Abdul Rashid Ghazi

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Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi (died on Jul 10, 2007[1]) is an Islamic cleric that has threatened martyrdom operations in Pakistan by Islamic students if the government does not crack down on Islamic vices[1] with the religious police. The crisis came to a head after the Islamic students (Taliban) and clerics would not allow the government to demolish an Islamic school (madrassa) constructed on state land without permission. The school is next to the Red Mosque. His brother Abdul Aziz Ghazi is a more moderate cleric who has surrendered. However, Abdul Rashid Ghazi himself has held out.[2]

Abdul Rashid Ghazi was accused by the government of holding "women and children" hostage.[3] In reality, quite a few of those women were militants who were brandishing bamboo sticks in many photos. Those women had earlier arrested female prostitutes. Furthermore, the children were Islamic fundamentalists, too.[4]

Muslims and Western chauvinists, including those at Reuters, were constantly saying "women and children". However, the women of Jamia Hafsa were highly pro-Islamic and supported Abdul Rashid Ghazi voluntarily.[5]

On July 3, 2007, the stand off with the government appeared to have ended in bloody gun battles in which 16 people were killed and scores wounded.[6] An FIR was later registered against Ghazi brothers with charges ranging from kidnapping, and murder to treason, and terrorism.

To avoid collateral loss, on July 4, 2007, the government offered amnesty to juvenile students if they surrendered. Hundreds of his radical followers reportedly surrendered. His brother Abdul Aziz Ghazi tried to take advantage of the situation by attempting to slip through a tightening siege while wearing a burqa. His unusually taller physique and a relatively fat belly alarmed a policewoman as she searched fleeing students in central Islamabad. He was, consequently, rounded up by law enforcement agencies.

Maulana Abdul-Aziz Ghazi appeared on television for an interview, a day after his arrest, still wearing the burqa.[7]

See Also

  • Islamic Clerics - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Islamic Clerics

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