Urdu-language columnist attacked after alleged anti-Islam articles

APRIL 19, 2007
Posted April 27, 2007

Jawaad Faizi, Pakistan Post


After receiving anonymous threats, Faizi, a columnist for the New York-based Urdu-language biweekly Pakistan Post, was attacked by unidentified individuals in Toronto, according to the Canadian press and CPJ interviews.

At 8:45 p.m., as Faizi was driving up to a colleague’s home, at least two unidentified men attacked his car with cricket bats and smashed his windshield, according to local press reports. Faizi told local reporters that his attackers screamed at him in Urdu and Punjabi to stop writing about the Muslim group, Idara Minhaj-ul-Quran. Muhammed Faruki, New York editor of Pakistan Post told CPJ that Faizi was cut on the arms, shoulders, and face.

Faruki told CPJ that Faizi had received repeated telephone threats prior to the attack. According to press reports, unidentified individuals warned the columnist to stop writing about Idara Minhaj-ul-Quran and its leader, the Pakistani cleric, Allama Tahir-Ul-Qadri, who often visits Canada. Faizi said the calls began in January when he first published an article criticizing Tahir-Ul-Qadri. According to the daily The Toronto Star, Faizi published a second column on Tahir-Ul-Qadri two weeks prior to the attack.

Faizi and Amir Arain, Ontario editor of Pakistan Post, presented complaints for the threats and attack to local authorities, said the Canadian press. Faruki said Canadian authorities are investigating the incident.