THE EXECUTION of Saddam Hussein evoked strong criticism from Muslim organisations and the leftists in the State capital on Saturday. Half-a-dozen demonstrations were held and effigies of United States of America (USA) President George Bush were set afire.
The Shahar Qazi Abdul Latif Khan termed the hanging as extremely disgusting and said that the Muslims have been pained at the execution, which was carried out ahead of Eid-uz-Zuha.
“It is painful for us and even if they had to hang Saddam, they could have done that early but coinciding it with Eid-uz-Zuha, it was extremely unfortunate”. Shahar Qazi urged Muslims to exercise restraint. “These are testing times and I exhort the youth to restrain their feelings”.
As the news channels flashed the news in the morning, people in several areas of the Walled City came out on the streets. There were spontaneous protests and slogans raised against US President George Bush. In eateries and at tea/paan kiosks, the execution was the only discussion throughout the day and people gave vent to their feelings.
The police were maintaining vigil in sensitive areas from the morning and the Rapid Action Force (RAF) was deployed in the old quarters of the City. The police were on the alert across the State.
At Iqbal Maidan, several Muslim organisations held a demonstration. The activists of Jamiat-e-Ulama, Muslim Sangh, Arif Masood Fans’ Club, Muslim Tehwar Committee and other organisations set afire the effigy of Bush. Hundreds of protestors termed the killing as barbaric. Former Minorities’ Commission Chairman Ibrahim Qureshi and SP MLA Narayan Tripathi were present.
Some outfits are planning a major demonstration on Sunday. The Jamiat-e-Ulama dubbed the hanging as barbaric and questioned who is responsible for the death of lakhs of people in Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq over the years.
“Has the United Nations turn blind?” asked its spokesperson Noorullah Yusuf Zai. “America feels that it can frighten Muslims but just the opposite is going to happen”, added Zai.