- Advocate Amanullah says mixed gathering at funeral of human rights activist is against Islamic values
- CII chairman says FIR ‘unnecessary’, religious matters should be solved through discourse
LAHORE: A lawyer has filed an application with the Gulberg Police Station seeking the registration of a case under Section 295-A against the participants of prominent human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir’s funeral, Pakistan Today has learnt.
After Asma Jahangir’s abrupt death due to a cardiac arrest, many of her female comrades, colleagues and relatives joined the prayers at Gaddafi Stadium, which was led by Syed Haider Farooq Maududi, son of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) founder Syed Abu’l Al’a Maududi, in the front row.
The application filed by Advocate Amanullah seeks the registration of a case against Farooq Haider Maududi, Muneeza Jahangir, Saleema Jahangir (daughters of Asma Jahangir), and around 100 more people who attended the funeral.
The application states: “The mixed gathering at the funeral of Asma Jahangir was against Islamic values, which hurt the sentiments of the Muslims all over the world, especially Pakistani Muslims.”
The complainant requested that an FIR [First Information Report] be registered under Section 295-A, which pertains to deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Advocate Amanullah claimed that the FIR will be registered by Wednesday.
“Two lawyers were shot dead otherwise we would have gone to the police station today to follow up on the application,” he said.
Advocate Amanullah further said that the application was filed by a group of lawyers on the basis of a fatwa issued by many clerics.
However, when asked Imanullah refused to tell the name of the lawyers’ group or clerics who have issued the fatwa against the mixed gathering at the funeral.
Meanwhile, IGP Punjab’s Spokesman Nayab Haider denied receiving any such application.
Pakistan Today contacted Gulberg SHO Babar Ashraf and Model Town SP Dr Shakir Ahmed several times for their comments but they were not available.
Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz said that women could have only prayed and stood at one side instead of standing in the front row, however, an FIR is “unnecessary”.
“This is an Islamic matter and religious matters should be solved through discourse.”
When asked about the pictures of Quaid-e-Azam’s funeral circulating on the social media—in which women could be seen standing with men— he said that people used to be less “sensitive” about these matters back then but “now people are easily offended”.
He was, however, of the view that “sanctity of funeral rites should have been upheld”.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Pakistan Ulema Council leader Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi held Farooq Haider Maududi responsible for not “guiding” people in accordance with the Islamic teachings.
The cleric said that Islamic principles should have been followed and women shouldn’t have attended the funeral.
“Despite the presence of women, the funeral is not un-Islamic if four takbeers are said,” he added.
Responding to a question, he said that the funeral of Quaid-e-Azam was led by Allama Shabeer Ahmed Usmani, who could have never let a woman stand in the front row, whereas he “knows” Farooq Haider Maududi.
“He doesn’t belong to any school of thought,” he added.
Institute for Peace and Secular Studies founder Diep Saeeda said that the same people who couldn’t stand Asma when she was alive, are now filing FIRs, worried about the nitty gritties of her funeral more than her daughters who were present there, themselves.
“People are playing politics over the dead,” she lamented.
Criticising the judicial activism, she said that nowadays political talks can be heard in the bars, and urged the lawyers to refrain from getting involved in “dirty” politics.