Pakistani cleric who runs Islamic school for girls names its new library after Osama bin Laden

Published: April 18, 2014

By Munir Ahmed

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A controversial Pakistani cleric who runs an Islamic seminary for girls in the capital of Islamabad has named the school’s newly built library in honour of Osama bin Laden, his spokesman and a school administrator said Friday.

The tribute is an unusual first, though there have been cases in recent years of Pakistanis naming their sons — or even their stores and places of business — after the terror network’s slain leader.

Bin Laden was killed in a May 2011 raid by U.S. Navy SEALs in his hiding place in Abbottabad, a garrison town about 125 kilometres (75 miles) north of Islamabad. The unilateral raid at the time angered the Pakistani government, which said the United States had violated the country’s sovereignty.

In the immediate aftermath of bin Laden’s death, Islamists held small rallies across Pakistan to denounce the killing. The slain al-Qaida chief is still regarded as a hero by most students at Islamic schools, or madrassas.

The madrassas are an important aspect of education in the predominantly Muslim Pakistan, and tens of thousands of students study there. Most of the religious schools provide free food, tuition and even board for students who come from other parts of the country.

For cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz, bin Laden was also a hero and a “martyr” for Islam and he wanted to pay a proper tribute by naming the school’s library after the al-Qaida chief, the cleric’s spokesman Tehsin Ullah told The Associated Press.

Aziz has long been considered a hard-line and controversial cleric. He is also a prayer leader at the Pakistani capital’s Red Mosque — a former militant hideout that the army raided in 2007. The raid killed dozens of extremists and others and unleashed a wave of retaliatory militant attacks across Pakistan.

The mosque runs two schools, one for boys and one for girls. The girls’ school, called Jamia Hafsa, has an all-female staff and about 1,500 students. As a madrassa, it is moderate in size and considered somewhat prestigious.

The newly constructed, one-room library is located inside the school compound, next to a computer room and Aziz’s office. A paper sign posted on the library’s wooden door reads, in Arabic, “Maktaba Osama bin Laden Shaheed” — or, Library Osama bin Laden, the Martyr.

“Aziz thinks that Osama bin Laden is a hero and he is a martyr and that is why he selected Osama bin Laden’s name for the library,” said Ullah, the spokesman.

Abdul Rehman, the school administrator, said the library was built two months ago and was named after bin Laden over a month ago — something that raised little attention until media picked it up.

There were no visible books or portraits of bin Laden inside the library, and Rehman stressed it can only carry books about the teachings of Islam. He refused to discuss bin Laden or the U.S. commando raid that killed the al-Qaida chief.

However, students from both the boys and the girls’ madrassa run by Aziz have participated in anti-U.S. protests in recent years, and the cleric himself is also known for his anti-American stance.

AP reporters visiting the girls’ madrassa Friday were not allowed to talk to any of the students or the staff. Rehman said Islam doesn’t allow men who are not family members to interact with female students or teachers.

08:45ET 18-04-14

[+]

Tags: , , ,



Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.

Featured

DEPORTED-PAKISTAN

Tearful farewell as woman who faces death for adultery charges in Pakistan deported from Saskatoon

EVAN RADFORD THE STARPHOENIX As Jamila Bibi embraced her ally and friend Sahana Yeasmin, she was whisked away at the Saskatoon airport by two Canadian…
Continue Reading »

Simian death-monkey god

Monkey gets Hindu cremation by Indian villagers to avoid misfortune

VANCOUVER DESI In a bizarre sequence of events, almost 200 youths shaved off their heads to ward off ‘ill omen’ brought on by the death…
Continue Reading »

desi gangster murder

Suspect in gangster Sandip Dhure shooting claims Charter rights violated when police seized firearms from apartments

KEITH FRASER, VANCOUVER DESI A Vancouver man who was a suspect in a high-profile gang-related shooting, and his co-accused, are claiming their rights were violated…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Saskatoon woman, 65, deported to Pakistan after appeal to Federal Court rejected

THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — A 65-year-old woman working as a cook in Saskatoon has been deported to her native Pakistan, where her lawyer says…
Continue Reading »

DEPORTED-PAKISTAN

Tearful farewell as woman who faces death for adultery charges in Pakistan deported from Saskatoon

EVAN RADFORD THE STARPHOENIX As Jamila Bibi embraced her ally and friend Sahana Yeasmin, she was whisked away at the Saskatoon airport by two Canadian…
Continue Reading »

desi gangster murder

Suspect in gangster Sandip Dhure shooting claims Charter rights violated when police seized firearms from apartments

KEITH FRASER, VANCOUVER DESI A Vancouver man who was a suspect in a high-profile gang-related shooting, and his co-accused, are claiming their rights were violated…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Scroll Invitation

Wedding invitations – the Do’s

KIM TREHAN VANCOUVER DESI You are cordially invited…. We request the honor of your presence… Please join us… It is so difficult to decide on…
Continue Reading »

INDIA_ACID_ATTACKS_PHOTO_GALLERY_217739018

Acid-attacked teen, Laxmi, chosen to model for New Delhi’s India Runway Week

IANS New Delhi  – One of India’s young acid attack victims has been chosen to walk the runway at the third edition of India Runway…
Continue Reading »

CEN_MonkeyGod_01.jpg

ID card obtained in the name of India’s monkey god exposes corrupt system

CEN AGENCY An Indian computer programmer has managed to get an official identity card in the name of India’s monkey god after bribing corrupt officials….
Continue Reading »

girl child

Upset over having two daughters and no son, man bobbitises himself

IANS Patna – A man in Bihar has bobbitised himself, sniping off his penis with a sharp knife in a fit of rage after a…
Continue Reading »

heptathlete India

Indian athlete with six toes on each foot attempts to overcome deformity to medal at Asian Games

C. RAJSHEKHAR RAO THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI – Merely wearing shoes is painful for Swapna Barman. She was born with six toes on each…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

hot photos desi actress bollywood sex

Deepika Padukone: I have breasts, you got a problem?

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone has caused a social media storm over her ‘cleavage show’ story in a leading Indian news outlet. Padukone slammed…
Continue Reading »

Dr Cabbie

Canadian actor Vinay Virmani’s Dr. Cabbie continues his examination of South Asian immigrant experience

ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI Toronto-born actor and writer Vinay Virmani is excited about his latest film, Dr. Cabbie, set to release in Canada on September…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood actress

Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty says ‘I am a big solitaire fan’

IANS New Delhi – Bollywood actress-producer and entrepreneur Shilpa Shetty says she can’t step out without a piece of jewellery or accessory, especially a solitaire….
Continue Reading »