Home Latest News No One Will be Permitted to Use Violence in Name of Islam: Imran Khan

No One Will be Permitted to Use Violence in Name of Islam: Imran Khan

by Newsweek Pakistan

P.M. Imran Khan addresses a ceremony honoring Malik Adnan, who tried to protect Priyantha Kumara. Photo courtesy PID

Pakistan’s prime minister claims Rehmatullil Alameen Authority will teach nation to follow teachings of Islam’s Prophet

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday warned that the Pakistan government will no longer allow anyone to utilize violence in the name of religion and regretted the “embarrassment” caused by last week’s mob lynching of a Sri Lankan national over allegations of blasphemy.

“Let me make this clear: I have decided that from now we will not spare those who resort to violence in the name of religion, especially in the name of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him),” he said during a ceremony condoling the brutal killing of Priyantha Kumara in Sialkot and lauding Malik Adnan, who had attempted to shield the victim from the mob.

Adnan was awarded a certificate of appreciation for his attempts, with Khan saying his “moral courage and bravery” would be further honored with a Tamgha-e-Shujaat on March 23, Pakistan Day.

Khan said Adnan was a “role model” whose actions should be emulated by the nation’s youth. He said it was regrettable that people in Pakistan were killing in the name of religion. “[The] Prophet (PBUH) preached peace,” he said, adding that humane societies meted out justice while inhumane states relied on the concept of “might is right.” He warned of the dangers to individuals accused of blasphemy—though he did not make any mention of his vocal support of the same laws and repeated calls for their implementation globally.

“If someone accuses [another] person of blasphemy, the victim rots in jail and no lawyer or authority comes to his defense to see what actually transpired,” he said. “Everyone is afraid of it [blasphemy allegations]. In fact, lawyers do not come forward and judges also refuse to listen to the cases,” he added.

The prime minister said he hoped the Sialkot lynching would unite the nation against mob violence just as the 2014 massacre at Peshawar’s Army Public School had united it against terrorism. The attack on the school left nearly 150 people dead, mostly children, and was claimed by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, who the PTI-led government has recently entered into negotiations with to “mainstream” them.

Islam’s Teachings

Khan said that he had established the Rehmatullil Alameen Authority so Pakistanis could learn from the life of Islam’s Prophet and take inspiration from it. “But we are heading in a different direction,” he lamented and urged all Pakistanis to study the life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). “Our country is the only one that was built in the name of Islam. But this incident has brought us embarrassment,” he said, adding that he had received many messages from overseas Pakistanis over the Sialkot lynching.

“People who are based overseas do not know what Islam is, and they distance themselves from the religion after seeing such incidents take place,” he added.

The prime minister also regretted that the Sialkot lynching had been used by Pakistan’s enemies—such as India—to defame the country. “Their TV programs called this incident a routine occurrence in Pakistan, which is unjust,” he said, adding that he would not allow such incidents to happen as long as he was alive.

He said the business community in Sialkot had informed them that they would pay $100,000 to Kumara’s family as compensation, adding that his employer had also pledged to continue paying them his monthly salary. He ended his speech by reiterating his praise for the actions of Adnan. “It was painful to see what the mob did [to Kumara]. But seeing Adnan restored our faith in humanity,” he added.

On Friday, an enraged mob of hundreds accused Kumara of blasphemy, tortured him to death and then set his body on fire. Police have registered a case against the workers of Rajco Industries, where he was employed as a factory manager, and have taken over 150 people into custody, including the “prime suspects” accused of instigating the violence.

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