‘A prayer… of sorts’ – my Viewpoint article

Excerpt from ‘A prayer… of sorts’, my article in Viewpoint Online’s special issue on the Ahmadi massacre in Lahore:

…. Where do these people get the guts to operate so brazenly?

Perhaps because the administration turns a blind eye to their displaying banners like the one photographed recently on Mall Road outside Lahore High Court that reads: ‘Yahudi, Isai, Mirzai Islam ke dushman haiN’ (Jews, Christians, Ahmedis, are enemies of Islam).

Then there are the freebee giveaways by banned outfits like Harkatul Ansar – like this clock, photographed at a ‘parchoon’ shop in Karachi’s Delhi Colony. The hands are a Kalshnikov, four of the five pillars of Islam, Namaz, Zakat, Haj and Roza (prayer, charity, pilgrimage and fasting) mark the quarter hour points. The fifth pillar, Tauheed (belief in the singularity of the Almighty), has been replaced by Jehad (holy war), the word placed right in the centre. Jehad is not one of Islam’s five pillars. But of course, no one is going to proceed against them for misrepresenting, some would say defiling, the religion.

Those who raise a voice against these issues find themselves threatened with legal action or worse. A case in point is Malik Rashid’s article ‘Faithful Killers, Fatal Worship’ (Ibrahim Sajid Malick’s blog) about the massacre of Ahmedis in Lahore on May 28. In the comments section, a reader threatened legal action against Malik Rashid for referring to ‘Ahmedi mosques’. The fellow even provided his name, address and phone number (the number proved erroneous when a doctor in the US attempted to call it). [The website was later hacked, but restored] READ MORE

Ahmedi massacre: threats, demos – add to this debate please

Scanned photo & caption from front page of Dawn, May 29, 2010; Reuters photo

Posted this info to my yahoogroup today:

Dear friends:

There was a front page photograph the day after the Lahore massacres, of an elderly Ahmedi with a cap and small white beard, hands ‘clasped together in a prayer of sorts’ as Dawn captioned it. ‘Of sorts’. Even Dawn could not call it prayer.

Iconic photo of a Muslim man pleading for his life as fanatical Hindu fundamentalists went on the rampage in Gujarat, India (March 2002).

It reminded me of another photo of a man during the Gujarat carnage in India, hands clasped, pleading for his life.

Then there’s this photograph a friend sent of a banner on Mall Road outside Lahore High Court that reads:  “Yahudi, Isai, Mirzai Islam ke dushman haiN’ (Jews, Christians, Ahmedis, are enemies of Islam).

How could this banner be allowed to be put up and remain up?

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