Let me start by condemning the ugly and threatening posters against Gen Kayani by the Hizbut Tahrir whose anti-democracy, violent creed I just cannot abide; and about which I have written much in the 19 years, since 1993 when I first discovered this hate-spewing group while on a posting in London.
In the same breath, let me condemn the alleged ‘kidnapping’ and ‘disappearance’ of one Saad Jagranvi, a member of this organisation, on December 27, from Lahore. I am as against ‘disappearances’ as I am against hate speech, violence, religious bigotry, and hypocrisy. If Jagranvi has a case to answer let him answer it in an open court of law.
Before we go any further, let me make another appeal to the various ‘agencies’ that disappear people to give up this practice forthwith and to proceed legally against those in their custody in the ‘detention centres’ in Fata and in ‘safe houses’ as their prisons (located in various urban areas all over the country including Islamabad the Beautiful) are called. If there is unavoidable delay in processing their cases, their next of kin must be informed of their well-being, and meetings arranged so their loved ones can meet them.
But back to the Hizbut Tahrir and its sister organisation Al-Muhajiroun now banned in the UK (and their various cousins), both headed at one time by the angry and twisted Omar Bakri Mohammad, a Syrian immigrant to the United Kingdom (now exiled to Lebanon), who very quickly learnt to use the freedoms granted to citizens in free and democratic countries to spread vitriol and hate against his hosts, the kufaar, among who he and his ilk freely chose to live. And, mark, got citizenship rights through various guiles and strategems!
And by one Anjem Choudary, born of Pakistani parents who were economic migrants to the UK, another beauty who, after a stint at the Hizbut Tahrir, co-founded Al-Muhajiroun with Bakri. At its demise when it was banned by the British government for actually running terrorist camps, he formed Al Gharabaa which, too, was banned. Choudary then founded Islam4UK and became its ‘spokesman’.
This organisation too was banned after it foolishly threatened to protest the paying of respects to the war dead by the townspeople of Wooton Bassett located as it was near RAF Lyneham, the RAF’s main transport base in Wiltshire. Since the hearses carrying the coffins of the servicemen and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan passed through the High Street, it had become a custom for the people to line the street in silent homage.
I was in England at the time, very near Lyneham at that, and well remember the justified anger and disgust of the locals at this brazen attempt to play with other people’s feelings. Particularly from those who — and their extended families — live on the dole in the UK; in council housing; their children going to state schools; their parents and grandparents looked after by the free NHS. Talk of biting the hand that feeds you.
Anyway, the feelings of the entire country were so roused, even Muslim groups and organisation roundly condemning this stupidity on television and in the newspapers, that there was a great danger of the public peace being disturbed. Even the prime minister went public with his criticism. Amid the uproar he created, Mr Choudary quite cravenly backed down.
“We come here to civilise people, get them to come out of the darkness and injustice into the beauty of Islam”, says Anjem Choudary. Yet the network of the violent organisations, banned and present that he and Bakri have headed at one time or another also say: “Live among the kufaar but do not make friends with them; live among the kufaar but do not warm yourselves at their (camp) fires; live among the kufaar but kill them when you can”. The free heating in NHS hospitals that warms granny’s aching old bones is not a campfire, what? Can you believe any of this hypocrisy, reader?
We were thus spared the presence of these two hate-mongers at a so-called ‘Sharia for Pakistan conference’ that was announced to be held at Lal Masjid today after the Khateeb of the mosque announced he had nothing to do with the project that had the following agenda: 1) The Kufr Constitution of Pakistan; 2) Declaration of Fatwa on Malala; 3) MA Jinnah, The Traitor of Islam; 4) The Apostasy of Asif Ali Zardari; and 5) The Transformation of Pakistan under the Sharia.
The poster that appeared in Islamabad and on the Internet was something to behold. In the background, the Quaid’s mausoleum had a sniper’s cross-hairs on it; in the foreground the Quaid; President Zardari; and Malala were seen engulfed in flames. And Anjem Choudary says he is in the UK to ‘civilise’ people! Disgusting creature.
However, all’s well that ends well, and thank the Lord we don’t have to see the ugly spectacle of this cursed conference. Let us then end on a light note, but which holds a warning for those who leap before thinking of the consequences.
As the story goes, when Progressive Papers Limited (PPL) was run by Mian Iftikharuddin and Syed Ameer Hussain Shah was its Managing Director; Faiz Ahmed Faiz was Chief Editor and Mazhar Ali Khan, Editor of its flagship English paper the Pakistan Times, someone mischievously wrote on the bathroom wall: “Anwar Ali khood aik cartoon hein”. Anwar Ali Sahib was the legendary cartoonist at the paper whose ‘Nanna’ used to appear on the front page every day.
An angry Anwar Sahib went to the MD and demanded that every person working on his floor should be summoned and asked to write the offending words on a piece of paper and he would then identify the culprit. Shah Sahib replied that whilst very few people might have read the graffiti which he would order removed immediately, why ask 60 more people to write the offending words so that even those who might not have read them would know what was written in the bathroom? But Anwar Sahib insisted.
The front page of The News (November 29) carries in bold letters the bad names used for “respected and revered personalities in the judiciary” in the press/electronic media. Akin to what happened at the Pakistan Times so many years ago, no?
Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2012.