An Imam in Peshawar, Pakistan hosted a parade on Tuesday to honor the two Al Qaeda-linked brothers who were responsible for carrying out the jihadi retribution killings of twelve at the offices of Charlie Hebdo.
Pakistani cleric Maulana Pir Mohammad Chishti and about sixty others prayed in honor of brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, who murdered twelve individuals on January 7th, AFP reports. “These two brothers have paid the debt of all Muslims in the world and we present them our salute and respect,” said the Imam.
While referring to the Kouachi brothers as “martyrs,” the Pakistani Muslim extremists chanted, “Death to Hebdo publications,” and, “Long live Cherif Kouachi, long live Said Kouachi,” while holding up posters of the two brothers.
A professor of Islamic Studies at Pakistan’s Punjab University said he felt it was his duty as a Muslim to pay tribute to the brothers. “If freedom of expression stops at the mention of the Holocaust, then it should also stop at the honour of our prophet,” said professor Aurangzeb Alhafi to AFP.
Last week, Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam told Pakistan’s Dawn news that while the country condemns the Charlie Hebdo attack, Pakistan still believes that criticizing Muhammad is a blasphemous offense. “She added that Pakistan in the past has moved a resolution in the United Nations and the world needs to get out of Islamophobia,” Dawn news reported.
The Pakistan Foreign Office spokeswoman added, “We are confident that the international community will persist in standing firm against terrorism and that the culprits behind terrorist activities will be brought to justice.”
A recent Pew poll found that eighty-four percent of Pakistanis support making Sharia the official law of the land. Under the current blasphemy laws in Pakistan, criticism of Muhammad is forbidden and punishable by death.