Published On: Sun, Mar 15th, 2015 on 2:55 pm

Leeds imam issues statement following deadly blasts in Lahore

EXCLUSIVE: A religious leader from Leeds has condemned a terrorist attack that killed at least 10 people near two churches in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

Pakistan Christian Bomb Attack

A Pakistani woman comforting the injured.

At least 50 people were reportedly hurt in two bomb blasts at the Catholic Church and Christ Church in the city’s Youhanabad area.

An offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban group, which calls itself Jamatul Ahrar, said it carried out the attack.

Violent protests erupted after the blasts, with large crowds already in the area to attend Sunday mass.

“The terrorists are killing people indiscriminately”

Imam Qari Asim

Imam Qari Asim MBE.

Imam of Leeds Makkah Mosque, Qari Asim MBE, condemned the attacks and said the terrorists do not “represent any faith”.

He said: “The terrorists are killing people indiscriminately – their only aim is to cause chaos, devastation and bloodshed. Such violent actions are far removed from the teachings of Islam and the practice of the Prophet of Islam (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him).

“Faith minorities living in Muslim countries must enjoy safety and security unconditionally. Islam has issued severe warnings to those who infringe rights of minorities. The sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) urging Muslims to protect the rights of faith minorities should be enough for people and government in Pakistan to defend the rights of minorities against the terrorists, who do not represent any faith.”

He also said the terrorists must be “brought to justice”.

Irfan Ashraf, Lahore’s deputy inspector-general of police operations, confirmed that a policeman and a private security guard were among the many dead.

He said they gave up their lives to stop the bombers from entering the churches.

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  1. Kal Gandikota says:

    Thank you for reading my letter. World watches instantly via internet what’s going on. News and comments posted via Internet are probably being read by nations across the world. I am one of them. Hence please don’t be frustrated. Imagine you were at a festive gathering and a fight broke out between family members….everyone at the gathering are watching and doesn’t it generate awkward feelings? As a match-stick can set forest trees on fire and char them and those amongst them, tongue has the power to set minds on fire. Hence please be wise, humble, compassionate and impartial in your judgements.

    It’s not possible to understand even our parents or closest kin all the time… But what keeps the bond is love. In love, there is understanding, forgiveness and mutual respect. Also, Love’s got no hate in it. It brings peace and positive ideas. It completely cleans out hatred and only love remains in one’s heart. It’s like the sugar that makes a bitter coffee sweet. I do not wish nobody hates nobody for the problems though we were at the same level as them when we came out of our mother’s wombs (without malice and deceit)….I wish you understand my message of peace, love and hope. I am not affiliated with any religion; however I would say everyone who loves is born of God to make known the father’s presence amongst us. Everyone who loves cherishes life. Everyone who comes to know the value of life is for peace. And where there is peace, there is hope for the living. When there is hope every member of community strives for its prosperity.

    Since Love is the starting point for building hope…how can we trigger love instead of a weapon?
    1. By Authoritarian Regime?
    2. By Protests?
    3. By Education?
    4. By Spreading One’s own “Religion”?
    5. Improving Economy?

    No! Though all of the above help alleviate human suffering, for the last three millenniums the history shows that they failed to generate hope and trust among all responsible individuals of communities, cities and even nations! The only force/education/religion/wealth that kept even the most homogenous societies together is “Agape Love”. [Broadly love is of three types: Philos (family, brothers, sisters, friends), Eros (between lovers; men/women/gay), Agape (of strangers/helpers/givers).]

    Agape Love is being patient, empathetic and compassionate to God’s creation (Animate & inanimate). By Animate, I mean all living creatures and not just human beings! By Inanimate, I mean all non-living like Water, Air, Sun, Earth, stars, universe etc. (However inanimate is also living in God’s view)…When you say you love God, you are expressing your “Agape Love” to him. Exercising “Agape Love” is the toughest exercise. Yes…it’s the toughest exercise any body-builder, sports athlete, Military personnel, Law-enforcement, revolutionaries etc. can do! I challenge everyone in Lahore and you; do you have it in you to exercise “Agape Love”?

    Being patient does not mean ‘apathy’ (lack of interest). By being empathetic does not mean one changes their view and accepts others view like switching TV channels. By being compassionate does not mean, you let someone who blinded your one eye to blind the other one too….That’s why I mean it’s the toughest exercise….Agape love starts with Patience…and members of different parts of community (including Govt officials) may sit together (civic engagement) every day and once in a while to meditate what’s good for themselves, society, humanity and creation as a whole…It need not happen only in Lahore or Islamabad or Meccah or Vatican City or Washington D.C. Or New York City or even in Heaven… It should start in your own small town in a chai dukan, in a sport’s field or cricket maidan, online, or park or just in a plain ground where everyone can hear everyone else…And that’s the true gathering of people in God’s Name!

    Kal Gandikota

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