KU Islamic Dean Dr. Shakeel Auj Shot dead: Apparently another “blasphemy” related issue.

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.

 

 

Bahria students stage demo as Naval Intelligence intervenes –>The News

I am really sick of these pathetic occupied armed forces who just know how to control power, kill their own people, suppress their own people and serve their foreign masters and thier greed.

By Umar Cheema
 
 
ISLAMABAD: As protests in Bahria University have erupted over the beating and termination of Professor Qamar Riaz Mehmatkhel, the administration, instead of revising its decision, has now fired his head of the department, a foreign qualified and the youngest PhD in Pakistan, for speaking in defence of his sacked subordinate.
Meanwhile, Dr. Shafqat has had his vehicle surrounded by two cars in the F-8 Markaz on Monday by, what he said, were sleuths of the Naval Intelligence who did not allow him to move an inch for hours, only releasing him after the protest being carried out three kilometres away ended.

Likewise, the BU students were warned of expulsion in case they participated in protests or expressed solidarity with the outspoken professor. The BU main gate was closed to stop the students from going out. Nevertheless, the bravos not only showed up in a reasonable strength but also resolved to do so again on Tuesday when the sacked professors would deliver lectures on the roadside on the issue of leadership. The BU Rector, vice admiral (retd) Haroon, has meanwhile left for Hong Kong on vacation, as the situation grew tense in the university. Registrar of the university, retired commodore Mumtaz Raza, was called several times, messages were dropped, requesting for his version on the conflicting situation but he did not return the calls.

Dr Shafqat who earned doctorate in management sciences is only 32 years old but has authored three books and 50 research articles in international journals. He returned to Pakistan last year with a passion to serve his country after teaching in reputed UK universities for eight years where he was inducted into the academic staff at the age of 23 after earning distinctions in post-graduation.

Dr. Shafqat, who heads the department of Management Sciences, was expecting this showdown for a long time as he confronted the university administration on a number of occasions. Now when the administration decided to sack Professor Qamar Riaz, the termination letter was to be served through him. And he refused.

Instead, he asked for a proper inquiry to establish Qamar Riaz’s guilt. It was not done and the professor was roughed up and later sacked. It followed the termination of Dr. Shafqat. Interestingly, the sacked professors are regular employees and no notice was served nor any inquiry ordered into their conduct.

As Dr Shafqat had to attend the protest rally on Monday, he was passing through the F-8 Markaz for some business and was surrounded by two cars. “Do you know who we are?” said the sleuths as they came out of the cars, Dr. Shafqat told The News. “I got the point that they were 7-9 persons of Naval Intelligence.” They had him locked in there until the protest was over.

Dr. Shafqat has been at unease with the university’s administration since he joined it. First, he refused to keep three children of Navy officers in MBA classes, as they did not fulfil the admission criteria. Dr Shafqat had refused to take them notwithstanding the fact they were already granted admission by the registrar’s office, he told The News.

“The Registrar said we have to enrol the scions of Navy officers. I said, OK but you will have to devise a policy. Then that was never done but the pressure always keeps mounting.”

Likewise, Dr. Shafqat refused to take into the faculty a female teacher, the daughter of a serving rear admiral, and he was then put on warning: “You will face the consequences.” He also faced the wrath of the administration when he bluntly refused to comply with a wish list also including a Naval officer who desired to be inducted into the faculty when he was already taking classes at the same department. Dr. Shafqat said that he had also taken up the issue of the harassment of female students by some officials of the administration. The female students submitted a written application, naming the officers who harassed them. “As I took up the issue, the administration reprimanded me for doing this”, Dr Shafqat said.

 

Protest for Dr. Riaz incident–>Dharna at KU on 8 April 2008

(from CMKP)

Friends,

In a meeting of the People’s Resistance today (6th April) at Aurat Foundation it was decided that the members of the civil society seriously condemn the recent incident where the Pakistan Rangers posted at the Karachi University brutality beat up a University Professor on 31st March, leaving him battered and bruised

To show their support and concern the Peoples Resistance along with other NGO’s, Civil Society groups and CMKP would join the Teachers and Students of Karachi University in a Dharna outside the Silver Jubilee gate of Karachi University on Tuesday 8th April 2008 at 12:30 PM to condemn mistreatment of Prof. Dr. Riaz Ahmed by the Pakistan Rangers a few days earlier.  The Dharna would also demand an immediate withdrawal of all military & para-military personnel from the Karachi University campus. 

LOCATION : Silver Jubilee Gate, Karachi University
DATE : 8th April 2008 (Tuesday)
TIME : 12:30 PM

A call is being issued to all concerned citizens of Karachi to join us in this protest and show their support for a respectable teacher & professor of the University while at the same time say NO to the presence of military forces in these educational institutes.

People’s Resistance

Contact
Awab Alvi 0302-8273493