FIR registered against Lal Masjid’s chief cleric

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Following persisting protests by the civil society, the Islamabad Police registered an FIR against Lal Masjid’s chief cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz.

Earlier, a huge contingent of police personnel was deployed outside the capital’s Lal Masjid on Friday to deal with any untoward situation after another call of protest by members of civil society. However, later the protesters announced that they will be rallying at Melody Chowk instead.

Members of the civil society gave a call of protest after Friday prayers in response to a statement by the mosque’s chief cleric Abdul Aziz in which he refused to condemn the massacre of students and teachers in a terrorist attack on a school in Peshawar. Aziz had also termed that the use of force against Taliban is not a “wise option”.

In response to the protest, Islamabad Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operations Asmatullah Junejo summoned the entire district police to beef up security.

The enraged protestors reportedly even tried to storm the mosque building.

At least seven civil society members, including a woman, were reportedly arrested by police on Friday after a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against participants of the protest on the complaint of the mosque management. Those arrested were later released following an assurance that the protest would be moved to Melody Chowk.

Protesters and supporters took to social media and launched the Twitter hashtags #LalMasjidVigil and #ArrestAbdulAziz to express their outrage.

Earlier on Thursday, a large number of civil society activists, politicians and students arrived at the mosque, chanting slogans against the chief cleric and lighting candles as part of a vigil.

The protesters displayed banners and placards condemning the Peshawar attack and chanted slogans against the cleric, calling him a “Taliban apologetic”.

Jibran Nasir, one of the organisers of the protest, reportedly said that he was a resident of Karachi and was in Islamabad when he heard of the statement made by Aziz and decided to organise the candlelight vigil in response.

The civil society also announced that the demonstration will be staged outside Lal Masjid every day till Aziz apologises for his statement which hurt the sentiments of millions of people across country at a time when the nation was in deep shock over the brutal massacre of school children in Peshawar.

Earlier, in his Friday sermon at Lal Masjid, Aziz declared Operation Zarb-e-Azb as un-Islamic, saying that Taliban should be forgiven for their mistakes.

Aziz said that the situation could be improved after Taliban were given pardon. He was of the opinion that Taliban are destroying themselves due to un-Islamic system in the country.

He said killing of every child is condemnable wherever it is happened. He said the entire nation is in grief over the Peshawar incident, saying they condemn the Peshawar attack. He, however, said there should be no discrimination in powerful and weak sides.

1 COMMENT

  1. This man supports militant groups like Taliban which frequently kill civilians. Of course, he will say he condemns their murders, but what he really means is he condemns the deaths of civilians who support the Taliban.

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