Muslim scholar opposed to suicide bombing killed by a suicide bomber
Posted by Mats on 12/06/2009
Another indication of the difficulty of Islamic reform. “Bomb kills senior Pakistan cleric,” from the BBC, June 12 (thanks to Alan of England):
A leading anti-Taliban cleric has been killed in a suspected suicide bomb attack at his Islamic religious school in the Pakistani city of Lahore.The explosion struck the Jaamia Naeemia madrassa around the time of Friday prayers, killing Sarfraz Naeemi, who often spoke out against militants.
Another blast hit a mosque close to a military depot in the north-western garrison town of Nowshera.
At least six people were reported dead in the simultaneous suicide attacks.
The attacks come as Pakistan’s army is broadening its offensive against the Taliban in north-western areas following gains made in the Swat valley area.
In Lahore, the senior cleric at the Jaamia Naeemia madrassa, Sarfraz Naeemi, was greeting visitors in his office after Friday prayers when the suicide bomber managed to get inside and detonate explosives….
Sarfraz Naeemi was outspoken when it came to the Taliban, calling them “a stigma on Islam” in a recent interview with the Times of London.
He was at the helm of a newly-formed council of 22 Islamic groups opposed to the Taliban….
The Jamia Naeemia, which Sarfraz Naeemi ran, is one of the largest madrassas in the Pakistan and is seen as highly progressive.
The madrassa embraces modern technology and even has a fully-fledged computer lab.
Images emerged from the scene of significant damage to the office where the explosives were detonated.
Sarfraz Naeemi was also shown on a stretcher, his clothes and beard spattered with masonry dust.
A leading Sunni Muslim scholar opposed to the Taliban, Mr Naeemi was known for his outspoken views against suicide bombings and militancy.
He was one of the few scholars who had openly supported the ongoing military operation in Swat and had labelled the activities of the Taliban “un-Islamic”….