Mohammed Tahir (alias Tahirul Qadri) continues to lay a destructive path in the Muslim world with his exploitation of the under-educated and misinformed masses via his latest fiasco, the ‘long march’. Qadri claims the goal of his long march was to rid Pakistan of a corrupt government but it proved to be another ploy to create more popularity for himself at the expense of his own embarrassment and the lives of innocent children who fell sick while standing in the severe cold while he was tucked away in a cosy, bullet-proof container. Charges are currently pending against him in Canada where he previously sought asylum from Pakistan. The question being asked everywhere is where he got his funding from. It is of no surprise to discover that the funding reached him from those who support and project his recent publicity in the form of counter-radicalisation programmes, most with the intent of controlling militant Islam. Norway’s ministry of justice recently funded an event run by Qadri’s organisation, Minhajul Quran, International (MQI) (source: The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence report — ‘Countering Radicalisation in Europe’).

I thank the good Lord that the government thwarted what could have been a bloody and violent protest due to the selfish and political desires of Tahirul Qadri by convincing him to reconsider his demands. The dissolution or dismissal of Pakistan’s National Assembly in an abrupt manner, as he demanded, would have hurled the country into further destruction on many levels. In this case, what would have he have gained? Members of the MQI organisation are actively campaigning on the internet to promote this farce as a success and further promote Qadri’s image as a progressive cleric who has stood up to corruption. Responses on open forums and newspapers are anything but positive. One reporter wrote, “This all was pre-planned and Dr Qadri only wasted the time of the nation, and hoodwinked the innocent people who followed him.” Another commentator wrote, “Qadri hijacked their love of Islam by rallying a cry of Imam Hussein, and abused them in this manner for his personal gain. What a horrible creature Mr Tahir is, who has proclaimed himself Shaikh-ul-Islam! For the love of all that is holy, please end this drama!”

FATIMA BEGUM,

February1.