AN ACTIVIST whose father was assassinated in 2011 for supposedly insulting Islam fears for his life after a hardline religious group issued a fatwa demanding his execution and police launched an investigation into blasphemy allegations against him.
Every year in Pakistan, hundreds of people – mostly Hindus – are forced to convert to Islam. To address this problem, the Sindh province recently passed a bill that criminalises forced religious conversions. But it’s been labelled “anti-Islam” by hardline Islamists, who want lawmakers to amend it.
A Christmas message calling for prayers for those charged under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws has led to death threats against the son of a provincial governor killed five years ago for criticizing the same laws.
The case highlights the continuing influence in Pakistan of Muslim hardliners who praise violence in the name of defending Islam, despite a government vow to crack down on religious extremism.
The hardliners have called for mass protests if police do not charge activist Shaan Taseer with blasphemy against Islam – a crime punishable by death.
Supporters of Mumtaz Qadri have built a shrine to honour their beloved murderer whom they consider a devout Muslim. Isn’t it time that our leaders recognized the fact that Islam is a murder-cult?
Sattar Khan, DW’s Islamabad correspondent, confirmed that a “shrine” was under construction near the capital to “honor” Mumtaz Qadri, who was hanged in February for murdering Salman Taseer, a governor of Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province.
Qadri’s supporters and commoners have already started visiting the under-construction shrine, which is being supervised by the “Mumtaz Qadri Shaheed Foundation,” according to Pakistan’s “Dawn” newspaper.
“The shrine is attracting the attention of people from all over the country. Qadri’s supporters have pumped millions of rupees into the construction of this shrine. Some Muslim clerics are openly glorifying Taseer’s murderer,” Sattar Khan said.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — It was just a few seconds, a video clip of several young women laughing and clapping to music, dressed for a party or a wedding in orange headscarves and robes with floral patterns. Then a few more seconds of a young man dancing alone, apparently in the same room.
The cellphone video was made six years ago, in a village deep in Kohistan, a rugged area of northwest Pakistan. It was the last time the young women, known only as Bazeegha, Sareen Jan, Begum Jan, Amina and Shaheen, have ever been definitively seen alive.
TORONTO — An attack on a mosque in Chakwal, Pakistan, has led to calls for an investigation in Canada over allegations a Toronto-area man was part of a group that vowed “extreme measures” against the place of worship.
A mob of about 1,000 surrounded the mosque belonging to minority Ahmadiyya Muslims, according to Pakistani newspapers The Nation and Dawn, as well as social media posts, some showing video of the damage.
The incident Monday reportedly came after locals filed a petition with police claiming “infidels” were illegally occupying the building and unless action was taken “we will be forced to take extreme measures to liberate this mosque.”
This incident is part of the on-going persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslims by the dominant Sunni sect.
Even though last Friday marked the second anniversary of the day that a blasphemy-accused married Pakistani Christian couple was burned alive in a brick kiln by a mob of hundreds of Muslims, no justice has yet been served for those responsible for the senseless lynchings.
After a decline in scale and casualties, the anti-Shia sectarian violence is once again resurging in Pakistan. In the last two weeks, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) Al-Alami, an anti-Shia extremist outfit, has claimed responsibility for the targeted assassinations of four women of the ethnic Hazara Shia community in Quetta and the attack on a Shia Imambargah in Karachi. Alarmingly, during the same period, two deadly attacks of almost similar modus operandi were witnessed against the Shia worshippers in Afghanistan, one in Kabul and the other in the northern Balkh province. Since 2014, sectarian terrorism—spearheaded by Khurasan chapter of the Islamic State (IS)—has emerged as a new potent threat in Afghanistan alongside the Taliban insurgency.
A rather violent hashtag is trending on Twitter, and it surrounds one Pakistani woman’s possibly imminent execution. Asia Bibi is a Pakistani Christian woman who was sentenced to death in 2010 for blasphemy, having been accused of insulting the Prophet of Islam Muhammad during an argument. Still alive and in custody, news broke last week that Bibi’s case would be heard by Pakistan’s supreme court. Many men then began demanding her death with the hashtag #HangAasia, but some are fighting back in her defense on Twitter.
The long-awaited final appeal of a Christian woman sentenced to death under Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws has been adjourned after a judge said he could not hear the case.
Justice Muhammad Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman, one of three judges who met amid heightened security in Islamabad to hear the appeal, said he could not rule on whether Asia Bibi’s 2010 conviction for insulting the prophet Muhammad should stand because of his involvement in a related case.