Press Conference: Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri writes a letter to President Obama & other world leaders
|Click to read letter in text
Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that being a servant of the Muslim world and the one who had dedicated his life to promotion of peace, harmony and interfaith dialogue, he thought it to be his duty to apprise the leaders of the world community of dangerous implications of such inhuman and soul rending incidents to put an end to such practices once and for all. He said that the repeat of such incidents constituted a potent danger to the global peace.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that in his letter, he made it clear to the heads of the states and international organizations that the sacrilegious movie not only deeply hurt the sentiments of 1.5 billion Muslims but also created the feelings of disgust among the people of the civilized world who belong to diverse cultures, civilizations, faiths and religions. He wrote in his letter that no segment of any society or religion allowed anyone to utter even a single blasphemous word aimed at contempt of their religion, Book or holy personages who form the linchpin and nucleus of their faiths. Therefore, it was a global matter, not restricted to the Muslims alone. No religion either allowed or approved of the committal of such blasphemies.
Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri expressed these views while addressing a press conference in Islamabad through a video link. Ahmad Nawaz Anjum, Qazi Faiz-ul-Islam, Ibrar Raza Advocate, Bashir Hussain Shah, Razia Naveed, Muhammad Javed Jujja, Muhammad Qasim Mirza and other leaders were also present on the occasion.
Citing references from Old and New Testaments, Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that before the Holy Quran, other Divine Books contained the condemnation of blasphemy of holy personages. He said that in order to effectively fight a war on terrorism and extremism, there was a need to forge unity, which was possible by building bridges between various faiths and civilizations and bringing them on one page. He said that concerted efforts needed to be made on this count but unfortunately, conspiracy was afoot to play havoc with the global peace in the name of freedom of expression, which constitutes a danger for the entire humanity.
Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri told the media men that he dilated upon the concept of freedom of expression in detail, which was a fundamental right duly mentioned in the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights. He said that the Eight Amendment of the American Constitution also guaranteed the protection of human dignity in addition to freedom of speech. He said that right to freedom of expression was never absolute and is qualified by other provisos. He said that no Constitution allowed anyone to violate honour of others under the garb of freedom of expression.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri also included the excerpts of letters of renowned figures such as former UN Secretary General Kofi Anan, former UK Secretary of State, and a French Minister in which they talked of limits of freedom of expression. He also mentioned a cartoon published in The Independent newspaper in January 2003 in which the then Israeli Prime Minister was shown as eating the head of an Israeli kid. The cartoon was captioned as ‘did you not ever see a politician kissing a kid?’ He said that this led to massive outpouring of protest from the Israeli people, which was just a natural reaction.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri also cited the Holocaust clause in the laws of Western countries as well as clause 3 of Article 1 of the UN Charter, which protects dignity and respect of man. He said that the letter also mentioned the references from the laws of Australia, Finland, Germany, Holland, Canada, New Zealand, Denmark, Brazil, Chili, France, India, Iceland, Ireland, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Sweden and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and proved that human dignity was duly protected, which could not be violated in the name of freedom of expression.
Concluding his letter, Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri wrote that a handful of radicals and mischief mongering elements could not be allowed to play havoc with the global peace irrespective of the fact whether they belonged to Mosque or a Church. He said that if we did not stop such heinous acts together, the future of our coming generations would be threatened.
He wrote in his letter that he was hopeful that the leaders of the world community were mindful of these menaces and would take steps against such threats to put a permanent end to such practices.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri addressed a press conference on September 29, 2012 at Islamabad Press Club in which he threw light on the steps taken by MQI regarding the blasphemous movie. The highlights of the movie are:
- Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the actions taken by the government
and the political parties against the profane movie were not sufficient. By
observing ‘Youm-e-Ishaq-e-Rasool (SAW) for one day could not absolve the nation
of its responsibility to raise the issue at global level.
- He asked the government to file a case in the International Court of Justice
and offered his services to plead the case there.
- He said that resort to arson, violence and killing in the name of protection
of respect of the Prophethood was contrary to teachings of the Holy Prophet
(SAW). MQI has taken out peaceful rallies throughout Pakistan.
- He said that after writing a letter, he would hold personal meetings with
the world leaders and continue to plead the case as per his capacity.
- He said that the dream of unity could be realized through a confederation
of the Muslims at the state level not organizational or individual level.
- He said that MQI is going to hold National Conference on ‘Azmat-e-Mustafa
(SAW)’ in Lahore on the 1st of October, 2012.
- He said that a news item is doing the round in the media these days that the producer of profane movie was arrested. The impression being given was that as if he was apprehended on charge of making movie. But the fact was that he was arrested in connection with some old fraud case of 2009 wherein he was ordered not to use computer for five years. The administration of the state he belongs to was, in fact, defending the entire movie affair and did not regard it as criminal act.