South Asia
Punjab Assembly in Pakistan passes bill protecting 'Islam', triggers row

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 28 Jul 2020

Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Islamabad: Several sections of the Pakistani society have criticised the passage of the Punjab Tahaffuz-i-Bunyad-i-Islam (protecting the foundation of Islam) Bill 2020 by the Punjab Assembly.

They have warned the move might fan extremism.

Country's Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry in a tweet stated as quoted by Dawn News: “An environment has been created in the Parliament, particularly in the Punjab Assembly, where every [other] member comes up with a motion on a daily basis warning that Islam will be in danger if it is not passed. This is a dangerous trend and it will plunge us deep into sectarianism and religious extremism.” 

In a statement, National Party’s Punjab president Ayub Malik said as quoted by Dawn News the new law would fan sectarianism besides stoking hatred against minorities in the largest and most populous province of the country that had a history of religious hatred against the marginalised sections of society. 

“Now with this new law, the concept of Jinnah’s Pakistan has been pushed towards the verge of complete destruction, paving the way for more hatred against minorities and other sections of society,” he added.

Chief of Tehreek Nifaz Fiqh Jafaria Agha Syed Hamid Ali Shah Moosavi in a statement even criticised the bill and termed it as contrary to Quran and Sunnah.

The Women Democratic Front (WDF), a civil society organisation working for women’s rights, also expressed deep concerns over, what it called, “the blatant attempt at increased state censorship through the Tahaffuz-i-Bunyad-i-Islam Bill”, reports Dawn News.

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