Regardless of the blunt denial by Darul-Uloom Karachi on issuance of any fatwa (edict) against Dr. Shakeel Auj declaring him a blasphemer and infidel, even a fake fatwa was good enough to run a sustained campaign which ended with his cold-blooded murder. Dr. Shakeel was a religious scholar, head of Islamic Studies faculty at Karachi University and a flag bearer of inter-sectarian harmony. Denials aside facts can’t be ignored that it was a fatwa, on the seminary’ letterhead with appropriate signatures of a Mufti (a person who can issue a fatwa) which brought about his murder. Even if we presume for a moment that it was a fake document, can we weigh the power these muftis and their fatwas carry, which can brainwash normal people to kill anyone as service to their religion.

If anyone remembers the first cabinet of Pakistan, it was starred with personalities from all ethnic and religious communities. But where do we stand today – after the Second Amendment in Pakistan Constitution, the state presumed the authority to declare who is and is not a Muslim! Later a military dictator further tuned this myopic version of the state authority to decide who is and is not a good Muslim.

No one needs state to decide who is a Muslim. The graffiti on the walls and widespread killing of religious and sectarian minorities is what’s written on the wall for Pakistan, a country that came into being to protect minorities! My question; when we have a parliament which is a legal entity to make and amend laws and codes, we have courts to decide cases and conflicts per laws of the land, then why these seminaries are producing loads of Muftis to issue fatwas? It’s complete chaos —- parliament, normal penal courts, Shariah courts, Islamic Ideology Council (IIC), thousands of Muftis across the country. It’s really miracle that Dr. Auj was not killed earlier as his views on religion and humanity were well known. How would you like to be killed, by a fatwa, or a ruling of ICC?

MASOOD KHAN,

Saudi Arabia, October 1.