Lahore: A Barelvi group has rejected
allegations that slain Governor Salmaan Taseer had committed
blasphemy and said those who are invoking Islamic injunctions
to defend his assassin had acted without conducting any
The Minhajul Quran International’s ulema council or body
of clerics has defended the late governor, who was gunned down
in January by Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, a police guard who
was part of his security detail.
Qadri has said he killed Taseer for criticising
Pakistan’s blasphemy law.
After an anti-terrorism court gave Qadri the death
sentence earlier this month, religious groups have rallied to
his defence, saying he had not done anything wrong as he had
killed a blasphemer.
The Minhajul Quran International said those defending
Qadri were acting without doing the necessary academic
"Salmaan Taseer`s statement did not amount to blasphemy
since great Muslim scholars and jurists had categorically
specified all the statements that amount to blasphemy of the
Holy Prophet, and Taseer’s statement should be examined in the
light of those before proceeding further in this regard," said
Farhat Hussain Shah, nazim of the Minhajul Quran
International?s ulema council.
Shah made the remarks while replying to questions at a
press conference in Lahore Press Club yesterday.
Replying to another query, he criticised all those
campaigning for Qadri’s release, saying: "They are waging the
movement without proper academic research on the relevant
Shariah laws dealing with blasphemy against the Prophet.
The Minhajul Quran International’s stand is in marked
contrast to that of other Barelvi religious parties, which are
waging a countrywide movement for revoking the death sentence
given to Qadri.