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PAKISTAN: APC backs March 13 strike against blasphemy

Journalists, trade groups and seminaries to hold country-wide demonstrations to protest cartoons

Monday, February 13, 2006

Karachi --- An all-parties conference held under the aegis of the All-Pakistan Organization of Small Traders and Cottage Industries (APOSTCI), Sindh, here on Monday appealed for a boycott of all products from western countries in protest against the publication of blasphemous caricatures in the European press.

The APC was attended by Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, Nasrullah Shaji, Mamnoon Hussain, Prof N. D. Khan, Hafiz Taqi, Nusrat Mirza and other political and religious leaders. Mehboob Azam, Mehmood Hamid, Abdul Majid and Mohammed Hussain of the APOSTCI were among those who spoke on the occasion.

The APC unanimously backed the countrywide shutter-down on March 13.

Through a resolution, it urged all Muslim governments to severe diplomatic ties with the countries where the blasphemous caricatures were carried by media.

It also demanded withdrawal of the amendments to the Blasphemy Act, and warned that traders' organizations and the political and religious parties would jointly launch a countrywide protest if the demand was not met.

The resolution urged the government to demand custody of the cartoonist involved in the blasphemy, arguing that Pakistan had also been extraditing the people wanted by the United States.

Meanwhile, the Markazi Jamat Ahle Sunnat here on Monday announced observance of Hafta-i-Tahaffuz Namoos-i-Risalat (Feb 14-20), and full support to the rally being held here on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference, its leaders expressed resentment over the publication of the blasphemous sketches and termed it 'a planned conspiracy' and a part of the Bush administration's unholy agenda against the Ummah.

They were of the view that the purposes of the publication of the profane caricatures was to provoke the Ummah and push the whole world towards a clash of civilizations.

Maulana Qazi Ahmad Noorani gave details of the activities during the Namoos-i-Risalat Week, saying that rallies and protest demonstrations would be held to register the Muslim world's anguish and shock over the shameful act by European press.

Sindh Bar: An extraordinary meeting of the Sindh High Court Bar Association (SHCBA) on Monday strongly condemned the publication of blasphemous caricatures by some European newspapers.

M. Ilyas Khan, President of the Bar, observed during the meeting that publication of the sacrilegious caricatures was not only shameful but also shocking.

"On the one hand, Western countries claim to be advanced and civilized nations and, one the other, they indulge in such most uncivilized and immoral practices and justify the same as freedom of expression," he argued.

The meeting unanimously adopted a resolution which condemned the Danish paper which first carried the blasphemous caricatures and the other European papers which reproduced the same later.


Thirty-seven major seminaries of the Ahle Sunnat in Karachi on Monday announced their participation in the Thursday (February 16) rally against the publication of blasphemous sketches.

In a joint statement, representatives of these seminaries said this was an issue of belief and no one could compromise on his belief. They vowed to offer any sacrifice in this regard, saying that this was a test case and Muslims around the world would respond to the challenge in a befitting manner.

They deplored that some 'ideological terrorists' of the West could not be allowed to harm the religious sentiments of over 1.5 billion Muslims. This satanic play could not be continued in the name of 'freedom of expression', they added.

The statement backed the demand of a boycott of the products from the European countries responsible for the publication of blasphemous caricatures, and called for severing diplomatic ties with them. It demanded that mental torture be declared 'terrorism'.

The seminaries who endorsed the statement are Darul Uloom Amjadia (Aalamgir Road), Darul Uloom Naeemia (Federal B Area), Darul Uloom Mujaddidia Naeemia, Darul Uloom Qamarul Islam Sulemania, Jamia Hamidia Rizvia (Gulzar-i-Hijri), Darul Uloom Qadria Subhania (Shah Faisal Colony), Darul Uloom Ghousia Qadri (Old Sabzi Mandi), Shamsul Uloom Jamia Rizvia (North Nazimabad), Darul Uloom Saeedia Kazmia, Darul Uloom Mohammadia Ghousia, Darul Uloom Gharib Nawaz (Frontier Colony), Idara Uloom-i-Islamia (Gulshan-i-Iqbal), Darul Uloom Warsia (Pak Colony), Jamia Abu Bakr Siddique (Gulistan-i-Jauhar), Jamia Abu Bakr Siddique (Gulshan-i-Iqbal), Faizaan-i-Madina (Old Sabzi Mandi), Jamia Waqaria Qadria, Jamia Waqaria (Kousar Niazi Colony), Jamia Imam Rabbani Mujaddidia (Orangi), Jamia Tajuddin Naeemi (Baldia), Jamia Dayar-i-Habib (Steel Town), Jamia Islamia (Lines Area), Jamia Anwar Qadria (Fatima Jinnah Colony), Jamia Nooria Rizvia (Clifton), Jamia Aleemia Qadria, Jamia Mustafia (Rizvia), Darul Uloom Anwar-i-Qadria (Jamshed Road), Darul Uloom Barkatia (Gulshan-i-Iqbal), Madressatul Madina, Jamia Tufailia (Shah Faisal Colony), Jamia Muaariful Quran (Kashmir Colony), Jamia Anwarul Quran (Gulshan-i-Iqbal), Jamia Ziaul Uloom (Agra Taj Colony), Jamia Islamia Madinatul Uloom (Gulistan-i-Johar), Jamia Suhrawardia (Azeempura), Madressah Ziaul Quran Rehmania (Jahangir Road) and Darul Uloom Riazul Islam.

Journalists protest against cartoons

Members of the Swabi Union of Journalists and Topi Union of Journalists and local traders protested against the publication of sacrilegious caricatures in Denmark and other European countries.

The protesters gathered at the Ghazi bus stand and marched in the main bazaar, chanting slogans against the United States, European countries and Israel.

Journalist union leaders said that the media in Europe had played a negative role. They said that European countries should apologize for the publications of the blasphemous cartoons.

The newsmen union leaders demanded that Pakistan should boycott goods of the countries where the cartoons were published and call back its ambassadors from there immediately.

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