Rather than wage a futile and unwinnable jihad against America with guns, the Muslims should boycott products from the United States and hurt its economy, said Shiite leader Allama Jawad Naqvi at a protest against an anti-Islam movie here at Nasser Bagh on Sunday.
Addressing the Tehreek Bedari-i-Ummat Mustafa (Movement to Awaken the Followers of the Chosen One (peace be upon him)) ijtema, Naqvi said it was impossible to defeat America with weapons, as it had more weapons than anyone. He said it also made no sense to wage jihad against the US with US-made weapons.
Naqvi said that Muslims must first recognise that the United States is their main enemy. He said when a country did not do what America wanted it to do, that country faced economic sanctions and boycotts. Similarly, Muslims should boycott products made by American companies.
Naqvi was the last of the speakers at the rally. Later, hundreds of protesters marched from Nasser Bagh to Charing Cross, waving flags and banners and chanting slogans like ‘Down with America’ and ‘Down with Israel’. They dispersed peacefully at Charing Cross.
Security was quite strict, with the rally’s route blocked to traffic. The venue at Nasser Bagh was surrounded by barbed wire and participants were scanned and frisked at each of the five entrances.
In his hour-long speech, Naqvi urged the protesters not to vote for “US-backed candidates” in the upcoming general elections, saying to do so would be a sin. He said that it was sad that narrow-minded people had become the guardians of Islam.
He said the US had created sectarian tensions in Pakistan and the only way to end these tensions was to recognise America as “the real enemy”. He said the US had made a long journey to becoming the country it was today where the blasphemous movie Innocence of Muslims was produced.
First, Western countries handed control of Muslim countries to their stooges. Then they started insulting the countries. Thirdly, he said, they started insulting Muslim, both those in their own countries and those elsewhere. Then the West began insulting Islam by criticising Islamic injunctions. Then they started insulting the Holy Quran, and now they had made a direct attack on the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Naqvi said that the movie had also been made possible by the silence of the Muslim ummah. He said that the movie was pushing the Muslim world and the West towards a war. He said the West wanted to end the Islamic way of life.
Addressing the rally, Allama Sayed Farrukh Hussain of the Tehreek-i-Minhajul Quran said that the punishment for blasphemy was death. He said their leader Tahirul Qadri had pledged to try and persuade the world to introduce the death penalty for blasphemers.
Allama Sajid Taqvi said every Muslim was ready to die to protect the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) honour, whether he be Sunni, Shia, Deobandi, Wahabi or Barelvi.
Prof Muhammad Amin said the West was the enemy and the Muslims should recognise this. He said the country’s political and educational systems had made it a slave of the West. “Even our law and Constitution are influenced by Western culture,” he said.
The Jamaat-i-Islami organised a rally of women and children on Sunday to condemn the making of an anti-Islam movie in the United States.
The protesters rallied near the Punjab University campus at the Canal Bank Road intersection.
They adopted a resolution demanding an apology from the US on incidents of blasphemy in which the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) had been insulted or the Holy Quran desecrated.
They said that if the US did not apologise, the Muslim world should implement a complete economic boycott of the West including an oil embargo and a withdrawal of all assets from Western banks.
JI Secretary General Liaqat Baloch, addressing the protesters, said the United States and other Western countries should outlaw blasphemy to prevent future incidents. He urged Muslims rulers to “abandon their indifference” to acts of blasphemy and plan an economic boycott of the West.
Baloch said that the US and European countries had failed to provide peace and prosperity to the world and the people were finding shelter in Islam. In fact, he said, the West was terrified at Islam’s rapid advance and had started using “dirty tactics”. He said the US had chosen a path that would hasten its destruction.
JI Women’s Wing Secretary General Dr Rukhsana Jabeen said that the West had thrown down the gauntlet to the Muslim world. The US was patronising “the sick minds involved in blasphemy” and was “projecting them as heroes”. She condemned “the silence of Muslim rulers” on the issue when the whole ummah was in uproar.
Begum Aisha Munawwar and provincial JI Women’s Wing chief Sakeena Shahid also spoke on the occasion.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2012.