Religious parties protest against Pope’s statement | Pakistan Today

Religious parties protest against Pope’s statement

LAHORE – Various religious parties on Friday held protests against statement of Pope Benedict XVI in which he called for repeal of blasphemy laws. Resolutions against the pontiff and federal government were also passed on the occasion. Clerics, in their Friday prayer sermons, termed the statements as unwise and instigating. The Tahafuz-e-Namoos-e-Risalat Mahaz (TNRM) and the Sunni Ittehad Council arranged a rally outside the Lahore Press Club. Protesters blocked the road and chanted slogans in favour of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer’s murderer Mumtaz Qadri.
Ajmal Shah Gilani alleged that Ahmadis are leading the campaign for repealing blasphemy laws. “It’s an international conspiracy and Qadiyanis are playing a central role in it. We cannot compromise on the law, as it is divine and nobody can change it,” Ajmal said. TNRM leader Atharul Qadri said that if the Pope did not take back his statement, religious parties would hold worldwide protests. He lamented that Pope Benedict XVI did not utter a single word when American Pastor Terry Jones had vowed to desecrate the Holy Quran and when Western newspapers were publishing blasphemous caricatures.
Nawaz Kharal said that blasphemy laws are not against minorities but only blasphemers and all hue and cry over the issue is baseless. In his Friday prayer sermon at the Mansoora mosque, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Munawar Hassan alleged that Christians have left true teachings of Jesus Christ (AS) and are now following biased pastors and popes. The Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan-Noorani took out rally at Kot Lakhpat. JUP Secretary General Zawar Bahadar alleged that Pope Benedict XVI tried to destroy world peace and Muslims would not tolerate such statements. Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Information Secretary Maulana Amjad demanded the federal government to take immediate notice of statements of Pope Benedict XVI and the British home secretary.

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