And his audience in Pakistan almost certainly believed him. “Religious parties announce strike on Dec 31,” from the Express Tribune, December 28 (thanks to Block Ness):
KARACHI: Religio-political parties including Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Jamait Ulema-i-Pakistan (JUP), Jamiat Ahle-Hadith, Tanzeem-i-Islami, Tahreek-i-Islami have announced a complete shutter-down strike across Pakistan on December 31, 2010.
JI’s deputy chief, Professor Abdul Ghafoor Ahmed, said on Tuesday that the strike will be held to protest against the “conspiracies” of present rulers to repeal the blasphemy law. Ghafoor said that he regretted that “anti-Islam elements and their local agents” were out to repeal the blasphemy laws in Pakistan to achieve their “malicious goals” against Muslims.
He said that the blasphemy laws had been drafted by clerics from all schools of thought and passed by the National Assembly unanimously.
Ghafoor said that sentences for blasphemy against Jesus Christ are incorporated in the laws of western states, including the United States and the United Kingdom among other countries. He said that no religion in the world allows blasphemy against messengers of God.
The JI deputy chief further said that the JI “pities that some so-called non-governmental organizations (NGOs) of human rights were supporting blasphemy and blasphemers”. He called on the trader’s community and transporters to take active part in the strike.
In addition to the strike, the religio-political parties will hold a mass congregation in Nishtar Park in Karachi on January 9, 2011.