Lahore, Jan 8 (ANI): Islam is Pakistan's sole identity, and there is no room for secularism and its believers in this country, Jama'at-e-Islami deputy Secretary General Hafiz Sajid Anwar has said.
Addressing the congregation at Mansoora mosque, Anwar said that a Muslim could not tolerate blasphemy of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), The Nation reports.
Even Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik had told media persons that if someone committed blasphemy in his presence, he would shoot him to death, he added.
Anwar exhorted the rulers to learn a lesson from Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer's assassination, as none of the official Khatibs and Imams was ready to lead his funeral prayer.
On Tuesday, Taseer was assassinated by Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, one of his own elite security force protectors, who opened fire on him because of the governor's support for the release of Pakistani-Christian woman Asia Bibi, who has been sentenced to death on blasphemy charges.
There was consensus of the Ummah that blasphemy of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was punishable by death, said Anwar, adding that Taseer publicly sympathised with the blasphemer woman, expressed full support to her and promised her clemency, and all this was unbecoming of his high office.
He said that Asia Bibi had been convicted by a law court and not by any mufti or cleric, and that Taseer had been issuing statements in violation of the country's constitution, the Quran and the Sunnah, which gave the impression of his anti-Islamic views and finally led to his assassination.
He also demanded the immediate release of the relatives of Mumtaz Qadri, the bodyguard who shot Taseer at least 17 times before surrendering.
Addressing another congregation at Syed Maudoodi Institute mosque, JI leader Hafiz Muhammad Idrees said that Taseer's murder should be an eye opener for the other rulers who were clamouring against the Blasphemy Law.
Referring to Malik's statement that he would shoot down a blasphemer, Idrees asked what crime Mumtaz Qadri had committed.
He advised the anti-Islam elements in the country to stop attacks on the religion, and study it thoroughly. The western powers could cow down the Muslim rulers but not the Muslim masses, he added. (ANI)