Balochistan teacher murdered for allegedly insulting Islam

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Abdul Rauf (Photo: News Intervention)

The harrowing story of Abdul Rauf, a Baloch teacher, has brought to the forefront concerns of religious manipulation in Balochistan. Abdul Rauf, the son of Barkat from the Zagri community, had recently undertaken the Law Admission Test, aspiring for a bright future. However, his aspirations were abruptly shattered when he became embroiled in a nightmare of false accusations which led to his tragic killing.

Police said Abdul Rauf, 22, an English teacher, was shor dead near a graveyard in the Malikabad area on Saturday when he, accompanied by some people, was going to attend a jirga of ulema to explain his position on the matter.Sources said students of the language centre had lodged complaints with local clerics, accusing Mr Rauf of committing blasphemy during a lecture. The allegations have led him to death and his family in distress, as they grapple with the life-altering ramifications of these baseless claims. 

Significantly, the incident is symbolic to a larger trend that has sparked apprehensions among Balochistan’s residents. The Baloch Solidarity Committee (BYC) has stepped forward to address these concerns. According to the committee’s spokesperson, such instances of false accusations and religious manipulation have cast a shadow of fear and uncertainty over the community.

Abul Rauf’s case highlights misuse of religion to create a rift

The spokesperson emphasised that religion has often been misused for personal interests within Pakistan. But now it has contributed to rise in religious extremism. Talking about Mufti Shah Mir Thaki, who also accused Abdul of blasphemy, BYC stated that he has started a series of blackmailing the teachers as well as the students of private schools in the name of religion. He demands money from the management and teachers along with employment of two religious clerics. Echoing past examples, the spokesperson underscored that the manipulation of faith for individual gains is not a new phenomenon. However, the recent events involving Abdul Rauf and Mufti Shah Mir Thaki reveal a disturbing pattern that calls for attention and action.

BYC stated that it is deeply alarmed by the fake allegations against Abdul Rauf and the potential dangers posed by such acts of religious manipulation. The committee voiced fears that when conventional methods of control fail, certain elements resort to exploiting religion to serve their own purposes. This poses a grave threat not only to individuals like Abdul Rauf but also to the broader unity and harmony of the Balochistan community.

Demand for strict action

In response to these concerns, the BSC urged authorities to take swift action against those who exploit religion for personal gain. Furthermore, the committee called for a thorough examination of strategies to ensure that religion is not weaponised as a tool of manipulation. The spokesperson emphasised that the Balochistan community’s unity and well-being are of paramount importance, and that peaceful protests remain a constitutional right if such tactics persist.

Certainly, the case of Abdul Rauf and the subsequent response by the Baloch Solidarity Committee underline the religious persecution and exploitation of religion thereof. The radical Islamists along with Pakistan are indulged in the anti-Baloch practices that solely look forward to break the unity of Baloch community by misusing the concept of religion.

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