Religious & Political Leaders Responsible for Blasphemy Lynching Culture, Says Scholar


Less than two weeks after the horrific Sialkot lynching, while the majority of Pakistanis may have chosen to move on and forget that incident, it is critical that we keep remining our fellow citizens of why something as heinous as this happened in Pakistan.

While some clerics and politicians justified the incident, one of Pakistan’s pre-eminent religious scholars, Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, released a video titled ‘Sialkot Tragedy: Who Is Really Responsible?’

In that video Ghamidi argued that four parties should bear the primary responsibility for the situation that Pakistan is in today:

First “our religious leaders, who have encouraged and hailed such heinous acts and who make heroes out of those who are responsible for them such as Mumtaz Qadri. Who the courts of Pakistan considered a murderer deserving the death sentence is celebrated by religious leaders as a martyr. Religious leaders have created an environment through their fiery speeches in which ordinary Muslims feel that not only are such acts justifiable but that this is also a recipe for success in the afterlife.

Second, politicians “who made the blasphemy laws are responsible. The blasphemy laws on the statute books go against the Quran, hadith and Islamic jurisprudence. He says that the big religious leaders know this well, they have accepted in writing that the laws do not conform to Islamic tenets but nobody is ready to improve them. Laws like these convey to society that such acts are justifiable.

Third, the judiciary “who prop up and use such groups for political purposes. He reminds us how Justice Qazi Faez Isa’s well-known judgement has made him a target. He wishes people would read his judgement. He thinks that a major part of the responsibility lies with those who run the governments from behind the sce­nes and since they cannot do this through the consent of the people they do so by propping up such groups.

“Fourthly, political leaders and intellectuals who do not condemn these incidents and remain silent.”

But will anyone in Pakistan listen to Ghamidi?