Tag Archives: funeral

Boston mosque refuses to offer funeral prayers for marathon bomber: Report

BOSTON: A small mosque in Boston, called the “Islamic Society of Boston”, has refused to hold funeral prayers for Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the dead suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, his aunt told NBC News on Wednesday.

According to the report, Patimat Suleimanova said the US authorities had told the family they could have the 26-year-old’s body.

One of the suspects’ uncle approached the mosque requesting a burial and funeral services but the mosque declined the request, she added.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the mosque said that the decision to conduct the burial would be made by a scholar. “This one is complex because the things that this guy did were just absolutely disgraceful,” he was quoted by NBC News as saying.

Authorities are still working to piece together a motive for the twin bombings just over a week ago at the Boston marathon that killed three people and wounded 264, as more details emerged about the ethnic Chechen brothers accused of carrying out the attack.

Still hospitalised, 19-year-old Dzhokhar has reportedly admitted to being driven by radical ideas, telling investigators the attacks were motivated by the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Continue reading Boston mosque refuses to offer funeral prayers for marathon bomber: Report

We will miss Iqbal Haidar. A brave urdu speaking Sindhi who never hesitated in raising voice against terrorism, fanaticism & urban fascism

Former PPP Law Minister Iqbal Haider passes away

By: INP

Former Law Minister, and co-chairman of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Iqbal Haider passed away on Sunday in a local hospital here in Karachi. He was suffering from lungs ailment.

His funeral prayer will be offered after Zuhar prayer on Monday at Imambargah Yasrub in phase IV Defence Housing Society, Karachi.

Continue reading We will miss Iqbal Haidar. A brave urdu speaking Sindhi who never hesitated in raising voice against terrorism, fanaticism & urban fascism

Dying to Tell the Story

By UMAR CHEEMA

Islamabad, Pakistan: WE have buried another journalist. Syed Saleem Shahzad, an investigative reporter for Asia Times Online, has paid the ultimate price for telling truths that the authorities didn’t want people to hear. He disappeared a few days after writing an article alleging that Al Qaeda elements had penetrated Pakistan’s navy and that a military crackdown on them had precipitated the May 22 terrorist attack on a Karachi naval base. His death has left Pakistani journalists shaken and filled with despair.

I couldn’t sleep the night that Saleem’s death was confirmed. The fact that he was tortured sent me back to a chilly night last September, when I was abducted by government agents. During Saleem’s funeral service, a thought kept haunting me: “It could have been me.”

Mourning journalists lined up after the service to console me, saying I was lucky to get a lease on life that Saleem was denied. But luck is a relative term.

Adil, my 2-year-old son, was the first person in my thoughts after I was abducted. Journalists in Pakistan don’t have any institutionalized social security system; those killed in the line of duty leave their families at the mercy of a weak economy.

When my attackers came, impersonating policemen arresting me on a fabricated charge of murder, I felt helpless. My mouth muzzled and hands cuffed, I couldn’t inform anybody of my whereabouts, not even the friends I’d dropped off just 15 minutes before. My cellphone was taken away and switched off. Despite the many threats I’d received, I never expected this to happen to me.

Sure, I had written many stories exposing the corrupt practices of high-ranking officials and pieces criticizing the army and the intelligence agencies. After they were published, Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan’s prime security agency, always contacted me. I was first advised not to write too much about them and later sent messages laced with subtle threats. But I never imagined action was imminent.

On Sept. 4, I was driven to an abandoned house instead of a police station, where I was stripped naked and tortured with a whip and a wooden rod. While a man flogged me, I asked what crime had brought me this punishment. Another man told me: “Your reporting has upset the government.” It was not a crime, and therefore I did not apologize.

Instead, I kept praying, “Oh God, why am I being punished?” The answer came from the ringleader: “If you can’t avoid rape, enjoy it.” He would employ abusive language whenever he addressed me.

“Have you ever been tortured before?” he asked.

“No,” I said.

“These marks will stay with you forever, offering you a reminder never to defy the authorities,” he replied.

They tortured me for 25 minutes, shaved my head, eyebrows and moustache and then filmed and photographed my naked body. I was dumped nearly 100 miles outside Islamabad with a warning not to speak up or face the consequences.

The following months were dreadful. I suffered from a sleep disorder. I would wake up fearing that someone was beating my back. I wouldn’t go jogging, afraid that somebody would pick me up again and I’d never return. Self-imposed house arrest is the life I live today; I don’t go outside unless I have serious business. I have been chased a number of times after the incident. Now my son asks me questions about my attackers that I don’t answer. I don’t want to sow the seeds of hatred in his heart.

When Saleem disappeared, I wondered if he had been thinking about his children, as I had. He had left Karachi, his hometown, after receiving death threats, and settled with his wife and three children in Islamabad. From there, he often went on reporting trips to the tribal areas along the Afghan border. Tahir Ali, a mutual friend, would ask him: “Don’t you feel scared in the tribal areas?” Saleem would smile and say: “Death could come even in Islamabad.” His words were chilling, and prescient.

The killing of Syed Saleem Shahzad is yet another terrifying reminder to Pakistani journalists. He is the fifth to die in the first five months of 2011. Journalists are shot like stray dogs in Pakistan — easily killed because their assassins sit at the pinnacle of power.

When Daniel Pearl was brutally murdered by militants in Karachi in 2002, his case was prosecuted and four accomplices to the crime were sentenced. This happened only because Mr. Pearl was an American journalist. Had he been a Pakistani, there would have been no justice.

Today, impunity reigns and no organization is powerful enough to pressure the government to bring Saleem’s killers to justice. Journalists have shown resilience, but it is hard to persevere when the state itself becomes complicit in the crime. Now those speaking up for Saleem are doing so at a price: they are being intimidated and harassed.

Pakistan is at a crossroads and so is its news media. In a situation of doom and gloom, Pakistani journalists offer a ray of hope to their fellow citizens and they have earned the people’s trust. Even the former prime minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has admitted that people who once went to the police with complaints now go to the press.

But this trust will be eroded if journalists continue to be bullied into walking away from the truth. News organizations throughout the world must join hands in seeking justice for Saleem and ending the intelligence agencies’ culture of impunity. An award for investigative journalists should be created in his honor, as was done for Daniel Pearl. No stronger message could be delivered to his killers than making him immortal.

Umar Cheema is an investigative reporter at The News International, Pakistan’s largest English-language daily. He was a Daniel Pearl Fellow at The Times in 2008.

Courtesy: The New York Times

Pakistan : Fanaticism’s coup d’etat

Fanaticism’s coup d’etat

by Farooq Sulehria

It is not the murder of Salman Taseer that has shocked-and-scared urban majority in Pakistan into either an apparent silence or a plain indifference. It is not even the assassin’s maliciously triumphant smile that has left many speechless. It is ceaselessly mediatised threats and heartless puritan celebrations by a freemasonry of fiery anchorpersons, jingoist columnists and rejected bearded politicians that have created an atmosphere of fear-and-eerie-silence. For the first time, PPP’s fearless workers, the idiomatic Jiyalas, have been scared into political-hibernation. Even if thousands attended Taseer’s funeral and Jiyalas in Lahore initially took to streets in a defiant mood, chanting anti-mullah slogans, the PPP government capitulated, unsurprisingly. The PPP leadership has given up struggle since long. It keeps striking deals and wrap up shameless compromises. …

Read more : ViewPoint

‘The killer of my father, Salman Taseer, was showered with rose petals by fanatics. How could they do this?

Thousands of Pakistanis showered rose petals on the assassin of Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab who sought clemency for a Christian woman sentenced to death. Here his eldest son, Aatish Taseer, who lives in Delhi, mourns his death – and the nihilism of a country that could not tolerate a patriot who was humanitarian to his core.

By Aatish Taseer

[Excerpt] ….. Already, even before his body is cold, those same men of faith in Pakistan have banned good Muslims from mourning my father; clerics refused to perform his last rites; and the armoured vehicle conveying his assassin to the courthouse was mobbed with cheering crowds and showered with rose petals.

I should say too that on Friday every mosque in the country condoned the killer’s actions; 2,500 lawyers came forward to take on his defence for free; and the Chief Minister of Punjab, who did not attend the funeral, is yet to offer his condolences in person to my family who sit besieged in their house in Lahore. ….

Read more :  The Telegraph

The only way to treat this cancer is a complete separation of the religion and the state. Otherwise, prepare for the funeral of the country

– Tarek Fatah

… the past, present and future of a country born in an orgy of bloodshed and unravelling in a macabre bloodlust for death. “The only way to treat this cancer is to join the rest of the civilized world, including India and Bangladesh, to embrace secularism & the complete separation of the Mosque and the State. Otherwise, prepare for the funeral of the country.

To read full interview : Criticalppp

Pakistan : Religious leaders ask not to attend Taseer’s funeral

Ulema press not to offer Taseer’s funeral prayers

Most religious parties avoid outright condemnation; Sajid Mir, Piracha assail murder

KARACHI: Leading Ulema of Jamaat Ahle Sunnat Pakistan (JASP) in a joint statement have asked Muslims not to offer Namaz-e-Janaza nor try to lead funeral prayers of Governor Punjab Salman Taseer.

In a joint statement issued here they have also asked not to express regrets or sympathies over his assassination. Those issuing the statement include the JASP Central Ameer Prof Syed Mazhar Saeed Shah Kazmi, Allama Syed Riaz Hussain Shah, Shah Turab-ul-Haq Qadri, Allama Zamir Sajid, Pir Khalid Sultan, Pir Ghulam Siddiq Naqshbandi, Allama Syed Khizr Hussain Shah, Alhaj Amjad Chishti, Allama Ghulam Sarawar Hazarvi, Allama Syed Shamsuddin Bokhari, Pir Syed Ashiq Ali Shah Jilani, Mufti Muhammad Iqbal Chishti, Allama Fazal Jamil Rizvi, Agha Muhammad Ibrahim Naqshbandi Mujaddidi, Maulana Muhammad Riaz Qadri, Maulana Gulzar Naeemi, Allama Syed Ghulam Yaseen Shah, and over 500 other ulema and honorable muftis attached to the JASP.

Those favouring the person indulged in blasphemy are themselves blasphemous, they announced. Paying glowing tributes to Malik Mumtaz Hussain, and his courage, who killed Governor Salman Taseer, they said he is lover of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and is a ‘Ghazi’. Mumtaz had revived the 14-century-old tradition of Islam and put their head high in pride. It was only Prophet (PBUH) who could forgive any act of blasphemy but none other could ever do it. …

Read more : The News

PAKISTAN : Rawalpindi, Christian burned alive is buried. Police suspected of setting him on fire

by Fareed Khan

Arshed Masih’s funeral was held today amid tight security. The silence of the Pakistani media and government on the matter. AsiaNews sources denounce the attempt at misdirection and reveal the last words of the victim: “The police set me on fire” following the instructions of the Muslim employer. In the past his wife repeatedly raped by officers.

Courtesy: AsiaNews

Rawalpindi (AsiaNews) – the funeral of Arshed Masih, a 38 year-old Pakistani Christian, burned alive because he refused to convert to Islam was held today in Rawalpindi, under tight security. Hundreds of people attended the funeral, including members of civil society and NGO representatives. So far the police have arrested none of the alleged perpetrators and neither have steps been taken by the Federal Government or Ministry of minority groups. Meanwhile, more details have emerged on the crime: a well-informed source has told AsiaNews that police officers were the ones to set fire to the man, on the “instructions” of Arshed Masih.

The 38 year-old Pakistani Christian, married and father of three children, aged7 to 12, died on 22 March following the serious injuries sustained during the assault. He suffered burns on 80% of his body excluding any possibility of salvation. The violence of his assailants was sparked by the man’s refusal to convert to Islam.

Continue reading PAKISTAN : Rawalpindi, Christian burned alive is buried. Police suspected of setting him on fire