Khadim Hussain Rizvi

Khadim Hussain Rizvi is a Pakistani politician, Islamic scholar, and YouTuber who is the founder of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan,[1] a religious political organization founded in 2015 known to protest, even massively, against any change to Pakistan's blasphemy law.[2]

Khadim Hussain Rizvi
Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi.jpg
Born (1966-05-22) 22 May 1966 (age 53)
NationalityPakistani
OfficeChairperson and chief of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan
PredecessorPosition established

Fluent in Urdu, Punjabi and Persian, he is known for his fiery, poetic and passionate speeches, and, apart from the Qur'an and hadith, for heavily quoting the poetry of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan and Muhammad Iqbal, whom he considers to be his main influences.[3] He is considered a Pir or saint by followers.[4]

Early lifeEdit

Khadim Hussain Rizvi was born in 1966 in the Pindi Gheb area of Attock District, Punjab. He belongs to Awan (tribe). His brother, Ameer Hussain, is a retired Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) from Pakistan Army.[5]

He started hafiz class in Jhelum. Further, he took admission in Jamia Nizamia, Lahore.[1] He is a Hafiz-e-Quran and Sheikh-ul-Hadith,[6] He delivered Friday sermons at Lahore's Pir Makki Masjid while in the Punjab Auqaf and Religious Affairs Department.[1] He has been confined to a wheelchair since 2006 ever since an accident near Gujranwala as the driver of his vehicle fell asleep while driving from Rawalpindi to Lahore.[1]

In 2015, he founded a political party called Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a political front for Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYP).[7] TLP came into existence after the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri, who assassinated Salmaan Taseer, the Governor of Punjab, for opposing the blasphemy laws and subsequently rose to fame. During the assassination of the Governor, Rizvi was serving as an auqaf official in the Punjab government. Rizvi had justified the assassination on the pretext that Taseer had termed the blasphemy law as a "black law". He was served warning notices to cease and desist from spreading his views in favour of blasphemy laws but his refusal to do so led to his removal from public service.[1]

After his removal, Rizvi had more opportunity to preach his views. He travelled across the country to build support for Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, which deals with blasphemy committed against Prophet Muhammad. He also spoke out for the release of Mumtaz Qadri; his persistent advocacy earned him the nickname of "blasphemy activist" in religious circles.[1]

ControversiesEdit

2017 Faizabad sit-inEdit

On 6 November 2017, Rizvi organized a long march from Lahore to Islamabad for resignation of law minister regarding a language change in bill of "2017 Election of Pakistan".[8][9][10] Rizvi was publicly criticised for creating an environment of intolerance.[1][11] The general public was shocked to hear the crude, abusive language being used by the ostensibly religious leaders.[1] The government responded with a forced shutdown of all news channels, followed by blocking social media networks, to contain the flow of information. This created mayhem and confusion in the cities of Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Lahore along with some others in Punjab. Finally, by late evening the army chief intervened and asked "both sides" to show restraint.[1]

2018 Asia Bibi protestsEdit

On 31 October 2018, after eight years of detention, a Pakistani Christian woman, Asia Bibi, who was accused of blasphemy, was found innocent in a landmark Supreme Court verdict.[12] The final judgment said that one of Bibi's accusers violated the Ashtiname of Prophet Muhammad, a "covenant made by Prophet Muhammad with Christians in the seventh century but still valid today".[13] Justice Asif Saeed Khosa ruled that the two women who made accusations against Asia Bibi "had no regard for the truth" and that the claim that she blasphemed Prophet Muhammad in public was a "concoction incarnate".[14] The Supreme Court of Pakistan's ruling cited "material contradictions and inconsistent statements of the witnesses" that "cast a shadow of doubt on the prosecution's version of facts."[13]

This triggered the TLP, under the leadership of Rizvi to initiate demonstrations in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Multan. Clashes with police were reported. A leader of TLP, Muhammad Afzal Qadri, said all three Supreme Court judges "deserve to be killed". The Red Zone in the capital, Islamabad, where the Supreme Court is located, was entirely sealed off by the police.[15] In public speeches, Rizvi has said his only demand is that the mother-of-five be put to death, the punishment for blasphemy under Pakistan's penal code. He was quoted saying, "Our sit-in will go on until the government accepts our demand" denying reports that the sit-in would soon be over.[16]

Murder of professorsEdit

The TLP has been linked officially and unofficially to a number of murders, often of Pakistan's academia. In March of 2019, a third year student at Bahawalpur's Government Sadiq Egerton College, Khateeb Hussain, stabbed associate professor Khalid Hameed in a fatal encounter. [17] Khateeb Hussain was in contact with Zafar Gillani, a lawyer and senior member of the TLP prior to the murder, and obtained approval for the act over Whatsapp. The supposed motive for the killing was blasphemous and insulting rhetoric towards Islam, however, no proof was provided for this allegation. [18]

In 2018, Sareer Ahmed, the principal of Islamia College in Charsadda, was murdered by a 17-year old student who he had reprimanded for missing a number of classes. The student accused the professor of engaging in "blasphemy" for reprimanding him for skipping class to attend rallies held by the TLP. [19]

Both students stated that they were inspired by Rizvi. [20]

2020 Zindagi Tamasha controversyEdit

In 2020, Rizvi promoted protests on the release of Pakistani film Zindagi Tamasha. Rizvi further accused film-maker Sarmad Khoosat of blasphemy. [21]

The supposedly "blasphemous" material includes criticism of ulama and an alleged reference to bacha bazi. [22] Celebrated Pakistani author Mohammed Hanif, who had seen both the censored and uncensored versions of the film, denied that any criticism of ulama are contained within the movie. [23]

Detractors of Rizvi were quick to point out that suggesting criticism of ulama is blasphemous, may in itself constitute blasphemy as it implies ulama hold sacred or holy rank. Rizvi was also criticized for using charges of blasphemy to prevent criticism of religious fundamentalism. No charges against Rizvi have been filed at this point for engaging in blasphemy. [22] A petition against TLP was subsequently filed by Irfan Ali Khoosat, director of Khoosat Films. [24]

BooksEdit

Some of his books include:[25]

  • Tayaseer Abwab-ul-Sarf (تیسر ابواب الصرف), Maktba Majadia Sultania, 2013, 680 p.
  • Taleemat-e-Khadimiya (تعلیمات خاد میۃ), Allama Fazal Haaq Publications, 2015, 677 p.
  • Fazail-e-Durood Shareef (فضائل درود شریف), Dajkot, 2018, 332 p.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ali, Kalbe (2017-12-03). "Who is Khadim Hussain Rizvi?". dawn.com. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  2. ^ Barker, Memphis; Iqbal, Aamir (2018-11-01). "Asia Bibi: anti-blasphemy protests spread across Pakistan". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  3. ^ K K Shahid, "‘If I curse in anger, it is justified’", The Friday Times. Dec 01-07, 2017 Vol. XXIX, No. 43
  4. ^ Khaled Ahmed (2 December 2017), "STATE’S SURRENDER", Newsweek. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  5. ^ "Back to the Barelvis | Special Report | thenews.com.pk". www.thenews.com.pk.
  6. ^ Mehmood Hussain (1 May 2018), "Khadim Hussain Rizvi and Rise of Religious Extremism 2.0 in Pakistan", South Asia Journal. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  7. ^ "The Mullah of NA-120". Nation.com.pk. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  8. ^ "Tehreek Labik to hold Islamabad long march". Nation.com.pk. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  9. ^ Hussain, Shaiq; Constable, Pamela (11 November 2017). "Large religious protests halt traffic in Islamabad and Rawalpindi". Retrieved 18 December 2017 – via www.WashingtonPost.com.
  10. ^ "Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (SAW) protest continue - Times of Islamabad". TimesOfIslamabad.com. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  11. ^ Shahrukh, Malik (2017-11-25). "Discordant Saga of Blasphemy". https://www.nation.com.pk. External link in |website= (help)
  12. ^ Correspondent, Sana Jamal (2018-11-01). "All you need to know about the Aasia Bibi case". GulfNews. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  13. ^ a b Asif Aqeel (31 October 2018). "Pakistan Frees Asia Bibi from Blasphemy Death Sentence". Christianity Today. Retrieved 31 October 2018. In their final judgment, reviewed by CT, reversing Bibi's convictions by two lower courts and removing her death sentence, the panel of three judges ruled that Bibi was "wrongly" accused by two sisters with the help of a local cleric, based on "material contradictions and inconsistent statements of the witnesses" that "cast a shadow of doubt on the prosecution's version of facts." "Furthermore, the alleged extra-judicial confession was not voluntary but rather resulted out of coercion and undue pressure as the appellant was forcibly brought before the complainant in presence of a gathering, who were threatening to kill her; as such, it cannot be made the basis of a conviction," they wrote. "Therefore, the appellant being innocent deserves acquittal," the judges concluded. One even accused Bibi's accusers of violating a covenant made by Prophet Muhammad with Christians in the seventh century but still valid today. "Blasphemy is a serious offense," wrote justice Asif Saeed Khosa, "but the insult of the appellant's religion and religious sensibilities by the complainant party and then mixing truth with falsehood in the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was also not short of being blasphemous.
  14. ^ Barker, Memphis (31 October 2018). "Asia Bibi: Pakistan court overturns blasphemy death sentence: Christian woman to be freed after being sentenced in 2010, accused of insulting prophet Muhammad". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 October 2018. Justice Asif Khosa, in a verdict widely praised for its courage and rigour, noted that the two sisters who accused Bibi "had no regard for the truth" and that the claim she smeared the prophet in public was "concoction incarnate".
  15. ^ "Imran Khan condemns blasphemy hardliners". BBC News. 2018-10-31. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  16. ^ Barker, Memphis; Iqbal, Aamir (2018-11-01). "Asia Bibi: anti-blasphemy protests spread across Pakistan". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  17. ^ AFP, Mohammad Imran | (March 20, 2019). "Bahawalpur student stabs professor to death over 'anti-Islam' remarks". DAWN.COM.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  18. ^ "TLP leader arrested for 'forcing student to murder professor' in Bahawalpur". Daily Pakistan Global. March 28, 2019.
  19. ^ "Pakistani principal shot dead by student over blasphemy dispute". January 23, 2018 – via www.reuters.com.
  20. ^ Rehman, Atika (March 27, 2019). "Student behind stabbing of Bahawalpur professor may have had help from outsider". DAWN.COM.
  21. ^ "Film about cleric held over 'risk to Muslims'". BBC News. 2020-01-22. Retrieved 2020-01-24.
  22. ^ a b "Film about cleric held over 'risk to Muslims'". January 22, 2020 – via www.bbc.com.
  23. ^ "Myths about Zindagi Tamasha | SAMAA". Samaa TV.
  24. ^ "Petition filed against TLP over the release of Zindagi Tamasha | SAMAA". Samaa TV.
  25. ^ Profile on Marfat Library