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  • » 01/29/2011, 00.00

    PAKISTAN

    Karachi, women on streets in support of the blasphemy law

    Jibran Khan

    The women's wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) marched through the streets, shouting slogans against those who want to change the "black law". The fundamentalist leaders call for the expulsion of Vatican representatives for "meddling" of Benedict XVI. On January 30, Christians pray for in Asia Bibi and peace in the country.

    Karachi (AsiaNews) - The women's wing of the Islamic movement Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has demonstrated on the streets of Karachi against possible amendments to the blasphemy law. The protest took place yesterday after Friday prayers: the crowd gathered in Mazar-e-Quaid - the National Mausoleum, better known as the tomb that houses the remains of the founder Ali Jinnah - and marched to the area of Numaish Chowrangi. The young women students - from different schools and institutions of the city - shouted slogans and brandished placards against those who want to change the "black law".

    Addressing the crowd, Ghafoor Ahmed - a member of JI - confirmed that "no attempt to touch the law will be allowed", the spirit of the Pakistani students, he added, shows that the country "will soon become a true Islamic nation." The vice-president Ashraf Jalali, who led the protest, made it clear that any condemnation of Mumtaz Qadri - the murderess of the Punjab Governor Salman Taseer - will lead to further demonstrations and protests, because he is "a hero of the Muslim ummah".

    Members of the fundamentalist movement also demanded the expulsion of all Vatican officials in Pakistan, for what they call "interference" in internal affairs by Benedict XVI. On 10 January, the Pope, during his meeting with the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, had claimed the right to religious freedom and called for the repeal of the blasphemy law.

    On January 30, Islamic fundamentalists have launched a national demonstration in support of the "black law" and promised a "long march" to Islamabad if Asia Bibi, the 45 year old Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy and pending appeal, is not executed. Also on January 30, however, the bishop of Islamabad / Rawalpini, Mgr. Anthony Rufin, proclaimed a day of fasting and prayer for Asia and for peace and harmony all over Pakistan.

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    See also

    04/12/2010 PAKISTAN
    Peshawar Imam: "A reward to kill Asia Bibi"
    In his sermon, Maulana Yousuf Qureshi of the Mohabat Khan mosque, said that if the appeals court judge innocent Asia Bibi will be the mujahideen to kill her. The leader has also warned the government on any changes to the law on blasphemy.

    02/03/2011 PAKISTAN
    Shahbaz Bhatti, the Pakistani minister who defended Asia Bibi, is assassinated
    The attack took place this morning in Islamabad. An armed commando gunned down the Catholic minister in his car. Rushed to hospital he did not survive his wounds. Murder claimed by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

    17/11/2010 PAKISTAN
    People around the world signing petition to save Asia Bibi
    In two days, more than 1,300 people sign a petition launched by AsiaNews to save the life of the Pakistani woman sentenced to death on false blasphemy charges. Hundreds of messages have come in from Spain and Latin America, but also Vietnam, China and Malaysia. Hundreds of women protested yesterday for Asia Bibi against the blasphemy law.

    22/12/2012 PAKISTAN
    Pakistan, not just Asia Bibi: Muslim lynched and burned alive for blasphemy
    It happened this morning in the village of Seeta. The man was suspected of desecrating pages of the Koran. Over 200 people dragged him from the police station, beat and finally burned him. 10 police suspended and 20 people arrested. Crowd now facing murder charges and resisting a public officer.

    11/02/2011 PAKISTAN
    Pakistani Priest warns Christians are at risk. A young man tortured and killed
    Incidents against the faithful, especially in central Punjab, increasing at an alarming rate. The police and the judiciary "cover" crimes and abuses for fear of the local Muslim lords. A young man killed by his employers, and the police would not accept the father’s report.



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