January 15, 2015 (FPRC) -- D.C. Area Residents Join Worldwide Protests by Pakistanis against terrorism and extremism on January 16, 2015
Vigil to honor children and teachers killed in the school attack in Peshawar, and support movement to fight extremism What: Global Vigil to condemn terrorism in Pakistan
Where: 6:00pm, DuPont Circle Fountain, Washington D.C. (and other locations around the world)
When: 6:00 - 7:00 PM EST, January 16, 2014
Militant attacks in the name of religion in Pakistan have killed over 50,000 civilians and over 10,000 armed forces personnel, including soldiers, over the last 10 years. The vigil is a part of global protests on January 16, 2015 to support a growing movement in Pakistan against terrorism, all extremist ideologies and hate speech.
Raza Rumi, Pakistani analyst & Senior Fellow, United States Institute for Peace
Syed Javed Qamar, President of the Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs (OPEN), US
Zaineb Majoka, Vigil Co-organizer
Talha Ali Imam of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community DC
Militant attacks in the name of religion in Pakistan have killed over 50,000 civilians and over 10,000 armed forces personnel, including soldiers, over the last ten years. The global vigils support a growing movement in Pakistan against terrorism, all extremist ideologies and hate speech.
Marking a month since the barbaric attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar that killed 150 students and teachers, demonstrations will be held in Pakistan and across the world on January 16, 2014 to protest terrorism. The vigil by Washington, D.C. area residents will be a part of these demonstrations.
Vigils have also been planned in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, New York, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, Toronto, and London, among others.
The global vigils grew out of the Reclaim Your Mosques movement that in turn became the “Arrest Abdul Aziz” movement, focusing on a radical Pakistani cleric in Islamabad who has a record of inciting violence, condoning suicide attacks, and openly collaborating with the Taliban. Activists in the movement, led by Pakistani lawyer M. Jibran Nasir, have led a slew of demonstrations against extremism since the Peshawar attack despite facing violent threats by the mosque’s leaders. Their demonstrations have a larger goal of urging the Pakistani Government to do more to control hate speech and extremist ideologies that were instrumental in the attacks in Peshawar as well as other parts of Pakistan.
The demonstrators’ charter of demands includes the following calls:
- Pakistan’s government must involve all communities in developing a sustained move to counter terrorism and extremism and adopt a policy of zero tolerance towards hate speech or violence, and protect those being attacked in the name of religion, including polio health workers.
- Pakistani police must arrest radical cleric Abdul Aziz of Islamabad’s notorious Red Mosque in accordance with a police report filed on December 27, 2014. The mosque is a training camp for extremists, and along with its aligned seminary Jamia Hafsa has openly declared an alliance with Daish/ISIL and the Taliban.
- The government must end misuse of the “blasphemy law,” initiate a crackdown on all clerics and militant groups who spread Takfir (declaring others as non-Muslim and subject to persecution), and regulate religious seminaries in the country. - Thousands of “ghost schools” of Pakistan that exist only on paper must be put into operation, along with the implementation of Article 25-A of the Constitution of Pakistan (The right to education) in letter and spirit (as a long-term solution to growing extremism).
To schedule an interview, please contact:
Madiha Waris Qureshi, firstname.lastname@example.org or +1-202-374-0834.
The movement can be followed on social media on these hashtags: #PakistanisAgainstTerrorism, #NotInMyName, #ArrestAbdulAziz, #NoToHateSpeech, and #NoToTakfir.