Police have registered a blasphemy case against eight lawyers and 50 other people in Jhang for shouting derogatory slogans against a police chief who shares a name with the second Muslim caliph Hazrat Umar ibn Khattab (RA).
The lawyers were protesting against SHO Umar Daraz after one of their colleagues was allegedly manhandled by police officers following a road accident last week.
Soon after, complainant Arshad Mehmood moved an application in the police station alleging that his religious feelings were offended because the lawyers used the name “Umar” in their protest and lodged charges.
“A blasphemy case has been registered against eight lawyers and about 50 others after a citizen complained that they were shouting slogans derogatory to a Caliph of Islam and a companion of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),” said senior police official Ghulam Mustafa.
However, Jhang Bar Association’s spokesperson Naveed Akram told The Express Tribune, “A few days ago, seven police officers, including SHO Umar Daraz and Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Mubashar, were booked for beating up and illegally detaining a lawyer named Aftab Nadeem. Though the police registered a case, it did not arrest Daraz.”
The lawyers were protesting against the police for not taking any action against the SHO, while demanding his immediate arrest.
They did not chant slogans against Hazrat Umar (RA), but the namesake SHO, explained Jhang DBA President Muhammad Afzal Sial.
The complainant, Arshad Mehmood, is a member of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat and is said to be a close aide to its chief Maulana Ahmad Ludhianvi. Mehmood has registered and been a witness in at least five blasphemy cases before.
Meanwhile, DPO Zeeshan Akhtar said a committee has been constituted to probe into both cases against the lawyers and the SHO.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2014.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ
@Gurion: No, the concept of a law to punish someone for things said (much less by the death penalty) is frivolous in its very nature.
@Mj: Therein lies the problem. The blasphemy law is made and supported by the scholars of Islam. Do they know Islam better or the rest of us?
I dont see how naming someone with a revered islamic name will cause his/her persecution, as some of the comments suggest. If anything it will protect them from mobs chanting slogans carrying his name, if such an unfortunate event arisis in that persons life. The SHO is going scott free just because he has umer in his name. I would suggest people read the news more closely. And to the defenders of this draconian law, i say you shall sow what you reap. Dont be coming crying when injustice befalls you, because you know what you did and it will be injustice no more.
Goes to show how absurd the laws are. Instead of protecting Islam, our blasphemy laws are turning away thousands of people away from the faith due to their inherent injustice and incongruity with reason and mercy.
Assalam u alaikum !
There is always two sided story , u can't give a statement without knowing all stories from both side !
We need more proves and evidence to make a statement whether it was blasme issue or something else !
ASWJ , Is not a banned party (For those who don't know)
Leader of ASWJ , Maulana ahmad Ludhiyanvi Is MNA , slected from jhang. If ASWJ was a banned party how can he become MNA ?
Don't try to blame Uleema e karaam , unless or untill u ask them the whole problem or issue.
Oh! It actually has a non-frivolous use?
I think that "umar draz" is not the namesake of second caliph (RA) rather this is a prayer for longevity of some child.A universal wish of all parents for their children.Its a mix of two words taken from two languages.'Umar' (Arabic) here means age or period-of-time.'Draz' (Persian) here means long.Together the two words mean "Long Life".....Ref.Feroz-Ul-Lughat,Sixth edition,Part two,Page 124.The sensitivity of the issue makes me give a few more references from the same page and can be seen by anyone there.Like,'umar bhar' all life.'umar patta likhwana' to get surety on stamp-paper that one will live for ever.'umar draz' to have a long life or may live long.'umar raseeda' aged.'umar-e-tabaee','umar qaid'.etc.etc..Dear Muslims please have some mercy on Islam.God bless
If the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat is a banned organization (as I just read online Saudi Gazette) then why is it mentioned on the board of a mosque in SITE Area, Karachi. It says this mosque is affiliated with ASWJ. And also on Eid, people collect donations in the name of TTP after Eid congregation.
....and the implosion of religion continues.
The complainant, Arshad Mehmood, should be charged for being a jackass and made to do community service for the rest of his life. Ideally the same kind of community service the poor minorities of Pakistan are born to do, i.e. becoming a street cleaner or gutter cleaner.
Amazing!!! .... this law is becoming a joke day by day .... Thank you Religious scholars.....
I guess this was needed. Only when different sections of society feel the pinch of the blasphemy law, will actual opposition build up.
Well well, I applaud the fact that my countrymen find newer and more imaginative ways to show that ours is the utterly looniest country in the world. Well done chaps! To say that this charge defies logic is an understatement. This is like 4 year olds arguing about semantics. Need it be said that half the people in Pakistan are named after the illustrious caliphs or the founder of Islam (PBUH), and as such we are ruling out condemning these people just because of their names???
A very powerful law that carries the death penalty and how frivolously it is abused in Pakistan!
Good case, now the people avoid to name their children on the names of companions. Great effort by ASWJ
"Mehmood has registered and been a witness in at least five blasphemy cases before."
As the cliche goes "it takes one to know one."