Sunday, September 21, 2014

Playing the loony tunes (non-stop)

....I still remember his analysis....how thoughtful and well-researched it was.....whenever he was on air, I used to tell my parents proudly...that’s my professor on TV....I can’t believe that a scholar like him has been shot dead.....It's like losing a father....
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We are assuming (perhaps wrongly) that since Prof Auj was guest of honour at the Iranian Embassy, he must be a Shia. Ceratinly he can be accused of being a non-conformist.
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Mr. Auj, a recipient of a presidential medal of distinction, was known for his unorthodox views and was fighting a legal case against the originator of a widely circulated text message that called him an apostate.....The professor had issued controversial fatwas (religious decrees) — pronouncing for example that a Muslim woman could marry a non-Muslim man, and that women need not remove lipstick or nail polish before saying their prayers. Such views can cause serious offence to some conservative Muslims in Pakistan....
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This much is true, as Omar has pointed out repeatedly, weapons like the blasphemy law which are shiny and useful will not be put away so easily. It will require a mass movement and a big-hearted man (who can rise above all partisanship).
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A Muslim scholar named Muhammad Shakil Auj who had received death threats over "blasphemy" allegations was shot to death Thursday in Karachi, Pakistan. Auj was the dean of Islamic studies at the University of Karachi, and some of the blasphemy allegations against him reportedly originated with his colleagues. 
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From the New York Times:
Unidentified gunmen on a motorbike attacked the vehicle he was riding in on his way to a reception at his honor at the Iranian Consulate. Dr. Auj was shot in the head and neck and died immediately, officials said. A female student in the back of the car was shot in the arm and was treated at a hospital. A week earlier, a visiting religious scholar at the same Islamic studies department, Maulana Masood Baig, was also shot dead by unknown attackers.
Auj had told police that four colleagues at the University of Karachi had accused him of blasphemy—including one colleague who'd previously held Auj's position as dean. The four were arrested but are free on bail, and they are "being questioned" about Auj's murder, the Times reports. A seminary in Karachi had also called for Auj's death.
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Thursday morning started with very tragic news. One of my beloved teachers who had taught us in university was shot dead for some unknown reason.  

Dr Shakeel Auj was Dean, Faculty of Islamic Studies, University of Karachi since 2012. He completed his PhD in Islamic Studies from University of Karachi in 2000 with a PhD dissertation of “Comparative Study of Eight Selected Urdu Translations of Holy Quran.”

Apart from PhD in Islamic Studies, he also possessed an LL.B and a Master Degree in Journalism. With all his books, research papers, articles and an unending list of prizes and honors, he was an institution of his own.

Dr Shakeel was my lecturer for Islamic Studies during my Bachelors back in 2006. After I graduated, I hardly got a chance to meet him again, and I still regret it. Dr Auj was an unconventional Islamic scholar who used to believe that Islam was an easy religion to practice, and it was the people who had made it difficult.

We used to have detailed, open discussions on various topics in the class, and he was always very inviting to his student’s opinions despite having tons more knowledge and understanding.

I still remember his analysis on the meaning of “Al Rehmaan” and “Al Raheem”, the two names for Allah; how thoughtful and well-researched it was! Doctor sahab also had a strong media appearance and whenever he was on air, I used to tell my parents proudly that that’s my professor on TV.

I can’t believe that a scholar like him has been shot dead in such a horrendous way. It's like losing a father; someone who spent his whole life serving others without a complaint and played a pivotal role in teaching, grooming, mentoring, guiding and making us into better individuals today.
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Link (1): slate.com/karachi_islamic_studies_scholar_killed_for_blasphemy

Link (2): dawn.com/of-guilt-and-goodbye-too-late-to-thank-my-professor

Link (3): thehindu.com/pak-liberal-academic-shot-dead
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regards