Salman Taseer says Islam religion of peace, mercy and justice

* Punjab governor says he knew he would be opposed

* Taseer censures those opposing him on Aasia

Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer on Monday said that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, and denounced those who opposed his support to Aasia Bibi, a blasphemy convict.

While addressing the launch ceremony of a book by Indian writer and mystic, Muzaffar Ali, titled “The Sufis of Punjab”, at the Governor’s House, Taseer said peace, mercy and justice were the message of Islam. He questioned the philosophy being promoted by terrorists in the name of Islam. He added that the universities and institutions established under the Abbasids and other Muslim kingdoms were centres for promotion of tolerance.

The governor said it was the Sufis who spread Islam across the globe, not terrorists and suicide bombers, and Muslims remained the most peace loving and tolerant people throughout the history. He said Sufis were the true followers of Islam. Talking about his support to Aasia Bibi, Taseer said he had been warned that hate mongers would oppose him over this but he drew strength from the support of tens of thousands of Pakistanis who, he said, backed him.

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The governor denounced those clerics who had issued fatwas against him after he visited Aasia Bibi in jail. On the occasion, Taseer recited the poetry of Baba Bulleh Shah and Faiz Ahmad Faiz, which, he said, promoted the message of equality and stood against injustice.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, Ali said that mysticism was in the blood of the people of subcontinent and Sufism was the force which could lead the nation forward. He said it was vital that India and Pakistan invested in ideas rather than arms. People of the two countries had tender feelings for each other, he added. Ali said following the principles of mysticism would help build bridges between the two countries and it will change society. He added that it was time to project Islam in its true sense. Ali said we have lost the message of Rumi, Iqbal, Ghalib and Faiz, who were mystics and promoted humanity. He said that it was our obligation to take the message of mysticism to the young generation.

A large number of people from different walks of life attended the book launch ceremony. Prominent among the attendees were US Consul General Carmella Conroy, Punjab University Vice Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran, Aitchison College Principal Fakir Aijazud Din, Nayer Ali Dada, Yousaf Salahuddin, former PCB chairman Shaheryar Khan, Aamna Taseer, popular singer Abrarul Haq, actors and directors Mustafa Qureshi, Sangeeta, Resham.
Source: Daily Times

Governor Salman Taseer talks boldly about need for a change in
blasphemy laws in Pakistan
and performance of Punjab



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