JAMAICA, New York (March 3, 2011) – The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) issued a press release today condemning the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Minorities and the only Christian member of the Pakistani cabinet.

“ICNA is appalled by the assassination of Pakistani cabinet member Shahbaz Bhatti,” said Dr. Zahid Bukhari, President of ICNA. “We urge the Pakistani government to bring the perpetrators to justice. We also extend our condolences to Mr. Bhatti’s family; our thoughts and prayers are with them in this difficult time.”
“We remind those who cite the word of God to justify the murder of innocents that they have misjudged the true meaning of our faith. God states in the Quran, ‘Whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved the lives of all mankind’ (5:32). We are further reminded that ‘there is no compulsion in religion’ (2:256). We must remember that our Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, also granted protection to all who lived under the Islamic state, regardless of race or religion. We are deeply alarmed by this rise in misguided vigilantism including the murder of Punjab governor Salman Taseer.”
“The tragic killing of Mr. Bhatti is a setback in Pakistan’s struggle for an equal and inclusive society. We call on the Pakistani government and the people of Pakistan to protect the rights of religious minorities in the country, including the right to live and worship in safety.”

2 Responses

  1. Look, i would like to make some facts knows to those who donot understand. Loving and Respecting the messanger (PBUH@HF) is a compulsory article of faith in Islam, and to me freedom of expression is not freedom of libel. Having said that – to create laws that gives someone else in majority the license to kill is absolutely ridiclous wicked and simply an exercise to capture power. There is no doubt that these laws are being misused and abused againt muslism and minorities in Pakistan. Research shows 80% of victims of this law are muslims themselves, that doesnot in any way deflect, decrease or justify the pain caused due to murders of first Salman Taseer and now Shahbaz Bhatti – may both their souls rest in peace – but the point i am trying to make is that there is no a conspiracy going on to subdue minorities in Pakistan. Being a muslim i totally support the notion that the judiciary needs to take a thorough look at these ex-dictator Zia ul Haq made laws and fix them in a way that they cannot be abused by iniquitists and oppurtunists, but on the other hand to make the “Hurmat” i:e Respect of messange of God as a litmus test for the freedom of expression is also absolutely abhorant and full of wickedness. Why does everyone has to insult Muhammad (pbuh@hf) to prove their freedom of expression? As a muslim i reject that notion. The governament of Pakistan needs to:-
    @ arrest those thugs and murderors behind the killings of Salman Taseer and Shahbaz bhatti and let the judicial system decide their fate.
    @ judiciary also needs to look at this dictator made laws and fix the holes in this flawed law.
    @ but noone should use the messanger of Isalm as litmus test for freedom of expression either.
    we all need to respect each others faiths, values, lifestyles even if we donot agree with them so we all could live in peace and harmony instead of one group trying to impose their ideas on another group and so on. That the the recipe of disaster and perpetual warfare, nothing else. We should be open minded to listen to other point of view and be willing to accomodate their geneuine concerns. If i want certian rights for myself living in US and i am asking those rights from the majority then i should also be willing to give the same rights to the minorities among us OR else i neither deserve those right that i am not willign to grant to other but i am a Hypocrite as well.

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Islamic Circle of North America
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