Posts tagged ‘Maulan Fazlur Rehman’

December 28, 2010

Happy new year? – by Kamran Shafi

by admin
WELL, hopefully, what with the obscurantist forces back on the march in an attempt to bludgeon into submission those who advocate the imperative and immediate need of making the blasphemy laws in this country less draconian, less obnoxious; what with the gas loadshedding that makes even cooking a meal an uphill task, let alone heating the house during this cold snap; and what with the power outages, five every day where we live in the Lahore cantonment.

Coming to the blasphemy law and to what seems to have impelled their holinesses to take up cudgels at this time against this much-misused law which misuse has seen many innocent people killed brutally before any blasphemy could be proved against them.

It is curious that Maulana Fazlur Rehman should have been one of the leaders of a conference called to gather other holinesses under the banner of the Tahafuz-i-Namoos-i-Risalat and to agitate the matter through protests and public meetings so soon after one of his party`s federal ministers was sacked from the cabinet.

Nor is this the only matter that points to the maulana`s too-clever-by-half position on the blasphemy law. When confronted with the question that the law should be changed because it is often misused, the maulana asked that if a section of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) was also misused did it mean that it should be changed. He also said that the law was misused against Muslims mainly, and less against minorities (so there is no need to change it).

For the first, one can immediately say that if certain sections of the PPC were open to misuse and a tweaking of those would make them fairer, they should be tweaked and changed and made fairer. As to the second assertion of the maulana, it is as important that the law be changed to benefit innocent Muslims as it should be changed for benefiting members of the minority communities. Who can forget the horrific murder of a hafiz-i-Quran in Gujranwala in 1994 at the hands of a mob egged on by the imam of a local mosque?

The poor man was beaten mercilessly, tied behind a motorcycle and dragged through the streets, and then set on fire. And all because he and the imam could not see eye to eye on certain matters. Some said at the time that the imam was less literate and less knowledgeable about religious texts than the victim, who was consulted more on matters theological by the locals than the imam.

It is frightening, is it not, that the same people who admired him were his murderers too. Such is the power of a misused pulpit in a highly emotive matter such as blasphemy.

Who can forget the case of Salamat Masih, a 12-year old, illiterate Christian boy who could neither read nor write, and who was accused, variously, of writing words and sentences blasphemous of our Holy Prophet (PBUH) on the walls of a mosque, and of writing blasphemous things on pieces of paper, wrapping a brickbat in that paper and flinging it into the mosque and on to those at prayer.

In short, every manner of impossible story was spun around poor Salamat Masih and his uncle too. All the evidence at the time pointed to the fact that the whole drama was staged by the local bigwig who asked favours of Salamat Masih`s sister, favours that were not granted.

Pray look at the aftermath of this horrendous case: Masih`s uncle was gunned down one day as uncle and nephew were waiting for a bus after the hearing of their appeal by the Lahore High Court. And the judge who acquitted Masih was himself shot and killed in his lawyer`s chambers when he went back to practising law after leaving the bench.

There are many other heart-wrenching stories of murder and mayhem to do with the blasphemy law, one of the most sad the torching of Christian homes in Gojra on the pretext of one of the residents committing blasphemy when the real reason was that some influential people wanted to grab the Christian`s land.

So far we have only talked about Christians; that other much-persecuted community made up of our Ahmadi countrymen and women, our sisters and our brothers, has also been made the target of this law, about which I have written reams in the past.

I would call upon all God-fearing Muslims, especially our political leaders, to come together and join the movement to make changes in the blasphemy law which are necessary to ensure that it will never again be used to settle scores. If we are half as civilised as we say we are, we simply must open our hearts to our minorities. We must give them succour, for they too are the Almighty`s children. Otherwise His will be a terrible accounting.

Happy New Year (hope-fully!).(Source)

December 14, 2010

What Maulana Fazlur Rehman has on the cards – by Ali Arqam

by admin

Maulana Fazlur Rehman to the press, Courtesy ET

In a dramatic set of events on the very fateful day of 14th December, Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) broke away from the federal coalition over the government’s decision to sack the Federal Science and Technology Minister Azam Swati without taking the JUI-F into confidence.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman had some more charges against the federal government. But all the charges before the recent one did not make him part ways with the government.(source)

The Maulana has in the past opposed the PPP government’s decision of military operations against the militant outfits as they have considerably strong influence in various militant outfits of the Deobandi sect. Maulana Fazlur Rehman also offered mediation between the Government and the Taliban, although it seems far-fetched as both parties, Taliban in particular, are skeptical of Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

The Pakistani Taliban (TTP) is a loosely bonded group of various splinter cells of militants. They pose as united for their fierce image, impact and also to attract new recruits. Maulana is not popular among all of them, as leaders of the TTP Swat chapter, Fazlullah and Shah Doran, had shown their disgust for him in their propaganda speeches on the infamous FM radio.

In early 2008, a rocket was fired on Maulana’s residence in DI Khan, and intelligence agencies have reported threats to his life.

Another leader of the JUI, Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani (recently appointed chairman CII), has narrowly escaped at least two attacks by the Taliban.

JUI knows it better. Therefore while they always issued statements against the military operations to appease the conservative voters they never put significant steps in opposing the military operations.

Maulana on various occasions has expressed his displeasure over the government’s ‘evading tactics’ on Islamic laws. It seems strange that an anti-secular party is expecting PPP to make Islamic laws. However, everything is fair in the game of political alliances or smart politics.

JUI strongly protested on the death of Maulana Ameen in an Air Strike by Pakistan armed forces on a Madrassah at Orakzai while they have targeted militant hideouts in the agency. Though it was not an enough reason to break up with the Government to record protest.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman had strong reservations on the recent debate over blasphemy laws by various sections of society, PPP representatives, Governor Punjab and social activists. But he was waiting for the issue to be unfolded, and refrained from overstepping the issue.

Here comes the Hajj Scam (as media has given it the title), the unpleasant exchange of public remarks between two member of the federal cabinet, Azam Swati of JUI(F) and Hamid Saeed Kazmi of PPP, resulting in sacking of both by the Prime Minister.

And Maulana came with a harsh reaction to say good bye to the coalition. The decision is surprising for all, from politicians to media TV anchors. It has fuelled the rumour mills and boosted the morale of the analysts who were tired of issuing forecasts for the fall of the government and renewing the deadlines every time.

Maulana got a relatively sizeable chunk of attractive posts and ministries in the Government compared to his strength in the Parliament; recently the long awaited CII chairmanship demand has been fulfilled.

Then what does the Maulana want?

-Image building exercise after the WikiLeaks

– Evading support of the RGST in the parliament, though it does not seem a big deal

– Getting some more undisclosed demands to be fulfilled as the previous record shows

– Winds of change from the holy land, Tehrik Nizam-e-Mustafa 3.0

–  Revival of MMA 2.0

Let us wait and see, or you are free to draw conclusions of your own…