Thousands protest bloody mosque raid, call it 'state terrorism'

Thousands of Muslims protested Friday against an army raid on Pakistan's Red Mosque, with some calling for the "destruction" of President Pervez Musharraf.

Thousands protest bloody mosque raid, call it 'state terrorism'

Thousands of Muslims protested Friday against an army raid on Pakistan's Red Mosque, with some calling for the "destruction" of President Pervez Musharraf.

Mass protests called by groups were scheduled for later in the afternoon in Peshawar.



Some 1,200 religious students and activists also held protests in the northwestern town of Mansehra while hundreds gathered in other towns, witnesses said.

Another 20,000 men, women and children offered prayers for the victims at a mosque in Lahore run by a Islamist group.



"This was genocide, hundreds of innocent women and children died," said cleric Mohammad Saeed, the head of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa organisation, which is the political wing of the Kashmiri group Laskhar-e-Taiba.

"This is a challenge for all Muslims and Pakistanis," Saeed told the weekly prayer congregation.

Saeed said the government casualty figures were fake.

"It is state terrorism, it is extreme brutality and those who killed the innocent will have a horrible fate," Saeed said.



The mullah also criticised military ruler Musharraf, a key US ally, for trying to turn Pakistan into a secular nation.

Protesters paraded an effigy of US icon 'Uncle Sam' and waved banners threatening revenge against Musharraf and US President George W. Bush.

Maulana Yousaf Qureshi, prayer leader at the city's historic Mahabat Khan mosque, asked the congregation to raise their hands if they would follow the path of Ghazi, who was killed in the raid on Tuesday.

They did so and chanted "Allahu Akbar!," "Long live Islam" and "Destroy Musharraf."

"Ghazi did nothing wrong, he tried to stop immoral activities as naked women were massaging men," Qureshi said.

Last month the Red Mosque's students kidnapped seven Chinese nationals from an acupuncture clinic in Islamabad that they accused of links to prostitution.

The incident sparked the standoff that in turn led to the mosque assault.

"Musharraf is the worst dictator any Muslim country has ever seen," Qureshi said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Temmuz 2007, 16:55
YORUM EKLE