Source: Huffington Post
By Qasim Rashid, Lawyer, Speaker, Best-Selling Author of “EXTREMIST”
Amir Liaqat is re-enacting ancient history. And as a result, innocent people are dying.
A thousand years ago during the European Dark Ages, religious minorities and women lived in particular peril. Jews were publicly demonized, forced to convert to Christianity, murdered, or expelled. Women played no role in public affairs, had no right to self-determination, and were in fact a form of property. Adding to the barbarity was the fate of those women accused of witchcraft.
Without a shred of evidence, clerics would chain accused women to heavy stones, throw the accused into lakes and rivers, all the while issuing a lose-lose challenge. If the accused woman survived the drowning attempt then surely she was a witch and would need to be killed. If the accused woman drowned, then while she was innocent of any witchcraft, she should have proven sooner that she was not a witch.
Such clerics hadn’t a shred of dignity, education, or compassion — yet shamelessly deemed themselves the vanguards of humanity and the epitome of Jesus Christ.
While Europe has moved on from such barbarity, the spirit of such barbaric clerics lives on today in Amir Liaqat of Pakistan.
Just as Dark Age era clerics demonized Jews under threat of death, Amir Liaqat in 2008 declared on his nationally televised program that Ahmadi Muslims are “worthy of being killed”. In the coming days extremists murdered two Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan.
Not content with this hate-mongering, on December 22, 2014 Liaqat invited extremist clerics onto his program and endorsed their false allegations with his public approval that Ahmadis are “the open enemies of Pakistan” and that “Ahmadis and Jews were behind the Peshawar attack that killed 132 children.” Four days later extremists murdered another Ahmadi Muslim.
Complicit in this hate speech is GEO Television and PEMRA (Pakistan’s version of the FCC), who have done nothing to punish Liaqat or prevent him from perpetuating his hate speech.
Thus, in his most recent program Liaqat insinuated that Ahmadi Muslims are like the Taliban and that he (Liaqat) is innocent of any wrongdoing.
Liaqat first alleged that, “My religion does not allow me to hate anyone.” What Liaqat’s definition of hate is, I do not know. But I know three Ahmadi Muslims whose blood is on Liaqat’s hands. He continued with patronizing rhetoric claiming, “Who am I to say someone else doesn’t have a right to live?” Apparently Liaqat now has amnesia. That is the only logical explanation for how Liaqat could forget his own declaration that Ahmadi Muslims are “worthy of death” for their faith.
And just like the Dark Age era clerics of Europe, Liaqat issued a lose-lose challenge to “find any television host in Pakistan besides him that has invited members of religious minorities on to his program.” What Liaqat avoids mentioning is that he supports Pakistan’s anti-Ahmadi laws, death for blasphemy laws, and death for apostasy laws. Thus, should an Ahmadi Muslim appear on his program and speak about Islam or claim to be a Muslim, that Ahmadi would be imprisoned and killed under Pakistan’s state sanctioned — Liaqat approved — persecution. Should Ahmadi Muslims decline an invitation on to Liaqat’s program, then like the innocent women murdered under witchcraft accusations, it is their own fault for not speaking up.
So here is my challenge to Amir Liaqat. If you are sincere that your religion forbids you from hating anyone, or wishing death upon anyone, and if you are sincere that you want to give Ahmadi Muslims a voice — then prove it with your actions.
Publicly denounce Pakistan’s anti-Ahmadi laws. Publicly denounce Pakistan’s death for blasphemy laws. Publicly denounce Pakistan’s death for apostasy laws. Once you’ve done that, demand freedom for the dozens of religious minorities currently on death row in Pakistan for the alleged crime of blasphemy, and free the thousands imprisoned for the same alleged crime.
If you are honest, have dignity, and have the courage to stand up to extremism, then accept this challenge Amir Liaqat. Otherwise, your words are empty of meaning and full of hypocrisy.
The fact is that Amir Liaqat can’t and won’t accept this challenge for a simple reason — the spirit of European Dark Age clerics lives inside him. And just like them, Liaqat hasn’t a shred of dignity, education or compassion. Indeed, it is reported that Liaqat’s entire educational history — bachelors, masters, and doctorate — are each fraudulent.
Amir Liaqat deems himself the vanguard of humanity and epitome of Prophet Muhammad, but in reality he is a danger to all humanity and like those clerics about whom Prophet Muhammad declared, “in the latter days the Muslim clerics would be the worst creatures under the canopy of heaven.”
Such worst creatures must be dealt with swiftly. GEO TV and PEMRA must act now to remove this barbaric individual from Pakistan’s airwaves before any more innocent persons are murdered in cold blood.
Follow Qasim Rashid on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MuslimIQ