Pakistan

Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Aziz vows to ‘pursue his mission’

Maulana Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid has vowed to continue his ‘Movement for the establishment of Holy Quran and Sunnah’ and rejected the local administration’s warning note against his activities as of no value.

“But for the regard of decency, I would have torn to pieces the deputy commissioner’s note,” he said in a statement issued late Sunday night in response to a warning issued to him on Friday that he could be arrested for reneging on his written undertaking to observe the law.

Even harsher was his video message on the social media addressed to DC Islamabad Mushtaq Ahmed, but without naming him.

“You shed your uniforms for the sake of dirty democracy of Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan,” he said. “But when I invite [people] to Holy Quran and Sunnah, you send threatening letter to me.”

He demanded retrial of all prisoners in the country under the supervision of Islamic experts to determine whether their sentences were in accordance with Sharia or not.

Maulana Aziz was delivered the warning on Friday after he, with his wife Umme Hassan, led a rally from Lal Masjid to their residence in the female seminary Jamia Sumaya in G-7, allegedly in violation of the undertakings he gave to the administration in August to observe the restrictions put on his movements under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.

In the undertaking that he gave in writing to the Islamabad police chief, Maulana Aziz said he neither belonged to nor had any affiliation with any banned group.

“You had stated that you respect the law of Pakistan,” the DC reminded the cleric in his latest communication.

Maulana Aziz responded by decrying the State and its functionaries. It was issued by Shuhada Foundation of Pakistan, as was his 30-minute video message in which he urged the entire government machinery, including the armed forces, to support the mission of enforcing Islam in the country.

“Lal Masjid has always raised voice for the truth,” he said, announcing that his “movement for implementing Holy Quran and Sunnah” will continue “till my last breath.” Meanwhile, a close aide of the Maulana said his other key demands were eliminating interest-based economy and Islamise the media to clear Pakistan of obscenity.

“What we find on TV screens and in print form is not what Islam teaches,” the aide said. “The media need to be told the role

and responsibilities Islam demands from them.”

Maulana Aziz also wants the taxation system to follow Quranic injunctions, ensure stipends and security of shelter for the poor.

“Those raising the demand to implement Holy Quran and Sunnah have faced state persecution in this country since 1998,” the cleric said, referring to the murder of his father, Maulana Abdullah, that year.

“We have faced killings, arrests and the 2007 military operation at Lal Masjid but stand undeterred and ready any (court) trial if conducted in accordance with Holy Quran and Sunnah,” he said.

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