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Indian Muslims question Pak cleric’s silence

Latest Breaking News: A group of 50 Indian Muslim intellectuals, students and rights activists have written to Pakistan’s Dawat-e-Islami outfit head and questioned his silence over the assassination of a leading progressive politician in Islamabad.

Mumtaz Qadri, believed to be a member of the group, assassinated Pakistani Punjab governor Salman Taseer for his vocal denunciation of the country’s controversial blasphemy law. Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari had pardoned a Christian woman, Asiya Bibi, convicted of blasphemy after Taseer visited her in jail and promised all support.

The letter asked Maulana Ilyas Qadri to ponder over Mumtaz Qadri’s action “Did this conform to the teachings of Islam?” asked the letter. It quoted a poem, praising Prophet Muhammad “salam us par ke jis ney zakhm kha kar phool barsaye (salute to the Prophet who showered flowers even on those who inflicted wounds on him)” to make the point. The poem is regularly aired on a Dawat-e-Islami-run TV channel in Pakistan.

The letter said Mumtaz Qadri is an antithesis of the Prophet’s qualities. It cites several incidents of the Prophet forgiving his tormentors “even when he could have avenged the persecution he and his companions suffered”. It refers to the siege of Taif on the outskirts of Mecca, where the opponents of Islam surrounded and stoned the Prophet.

“Though badly injured, he didn’t even utter a word of hatred for those who were throwing stones at him. On the contrary, he prayed for them,” the letter said.

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