How can Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) remain silent on the issue of blasphemy? After all, JI, like many others, is a political party that thinks politics devoid of religion is a travesty. And now that the court has acquitted Aasia Bibi, and the Tehreek Labaik Pakistan had brought the whole country to a standstill, JI, it seems, feel a bit insecure; after all, it was their forte to successfully launch countrywide protests and bring the nation’s life to a halt. Perhaps Jamaat’s chief, Siraj-ul-Haq wants to regain the party’s lost “glory” as he has announced a “Tehreek-i-Hurmat-i-Rasool” march that would begin from Karachi and end in Chitral on the Aasia Bibi and Blasphemy issue.

What the JI chief needs to bear in mind is that it is not the right time to invoke people’s sentiment for gaining political mileage. Given the chaos that the TLP protests generated, another debilitating “march” is the last thing that the country needs and can afford. If the JI chief takes suggestions seriously, then, this editorial suggests that instead of taking the sanctity of the Prophet (PBUH) to roads and streets, it will be far better to organise a seminar on the issue with an invitation to competent religious scholars from all schools of thoughts.

Unfortunately, it seems that the JI has been reduced to a political party that wants representation in the parliament. One can disagree with the message of JI, but in the past, the party leaders produced literature on almost every walk of life. The present party leaders’ focus is not on reason. They rely on emotions and agitation for swelling up their party’s membership.

Moreover, when the whole nation is trying to restore normalcy, fanning the flames is not a good idea. It will do good neither to the party nor the nation. Cashing on what has become TLP’s selling point will only associate the relatively moderate JI with the hardliner TLP. Furthermore, people will also start believing that JI is as predatory opportunist as TLP is. Both are damaging labels that the party should be looking to avoid.

Also, the fear is that the march will further confuse the nation on the issue of blasphemy. The messages that the leaders of the JI will deliver in the rally will further radicalise the youth, and the student wing of the party will use the anti-blasphemy content as justification for any violence they commit against the dissenters. We have already seen this in the case of the brutal murder of Mashaal Khan who was lynched by a mob in the most grotesque manner almost a year ago.