Though Jamaat-e-Islami’s rally on Sunday against the anti-Islam film was devoid of the violence that swept through the city during riots on Ishq-e-Rasool Day, the anger of the party’s activists towards the movie was still evident.
The party’s activists, equipped with placards and banners, gathered at Numaish Chowrangi and later marched towards Tibet Centre. JI’s Sindh chief, Asadullah Bhutto, said, “[The US] has to ban the movie and teach its citizens to respect all religions.” He added that the Pakistan government should push for international laws against blasphemy.
As Bhutto continued, however, a group of young boys with yellow head-bands that read “Allah-o-Akbar” (God is great), made their way to the front. They set on fire an effigy of the US president, before quietly retreating. The JI leader continued his speech as the act took place in front of him.
JI Karachi chief Mohammad Hussain Mehnati said that the world has yet to differentiate between ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘hate speech’.
The party’s social media cell took great pains to provide a live feed of the procession and send updates via text messages, Twitter and Facebook.
While talking to The Express Tribune, Hasan Hammad, a member of the cell, said, “When the electronic and print media fail to depict the real picture, social media acts as an alternative source for conveying our message.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2012.