Skin ADV
11 February 2016
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 01/10/2011, 00.00

    PAKISTAN

    In Karachi, 50,000 rally behind blasphemy law

    Jibran Khan

    Fundamentalist leaders organise rally and praise Salman Taseer’s murderer as a “hero of Islam”. The Pope appeals to the Pakistani government to repeal the law because it is a “pretext” for violence and injustice. Pakistani Christians pray for the governor of Punjab, a “martyr” according to Saudi newspaper Arab News.

    Lahore (AsiaNews) – Shouting anti-government slogans, thousands of people on Sunday marched in Pakistan's financial capital to oppose any amendments to the controversial blasphemy law. Radical Muslim leaders who led the rally praised Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the man charged with killing Punjab governor Salman Taseer, as a hero of Islam. In Islamabad and Lahore, hundreds of Christians took part in Sunday Mass, paying tribute to the slain governor. Benedict XVI today also referred to the blasphemy law in a speech to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Vatican. In it, he said that the law violates the “right to religious freedom” and urged the Pakistani government to take the necessary steps to repeal it. Saudi newspaper Arab News published a long editorial article on the assassination of the Punjab governor, whose fight against violence and fanaticism “turned him into a martyr”.

    Yesterday, 50,000 people invaded downtown Karachi to hail Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, the murderer of Salman Taseer, the governor targeted by fundamentalists because he had dubbed the blasphemy law as a “black law”. Organised by Islamic extremist groups, the rally saw the participation of outlawed Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed. Wearing green headbands and holding flags with Qur‘anic verses inscribed on them, hundreds of young people, some of them wielding sticks, shouted slogans against the Pakistani government and the United States.

    Fazlur Rehman, head of the pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema Islam and speaker at Sunday's demonstration, said that Taseer "was responsible for his own murder" because he had criticised the law.

    Other speakers told the crowd that the law “is divine” and that “nobody can change it." They also called for a “long march to Islamabad” and other demonstrations “across the country.”

    Benedict XVI spoke today about the blasphemy law in his address to the ambassadors accredited to the Holy See. The Pope said that “particular mention must be made of the law against blasphemy in Pakistan” because it violates religious freedom. He urged government authorities in Pakistan “to take the necessary steps to abrogate that law [. . .] because it is clear that it serves as a pretext for acts of injustice and violence against religious minorities. The tragic murder of the governor of Punjab shows the urgent need to make progress in this direction”.

    Christians gathered yesterday across the country for Sunday Mass to remember Salman Taseer. In Islamabad, they gathered at Our Lady of Fatima Church. "We are here to pray for him because he was murdered because of our cause, and because he was campaigning for justice for Christians in Pakistan and peace for the world," Father Anwar Patras Gill said.

    In Lahore, prayers were said for the governor. “We dedicate this day to him," Fr Daniel Habib said in the cathedral ahead of Mass before a gathering of 250 worshippers.

    In the meantime, the authorities have increased security around the residence of Sherry Rehman, in Karachi, fearing possible attacks. A former Information minister and a member of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), she is among the promoters of changes to the blasphemy law.

    “They can't silence me,” she told AsiaNews, and “They can't decide what we think or speak, these are man-made laws."

    The assassination of the governor of Punjab has been front-page news around the world. Saudi newspaper Arab News published a lengthy editorial on the matter. In it, the newspaper praised the courage of Salman Taseer whose bitter opposition to “extremism and violence cost him his life” and “turned him into a martyr”.

    The paper called his killer “a heartless, grinning murderer and an ignorant instrument of evil”, ending its editorial with an appeal to the country’s leaders to stand up and rally against the deviant forces that threatened to bring darkness to Pakistan and Islam.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    12/01/2011 PAKISTAN
    Blasphemy law: Pope’s call highlights split in Pakistani society
    Radical leaders and Islamic movements incite crowds and warn Christians against forming a party to repeal the law, a step that would bring chaos. The government denies it plans changes to the law. Civil society leaders appreciate Benedict XVI’s speech. Bilawal Bhutto defends minorities. Muslim intellectual calls for full religious freedom and a secular state.

    03/02/2011 PAKISTAN
    Blasphemy law: Rehman withdraws proposed changes, as teacher denounces 17-year-old boy
    With her life threatened by Muslim fundamentalists, the PPP Member of the National Assembly accepts to toe the party line and accept the government’s view. Prime Minister Gilani confirms that changes will not be introduced. A student is arrested in Karachi for blasphemy after he is accused of insulting the name of Muhammad in an exam. Human Rights Watch calls the decision “truly appalling”.

    05/01/2011 PAKISTAN - INDIA
    Christians honour Salman Taseer, a courageous victim of the blasphemy law
    For Fr. James Chennan, Vice Provincial of the Dominicans in Lahore, the country has lost a promoter of human rights, loved by minorities. Indian Christian leaders condemn Taseer’s murder, one of the few credible voices of Pakistan.

    01/10/2011 PAKISTAN
    Pakistan: death sentence for Salman Taseer’s assassin Mumtaz Qadri
    The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) of Pakistan today issued the sentence defining the murder "a heinous and unjustifiable crime ". Qadri’s lawyers argue the "inevitability" of the murder, caused by Taseer’s "reprehensible statements" on blasphemy law. Protests outside the prison. Bishop of Islamabad: "a brave judgement, now we must work together for a tolerant society."

    26/08/2011 PAKISTAN
    Shahbaz Taseer, son of slain Punjab governor, seized in Lahore
    Armed men abducted him this morning as he went to work. His mobile phones, laptop and other personal items were thrown away. Experts believe he will be used to obtain the release of his father’s murderer. Catholic Church slams the act.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA – VATICAN
    Global Times: the pope should accept the independence of the Chinese Church



    After 24 hours of silence, China’s media today published excerpts, comments and editorials about Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. Although the pope did not address religious issues or Church problems, many saw the interview as an attempt to improve diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican, and advised Francis to accept Mao Zedong’s "three principles of independence" (theology, administration, jurisdiction), which would leave the power to appoint bishops in the hands of the Party. The People's Daily’s Global Times publishes an editorial on the issue.


    INDIA – PHILIPPINES
    Archbishop of Guwahati: In Asia religion is not dying, the faithful take strength from the Eucharist



    Mgr Menamparampil is among the speakers at the International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu, Philippines. He was also a conflict mediator between various ethnic groups. He told AsiaNews about the value of the Congress for the Catholic Church in Asia and how people can bear witness the Gospel today, even amid tensions and violence of those who "hate us." "with the same pain in our hearts that we descend to our depths during a Eucharistic adoration."


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®