LONDON: Islamabad’s Lal Masjid has distanced itself from the ultra-radical London preacher Anjem Chaudhry who has announced to issue fatwas against several Pakistani public figures including Malala Yousufzai.
Amir Siddique, who is a Naib khatib at the famous mosque, called this correspondent on Tuesday and clarified that the mosque administration had never been in contact with the banned Al-Muhajiroun members or its leaders, including Omar Bakri and Anjem Chaudhry, who has announced on his website Sharia4Pakistan that he will hold a conference in the mosque premises to issue fatwas on Malala Yousafzai, and former respected and present top leaders of Pakistan.
The Lal Masjid spokesman said: “Maulana Abdul Aziz and the whole mosque administration condemn the inflammatory statements used by this group, clearly seeking publicity. We are not aware of any conference in the mosque on 30th November and it’s for the government of Pakistan to take action anyone who enters Pakistan and creates law & order situation.”
Amir Siddique added: “To call Pakistan’s constitution un-Islamic is Anjem Chaudhry’s personal thinking and it’s wrong. People like him create problems for Muslims in Europe and Pakistan. We accept Pakistan’s constitution and respect it.
It states that the ultimate rule belongs to Allah and laws will be made in accordance with the dictates in the Quran and according to the Sunnah. We want Pakistan to be governed according to this system but we seek changes in laws within the Pakistani law.”
He said Lal Masjid had no problem with Malala calling Quaid-i-Azam her ideal but we objected to her calling Barack Obama her ideal because he is responsible for the deaths of millions of Muslims. “When Malala spoke against men supporting beards, we objected to her remarks but said that she was too young to understand what she was saying, especially coming from a conservative Khyber Pakhtunkhwa society, but we said that she was fed this information and it was not her own fault.”
Anjem Chaudhry told The News that Lal Masjid’s decision not to allow him inside the mosque was “surprising” but he vowed that if refused permission to go inside the mosque he will hold the “fatwa conference” outside the mosque.
Anjem Chaudhry has still not applied for visa to Pakistan and has not set foot in Pakistan after leaving the country with his parents, aged 4, in 1971. A Pakistan High Commission spokesperson said: “We will make a decision if he has the right papers or not once he applies for a visa. So far he has not applied for it as yet.”
Anjem appeared to put himself in confrontation with the mosque administration. “We shouldn’t need anyone’s permission to enter a mosque. Mosques are supposed to be open for all. Nobody can dictate who comes to the house of Allah. Our stance remains the same and we have support of students from within the mosque.”