Shia clerics warn govt against tampering with blasphemy laws

Published: December 17, 2010
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Others take Karbala as inspiration for courage and bravery.

Others take Karbala as inspiration for courage and bravery.

KARACHI: Shia clerics chose the Muharram 9 sermons as an opportunity to comment on the blasphemy law, which they warned the government should not tamper with.

“Muslims in Pakistan will not accept any amendments to the blasphemy law,” said Maulana Shahanshah Hussain at one point. He condemned the attacks on mourners in Hangu and Orakzai and said that they were ready to sacrifice their lives for the supremacy of Islam and mourning of Imam Hussain (RA).

Earlier on, the mourners in the central congregation offered Zuhr prayers on MA Jinnah Road. They were led by Maulana Ahmed Iqbal Rizvi. After the prayers, the mourners staged a demonstration against what they said was the increasing interference of the United States government in Pakistan’s internal affairs.

Other Shia clerics who addressed mourners commented on the sacrifices of Imam Hussain (RA) to preach courage and bravery for Muslims. They believed that Karbala took Islamic Shariah to new heights. Scholar Maulana Syed Shahanshah Hussain also said that Karbala had become a source of guidance for all independence movements.

He believed that the sacrifices offered by Imam Hussain (RA) teach people how to tackle oppression, suppression and brutality.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • M M Malik
    Dec 17, 2010 - 11:53AM

    People for the blasphemy laws are not following the true path shown by the Holy Prophet (saw).Recommend

  • Dec 17, 2010 - 3:10PM

    If Shi’ites in Pakistan have got an iota of sense left they would support every effort to get rid of these draconian laws. They fail to realise this that the more strong religious ghundas are in Pakistan, the worse is going to be their fate. If these laws stay intact, they are going to be used against Shi’ites who can be charged for blasphemy for not one but for a hell lot of beliefs and actions. They should side with the liberal forces and get rid of these inhumane laws.Recommend

  • Fahim
    Dec 17, 2010 - 4:03PM

    People for the blasphemy laws are the only true Muslims. Majority, about 95% of Pakistani people are in direct support for the Blasphemy Law.Recommend

  • Dec 17, 2010 - 4:05PM

    as long as people keep following them without questioning… they will have their way…Recommend

  • Mawali
    Dec 17, 2010 - 6:01PM

    This is truly amazing to read. Shi’ism has reached new lows as a result of politcal upmanship. I grew up as one and the one thing I always appreciated about the Shia school of thought was that it was moderate and accepting of others and all.

    To bring in Imam Hussain into this equation is even more degarding and baffling where does Imam Hussain fit into the dark realm of blasphemy laws? From sublime to ridiculous!Recommend

  • Ali
    Dec 17, 2010 - 7:28PM

    The blasphemy law is a true deterance to insulting the prophet, I think it should be kept, but of course the punishments are inhumane, but Pakistan doesn’t need to assimilate to american ideals,Recommend

  • Kaiser Hussein Turi
    Dec 17, 2010 - 7:28PM

    This is a reply to an earlier comment “If Shi’ites in Pakistan have got an iota of sense left…” Not a very sensible comment. For two reasons- first that Shiism is not akin to liberalism; second, putting in place newer more broader blasphemy laws that can target entire sects and faiths is not practically possible even under the most ruthless regimes. If he thinks he is threatening us indirectly then he should know we don’t feel threatened. If on the other hand he wants support then he should ask for support across the board and not just from the seemingly oppressed communities of the country. In short his comment carries little weight.Recommend

  • J
    Dec 17, 2010 - 8:14PM

    another instance of sensationalism from the ET. there is a difference between shia cleric and shia clerics. Recommend

  • Hammer
    Dec 17, 2010 - 11:28PM

    Though I am a follower of Shia Islam but sorry to say I do not agree with the Shia leaders on this subject. Judgment on blasphemy is only acceptable under strict following of the process. Condition for witness For example Two witness who have never lied before. They way it is being handled now is a is People out of envy, selfishness, hatred and other ungodly reasons are claiming blasphemy against often innocent people.Recommend

  • SA
    Dec 18, 2010 - 10:20AM

    @ Mawali, you fail to understand the clerics’ point. First of all no one has dragged Imam Hussain A.S into blasphemy law, its just that Maulana Shahenshah Hussain spoke on the ocassion about the law. He categorcially stated that this state was established in the name of Islam and we will not tolerate any amendment in the law that defends the honor of our Prophet (PBUH); he said that in general and not particularly about Aasia Bibi so all those shias who believe she is innocent may carry on with their support. But anyone who IS guilty of blasphemy must not go unpunished; accepting of others and all doesn’t mean you turn a deaf ear to derogatory remarks about our Prophet (PBUH).
    @ ALE Xpressed, LOL what makes you think Shias can be charged for blasphemy? On what grounds? Do you have any knowledge of their religious beliefs?Recommend

  • Dec 18, 2010 - 11:20AM

    Blasphemy law is not about Shia or Sunni or the minorities. The law should and has to be there. Only the investigation and the punishment should be more transparent and humane! Nothing to do with Shia or Sunni… Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Dec 18, 2010 - 1:42PM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Wrahmatullah.Apparently much the best warning to the government from Shia group but blasphemers of the greatest Sahaba-e-Karam and Sahabiyat and Azeaj-e-Mutahraat (R.A) must be given death sentence and blasphemy of Sahaba-e-Karam,Sahabiyat and Azwaj-e-Mutahraat (R.A) must be banned in the country by any one in any form and on the proven of blasphemy of any Sahabi,Sahabiyat or Zauja-e-Mutahira (R.A) with the solid evidences the blasphemer must be given death sentence because Last Prophet Muhammad (APBUH) clearly defined that “My Sahaba are like the stars and you will follow any Sahaba you will get real betterment and welfare”.Recommend

  • rashid
    Dec 18, 2010 - 5:47PM

    Very hopeless case. by threatening the govt in support of a draconian law they have neither pleased Allah nor his prophet(saw). in fact they have pleased the soul of Zia-ul-Haq who not only introduced this law but also sow the seed of sectarian violence in Pakistan and the shia community is the biggest victim of this. blasphemy law is a weapon in the hands of majority against the minority, be they non-Muslim minorities or minority sects!!!
    wake up shias. you are on the wrong side of the cause!!!Recommend

  • Dec 18, 2010 - 5:53PM

    Mind you Rashid.. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto introduced this law. Zia only strengthened what was available in the constitution. Recommend

  • S A KHAN
    Dec 18, 2010 - 8:45PM

    Agree with the comments by Alex: “If Shi’ites in Pakistan have got an iota of sense left they would support every effort to get rid of these draconian laws. They fail to realise this that the more strong religious ghundas are in Pakistan, the worse is going to be their fate. If these laws stay intact, they are going to be used against Shi’ites who can be charged for blasphemy for not one but for a hell lot of beliefs and actions. They should side with the liberal forces and get rid of these inhumane laws.”

    Using the occasion of Muharram to support Blasphemy law is a cheap way of scoring political points by the Shia cleric.Recommend

  • Loya
    Dec 19, 2010 - 12:57AM

    Blasphemy is an old issue. Should not be mentioned repeatedly.Recommend

  • Ajay Mittal
    Dec 19, 2010 - 10:20PM

    @Fahim

    You said “Majoirty 95% of Pakistani people are for Blasphemy laws”. That is why the rest of the world says that the moderates in Pakistan with saner minds are far and few between, probably restricted to the various bloggers on sites who appear to be moderate.

    That is why any change in Pakistan such as with Blasphemy law will not come from inside but outside. Pakistan is in need of a serious change because the religoeus madness isn’t just affecting Muslims and minorities inside these countries but the stability and way of life of the western world. So the outside world will not ingnore it for too long. A westerner told me this once that Americans do not like to get involved in little affairs of little people but when it becomes necessary for the sake of their own quality of life, they will. Recommend

  • AA
    Jan 8, 2011 - 11:31AM

    the head says that they warned the government to not tamper with the law…whichmeans they mean to keep the law the way it is….Recommend

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