Majority of religious parties seem unconcerned about Sialkot incident

Silence and linkage of tragedy to ‘international establishment conspiracy’ against Pakistani blasphemy laws overshadow condemnation by few

Picture source - Social media

Majority of religious parties and top clerics are either silent or trying to link the Sialkot lynching incident to the alleged ‘international establishment conspiracy’ against Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

Dozens of religious organizations, groups, known individual clerics, representatives of seminaries, custodians of shrines, etc. who otherwise leave no occasion to issue statements to media on every happening in the world, are showing a cold shoulder to the shocking tragedy causing collective shame to the nation.

Fearing their reaction could create damage for their vote bank which is otherwise less than two percent of the country’s total voting base, they also have a history of showing no interest in such violent acts in the country.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman said that the incident of lynching of the Sri Lankan was condemnable, disgraceful, and needed a comprehensive inquiry. However, the head of the leading Deobandi party also expressed the belief that such incidents were an outcome of the state’s inaction against the culprits of blasphemy.

“Such incidents happen when the state takes no action against blasphemers and when they flee from the country under government protection,” tweeted the Maulana, even directly labeling Asia Bibi traveling from Pakistan as ‘criminal’.

In a series of tweets, he said followers of Islam loved the Holy Prophet (PBUH) more than their own lives but Europe tried to hurt their sentiments in the name of freedom of speech and by publishing caricatures of the messenger of Allah Almighty (PBUH).

Such incidents, he believed, were a conspiracy of the international establishment against the religious segment and a plot to make controversial the Islamic injunctions of the constitution of Pakistan. He demanded a thorough investigation against the backers and hidden objectives behind the Sialkot incident.

Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Sirajul Haq, however, minced no words in issuing condemnation against the Sialkot incident. In a statement, he demanded strict action and exemplary punishment against the culprits involved in the shocking murder of a foreign national. He said that Islam had nothing to do with such violent acts.

Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan chief Saad Rizvi has also called for an impartial investigation into the incident. “The TLP has no links with the culprits,” he said, adding that connecting the tragedy with his organization was as shocking as the incident itself.

The other parties from the Jamiat Ahle Hadith to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Sami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Pakistan, Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen, and plenty of others have so far issued no condemnation messages against the violence.

Iftikhar Alam is a correspondent writing on religion, politics, agriculture, and energy. He takes people on a rich journey through the culture of Punjab. He tweets @imiftikharalam and can be reached at