Vigil for Peshawar attack victims outside Lal Masjid threatens to spill over

Published: December 18, 2014
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Police officials deployed outside Lal Masjid. PHOTO: INP

Police officials deployed outside Lal Masjid. PHOTO: INP

ISLAMABAD: A crowd gathered outside the main entrance of Lal Masjid in Islamabad on Thursday evening to hold a candlelight vigil for the victims of the Peshawar school attack.

The vigil started just after evening prayers with a two-minute silence for the school attack victims. It soon swelled to a protest with nearly 300 people who chanted slogans against the mosque’s chief Maulana Abdul Aziz and the Peshawar school attackers. They demanded that the police arrest Aziz by reopening cases against him.

The crowd was big enough to draw the attention of the city’s administration and the Islamabad police to deploy officials in riot gear to oversee its peaceful dispersal.

A handful of Lal Masjid students also gathered outside the mosque and kept staring at the participants.

The police then not only stopped the organisers of the vigil from using a loudspeaker, which they were carrying, but it also accepted an on the spot application filed by the general secretary of Islamabad chapter of Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat (ASWJ) Abdur Rehman Mauvia seeking ‘appropriate action’ against those gathered.

The charges mentioned in the application include, “Some representatives of so-called civil society gathered in front of Lal Masjid and wrongly alleged Lal Masjid’s chief Maulana Abdul Aziz for Peshawar mayhem and that their act hurt public sentiments.”

The application was received by SP (City) Islamabad Police, who later told The Express Tribune that it was just to ‘defuse the tension’.

At one point when slogans of vigil participants became quite loud, which prompted mosque students led by Mauvia started shouting. This prompted the police request for additional units to control the crowd.

Within no time police armored vehicle, reserved force and personal of Rangers also reached the spot.

SSP Operations Asmatullah Junaejo then addressed the vigil participants and asked them to leave the venue. However, his speech was cut short by heckling and booing by the attendants.

“Instead of lecturing us, arrest the terrorist sitting inside the mosque,” one shouted in the crowd. “Protect the general public and their children instead of protecting terrorists and Lal Masjid,” yelled another.

Jabbar Khan, a civil society activist, said that Maulana Aziz’s statement where he refused to condemn the Peshawar incident had hurt the emotions of thousands of countrymen. “Why he is openly propagating his thoughts based on hate? He should be put behind bars by the authorities.”

Naeem Mirza said Lal Masjid was openly supporting terrorists who carried out attack on school. He also demanded stern action against such elements freely rooming in the society.

The crowd then dispersed peacefully.

Later, there were reports that an FIR had been registered against four participants of the vigil.

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Reader Comments (33)

  • Siraj Ahmed
    Dec 18, 2014 - 10:55PM

    Its very clear Lal Masjid has become the fort for ISIS ( Daesh). They should be punished immediately.

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  • syed baqar ahsan
    Dec 18, 2014 - 10:58PM

    If police can watch burning alive Christian couple then they should have watched this episode too because the same mind set killed 142 innocent muslim children.

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  • shocked
    Dec 18, 2014 - 10:59PM

    Abdul Aziz should be arrested and tried by an anti-terrorist court.
    time to execute terrorists before its too late.

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  • Assad
    Dec 18, 2014 - 11:01PM

    Well done! Bring the Maulana to accountability for the shameless cover he provides to the terrorists. He and his supporters should receive jootay on their heads for not condemning the Taliban unequivocally.

    These people do not deserve to live in Pakistan. Send the Maulana and his supporters to Syria if they are so gung ho about supporting ISIL. We have had enough of these takfiri fitna mongers!

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  • Gasherbrummistani
    Dec 18, 2014 - 11:23PM

    This is exactly what the people need to do now.
    In fact, next time 3000 people should gather, armed with the necessary backup in case the terrorists inside decide to pick up weapons.
    Smoke these terrorist sympathizers out wherever they are.

    If nothing else, the Burqa Mulla should be charged with cross-dressing in public!

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  • Pakistani
    Dec 18, 2014 - 11:39PM

    “When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”

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  • csmann
    Dec 18, 2014 - 11:50PM

    The Burka-Mullah is the biggest threat to Pakistan

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  • sarajabeen
    Dec 19, 2014 - 12:25AM

    he should understand and remembered that the whole nation had supported him on the LAL MASJID incident…by not condeming he is openly delivering the message for the support of killers and that they teach this sort of ISLAM which justufies the 16 december massacre of innocent childern

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  • Mughees
    Dec 19, 2014 - 12:31AM

    Great job done by these people who gathered around Lal Masjid to protest.Recommend

  • Syed Shahab
    Dec 19, 2014 - 12:45AM

    Watch out for any Burkas coming out of the building.

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  • Anwer Chughtai
    Dec 19, 2014 - 12:47AM

    We need to bring Mullah (I distinguish between Mullah & Alim-e-Deen) to justice now before it is too late.

    You all need to watch the interview of General Pervez Musharraf to dr. Shahid Masood , specially the part about lal-Masjid Appisode and see the facts as stated by the ex-President.

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  • Tiger
    Dec 19, 2014 - 1:51AM

    I was there today. People are tired of this hate mongerer and his thugs.

    Civil society leading from the front… Will politicians and army join us? I mean- with 100% focus. No good taliban and bad taliban. Just one common enemy of the people of Pakistan

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  • Kathy
    Dec 19, 2014 - 2:23AM

    Rather than protesting in front of the mosque hosting terrorists, campaign against the message of hatred taught in mosques, schools and madrassas alike. KP government needs to look at its recent announcement to reintroduce the previously deleted messages of hatred in the curricula. You cannot incite hatred to fight hatred. we all need to be on the same page. Force the government and the military to rein in intellegience agencies who are fully aware of what goes in the mosques such as Lal Masjid and Maulvi Seaed’s fortress in Lahore.

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  • Allah_Rukha
    Dec 19, 2014 - 2:50AM

    “Instead of lecturing us, arrest the terrorist sitting inside the mosque,”

    Agreed.

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  • Allah_Rukha
    Dec 19, 2014 - 2:53AM

    Can any one investigate the financial support to Laal masjid?

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  • MQ
    Dec 19, 2014 - 2:54AM

    Bravo ! First time in my life seeing a protest in front of a mosque ! May this bring a social change in our society to curb extremism of every kind in the country

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  • TooTrue
    Dec 19, 2014 - 7:01AM

    This mosque is a cancer in the capital city. It should be removed.

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  • cautious
    Dec 19, 2014 - 7:02AM

    At least a few Pakistani’s still have the guts to protest against terrorism. It’s difficult to understand why the Pakistani authorities would target peaceful protestors – another sign that Pakistan has yet to figure out who the bad guys are.

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  • Asma
    Dec 19, 2014 - 10:07AM

    Is this not a move to bring two opposing sections of society who hold two opposing views face-to-face? Not to forget Arab spring! Not to forget we have atomic bomb! The enemy is constantly at work. We must fight against all wrongs.

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  • zafar hussain
    Dec 19, 2014 - 12:07PM

    the apologetic behavior of the police, is clearly visible here, this is exactly how we reached this place in history

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  • Pakistan-i
    Dec 19, 2014 - 12:49PM

    I guess Pervez Musharraf was right when he attacked Lal Masjid!!

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  • Ashraf
    Dec 19, 2014 - 12:53PM

    This again proved that there was a conspiracy against Musharraf led by Ch. Iftikhar and GEO. Musharraf has been the best leader Pakistan ever had. He has been vindicated in al his decisions he took in best interest of Pakistan. We must eradicate terrerorists such as who are running and hiding in Lal Masjid.

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  • Foster
    Dec 19, 2014 - 1:15PM

    The amount of pride I feel for the protesters right now. Good job! Your determination and actions are exemplary. I hope many more join this protest now and reclaim our mosques.

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  • Sonya
    Dec 19, 2014 - 1:18PM

    While the protest was on – Express Tv was hosting Abdul Aziz on their programme run by less than honest journalist Javed Chaudhry.

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  • Naveed Khan
    Dec 19, 2014 - 1:54PM

    I wish I belonged to another species (goat or a dog) and not human. For now, I am the same species as these butchers and I hate it.

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  • Asmat
    Dec 19, 2014 - 1:55PM

    I miss Musharraf.

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  • lkhan
    Dec 19, 2014 - 2:09PM

    In spirit with all those who protest against such intolerance and hatred emanating from mosques. Great to see the brave activists though shocked that the police should register an FIR against the peaceful demonstration. There should be absolutely no place for such mad men especially not in mosques. Instead they should be hanged from lamp posts to make an example of such evil. Enough of bestiality.

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  • Saleem
    Dec 19, 2014 - 2:31PM

    As long as mullahs like there are free to roam around and spread hate one can be sure that the generals and politicians are not serious in their statements.
    ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS.

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  • Peace
    Dec 19, 2014 - 2:48PM

    Finally the nation is starting to realize, Musharraf was right all along.

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  • Aviator
    Dec 19, 2014 - 6:15PM

    I fully support the protestors for standing up to the hate mongers! This is the need of the hour, to confront those who refuse to condemn terrorism and promote hate. We should instead spread the message of peace and harmony.

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  • Afshan
    Dec 19, 2014 - 6:49PM

    The Lal masjid has been spreading hate and violence. We all know how they are hiding terrorists as they had ammunition in mosque and fighting continued for long. In spite of this, media project them as heroic in interviews conducted. Time has proved that Former President Pervaiz Musharraf’s action was a correct step. Maulana Aziz should be tried in anti-terrorist court.

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  • Dec 19, 2014 - 6:56PM

    I support the protestors for taking up courageous stand against Lal Masjid who rather than condemning the ghastly incident are spreading hatred. People will realize Musharaf was right in his act.Recommend

  • mansoor
    Dec 20, 2014 - 8:44AM

    Why did Iftikhar Ch restored Aziz of Lal Masjid with compensation and instead launched cases against Musharraf. See how lowly man was he and we like buffoons hailed him and restored him as CJ.

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