Blasphemy suspect saved from lynching in Chitral

Blasphemy suspect saved from lynching in Chitral

CHITRAL: A mentally disturbed man from Torkhow was saved from being lynched by angry people in Shahi Masjid Chitral after he allegedly uttered some blasphemous remarks before Friday prayers.

As the news of the incident spread like a jungle fire, panic gripped the whole valley of Chitral. Though religious leaders and Ulema played a very constructive role, there were some elements who tried to ignite sectarian tension in Chitral as the alleged blasphemer claimed that he belonged to the Ismaili community.

A press release sent to ChitralToday by the elders of the Ismaili community in Lower Chitral said the alleged blasphemer should be tried in accordance with the law and the exemplary peace of Chitral should not be derailed for the crime of an insane person.

Eyewitnesses said Rashid Uddin, the alleged blasphemer, earlier worked in Qatar from where he was sent home by his friends after he developed some mental health issues. On Friday, he was in the Chitral town on way to Peshawar accompanied by his younger brother for the treatment of his mental illness when he went to the mosque and uttered the blasphemous remarks.

A shopkeeper in Chitral town bazaar said while going to the mosque for Friday prayers Rashid stopped by his shop. He was wearing suit and asked the shopkeeper to give him ten rupees loan. When the shopkeeper looked at his dress surprisingly, Rashid told him not to be worried as he was the newly-elected president of Iraq and would return the money very soon.

Inside the mosque, he started criticizing the Ismaili community. He claimed that he himself belonged to the Ismaili community but had left it and decided to join the Sunni school of thought. He then wanted to make a speech during which he claimed to be the descendant of the holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the 50th Imam of the Ismailis. Then he said he had received divine revelation and was a prophet too.

When some people charged towards him, the khateeb, Maulana Khaliquz Zaman, stopped them saying he was mentally disturbed. The man was then handed over to the police.

Eyewitnesses said after the police took him inside the police station located near the mosque, angry people, including seminary students, started arriving outside. They asked the police to hand over the alleged blasphemer to them but the police refused. When the mob tried to enter the police lines, the police baton charged them and also used tear gas shells pushing them to the parade ground. The angry mob also set ablaze a car belonging to the Shahi Masjid khateeb outside the mosque.

As the crowd started swelling, the local administration called the Chitral Scouts and the army to maintain order as a majority of police personnel from the Chitral town had been sent to Qaqlasht in Upper Chitral for security duty of the annual festival underway there. 

Chitral Scouts Commandant Col Nizamuddin Shah, Deputy Commissioner Shahab Hamid Yousafzai and other authorities reached the spot. The Chitral Scouts commandant pleaded to the people to disperse saying the alleged blasphemer would not be handed over to the crowd and would be tried under the blasphemy law. The crowds continued trying to enter the police lines and going back to the parade ground till the night. During the period, they twice attacked the police station and slightly damaged the premises.

When contacted, DC Yousafzai told ChitralToday on Friday night that after successful negotiations Ulema had persuaded the crowd to disperse but some people in groups were still present in different pockets in the area who would also go away soon.

The DC said an FIR had been registered against the alleged blasphemer and a copy of the FIR provided to the Ulema. He said the alleged blasphemer would be proceeded against under the law of the land. Meanwhile, some people coming from Qaqlasht in Upper Chitral were stopped by the police when they reached Koghuzi.  

They were coming to Chitral after the four-day annual festival was cancelled on the second day of the event to avoid any untoward incident. (Zar Alam Khan)  

14 Replies to “Blasphemy suspect saved from lynching in Chitral”

  1. Good. our ulema and security forces and police did their best and saved chitral from a disaster. social media also played a positive role and now i am sure that whatever conspiracies sanity prevails in Chitral and everyone is playing his/her role to live in peace and be role model for other areas.

  2. I am very much impressed by the positive role of the Khatib in dejected situation. This episode is an onlooker of the fact that people of chitral are strong believers of rule of law. Let’s, let the investigation team compile up its findings and let the state decide the fate of the culprit.

  3. We need peace, harmony, and unity in our ranks to be successful in this world and life hereafter.
    “And hold fast to the rope of Allah and do not be divided.”(Quran 3:103).

  4. First time I feel proud of my Ulamma ….this is the real Islamic teaching…keep our values high may Allah keep all chitrali People away from all kinds of evil…May Allah keep our heart together….

  5. Shahi Masjid Khatib, you have done remarkable service to Islam and to Chitral in protecting mentally ill person from mob-justice. People of Chitral salute you for this act and you made Chitral a different district from rest of PAKISTAN and after all sanity prevailed in Chitral. If the mentally ill person murdered by mob it will be catastrophe for us. Role of Shahi Masjid Khatib remained very positive and it gave a message to whole Pakistan that Ulama are more tolerant and follow laws then others.

  6. Hazaron Durud and Salam on Muhammad(PBUPH) wa Al-Muhammad (PBUPH). Really commendable and appreciated the way of reporting. It is really comprehensive and give us think for thought. It shows how sensible the Ulama, Leadership, Law-enforcement agencies, Media and specially the people of Chitral are, who handled the situation carefully and didn’t give opportunity to the miscreants to sabotage the peaceful environment of Chitral. We (both Sunni and Ismailies) can defeat the enemies by showing this kind spirit and harmony. The alleged Crazy man should be trialed in the court of Law and we must support the efforts of local Administration in maintaining the peace. My sincere gratitude to the Khateeb Sahib and the peoples around him for their wisdom…. this is Chitral and it is beauty of Chitral and we are proud to be Chitrali.

  7. Appreciative role played by the Mawlana Khaliquzaman the khateeb of Shahi Masjid, and good move by other administrative bodies as well. This is the time give a message to all those who play the role a catalyst to build sectarian fire between Sunni and Ismaili communities in Chitral. Lets get unite and tell them that we are the peaceful folk of the globe and no body can take advantage of such situation to ruin our brotherhood culture and relation. I must appeal the religious leaders of the region to stand ahead and keep guiding the common people remain peaceful and cooperative with the law enforcement agencies.

  8. The Holy Qur’an mentions many blasphemous utterances by non-believers and hypocrites against the Holy Prophet Muhammad(saw) without sanctioning any physical punishment for the perpetrators:
    Verily, those who annoy Allah and His Messenger — Allah has cursed them in this world and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them an abasing punishment. And those who malign believing men and believing women for what they have not earned shall bear the guilt of calumny and a manifest sin. (Ch.33:Vs.58-59)
    It should be noted that the ‘abasing punishment’ of blaspheming God and His Messenger rests with God alone and it is up to Him whether He punishes such persons in this world or in the hereafter. The authority to punish blasphemers has not been delegated to anyone.
    The Holy Qur’an gives clear guidance on how Muslims should behave when they are faced with those committing blasphemy. Instead of punishing the blasphemers, believers are advised to leave the company of such people until they change the topic of their conversation. Allah says: “…when you hear the Signs of Allah being denied and mocked at, sit not with them until they engage in a talk other than that; for in that case you would be like them… (Ch.4:V.141).

  9. Thank you Chitraltoday – Welldone
    Welldone Mawlana Khaliquzaman – Colnel Nizam – Chitral Scouts – Chitral Police and Administration. When I saw the video that Colnel Nizam was addressing the mob – the people were listening – it is Chitral. If it could be any part of the country they could violate the law. We also solute the public, thank you all. We hope our beautiful Chitral stay beautiful.

  10. This is regarding yesterday’s highly condemnable act of blasphemous remarks by a crazy person in Chitral mosque. Such acts are not only condemnable in the strongest possible words but also regrettable. The state must put in place measures proactively to prevent any such actions from happening in future. The person is in Police custody and is expected to be dealt with the law of the land according to the Blasphemy Law.
    The rage and anger of the people is justified because whomsoever would commit such a heinous act; is subject to exemplary punishment. However, the way the Khateeb sahib and other Ulemas of Chitral have handled this very sensitive matter, is highly commendable and speaks for itself about the maturity, high level of knowledge, and respect for the law of the land by them. This also makes our Ulemas prominent in the understanding of the Principles and Laws of Islam in depth in comparison to a recent untoward incident in a higher learning institution in Mardan. The level of maturity the respected Khateeb sahib and other Ulema e Kiraam have shown in this extremely sensitive matter; earns them more respect and admiration.
    Lastly, it won’t be justified if I wouldn’t mention the bloggers and those who used social media to express their opinions on the matter. It was evident that majority of the respected bloggers and commentators understood the severity of the situation and emphasized on controlling the anger and think rationally so that first the whole story will come out exactly as it happened and then the law will punish the culprit.
    Thank you.
    Saifuddin Saif.
    Morder Chitral.

  11. The role of Ulema, Specially Maulana Khaliquzzamaan, Khateeb Jamia Masjid Chitral, in maintaining peace, after the incident, is highly appreciated.Emotional action of the Muslims is also respected in such situations. No ummati of the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) tolerates blasphemy, but some people try to manipulate the situation by pushing it to wards sectarianism and ruin our peaceful environment. We have not forgotten the sectarian conflict of 1982 which was a planned conspiracy against the coexisting Sunni and Ismaili Muslims of Chitral. I request Chitral Police and the peace loving people of Chitral not to reject conspiracy and involvement of anti-Pakistan elements in the case.Our enemies are always ready to avail opportunity of such occurrences. please be patient and try to keep law and order.

  12. This half-witted man was handed over to the police of Islamic republic of Pakistan,it is the responsibility of the law enforcement agencies to investigate this serious issue and to punish him.we strongly condemn the blasphemous remarks of the man.If the person is ill mentally he needs to be cured; if not, he should be sent to prison for judicial remand so that he can tell the names of those who are prone to create sectarian violence in the district.

  13. Love for the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is a measure of one’s Iman (faith and inner conviction)in Islam and our iman is completed and perfect only when our love for the prophet exceeds our love for everything else in this world, including our own lives. The holy Quran says,the prophet is preferable for the believers even to their selves…33.6
    The act of alleged blasphemy in Chitral by the mentally ill person is highly condemnable and the role of learned Khateeb of the central Mosque Chitral, other religious scholars, political leaders, district administration, Chitral scouts, police and other agencies working in Chitral is highly commended to calm down the situation. We need to wait patiently for the outcomes of the inquiry and trials under the law being true faithful and patriotic citizen.

  14. The most realistic fact based report by chitraltoday, We highly appreciate the courage shown by Khateeb sahab of Jmamia masjid chitral to maintain peace. Well done Khateeb sahab , and well done Chitraltoday. Salam to both.

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