London-15th April 2007


Mr Altaf Hussain, founder and leader of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) while addressing the huge mammoth historical rally organised by the MQM against religious extremism and baton and kalashnikov shariah has stated that this "Rally" is for Pakistan and is against those who are presenting a distorted image of true Islam and Pakistan and maligning both Islam and Pakistan before the World Community. He said that today's Rally is peoples Referendum against "Kalashnikov and Danda Bardar Shariah" and particularly in this "Rally", which is such a mammoth gathering in history of the Sub-Continent before and after the partition of India and Pakistan.  The public has come out on the appeal of Altaf Hussain, sitting thousands of miles away from Pakistan. Allah's message delivered to us through the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)   and the Holy Quran is that when believers of this religion called for the "Rally" then Allah Almighty bestowed in your hearts and minds to go and participate in today's rally for the religion of Islam and its glory.  This is also a demonstration of attachment to a leader who carries true interest and aspirations of the people and the country.   


He furher said that in today's "Rally" several religious minorities including Christians and Hindus are present, they may think that Islamic Shariah is like " Lal Masjid and Madrassah Hafsa's Batons and Kalashnikov Shariah", I would like to inform them and the participants with reference from the Holy Quran that what  real Shariah is but would like to inform you of the oppression and atrocities of these "Baton and Kalashnikov Bardar Shariah": Islamabad is in the grip of fear, women and children are scared, "Danda Bardar (Stave Wielders) are forcing women to observe pardah (Veils), they are subjecting them to beating, stopping them from driving cars and threatening them that if they are seen driving, they will beat them, women and children were kidnapped from Lal Qilla by putting noose in their necks and taken to Lal Masjid, tortured and forced to make "confessions". Video shop owners are being threatened, armed people are looting video shops, confiscating videos, CDs and burning them. Women are stopped and beaten up for driving cars. They are threatened that they will be punished if they continue to drive cars. In Jamia Hafsa, Baton wielding women are tormenting men and women going together without finding out as to who is related to whom and is their action in compliance with Shariah? They have prepared militant force armed through to teeth and created “state within state” while the Government is silent spectator. Many religious scholars have condemned the stave wielding shariah and he commended those righteous scholars. I pay tributes to righteous religious scholars who have openly opposed the baton and kalashnikov shariah. Through today’s people referendum I appeal to all the ulemas, muftis and religious scholars from all schools of thought to issue a fatwa; is it legitimate or illegitimate to build a mosque or madarsa on illegally occupied land? All ulemas of various schools of thought present in the rally replied … No it is illegitimate to build a mosque or madarsa on illegally occupied land and it is forbidden in Islam! So it is reasonable to demolish those places of worship that are built on illegally occupied lands. The Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) himself bought the land to build and then to extend the Masjid-e-Nabvi. I consider the non Muslims Pakistanis and minorities to be equal citizens of the country. Islam means harmony and peace then why do we need the baton and kalashnikov shariah? We believe and have total faith in the oneness of Allah Almighty, the Last Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and the Holy Quran as the last Holy Testament and we are the followers of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) who preached Islam through his pious character, peace, love, affection, harmony and sacrifice. We believe in the oneness of the Allah Almighty and that He is the God of universe. We don’t believe in the acts of the mullahs of Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa of kidnapping innocent people and forcing them through torture to confess and ask for their forgiveness as forgiveness must only be sought from the Allah Almighty. We are the followers of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), the benefactor of humanity, who despite facing all hardships used to visit those who threw trash at him but he enquired about their wellbeing.


Despite facing all the hardship the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) prayed for guidance to the perpetrators. Did the Prophet lift the sword to spread Islam? He only used the sword to defend when attacked.


Followers of five different schools of thought live in this country, i.e. Fiqah Hanfi, Fiqah Shafi, Fiaqh Maliki, Fiqah Hambli and Fiqah Jafria. Did ever the followers of these fiqahs lifted the baton to threaten that only their particular fiqah will prevail and those who don’t follow will be beaten. The baton and kalashnikov shariah elements have kidnapped a few women in Islamabad accusing them to be involved in wrongdoings and threw acid on their faces.


Mr Hussain quoted the following verses from the Holy Quran:


Al-Nur(The Light): Those who love that indecency should spread abroad among the Believers, for them shall be a painful punishment in this world and Hereafter; and God knows but you do not know. (24:19)


Al-Buruj (The Constellations): Surely those who persecute the Believing men and women, then do not repent, for them shall be the punishment of Hell, and for them shall be the punishment of the burning. (85:10)


AL-MAIDA (The Table): O Believers, you are responsible for your own selves; he who is astray shall not hurt you when you are guided; to God shall you return all together, and He will tell you what you have been doing. (5:105)


Luqman (Lokman): And be modest in thy walk, and keep thy voice low; surely the most repulsive of voices is the voice of the ass.' (31:19)


AL-A’RAF(The Battlements): Be pardoning, and bid the desirable, and turn away from the ignorant.(7:199)


AL-MU’MINUM (The Believers): and who turn aside from idle non-sense,(23:3)


AL-FURQAN (The Criterion): And the servants of the All-merciful are those who walk on the earth modestly, and when the ignorant address them, they say, `peace'.(25:63)


AL-QASAS (The Narrative): And when they hear idle nonsense, they turn aside from it, and say, `for us are our deeds and for you your deeds; peace be upon you; we do not seek the ignorant.'(28:55)


HUD (Hood): And say to the unbelievers, `act at your place, we are also acting;(11:121)


AL-QASAS (The Narrative): Thou guidest not whom thou likest, but God guidest whom He wills, and He very well knows those that are guided. (28:56)


ALBAQARAH (The Cow): Say, `we believe in God, and that which has been sent down to us, and that which was sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, and that which was given to Moses and Jesus, and that which was given to the Prophets from their Lord; we make no division between any of them, and to Him we have surrendered.’ (2:136)


AL-SAFFAT (The Rangers): and peace be upon the Envoys;(37:181)


AL-HAJJ (The Pilgrimage): who have been expelled from their homes, without right, except that they say, `our Lord is God.' And had God not repelled people some by others, there had been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, wherein God's Name is mentioned much; and God will surely help him who helps Him; God is Surely Strong and Mighty.(22:40)


AL-ANAM (Cattle): And had God willed, they would not have been idolaters; and We have not appointed thee a guardian over them; and thou art not any caretaker for them. (6:108)


Addressing the people from the minority community and the Muslims Mr Hussain said did you the real image of Islam as presented by me with the help of the Holy Quran. He said that today’s rally is peoples referendum against the religious extremism and the people of Pakistan have rejected the baton and kalashnikov shariah. This is the largest ever rally in the history of the subcontinent.


He said that Pakistan was not established to become a theocracy. Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in the first constituent assembly of Pakistan on 11th August 1947 said, “Now, I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State… You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State.” Mr Jinnah also said in a broadcast to the people of United States of America in February, 1948,In any case, Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission.”


Mr Hussain said that armed religious extremists have occupied the Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa and are presenting a distorted image of Islam. The world is pointing fingers on Pakistan and accusing Pakistan of harbouring Taliban and foreign religious extremists and terrorists. Initially it was India but now even Britain, USA, Russia and China are saying it. Where are these extremists taking the country to? For God’s sake please do not destroy Pakistan.


Speaking to the audience Mr Hussain asked what should we call today’s rally? This is being televised nationally and internationally by ARY, GEO and other channels making it an international event and the rally of the world. He thanked the media for the coverage and live broadcast.


He said that the MQM believes in harmony, democracy, liberalism, brotherhood, tolerance, moderation and Muslim unity worldwide. It supports the righteous religious scholars and is against the evil scholars who use religion for personal gains and to spread extremism. He appealed to the righteous religious scholars to come forward and raise their voice against the evil religious scholars who use the name of Islam to exploit the religious sentiments of innocent citizen and then use them as fuel for personal gains and to serve their foreign masters. Such elements are not serving the religion but maligning the image of Islam worldwide. MQM fully supports the righteous religious scholars and ulemas who have raised the voice and will continue to raise their voice against such extremist elements.


The Allah Almighty proclaims, “Let there be no compulsion in religion 2:286”, the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) also spread the religion through his pious character, love, affection, sacrifices and peaceful practice. The extremist elements of Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa are defying the word of Allah Almighty and exploiting the name of Islam, therefore, people from all walks of life in general and righteous religious scholars in particular to come forward and expose the true face of extremist elements. These elements have demolished girls schools to deprive them of education. If we want to reach to the level of developed countries then we must allow education to all including women so that they learn the latest technology and scientific education. The Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said that to acquire knowledge is the greatest worship. How can the people of Pakistan compete with the developed world without education? These elements want to regress the Muslims to the era of Infidels of Mecca. He asked the audience to pledge that they will not allow such elements to exploit them in the name of religion and be used. And to pledge that they will not fight against each other and will protect, defend and embrace each other.


Mr Hussain declared that today’s rally has demonstrated that righteous religious scholars from all schools of thought and liberal and progressive people of Pakistan including the minority community have rejected the baton and kalashnikov shariah and that the entire nation stands united against such extremist elements. He further said that today’s people referendum has shown that the people of Pakistan are with the MQM and I appeal to the President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minsiter Shokat Aziz and the Federal Cabinet to take firm action and liberate the Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa from the occupation of religious extremists and fanatics as soon as possible.


He warned that if baton and kalashnikov shariah is imposed then we are prepared to face this physically and mentally. He asked the audience – Are you ready? They replied … Yes. He said that Karachi is not Islamabad and warned the religious extremist not to challenge the MQM. Mr Hussain reiterated that we are not against such madarsas where scientific education and latest information and technology is provided to students alongside religious education but against those madarsas who want to impose the baton and kalashnikov shariah. He pledged that each and every worker of the MQM will defend and protect their womenfolk against the religious extremists elements. The elements who have distributed leaflets in Karachi threatening to punish women if they are found driving a car or found working in an organisation must stand warned that the people of Karachi will resist them and cut their hands off if they try to throw acid on womenfolk.


He extended his gratitude to the workers, traders, businessmen and all those involved in organising this unprecedented rally and also members of other political, religious scholars and religious parties, members of the Civil Societies, Human Rights and Civil Rights Organisations, Women Rights Organisations, Artists, intellectuals, poets  and the People  from all over Pakistan in general, city and suburbs of Karachi and particularly Sindh attending this "Unprecedented  Public Rally in history of the Sub-Continent" to demonstrate their solidarity with the MQM for rejecting the religious fanaticism and obscurantism in Pakistan. 


He paid tributes to the organisers of the rally including the MQM Coordination Committee, all its wings and sections, MPAs, MNAs, advisers, City Nazim, Naib City Nazim, Town Nazim, Naib Town Nazims, UC Nazims and Naib Nazims and each and every worker of the MQM. He also paid tributes to film and TV artists, affluent people who supported the rally, religious scholars, ulemas and people from all walks of life for joining the Muttahida Rally and making it a historical success. He thanked the members of print and electronic media for their coverage of the event. He also thanked the Governor Sindh Dr Eshrat Ul Ebad Khan, Chief Minister Sindh, Interior Advisor Sindh, DG Rangers, IG Police, DIG Police, personnel of Rangers and Police and Administration. He welcomed all the dignitaries, religious leaders of Christians, Hindu, Sikh etc to the rally including religious scholars of different schools of thought. He also welcomed the religious minority, women organisations, human rights organisations, intellectuals, writers, journalists, artists and poets. He welcomed the office bearers and workers of MQM from Punjab, NWFP, Azad Kashmir and Balochistan to the rally.