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ASIA/PAKISTAN - Islamic radical protesters take to the street: "Put Asia Bibi to death"

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Posted on: 11/15/17
Islamabad - Asia Bibi’s death penalty, the Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy and awaiting trial before the Supreme Court; resignation of the Minister of Justice Zahid Hamid; release of Islamic religious leaders detained: are some of the demands made by radical Islamic groups "Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah Pakistan" and "Sunni Tehreek", which have launched a public protest against the Pakistani government in the streets of Islamabad in recent days. According to information sent to Agenzia Fides, in the sermon preached on Friday by imams close to radical groups, in front of some three thousand demonstrators, threats of violent attacks were addressed to the family members of the Minister of Justice or those accused of blasphemy. Even last year, says Christian lawyer Sardar Mushtaq Gill to Fides, also a victim of threats, "about 150 radical religious leaders on the occasion of Asia Bibi’s hearing had called on the government to put her to death. Islamic extremism is present on the public scene", he notes.
In recent days, the police have urged activists to immediately release the "Jinnah Avenue", where protesters had organized an unauthorized protest.
Following the terrorist attacks registered in recent years, large public assemblies have been banned in Pakistan. Demonstrators therefore moved to another area of the city, a park dedicated to welcoming legitimate and peaceful protests. The protest broke out as a result of the controversy arising from the approval of the "Election Law 2017", which has the option of changing the form of oath for public office candidates: in a formula cited by the Prophet Mohammed, the expression "I solemnly swear" becomes "I believe", in order to preserve the presence and creed of non-Muslim candidates. The controversy, exquisitely political, was immediately taken by radical groups as an offense to Islamic religion and the Islamic character of the Republic of Pakistan. Having filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Islamabad, the law was suspended by the Court.


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