In a disturbing video making rounds on social video, a group of extremists at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport assaulted popular evangelist Junaid Jamshed. This small Barelvi group was in Islamabad to attend the chehlum of Mumtaz Qadri. Members of this same group then went on to riot in the capital and cause damage to public and private proper on Sunday.

The group at the airport chanted slogans against the preacher, accusing him of blasphemy and roughed him up. Mr Jamshed looked visibly shaken and retreated to the arrival lounge for his safety. The event is a blatant act of religious intolerance that is sweeping the country.

Though Mr Jamshed can himself be accused of previously perpetuating intolerance, this will be a lesson to him and his supporters that what goes around comes around, often harder and harsher.

The attack on Junaid Jamshed, a member of the Deobandi community, is a clear message from the more radical group of Barelvis against the growing influence of the Deobandi sect in Pakistan. The rift between the two sects is common knowledge and reports of attacks on Deobandi tableeghi groups and mosques go largely unreported. The Barelvi sect has a strong hold and influence in large areas of Pakistan and no visible action has been taken against the leaders of this more radical sect to gain control of that massive influence. The question remains how long will the situation remain unchecked and how are we going to address this issue of growing intolerance between these Sunni sects? If a “pious” Muslim like Junaid Jamshed can be roughed up over blasphemy allegations, imagine what these people would do to someone from a minority religion.

Mr Jamshed may have offended some people in the past, but all acts of violence, towards anyone, are criminal. No citizen has the right to take the law into their own hands, no matter how much they believe they are “divinely sanctioned” to do so. Yet that is what they did on Sunday, as Qadri supporters came out again on D-chowk in Islamabad to create havoc and challenge the write of the state yet again. The rabid mob has vandalised private and public properties and was throwing stones at passers-by and every passing vehicle. The fate of Mumtaz Qadri should serve as a lesson to all those who think it is their prerogative to hold others accountable for crimes they may or may not deserve punishment for.