Islamabad: Lal Masjid’s firebrand Maulana Abdul Aziz on Friday advised the prime minister, and the army chief, that to keep Daesh away from Pakistan, “put the house in order.”
Maulana Aziz issued the advice not from the pulpit but in a telephonic address to the Friday congregation from his home in the grounds of Jamia Hafsa. It was meant to clarify a laudatory video about Daesh put by the girl seminary on the social network in December 2014.
Maulana Aziz said in the video his wife Umme Hassan never invited Daesh movement, the self-styled Islamic State, to Pakistan. His followers, however, will continue to look towards anyone working for the enforcement of Islam, he added.
“I ask the army chief and the prime minister to put the house in order so that nobody has to look towards Daesh or anyone else,” said the Maulana who has repeatedly been warned by the Islamabad administration about his combative statements and acts.
He clarified that some Jamia Hafsa girls released the video after learning that Daesh was “implementing Islam in areas under its control.”
“It is not the responsibility of just Maulana Abdul Aziz, or the male and female students of Lal Masjid to hold the flag of Islam high,” he said, calling upon the congregation to rise for rule of Quran and Sunnah.
Once again, he invited the army chief, people in uniform, police, state functionaries, the political leadership and the ordinary citizens of Pakistan to join the mission that, he said, Lal Masjid people have vowed to continue.
He accused the government and the Islamabad administration and police of “creating a scene” outside the mosque. Apparently, he was referring to the deployment of police in anti-riot gear, Rangers and other security agencies, to prevent his followers from taking out a rally after the prayers.
After lying low for more than 10 months, the cleric unexpectedly returned to lead the prayers in the mosque on November 6. The following week it was announced that he would launch a ‘movement for implementation of Quran and Sunnah’ in the country on Friday 13.
Maulana Aziz persisted with the course defying objections that the authorities raised and led a rally from the mosque to his residence in Jamia Hafsa.
Later, his admirers released his 34-minute audio statement, rejecting the written warning of the deputy commissioner as a “worthless piece of paper.”
Yet, his decision not to lead this Friday prayers was read as a docile response from the combative cleric.
Civil society’s vigils and court action against his statements obliquely supporting the terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014 had kept him away from his Lal Masjid citadel until November 6.
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