Barelvi scholars have condemned both Osama bin Laden and the United States as “killers of thousands of Muslims”, while demanding the release of the “heroic” Mumtaz Hussan Qadri, the self-confessed killer of Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer.
Speaking at the annual degree awarding ceremony at Aiwan-i-Iqbal for 40 religious scholars on Saturday night, Idara Sirat-i-Mustaqeem head Dr Ashraf Jalali said that Barelvi Muslims saw little difference between Osama and Obama, the US president. Both had killed thousands of Muslims. He said those who were glorifying Osama were really supporters of Obama and following his policies. He demanded an end to US involvement in Pakistan.
Dr Jalali also demanded that prayer leaders and speakers for mosques in DHA be chosen on the basis of proportional representation. He said that the peace could only be ensured through an Islamic system of government.
He urged the participants to oppose “enlightened moderation”, a phrase coined by the government of former President Pervez Musharraf, as it was “the root of all social evils”.
He demanded that politicians give up their lavish lifestyles and serve the public. He said even a hint of rigging in the upcoming elections would result in a bloody revolution.
He also demanded that the government release Mumtaz Qadri, an Elite Police guard who shot and killed Governor Salmaan Taseer while assigned to protect him. The audience roared in approval and shouted slogans praising Qadri. Dr Jalali has already given an award to Qadri and called him a hero.
Dr Raghib Naeemi, the head of Jamia Naeemia, said that that the government should crack down on militant groups that had been banned but were operating under new names.
He said the government should take over and purge the seminaries that were involved in terrorist activities. He said jihad was a noble cause and “people working on America’s payroll” were not engaged in a jihad, but criminal actions that had disturbed the peace of the Islamic world.
The ceremony was also attended by Allama Pir Syed Naveedul Hasan Mashhadi, Allama Abdul Mustafa Hazarvi, Allama Pir Muhammad Atharul Qadri, Allama Razae Mustafa Naqashbandi, Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi, Allama Pir Munir Ahmed Yousfi, and Pir Syed Karamat Ali Hussain.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2011.
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