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Monday, 21 December 2009
Pakistani mosques to be locked

From Daily Times in Pakistan:

Mosques to be locked after Isha prayers

ISLAMABAD: Clerics from various sects agreed on Sunday that mosques across the country would be locked after Isha prayers in order to curb terrorists from taking refuge in mosques.

The decision was announced in a press statement issued after Interior Minister Rehman Malik met the clerics.

The clerics praised the interior minister’s efforts to combat terrorism and assured him of their full cooperation in the government’s anti-terror drive. The clerics criticised elements that are involved in terrorism and suicide bombings.

“The clerics appreciated the efforts of the government to ensure security and safety of the citizens. They unanimously agreed that ... all mosques would be locked after Isha prayers so that the premises cannot be used as a refuge by any miscreant,” the statement said.

The measure would be enforced by the heads of various sects without the involvement of the government,” the statement added.

The interior minister appealed to the religious leaders to promote peace and harmony during Muharram.

The clerics agreed to promote harmony in the society.

Pakistani Muslim clerics agree that locking mosques promotes harmony in society.


Posted on 12/21/2009 2:59 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
21 Dec 2009
Hugh Fitzgerald

In Turkey, at least before Erdogan, and in Tunisia, the mosques are closely monitored, and sermons must be submitted to the government for approval. There may be taping -- I'm not sure of this -- either open, or covert, of what goes on during Friday Prayers. This is done because Muslims know perfectly well that mosques are centers of political agitation; it is only non-Muslims who, fearing to offend Muslims, believe or, still worse, pretend to believe, otherwise.

In this case, it sounds as if what is worried about is, during Muharram, agitation in Sunni mosques against Shi'a Pakistanis. But it may be a more general worry, a worry about agitation against the government, for seeming to collaborate with Infidels, however begrudging and meretricious that seeming collaboration may be.