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Lahore

January 24, 2015

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‘Freedom of speech a pretext to fan war of civilisations’

LAHORE
THOUSANDS of people took to the streets on Friday in the provincial metropolis condemning the French magazine’s brazen publication of blasphemous sketches, demanding the government to sever diplomatic ties with Paris and boycott French products, besides setting ablaze French flag and effigies of French president.
The protesters, including both religious workers and common people, who had voiced the protests on the appeal of top religious leaders, were raising slogans warning that secular Europe was fanning war of civilisations on the pretext of freedom of speech.
Soon after Friday congregations, the protesters gathered and raised slogans against France, western leaders and anti-Muslim forces. The prayers leaders in their Friday sermons demanded that Paris must tender an apology to Muslims that form over one-fourth of the world population.
Addressing the protesters, the leaders warned the West that no amount of their blasphemies would hamper the love for the Prophet (PBUH) from the hearts of the Muslims, adding that this love was the core of their faith. They said such mindless insistence on limitless freedom of expression was actually a western conspiracy to push the world into war of civilisations, whose idea they had been propagating for over two decades.
The biggest protests in city were held at Press Club by Almi Majlis Khatam-e-Nabuwwat and JUI-F and at Chauburji Chowk by Tehrik Hurmat-e-Rasool (THR), while numerous demonstrations were held all over the city by including those by Jamaat-e-Islami at Masnoora, JUP at Gulberg, Tanzim Islami at Bagh-e-Jinnah and Jamiat Ahle Hadith at Ravi Road.
Addressing the large demonstration outside the Lahore Press club, JUI-F secretary general Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri, Maulana Allah Wasaya, Liaqat Baloch and others demanded the government to lead the anti-blasphemy protests to practically represent the sentiments of the people.
They warned that Islamabad had been displaying criminal

silence on the issue which amounted to provocating sentiments of the nation, and demanded that French ambassador should be expelled and French products should be boycotted.
Jamaat-ud-Dawa Ameer Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Abdul Rehman Makki, Maulana Ameer Hamza and others warned that announcements of banning JuD were being made to silence the effective voice against blasphemy, Indian occupation of Kashmir and Delhi’s water terrorism against Pakistan.
They said freezing the JuD accounts was an attempt by Islamabad to please the western masters and their Asian policeman, Delhi. Hafiz Saeed said he was writing letters to Muslim leaders against the enemy conspiracies. He said the JuD would continue supporting the cause of Islam and relief activities because no proof was ever produced against him and the party.
Other leaders said JuD had never indulged in anti-social activities, except for raising voice against global injustices against Islam and the Muslims. They demanded Islamabad to push for a global legislation for punishing blasphemy of every sacred religious figure.
Delivering Friday sermon at Mansoora Masjid, JI Naib Ameer Hafiz Muhammad Idrees said those publishing the blasphemous sketches had the backing of Zionist lobby as the Christians would not involve themselves in such activities. He said Pope Francis had fully represented the Christian world by decrying blasphemy. He urged Christian community in the country to join the countrywide protest to express their solidarity with the Muslims on the issue because the world peace was threatened by the secular Zionists.
He said US wanted India’s supremacy in the region in order to contain China and US President Obama’s visit to India was aimed at giving a pat to Indian Prime Minister Modi and to give a stern message to Pakistan. He said, unfortunately, the Pakistani rulers were US slaves and were serving the US agenda.
The government, he said, was working on the US plan to impose ban on religious parties- one after the other and to promote secular agenda. He said the US was the major hurdle in peace in the region. However, he said that all US plan would come to a naught in the way US had failed in Vietnam and Afghanistan. He said the parliament had passed the Bill against religion and the seminaries that was a step towards eroding the Islamic character of the country, but it had been rejected by the masses. He said one would pity the wisdom of the rulers who thought the seminary students terrorists but believed the target killers, extortionists and the criminals involved in the bodies stuffed in gunny bags were innocents. He emphasised that Islam is the religion of peace, love and brotherhood.
Delivering Friday sermon at Bagh-e-Jinnah, Tanzim-e-Islami Ameer Hafiz Akif Saeed said government’s actions in the wake of fresh attempts of blasphemy were compounding the problems and conspiracies faced by the Muslims, especially the Pakistanis. He said Delhi was continuously opening fire in the Pakistani territories killing innocent people and exterminating Muslims in India on the pretexts like the recent setting ablaze of Muslims. But Islamabad was freezing Jamaat-ud-Dawa accounts to implement a four-year-old ban to please Washington and Delhi.

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