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Pakistan paper says Islamist party sending religious text messages

BBC Monitoring

Text of report by Hina Farooq headlined "People say JI selling 'tickets to heaven'" published by Pakistani newspaper Daily Times website on 8 December

Lahore: The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has introduced a new way of getting into paradise, several people who had received text messages on their cell phones urging them to "fight against" the emergency rule told Daily Times on Friday [7 December] "Let us fight against the imposition of emergency [rule] and if you want to go to heaven," read one message. A "nation can endure poverty but cannot survive without rule of law," another text message read, "Stop war on terror. It's a war of America being fought in Pakistani tribal areas [in which] innocent people are being killed in Swat and Waziristan. Please forward." All messages read that they were issued from the JI Women's Wing. Most of the recipients believed the text messages were exploitation in the name of Islam. JI central secretary information Ameerul Azeem said these could be some individuals, but not the JI. He said the JI could not defend these messages because no one had right to issue a ticket to heaven. "Only Allah ca! n decide who will go in heaven, based on the character and intentions of a person." Okasha Wajih, one of the Beaconhouse National University (BNU) students who received such messages, said: "I do not believe in this way of propagation of religion. They cannot motivate people by using the name of religion."

Source: Daily Times website, Lahore, in English 08 Dec 07


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