It seems that this blasphemy thing has taken another precious life. This time Karachi University Dean of Islamic Studies Department was killed by some unknown gunmen.
Apparently, the issue is related to some blasphemy allegations on him for some academic opinion he gave.
According to The Express Tribune:
The tragic incident followed the killing of Dr Maulana Masood Baig, another teacher of the same faculty, who was targeted in a similar fashion in North Nazimabad a week earlier, said Gulshan-e-Iqbal Superintendent of Police, Abid Qaimkhani.
The story further says:
On November 6, 2012, Dr Auj had registered an FIR 460/12 in the Mobina Town police station, stating that a message, declaring him guilty of blasphemy, and thus liable to be killed, was circulated via a mobile phone number, 0303 273 8856.
The FIR, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, stated that the deceased professor wanted the police to take legal action against those responsible for circulating this message because the accusation of blasphemy with the explicit words ‘Dr Shakil Auj maloun ki saza, sar tan se juda [Beheading is the punishment of accursed Dr Shakeel Auj]‘ could get him killed.
Later, during police investigations, the names of four of Dr Auj’s colleagues, including a former dean of Islamic Studies Faculty, Dr Abdul Rasheed, surfaced for their alleged involvement in the circulation of these text messages.
We should strongly condemn this barbaric act in the name of some supposed blasphemy issue. Islam is against all kinds of injustices even with the enemy (let alone a respected professor):
“O ye who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity, and let not hatred of any people seduce you that ye deal not justly. Deal justly, that is nearer to your duty. Observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is Informed of what ye do.” [Al-maeda ,8]
Religious extremism was always there in Pakistani society but in the past decade government especially army and military dictatorship of General Musharraf exploited sectarianism and such issues to forward war agenda. People like Tahir ul Qadri, Zaid Hamid, Faisal Raza Abidi etc were promoted in the media to spread venom against other sects and school of thoughts using concepts like blasphemy or some supposed historical concepts. Few years ago, Salman Taseer (Ex-Governor Punjab) was killed by Mumtaz Qadri (a police officer) on blasphemy issue where Salman Taseer merely criticized a man made law 295-C.
Even few days ago, a media channel Geo was targeted for some alleged blasphemy where an anchor used a sectarian song on some actress’s re-enactment of wedding. This was done with the backing of ISI and army who were settling their political scores against the channel. Even many so called liberal and progressive civil society members and political figures backed this insane allegation campaign.
Allah never allowed forceful following of religion and in Quran He clearly mentions that :
“There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. “(Al-Baqarah, 256)
It’s time for us to start adopting reasoning and critical thinking in religious affairs instead of blindly following verdicts of clergy or state. I hope someday principles of justice will prevail against prejudices and hatred.