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Religious frenzy grips Pakistan
There is hardly any doubt that Muslims, can lay down their lives to uphold and protect the honour and dignity of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him). His name comes after God in Quran and as Maulana Roomi says “You are ,in short, the most exalted after God.” In Sura Al Ahzab God says “God and His angels shower blessing on the Prophet (PBUH). O believers you too send darood and salam to him (PBUH)”. The Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) has the most exalted position among all Prophets sent by God. He (PBUH) was the only one called to the heavens by God on the night of Mairaj to honour him (PBUH) with his nearness. How can any Muslim have the courage to say a single word against his (PBUH) honour? If anybody does, he should be given death sentence with the due process of law. The Blasphemy Law was enacted during General Ziaul Haq’s rule. This was a man-made law and like all man-made laws could be reviewed from time to time if it is being misused by human beings like all laws. It is not a divine law enacted by God in Quran like some other laws. There are 57 Muslim countries in the world which, do not have any such law on their Statute Books.
The Blasphemy Law has been used in some cases in Pakistan and culprits have been punished if their crime was proved in a court of law. The punishment was awarded by a judge like all punishments. Nobody should take this law into his or her hands and execute the culprit without the due process. In the case of a Christian girl Asia; she was booked under the Blasphemy Law and was awarded death penalty by a court of law. She sent a mercy petition to the Governor of Punjab Mr Salman Taseer who met her in good faith and promised to take up her mercy petition with the President for favourable consideration. He had a feeling that the girl might have been framed like many other cases of Blasphemy. Media unduly sensationalized this story as it does in many such cases these days to gain popularity.
The JUI Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman who had left the Government on the sacking of one of his ministers in the Federal Cabinet by Prime Minister Gilani, pounced on this issue to take his revenge and gave a call for a nationwide agitation on the issue of Namoos-e-Risaalat, which was totally out of context but could add fuel to the fire of his revenge against the Prime Minister. All religious parties, which keep waiting for such an opportunity to hit the government, joined the agitation taking out big rallies all over the country. It should never be forgotten that these parties; particularly Jamat-e-Islami and the Deobandi group represented by Maulana Fazlur Rehman have always been against the very concept of Pakistan promoted by Iqbal and Jinnah for the Muslims of India as a modern forward looking State as against a theocratic one which was the demand of religious parties..However, when Pakistan came into being they converged on it to change its ideology. They did not succeed but they keep trying. Iqbal who was a great philosopher and scholar of Islam has written a lot about the ignorance of Mullahs.
But it is regrettable that our educational institutions are not teaching these words to our youth who are blindly following the very Mullahs who were against Pakistan. Returning to the tragic murder of Salman Taseer by his misguided security guard who is being idolized by some youth under the influence of the Mullahs is highly regrettable. They should realize that this was not a case of violation of the Holy Prophet’s Namoos (Naoozo Billah). It was a humanitarian effort and his duty as the Governor of Punjab to find out whether a girl belonging to the Christian minority community who claims that she has been falsely framed in a crime she did not commit, is right or wrong? It was his duty to put the girl’s petition to the President. This was by no means a violation of the Namoos-e Risaalat .The security guard who was on duty to protect the life of the Governor, is guilty of murder and will certainly be punished. Those who are idolizing him should also be punished.
It seems the government which is surrounded by all sorts of fears for its survival is hesitating to take bold action against the political parties which have opened the Pandora’s Box over the blasphemy issue at this time when the country is facing economic crises, religious terrorism and corruption. This matter if not tackled with courage and bold action against those elements that unnecessarily launched a mass hysteria on this highly explosive issue, may destabilize the country. One would expect the Supreme Court to take notice of this issue and take action against the criminal elements who are exploiting the name of Islam for an issue which is basically legal.
The media too needs to be directed to use restraint in reporting and commenting on the delicate and sensitive subject of blasphemy. Full marks to PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari who has raised his voice in defense of minority communities and has denounced the uncalled for religious frenzy, let loose by the Mullahs which may destabilize the country.