KARACHI - Political and religious groups of all schools of thought observed Friday as black day staging protest demonstrations at various points of the metropolis against publication of blasphemous caricatures by a French magazine.

Various religious parties including Jamaat-i-Islami, Jamat-ud-Dawa, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F, Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan, Pakistan Sunni Tehreek, MWM, Sunni Ittehad Council and others staged demonstrations across the city against the blasphemous caricatures published by French weekly magazine.

According to details, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi Chapter staged a protest outside the Bait-ul-Mukarram Mosque against the publication of the blasphemous caricatures. Large number of participants raised placards and banners inscribed with ‘Ghulam-e-ye-Rasool ma mout bhi qabool ha’, ‘Rehbar-o-Rehnuma – Mustafa - Mustafa’, ‘America ka jo yaar ha ghaddar ha ghaddar ha’and others.

Addressing the protesters, JI Karachi Chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman said that the western world has proved that it was an open enemy of Muslims, adding that the Muslim Ummah will not tolerate blasphemy of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) at any cost.

JI Karachi Chief urged rulers of Islamic countries to raise their voices against the heinous act of western media and take a strong stand on the publication of blasphemous sketches. He further demanded of the Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif to call on the French Ambassador and record his protest.

“No one can erase the love and affection of Muslim Ummah with the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and ‘Tehreek-e-Namoosay Risalat’ has started and will continue till the United States, French and other western world will not beg for pardon over the act”, he added.

Protests were held outside various mosques under the banner of the Muttahida Ulema Mahaz (MUM) Pakistan. MUM leaders presented codenaming resolution and demanded international community, including Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the European Union, condemn it too. They said that the re-publication of is an unwarranted provocation against feelings of the Muslims around the world. They said that the west is afraid of spreading of Islam and are hatching conspiracies to defame Muslims. They further urged the Muslims world to announce a joint strategy against the hypocrisy and suspend diplomatic relationship with France.

Also, Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat (ASWJ) activists staged a protest demonstration at Nagan Chowrangi, held banners and chanted slogans against France and demanded to boycott it by all the means of trade and end foreign affairs. Addressing protestors ASWJ leader Orangzaib Farooqui strongly condemned the publication and said that freedom of speech should not be used to hurt religious sentiments of any community. ASWJ leader further said that no Muslim could tolerate blasphemy and the government should raise this issue on international forum at every level.

Amid slogans of ‘Labbaik’, MWM staged rallies after Friday prayers to register protest against the blasphemous caricatures of the French and other Western Media. The MWM’s main rally was staged outside Khoja Isna Ashari Mosque in Kharadar Karachi where protestors raised slogans condemning blasphemers and demanded capital punishment to all.

MWM officials and supporters were of the view that French Weekly Charlie Hebdo and all those who repeatedly published or broadcast those blasphemous caricatures didn’t deserve mercy. They said that Western governments should clarify their positions. They asked if the US-led West or the EU were not involved in the blasphemy, then they should take legal action by banning all such publications, channels and websites.

MWM leaders further warned Muslim governments around the world to make it clear by their actions to the US-led West that they perpetrated an unpardonable heinous crime and they have conveyed their message that they want enmity and clash with Islam. They said that Islamic world would never consider the blasphemers as friends or allies of Islam. They urged the West to stand against the blasphemers and isolate them and adopt punitive measures against them otherwise Islamic world would boycott them diplomatically, politically, economically and strategically. Similarly Pakistan Sunni Tehreek (PST), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) , Sunni Itehad Council, Jammiat Ulema Pakistan(JUP) Karachi chapter also staged demonstrations outside various mosques of the metropolis to condemn the publication of blasphemes sketches. The religious parties’ leaders in their speeches highlighted the issue and appealed the Muslims to leave no stone unturned to defend the sanctity of sacred and infallible Prophet (PBUH). They said sacrifice their lives for honour of the Last Prophet (PBUH) and demanded the government to shutdown French diplomatic mission in the country.