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Mob violence on protest day


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 ON Ishq-i-Rasool Day on Friday last to express our deep love for the Holy Prophet Muhammad( peace be upon him), the PPP government, led by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, declared the day as public holiday to allow the Pakistani nation to express anger and revulsion at caricaturing and tarnishing the sacred image of the beloved Prophet Muhammad.

After addressing the meeting of the cabinet, the prime minister addressed, in Urdu and English, a huge gathering of diplomats, representatives of Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis and ulema, urging calm and civil behaviour while protesting.

He called for maintaining unity and order while condemning disrespect to the Holy Prophet by the mischievous filmmaker. He urged the Pakistanis to show respect for all religions and protect churches, temples and other places of worship.

However, in the charged atmosphere the inflamed mobs resorted to destruction, arson and killings. The mob violence by 50,000 armed protestors in Islamabad and 25,000 from Barakhou tried to enter the diplomatic enclave and the red zone.

The police were outnumbered and policemen and journalists were killed and injured. An ARY cameraman was shot dead by the mob.

The inflamed mobs were led by rowdy youngsters and loafers, who set fire to cinema houses, toll plazas, police vehicles, police posts, shops, petrol pumps and private properties. Two cinema houses were torched in Peshawar.

Pakistani Christians were in the forefront of the minority communities who had fully supported the public protests. Yet a church in Mardan was set on fire. Appeals by officials, and religious scholars and the police for restraint was disregarded by hooligans. Despite provocation and stoning the police exercised great restraint. It was most disgusting to see criminals and scoundrels stoning, burning tyres and rampaging when they should have shown respect for Holy Prophet Muhammad and his message of peace and compassion .

The best way to show respect to the Prophet is to pray in silence for peace and amity and interfaith harmony.

Shouting abuse, violence, arson, derogatory threats and killings are not what the Holy Quran and Prophet Muhammad have taught us.

The torching of the church in Mardan and criminal behaviour and actions, specially threats to the West by fanatic clerics and mobs, will weaken the support for President Zardari’s effort to impress upon the world community in his address to the UN General Assembly on Sept 25 to pass a resolution to condemn the making of crude video films mocking Prophet Muhammad.

The people of Pakistan must control their passion and anger to convince the world that we are grieved and our grief must be redressed.

AYAZ AHMED KHAN      Nathiagali

Blasphemous movie

THE blasphemous movie is the product of a twisted, perverted and mischievous mind of an individual with a known criminal history. The disgusting act has hurt the feelings of millions of Muslims all over the world. Protests have caused a lot of damage and claimed a number of lives in Pakistan, as well as the lives of three Americans, including their ambassador to Libya.

Very strong protests and violent agitations have taken place in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Indonesia, Malaysia. Afghanistan and Pakistan. These protests are continuing and are not likely to stop so soon.

What kind of freedom of expression is this that allows spread of hatred for other religions? Freedom of expression is all right as long as it does not cross the limits which have to be set down by the law.

The sentiment of all religions and the honour of all Holy Prophets of all religions must be protected by law under the American Constitution, through an amendment.

It is good that a lot of countries have blocked the blasphemous movie and YouTube. The blasphemous Sam Bacile must be taken into custody and punished by US authorities because he is spreading hatred and hurting Muslim sentiments all over the world and is causing disharmony by spreading hatred within the US.

We Muslims should, however, show restraint and protest effectively but not violently. We do not want evil and mischievous individuals to succeed in provoking us into violence, damaging state and private property and indulging in bloodletting.

Diplomatic efforts are required by a united Muslim Ummah and the OIC to persuade all states to legislate and make laws under their constitutions and a UN resolution to show respect to sensitivities of all religions and protect the honour and high reverence to all Prophets. If this does not happen, such acts will keep occurring and shattering world peace and harmony.


Comments (8) Closed

Muhammad Alvi Sep 24, 2012 03:46pm
You are very right; it seems like hypocracy and a double standard. But keep in mind that this is not a protest against movie alone; it is demonstration of anger against international injustice. Movie is only a flashpoint.
paddysinghPaddy Singh Sep 24, 2012 11:01am
Protesting against the blasphemous film is one thing, but to indulge in destruction, arson and killings which affects fellow Muslims is something I have never understood in Muslim anger. A cinema was burnt - did it belong to the American film maker? Did the cars and buses that have been burnt and destroyed belong to Americans? When one looks at Muslims as a whole - one looks at the illiterates who form the definite majority - one realises that they are a failed people. Failed by their respective governments, failed by the literate among them and failed by their own undoings. The Shia Sunni enemity is far more violent than that of the Muslims and Jews. The Pakistan government probably would be only too eager to let these fires of violence continue unabated to divert its own failings to its people. A pity as it means the loss of innocent lives and destruction of property which the poor have built up with their own blood, sweat and tears.
sal Sep 24, 2012 10:24am
Pakistani muslims once again blaming their actions on their alleged victim-hood.
Marghoob Ahmed Siddiqui Sep 24, 2012 06:47pm
Whatever happened that day was most unfortunate and I condemn it.
paddysingh Sep 24, 2012 11:05am
I agree, because this anger is directed against its own people and their properties. Pakistan is a failed state and many Muslims I have met in the UK have told me in no uncertain terms that despite the occasional comunal violence, Muslima are far better off in India than in Pakistan. One of whose who passed this remark was a well known editor at one time in Islamabad and now living in SA.
Phil McQueen Sep 24, 2012 04:17am
Mr. Ahmed, freedom of speech is a fundamental human right and no one should try to supress it. When Pakistani burns american flag, or burns churches, burns hindu temples, burns hindu people. we dont see you get upset or take any strong actions. depiction of mohamed may be blasphemous for muslim but not for the other 5.5 billion people of the world.
AFAQ Sep 24, 2012 08:21pm
Gerry D'Cunha Sep 24, 2012 09:48am
it is nothing else but frustrations of the people - these people just want an excuse - one need to seriously understand the mindset of the ordinary people who have been suffering from poverty for the last 64 years and to its worse in these 4 years