The Sharia professor: Death penalty for blasphemy is also in the Bible

On Tuesday Tahir-ul-Qadri will be speaking to an antiradicalization conference in Copenhagen. But he is already in Denmark, and told yesterday about his views on blasphemy.

Fundamentalism: If you reject a ban on blasphemy, then you are in conflict with both the Bible as the Quran, says controversial professor.

By MadsBondeBroberg

On Thursday morning the Pakistani professor Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri and his associates were at Hotel Mariott at Copenhagen harbor.

The approximately 150 participants clap insistently, when the charismatic professor emphasizes a point, for example, that Islam supports democracy and equality, or that none of the 35 verses about Jihad in the Qur'an can be interpreted as an encouragement for terrorism.

And when he is done launching his famous fatwa against suicide terrorism, they flock to greet him.

Some other places, he is less popular. In particular, his participation in an anti-radicalization conference on 11th September is met with criticism.

Past causes disorder

It's his past that causes disorder. For Tahir-ul-Qadri is the founder of the Islamic Minhaj-ul-Quran movement and criticized for his role in the islamization of Pakistan in the 1980`s under General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq's leadership.

According to Minhaj-ul-Quran`s official website the professor was at that time a legal advisor in Islamic law for the Supreme Court and the Federal Sharia Court of Pakistan, as he at times between 1983 and 1987 was special advisor in >>Islamic curriculum<< for the Ministry of Education.

Historical decisions

The professor is called Shaykh-ul-Islam by his followers and you can read on the website that the Federal Sharia Court and Court of Appeal of Sharia law in the 1980s took a number of >>historical decisions<<, and that it happened "as a result of Shaykh-ul-Islam's legal arguments".

The description is repeated word for word in several of the support groups in the movement. However, with a significant addition in the group Islamic Revival:

"In another case, the blasphemy law ... implemented for the first time in the history of Pakistan after Shaykh-ul-Islam presented his arguments to the court over a period of three days", it states.

Back at the Hotel Mariott, the presentation has ended, and there are questions from the audience. JyllandsPosten asks the professor to explain his views on Pakistan's harsh blasphemy law.

Hard to explain standpoint

However, it is not that simple, says Tahir-ul-Qadri:

"I have given my full view of blasphemy, and it can be found on YouTube. 14 hours of lectures."

He believes, however, that the current rules are administrated incorrectly and need reforms so that they are not misused for example against minorities and other defenseless people, such as the 11-year-old girl with Down syndrome, who is currently facing the death penalty for tearing pages out of the Quran:

"If she is convicted - and it is an unjust conviction - then I will go and fight for her rightsand be her lawyer," promises professor.

He also points out that he only advised General Zia-ul-Haq's government in one case. It was the introduction of a law on blood money, where the professor – according to himself – gave some eight hours “arguments in favor of gender equality" and thus the draft law was amended, so a discount of 50% for female victims disappeared.

A reporter from Politiken is next and asks Professor Tahir-ul-Qadri to tell what the punishment for blasphemy in his opinion should be.

The professor brings forth a sheet of A4 paper and begins to mention verses from the Bible, which he interprets as the death penalty for blasphemy.

"The original blasphemy law was revealed to Moses in the Old Testament," says Tahir-ul-Qadri, adding that it continued with Jesus in the New Testament, where Matthew in chapter 12, verses 31-32 writes that "whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven in this world or the next."

Follows the Bible and the Quran

This was only continued when the Prophet Muhammad came six centuries later, says the professor, who cannot bring himself to go against blasphemy ban:

"I would then be speaking directly against the text in the Holy Quran, likewise I would then be speaking directly against the text in the New Testament, the Gospels, Jesus Christ, and directly against the text in the Bible, the Old Testament and the text of Moses. I do not want to be in confrontation with the holy Moses, the holy Jesus Christ or the Holy Prophet Muhammad."



Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri (61) is known for his fatwa against terrorism.

Founder of Minhaj-ul-Quran movement, which previously has aroused debate in Denmark.

Advised in the 1980s Pakistani courts of Sharia law and advised at least once the government.

Ministerdiscarded for meeting

New Danish Youth Council does not follow Karen Haekkerup ultimatum.


Yesterday, the Minister for Integration Karen Haekkerup (S) gave an ultimatum to New Danish Youth Council.

The Council had both invited her and the controversial Professor Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri to an antiradicalization conference on 11th of September.

"If he participates, I'll have to say no", she said.

But the council, which is partially supported by lottery funds, upheld the professor's participation, and therefore the minister will not be coming:

"It is unfortunate that Social- and Integration Minister Karen Haekkerup will still not participate. Social and Integration Ministry has been informed throughout the process - also regarding the program and speakers", says the council in a written statement.

The Council should have chosen Haekkerup, says Liberal party`s integration-spokesperson IngerStøjberg.

"It is very unfortunate that they let him speak," says Støjberg, but doubts Haekkerup's explanation that she did not know the list of speakers:

"Either the minister is not speaking the truth; or they don`t know what, they are doing in the ministry. Of course she should know, who she is going to share the platform with”, says Støjberg, who was minister for 2.5 years until the election.

"I have never participated in any conference where I did not know who the other participants were," says the spokeswoman from the Liberal Party, who will now ask the Minister some questions about the process.

Put them on ice

The Danish People's Party spokesman Martin Henriksen, will ask questions.

"We need an explanation as to whom the Council works with and what it`s position towards the extreme Islam is. And until the report is complete, we will put the Council on ice", he says.

PET-chief JakobScharf maintains its participation in the conference, and so does the Integration-Mayor of Copenhagen, Anna MeeAllerslev (R).

She strongly discourages blasphemy rules in Pakistan, but would rather express opposition against them, than stay away:

"Dialogue and bridge building is the way forward. Otherwise we risk pushing our young Muslim citizens into the arms of those who we want to work against", she says.

Sharia-professoren: Dødsstraf for blasfemi står også i Bibelen (Danish)

På tirsdag skal Tahir-ul-Qadri tale til en antiradikaliserings-konference i København. Men han er allerede nu i Danmark, og fortalte i går om sit syn på blasfemi.

Fundamentalisme: Hvis man afviser et forbud mod blasfemi, så er man i konflikt med såvel Bibelen som Koranen, mener omstridt professor.

Mads Bonde Broberg

Den pakistanske professor Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri er blandt venner torsdag formiddag på Hotel Mariott ved Københavns Havn.

De omkring 150 deltagere klapper insisterende, når den karismatiske professor understreger en pointe, eksempelvis at islam støtter demokrati og ligestilling, eller at ingen af de 35 vers om Jihad i Koranen kan tolkes som en opfordring til terrorisme.

Og da han er færdig med at lancere sin berømte fatwa mod selvmordsterrorisme, flokkes de for at hilse på ham.

Andre steder er han mindre populær. Især har hans deltagelse på en antiradikaliseringskonference den 11. september mødt kritik.

Fortid skaber ravage

Det er hans fortid, der skaber ravage. For Tahir-ul-Qadri er grundlægger af den islamiske Minhaj-ul-Quran-bevægelse og kritiseres for sin rolle i den islamisering, som Pakistan gennemgik i 1980´erne under general Muhammad Zia-ul-Haqs ledelse.

Ifølge Minhaj-ul-Qurans officielse hjemmeside var professoren dengang juridisk rådgiver inden for islamisk lov for højesteret og den føderale sharia-domstol i Pakistan, ligesom han i perioder mellem 1983 og 1987 var særlig rådgiver i >>islamisk pensum>> for undervisningsministeriet.

Historiske afgørelser

Professoren kaldes af sine tilhængere for Shaykh-ul-Islam og man kan læse på hjemmesiden, at bl.a. den føderale sharia-domstol og appeldomstolen for sharia-lov i 1980´erne traf en række >>historiske afgørelser<<, og at det skete ”som et resultat af Shaykh-ul-Islams juridiske argumenter”.

Beskrivelsen gentages ord til andet hos flere af bevægelsens under- og støttegrupper. Dog med en væsentlig tilføjelse hos gruppen Islamic Revival:

”I et andet tilfælde blev blasfemiloven… vedtaget for første gang i Pakistans historie efter Shaykh-ul-Islam præsenterede sine argumenter for retten over en periode på tre dage,” står der.

Tilbage på Hotel Mariott er oplægget slut, og der er spørgsmål fra salen. Jyllands Posten beder professoren forklare sit syn på Pakistans skrappe blasfemiregler.

Svært at forklare holdning

Det er imidlertid ikke så simpelt, siger Tahir-ul-Qadri:

”Jeg har givet mit fulde synspunkt om blasfemi, og det kan findes på YouTube. 14 timers tale.”

Han mener dog, at de nuværende regler administreres forkert og har brug for reformer, så de ikke misbruges mod f.eks. minoriteter og svage personer, såsom den 11-årige pige med Downs syndrom, der for tiden risikerer dødsstraf for at rive sider ud af Koranen:

”Hvis nogen straffer hende – og det er en uretfærdig straf – så vil jeg tage derover og være hendes advokat og kæmpe for hendes rettigheder,” lover professoren.

Han pointerer også, at han kun i et tilfælde rådgav general Zia-ul-Haqs regering. Det var da der skulle indføres en lov om blodpenge, hvor professoren – efter eget udsagn – gav otte timers ”argumenter til fordel for lighed mellem kønnene” og på den måde fik ændret lovudkastet, så en rabat på 50 % ved kvindelige ofre forsvandt.

En journalist fra Politiken er næste spørger og beder professor Tahir-ul-Qadri om at fortælle, hvad straffen for blasfemi i dennes øjne skal være.

Professoren hiver et A4-ark frem og begynder at nævne vers fra Bibelen, som han tolker som dødsstraf for blasfemi.

”Den oprindelige lov om blasfemi blev åbenbaret til Moses i Det Gamle Testamente,” siger Tahir-ul-Qadri og tilføjer, at det fortsatte med Jesus og Det Nye Testamente, hvor Mattæus kapitel 12, vers 31-32 bl.a. skriver, at ”den, der taler imod Helligånden, får ikke tilgivelse, hverken i denne verden eller i den kommende.”

Følger Bibelen og Koranen

Dette blev blot videreført, da profeten Muhammed kom seks århundrede senere, mener professoren, som ikke kan få sig selv til at gå imod blasfemiforbuddet:

”Så taler jeg direkte imod teksten i den hellige Koran, så taler jeg direkte imod teksten i Det Nye Testamente, evangelierne og Jesus Kristus, og jeg taler direkte imod teksten i Bibelen, Det Gamle Testamente og teksten fra Moses. Jeg ønsker ikke at være i konfrontation med den hellige Moses, den hellige Jesus Kristus eller den hellige profet Muhammed.”



Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri (61) er kendt for sin fatwa mod terrorisme.

Grundlægger af Minhaj-ul-Quran-bevægelsen, som tidligere har vakt debat i Danmark.

Rådgav i 1980´erne pakistanske domstole i sharialov og rådgav mindst en gang regeringen.

Minister fravalgt til møde

Ny-Dansk Ungdomsråd følger ikke Karen Hækkerups ultimatum.

Mads Bonde Broberg

I går gav integrationsminister Karen Hækkerup (S) et ultimatum til Ny-Dansk Ungdomsråd.

Rådet havde nemlig både inviteret hende og den omdiskuterede professor Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri til en antiradikaliserings-konference den 11. september.

”Deltager han, så bliver jeg nødt til at takke nej”, sagde hun.

Men rådet, der bl.a. er støttet af tipsmidlerne, fastholdt professorens deltagelse, og derfor bliver ministeren væk:

”Det er ærgerligt, at social- og integrationsminister Karen Hækkerup alligevel ikke deltager. Social- og integrationsministeriet er blevet orienteret under hele forløbet – også i forhold til program og talere,” lyder det fra rådet i en skriftlig kommentar.

Rådet skulle have valgt Hækkerup, mener Venstres integrationsordfører, Inger Støjberg.

”Det er meget uheldigt, at de lader ham tale,” siger Støjberg, som dog tvivler på Hækkerups forklaring om, at hun ikke kendte talerlisten:

”Enten taler ministeren usandt, ellers sejler det fuldstændig i ministeriet. Selvfølgelig burde hun vide hvem hun skal dele talerstol med,” siger Støjberg, der selv var minister i 2,5 år frem til valget.

”Jeg har aldrig deltaget i nogen konference, hvor jeg ikke vidste, hvem de andre deltagere var,” lyder det fra Ventsre-kvinden, der nu vil stille ministeren en række spørgsmål om forløbet.

Læg dem på is

Også Dansk Folkepartis ordfører, Martin Henriksen, vil stille spørgsmål.

”Vi skal have en redegørelse for, hvem rådet samarbejder med, og hvad dets holdning til den ekstreme islam er. Og indtil den redegørelse er færdig, må vi lægge rådet på is,” siger han.

PET-chef Jakob Scharf fastholder sin deltagelse i konferencen, og det samme gør Københavns integrationsborgmester, Anna Mee Allerslev (R).

Hun tager stærkt afstand fra blasfemi-reglerne i Pakistan, men vil hellere give holdningerne modspil end blive væk:

”Dialog og brobygning er vejen frem. Ellers risikerer vi at skubbe vore unge, muslimske medborgere lige i armene på det, som vi gerne vil modvirke,” siger hun.