a life of segregation!
Karachi Wala
Sep 04, 2012 08:27pm
Blasphemy law must be repealed. All maddrasa, Moques, Mullah and Ulema and their activities should directly be monitored and controled by the government. There should be no involvement of any sort of celergy.
Sep 04, 2012 11:20am
Excellent stance taken by Allamah Ashrafi, he should be applauded for it.
Gangez Khan
Sep 05, 2012 01:06pm
you are absolutely spot on and hit the bulls eye.
Sep 04, 2012 06:31am
""He also demanded that a medical board should ascertain if the girl was mentally handicapped. And if it was so, he said, the accusers should be proceeded against immediately."" She's only 11. Even if she was mentally sound, she, from what i hear, cannot read. Even if she could, how can a child of 11 be guilty of anything?
Sep 04, 2012 01:54pm
such molvisa should be punished in any case but there is no justification for this law of blasphemy which is contantly mis-used by such nasty people.
Sep 04, 2012 06:18am
If proved guilty this Moulvi should be hanged till death
Sep 04, 2012 07:49am
Finally some sense prevails. Let the guilty be punished. But let the police and courts decide who is guilty and what shall be the punishment. The role of police is commendable so far. Also bravery of local Muezzin who has come forward and gave full account of incident needs to be praised. Let's not forget that justice is extremely important in Islam and let's not treat anyone unjustly in haste and anger.
Sep 05, 2012 10:49pm
what is excellent about it? he is asking for an investigation into something that a four year old will call as bogus. he is vehemently vouching to protect a law which was enforced by an unlawful dictator as a gift to the same mullas for recruiting and providing fighters for US's proxy war (our Jihad) in Afghanistan. What planet are you from?
Sep 04, 2012 09:50am
Very good stance. Impartial investigations by Joint Investigation Team should be conducted at a fast pace to ensure that no innocent is implicated on either side, instead the real culprit/s is identified and punished accordingly.
Sep 04, 2012 01:35pm
Its great that you have recognized that Muhammad has been mentioned in Bible. You should respect the teaching of Bible and believe in the last prophet. As for your fury, we believe and respect all books revealed from God and that's why any sane Muslim will not dare to burn any religious scriptures belonging to 'people of book'. However, Bible has been tampered over the centuries by priests and decibels to accommodate there version of Christianity. Please clearly define which Bible should we respect, Old testament, new testament and which version of Christianity (Catholic, Orthodox, Jonah Witness, Amish, etc) should we recognize. I do agree that minorities are ill treated in Pakistan and this needs to be changed. Muslims who are mistreating non-Muslims are completely lost and constantly trying to impose there version of Islam. We need to start treating these minorities as first class citizens, providing security and freedom to practice there religion and culture. If this so-called imam is found guilty, he should be humiliated publicly and hanged immediately so the future culprits will be well aware of the consequences of mistreating the blasphemy law.
Sep 04, 2012 12:50pm
why isn't there a JIT investigation when the mob breaks a jail and kills a blasphemer. where is that mob now? why are they waiting for an investigation report now rather than kill that molvi? Just being a muslim gives no one the right to burn or desecrate the Holy Quran in fact such people should be dealt with more harshly.
Sep 04, 2012 11:19am
bit over the top, hmm?
j. von hettlingen
Sep 04, 2012 12:34pm
Justice should prevail! The religious authorities in Pakistan do the right thing, by calling for an investigation into this case. Christians have been defamed and a malicious prosecution has been brought against a minor with development disabilities. It's important for Pakistan to restore peaceful co-existence and harmony between the different religious communities. In the past the strict blasphemy laws have been used to settle personal vendettas. Last year two leading politicians were assassinated after speaking out against the legislation.
Sep 04, 2012 08:59am
Cyril as chritians we need to get them charged for blasphemy if they burn the bibles. If u ever read the article in which this imam mentioned how he hates christian u'll will see this is all his conspiracy to get the christians out its very obvious and the aread people are all involved. Our bible mentions the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Next time they desecrate out bible then we christians should stand up and get them in trouble for blasphemy. this is the only way they will learn. You may contact me at bald_solutions@yahoo.com.
Sep 05, 2012 10:57pm
and which version of Christianity (Catholic, Orthodox, Jonah Witness, Amish, etc) should we recognize!!!!!! Seriously? this is the best you could come up with. Which version of Christianity should we recognize? and if at all there was an answer to that, we will then deliberate if its good enough to be respected? And while we are debating the above, could you in the meanwhile let us know which version / sect of islam we should protect from blasphemy? (need I really give a list here?) But I guess we just choose to protect the one we like and murder the followers of other sects bravo
Shahida Khan
Sep 04, 2012 08:49pm
spot on, sir!
Gerry D'Cunha
Sep 07, 2012 07:21pm
Dr Naik should teach the muslims about quran and how to be a good muslim.
Sep 09, 2012 12:09am
Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. I am a Muslim living in U.S. I learned it was Christian leaders and their scandals that turned people off from Christianity. Yeah, ban these titles ion Pakistan. I say, force every mosque to have a different imam everyday. Have daily hadith and Quran readings and lectures by Israr Ahmed to the whole village as a replacement.
Agha Ata
Sep 04, 2012 01:38pm
Ulemas have said a few nice things just to get the public favour. They forget that mobs are always irrational. A minor hint of blasphemy could provoke them to kill many. And why don't Ulemas consider the fact that the Quran is not a BOOK. In Arabic, it means the reciting of the Holy Words of God. The Quran cannot be burnt. It is impossible to burn down the reciting of anything. If Ulemas insist they are thinking of an ultimate theocracy in the country, then they must know, that it will never be allowed!
Sep 09, 2012 12:15am
Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh There is actually significant evidence that the Prophet salalahualayhiwasalam is mentioned in the Bible. This guy Nouman Ali Khan knows, Dr. Fadl translated this tricky old Arabic bible which pretty much prophesied the Prophet salalahualayhiwasalam. "anyways Quran in almost the photocopy of the Bible" What are you smoking? Sounds like you haven't even read the translation. Listen to Israr Ahmed or something bro. -your concerned Muslim brother from U.S.A
Sep 04, 2012 06:58pm
They have not yet hanged Mumtaz Qadri.
Sep 09, 2012 12:20am
Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh "Allah is specific about giving false evidence." You are right about that. The greatest of the great sins are 1) Shirk with Allah 2) Uquq with parents(We must treat them nicely) 3) False witness I seriously read the hadith a bunch of times. It was narrated that Abu Bakrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
Gangez Khan
Sep 05, 2012 12:47pm
Your country is ruled by blind faith.These councils like ulema and others are doing the things for their personal interest.Your entire country is brainwashed by mulla and no body reads quran for guidance.Your country has lot of muslims but zero Islam (it is a fact)
Sep 08, 2012 06:28pm
thats the prob with you people, you ask a question when answered & have nothing to counter the argument you derail the topic.
Anil Sharma
Sep 04, 2012 06:40pm
@Naz what is the need to give your personal email id to Cyril? He, I think, has many to contact why he would you; any thing special in you?