“Osama bin Laden is a hero for all Muslims. He might have left the world but his mission will continue. It is now the responsibility of all Muslims to take the anti-Islam forces head on and to defeat them in accordance with his message,” said Advocate Latif Sarra, a Jamaat-i-Islami member, on Friday.
He was speaking after a funeral for Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden at the compound of the Lahore High Court Bar Association.
More than 200 lawyers attended the prayers. Sarra congratulated the lawyers for having shown their loyalty to their religion by attending the funeral prayer.
AK Dogar, counsel for Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed in a petition seeking directions for the federal government to defend Saeed in a US court, said US presence in the country was the cause of all problems the country was facing.
The prayers were organised jointly by Islamic Lawyers’ Movement (affiliated with Jamaat-i-Islami), Hurmat-i-Rasool (PBUH) Committee of the LHCBA (affiliated with Jamaatud Dawa), Peace Lawyers Forum, Al-Ummat Lawyers Forum, Jammu Kashmir Wukala Mahaz and Khatm-i-Nabuwwat Lawyers Forum.
The prayers were led by HRC member Muhammad Yahya Johar. Prominent among the participants were former Lahore High Court judge Hafiz Abdul Rehman Insari, Punjab Bar Council member Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, Save judiciary Committee chairman Advocate Abdul Rasheed Qureshi, Lahore Bar Association’s former secretary Muhammad Latif Sarra, former LHCBA vice president Mian Muhammad Aslam, former Supreme Court Bar Association secretary Raja Zulqarnain and Advocates AK Dogar and Allah Buksh Gondal. None of the LHCBA office bearers attended the prayer. The participants kept chanting slogans against the US and its presence in Pakistan.
In a press statement issued after the prayers, Jamatud Dawa said hundreds of lawyers had attended the funeral prayers for Osama bin Laden. It said they would continue the war against the US and its allies started by Bin Laden.
Several senior lawyers and rights activists criticised the event and said that lawyers needed to act more responsibly. They said that Bin Laden was responsible for killings of thousands of people and that holding funeral prayers for him was unacceptable.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Justice (r) Nasira Javed Iqbal said Bid Laden had accepted responsibility for killings of innocent men and women in terrorist attacks around the world. She said she failed to understand the need to praise such a man.
She said Islam had laid down that killing one soul was equivalent to killing the whole humanity. She said that if Bin Laden was not responsible for the attacks of World Trade Centre he could have proved his innocence before a court of law.
Justice Iqbal said she would never approve of funeral prayers for a man who had admitted to killing so many innocent civilians.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2011.