Civil society calls for Maulana Aziz's arrest

Published: December 20, 2014
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Civil society activists led by M Jibran Nasir lead a protest outside National Press Club on Saturday evening. PHOTO: INP

Civil society activists led by M Jibran Nasir lead a protest outside National Press Club on Saturday evening. PHOTO: INP

ISLAMABAD: A day after an FIR was lodged against Lal Masjid chief Maulana Abdul Aziz at Aabpara police station, civil society activists on Saturday warned that they will stage another protest outside the police station if the cleric is not arrested.

Civil society members, including the organisers of a vigil outside Lal Masjid, gathered outside the National Press Club on Saturday to express solidarity with the victims of the Peshawar school attack. They raised slogans and held placards against terrorists and their sympathisers.

M Jibran Nasir, who had filed the application against Aziz, spearheaded the protest. He said that the ball was now in the state’s court. “We appeal all bar councils of the state to join us and we thank all the peace-loving scholars who are with us in our war against terrorism. Our war is not against Islam,” he said.

He also requested media to not give air time to the terrorists and their supporters and stressed for promoting a softer image of the country. Furthermore, he asked the state for proof of the executions of the terrorists, denouncing the double-game.

Physicist and activist Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy said that while he was grieved over the tragedy, however grieving was not enough. “We need to identify the culprits, who have committed this mass murder and unflinchingly admit to it. It is clear that Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and other jihadis who have killed our children so heartlessly are our enemies!”

He added that they will not tolerate such brutality and asked for reforming school curriculum and seminaries who were radicalising the society.

“How many deaths will it take before our people wake up to the fact that we have to finally confront our own demons, which all of us are responsible for creating over the last 30 years,” said Arieb Azhar, adding that it was high time the society was purged of these demons. He further said that until all different sections of society realise that they have to be unified against the demons, there was no future for the country.

“They [terrorists] know very well what they want, they want the destruction of this democratic system. They want the destruction of the Constitution of Pakistan, they want the destruction of our country which is based on humanist principles. We, on the other hand, are still dispersed and are waging this battle individually so it is high time that we united against this evil.”

“This is not a cosmetic investigation – we mean business. This is a threat to murder against our lives. I want the state to take action and I want Mujrim Aziz to be investigated,” said Shan Taseer, adding that the media should censor the structures of power.

“Supporters of terrorists should also be taken to task,” said rights activist Farzana Bari, adding that the people had done what they could and it was the responsibility of the state to proceed with legal action. “If they will be able to arrest these people, it will send out good signal and show the government’s commitment that they are really serious.”

As civil society members protested, a larger crowd comprising members of Wafaqul Madaris held a silent vigil to express their support with the victims. Contingents of police in riot gear and wielding batons were also present at the protest site to prevent any untoward incident.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Jawad U Rahman
    Dec 20, 2014 - 9:35PM

    I think the demand should be removal of Abdul Aziz and the current Lal Masjid administration, and take over of the mosque by the government. People with sick mindsets like Aziz should not be allowed to further poison the minds of the citizens.

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  • Khan
    Dec 20, 2014 - 9:45PM

    Great Work! Time for the civil society to rise up. Well done Mr. Jibran Nasir!

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  • Parvez
    Dec 20, 2014 - 10:31PM

    Great effort by civil society………but to expect the government to arrest this terrorist sympathizer is asking a lot. They have protected him all these years and will continue to do so unless the military steps in and does what is right.

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  • Humza
    Dec 20, 2014 - 11:33PM

    @Khan: I agree great work! The government should take over the mosque and dismiss the current administration. Anyone who is an apologist for child killers needs to be shown that such extremist views have no place in civilized society.

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  • Q
    Dec 20, 2014 - 11:55PM

    I admire the Maulana, though I’m not a fan of his.

    He is consistent with his beliefs. Unlike most Pakistanis, he doesn’t distingush between good and bad Taliban. There’ll good to him. At least he isnt a hypocrite.

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  • Taimoor
    Dec 21, 2014 - 12:10AM

    Jibran is turning out to be a voice that channels all our feelings right now. Even though it is great to see he was being supported by members of the civil society, it is just so sad that only a handful (less than 100) showed up. I know Islamabad has been called a ghost town numerous times, but come on, wake up! This is for the future of your children. Each and everyone of us should be out on the streets protesting, reclaiming our mosques. What does it take to get people off their warm seats?

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  • joke pk
    Dec 21, 2014 - 12:30AM

    civil society hahahahahahRecommend

  • Zen
    Dec 21, 2014 - 12:38AM

    The following article was written 12 November 2014:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30005278

    Recommend

  • Saleem
    Dec 21, 2014 - 12:57AM

    Who are rightful owners of Lal Masjid or is it personal property of Abdual Aziz? I am appalled at Interior Ministry attitude against terrorists sitting right under their nose. If they can’t tackle situation in their backyard then how can they tackle extremists everywhere else in the country.

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  • Saleem Chaudhry
    Dec 21, 2014 - 1:00AM

    In the interest of this nation. This symbol of hate should be changed from a seminary to a monument in memory of the Peshawar children together with the 50,000 killed in this endless war.

    This many sound radical, but it’s imperative that this symbol of hate be removed forever, ensure no sign or symbol remains from this building.

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  • Rumormonger
    Dec 21, 2014 - 1:23AM

    This Aziz guy sermonizes against the protestors at Jumah prayers. Who attends these Jumah prayers. They should walk out too. If not, they should be tagged and rounded up.

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  • Saleem
    Dec 21, 2014 - 2:48AM

    This is the real change. Well done and Thank you.
    A BIG SLAP on the face faces of all the media thugs who invite terrorists and their sympathisers and supporters on their TV shows.

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