As the entire country witnessed the anti-hate film protests turning violent, the Muttahida Bain-ul-Muslimeen Forum organised a peaceful protest outside the Karachi Press Club on Friday.
The most significant feature of the protest was that none of the participants was holding a stick or a stone. They were carrying Pakistani flags and chanting slogan: “Hurmat-e-Rasool per jan bhi qurban hai” A large number of women and children also participated in the protest that dispersed peacefully after two hours.
The Muttahida Bain-ul-Muslimeen Forum was recently formed under the aegis of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in the wake of Shias’ killings in the city. MQM chief Altaf Hussain convened a grand meeting at the party headquarters “90” in which religious scholars belonging to different sects unanimously approved to constitute the forum that would look after the emerging issues on day to day basis.
In his speech on the day, Altaf Hussain repeatedly asked the supporters to remain calm which was the basic principle of Hazrat Mohammad Mustafa (PBUH) and this message should be conveyed to the entire world that the Muslims are peace-loving people.
Hussain warned that if the US President and UN Secretary General and others did not take notice of the blasphemous film and the culprits were not punished then the situation might lead to the third world war. He appealed to the people protesting on the roads not to resort to violence and remain peaceful for the sake of the love of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Strongly condemning the ransacking and looting of public properties and acts of arson during the protests, he said it was not the way to express the sentiments and love for the Holy Prophet who always preached the message of love, peace and tolerance to the mankind.
“Is this the love for the Prophet that innocent people were ruthlessly killed? The way we protested against the film was a negation of the teachings of the Holy Prophet. We and the entire Muslim Ummah are sad over this film but we must have shown tolerance and patience, which is the basic principle of Islam,” Altaf said.
He called upon the people to show unanimity in venting anger against the western world, and refrain from creating law and order situation on this count. He asked President Zardari to raise the hate-film issue at the UN forum.
The religious leaders were also joined by Christian leader Bisho Sadiq Daniel who stood along with the rally leaders on the truck from where Allama Abbas Kumaili delivered address to the participants.
Kumaili said the joint gathering of different sects at this platform proves their love for Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), as no one was Deobandi or Barelvi. During his address, a chaotic situation occurred when the supporters of the PTI, Sipah-e-Sahaba and Jamat-ut-Dawa reached close to the KPC from the other side. However, a possible clash was averted when the MQM leadership and PTI’s Karachi President Ashraf Qureshi interfered and pacified the highly-charged workers.
Bishop Sadiq said that he along with his followers had come to attend the protest to show to the world that the Christians also stand with the Muslim to condemn the film and seek strict punishment to the person who made this sacrilegious film.
Minister for Religious Affairs Abdul Haseeb appreciated the Christians and Hindus for showing solidarity with their Muslim brethren, saying: “Islam is a universal religion and the Holy Prophet’s teachings are meant for the entire mankind”. Islam preaches tolerance, discipline and refraining from violent attitude, he added.
Asad Thanvi said that every prophet whether Jesus or Moses is respectful for the Muslims, and proposed that the United Nations should adopt a resolution against blasphemy of any prophet. He also called upon all the Muslim states to formulate a joint strategy in this regard.
The speakers also demanded of President Zardari to raise voice at the UN forum against the sacrilegious film. The entire area was engulfed with smoke as the protesters burnt a number of effigies and the flags of US and Israel, as the law-enforcement agencies personnel stood at a distance and the entire KPC area was cordoned off.