Popular Islamic cleric Engineer Muhammad Ali Mirza survived an assassination attempt at a religious academy in Jhelum on Monday.
A suspect who allegedly attacked Mirza with a sharp-edged weapon on Sunday afternoon was taken into custody and a case was registered against him.
Previous attack: It may be recalled that there has been another assassination attempt on the religious cleric in October 2017. He was also charged in May 2020 with making “provocative” speeches against religious figures at the time, but was released on bail.
Why is this religious cleric being targeted?: Mirza, 43, who hails from Machine Mohallah of Jhelum city, has regularly been uploading his recorded as well as live videos of lectures and speeches on his social media pages and YouTube channel.
More than 1,600 videos on his own YouTube channel have been viewed millions of times and has more than 1.4 million subscribers.
Muhammad Ali Mirza’s greatest strength is said to be that he does not belong to any religious or political group, so he seems to be free to express his views. He himself says that he does not belong to any sect and that ‘I am a Muslim scholar.’
Engineer Muhammad Ali Mirza on Aurat March: Mirza also talked about the Aurat March last year in which he called the slogans and placards raised in the march objectionable but at the same time, he added in the video that “It’s a bitter reality in our subcontinental society that women are kept as shoes.” He also slammed religious scholars in the video. He also spoke out against the denial of property rights to women in society, beatings and acid attacks.
Despite fierce opposition, he has many followers who agree with him. This can be gauged from the comments below his YouTube videos, in which most people describe him as a unifying person, while some people seem to say that they disagree with him but they have no answer to his arguments.
He has often been called an ‘agent’ of each other by different sects. He has been called an ‘Ahmadi agent’ and sometimes a ‘Shia agent’.