Pakistan: Radical Islamic Cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi Dead

Pakistan: Radical Islamic Cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi DeadImage Courtesy: National Courier

Radical Islamic cleric Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi has died in Lahore at the age of 54, Dawn reported.

The 54-year-old wheelchair bound Barelvi preacher was in the forefront of recent mass protests in Pakistan against the publication of caricatures of the Mohammed (who the Muslims consider their Holy prophet) by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. TLP also called for a boycott of French products, and the expulsion of the French ambassador from Islamabad.

Hundreds of protestors belonging to TLP laid partial siege to the Islamabad demanding that the government expel the French ambassador. Riot police had to resort to teargas shelling against the stone-pelting TLP protesters who successfully reached the Faizabad interchange connecting Rawalpindi and Islamabad, where they launched their sit-in.

Khadim Rizvi was a staunch follower of Islamic theologian Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi, the 19th-century founder of the Barelvi sect.

Mumtaz Qadri, the police officer who assassinated the former Punjab governor Salman Taseer, was a follower of Khadim Rizvi.

Khadim Rizvi justified the dastardly act of assassination claiming that Taseer had termed the blasphemy law as a “black law.” Taseer had expressed support to Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who had been jailed for alleged blasphemy.

In 2016, Khadim Rizvi organised large-scale protests demanding that Asia Bibi be hanged.

in 2017, Khadim Rizvi organised several rallies demanding the release of Mumtaz Qadri and in support of for Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, which deals with acts of alleged blasphemy committed against Mohammed. He also organised protests after the government hanged the convicted Mumtaz Qadri.

In 2018, Khadim Rizvi staged a 21-day long sit-in at Faizabad Interchange against controversial amendments in the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat Clauses in Election Act.