AT least nine people, including five policemen, were injured after violent protests erupted in different areas of Srinagar, India, when news spread through the city that the “sacred” Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem had been printed on underwear.
The structure on the garment turned out to be an historic cathedral in Italy.
Police said they have identified the culprits who spread the rumours, leading to widespread law and order problem in the city. The trouble started in Nowhatta market after some people spotted a brown-coloured sketch of a building covered by a huge dome on Underwear.
Some people mistook the structure as that of the mosque. Soon the residents in Nowhatta and adjoining localities of the old city started gathering and protesting against the “blasphemous underwear”.
Pramfuls of protesters, according to this report, began rallying on the streets of old city – then used the opportunity to raise anti-Israel slogans.
Wailed one protester
This sketch is sacrilegious. We can’t tolerate such acts.
Then all hell broke loose when the protesters began rioting and throwing stones. Police men responded with canes and smoke canisters. Three people were injured as the clashes soon spread to other areas.
Srinagar police official, Javed Reyaz Bedar said:
There was no blasphemy. The underwear bored imprints of some building. The law and order problem was handiwork of rumour mongers. We have identified them.
According to a press statement issued by police in the evening:
The underwear garment in question was produced and examined. It was found that it carries sketches of various buildings on it which resemble places like Big Ben in London, St Paul’s Cathedral and other places.
No sketch has any likeness to any Muslim religious place or building. The attempt to create tension in the society is a deliberate move to disturb the situation by indulging in blasphemous rumors. The general public is advised to remain calm and caution against such elements.
Update: On June 12, 2017 – more than seven years after this item was published – the Freethinker received notification from an outfit based in Birmingham, England, ordering us to remove it as it was “blasphemous”. Treequlhaq said in an email:
Remove this Content From Your Website Because, This URL contains blasphemous Textual, Link and Porn cartoon against Holy Prophet Muhammad (May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon Him) and Islam.
The email was accompanied by this screenshot:
“Treacle Hack”, which was apparently set up to sniff out “blasphemous” content on the Internet, received the following response from me:
Thank you for drawing my attention to that link. Rather than remove it, I have merely updated it with a better headline and intro photo. As we neither recognise the concept of blasphemy nor the sacredness of mythical prophets or gods, we will not remove any posts that you regard as ‘blasphemous’.
Please do not bother us again with your ridiculous demands.