Shouting 'we shall sacrifice our loves for the prophet', they told the government to reject Western influence
Pope Benedict XVI was accused of joining western propaganda against the Islamic state as demonstrators pledged to sacrifice their lives for Muhammad. The new governor of Punjab is told to express solidarity with Salman Taseer's murderer. Two attacks in the north-west leave 5 dead and 19 wounded. -Catholic Online
|Shouting "we shall sacrifice our loves for the prophet", they told the government to reject Western influence and slammed Pope Benedict XVI for "joining Western propaganda against the Islamic state".|
LAHORE, Pakistan (AsiaNews) - At least 40,000 people took to the streets of Lahore on Sunday to protest against any possible changes to the blasphemy law. The demonstration in Punjab's capital city was called by Jamat-e-Islami, the main Islamist opposition party, which was joined by other seven parties, as well as the Pakistan Muslim League (Q) and the Jamat-ud-dawa.
At the same time, extremists continue their attacks throughout the country against sensitive sites. Five people were killed and 19 wounded in two suicide attacks today in the country's north-west.
Thousands of people gathered at Mall Road, Lahore, to celebrate Tehreek Namoos-e-Risalat, the holiness of the Prophet Muhammad, and express their opposition to possible changes to the 'black law'.
Shouting "we shall sacrifice our loves for the prophet", they told the government to reject Western influence and slammed Pope Benedict XVI for "joining Western propaganda against the Islamic state".
In addressing the crowd, protesters threatened a "long march" on Islamabad if changes are brought to the law, something that government has said it would not do.
If changes are made to the law, "neither parliament, nor assemblies" will any longer exist, said Syed Munawar Hussain, of Jamat-e-Islami.
Speaking to the protesters, Fazlur Rehman, head of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, JUI-F, told the new Punjab governor to visit Mumtaz Qadri, the jailed murderer of Salman Taseer, the Punjab governor who was killed for defending a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, and for demanding changes to the 'black law'. The Muslim fundamentalist leader said the new governor should make the visit as a token of solidarity with all Muslims in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the wave of violence continues. Five people, including four police officers, died in two separate attacks in Peshawar, in the country's North-West Frontier Province. Another 19 were wounded in the blasts, including a number of civilians.
In the first incident, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device in proximity to a patrol.