Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pressure, Persecution, and the Abuse of Power

The Innocent Prophet

Imran Firasat is a Pakistani ex-Muslim who collaborated with Terry Jones on the movie The Innocent Prophet (watch it here). The Spanish government recently revoked his status as a political refugee in Spain, and he is due to be deported to Pakistan, where he will face the death penalty for blasphemy. There is currently a push to persuade the Canadian government to grant him and his family political asylum.

Mr. Firasat was interviewed recently on Alerta Digital TV. The video below shows the second part of the interview; the first part is available here.

Many thanks to our Spanish correspondent Hermes for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:


01:29 Well, we were talking about your arrival in Spain
01:32 with your wife, and you begin to study the Koran
01:36 in a minute and detailed way… - Yes, in order to make everybody know
01:43 what is the Koran, what is Islam, but
01:49 not to outrage anybody. I understand that in Pakistan, In India, In Bangladesh, in Sri-Lanka,
01:55 in these countries Arabic is not the mother tongue, but it is used while praying,
02:01 we read the Koran in Arabic, we prayed to Allah in Arabic,
02:04 so we had no direct relation with Allah,
02:07 we did not know who Allah is, all we had to do is to repeat the suras in Arabic
02:13 as they taught us, so, with the purpose to show the truth, what the Koran tells,
02:19 I tried to learn, and I found lots of things I did not know before,
02:25 Something important: What does the Koran say that we do not know? Well, there are thousands of
02:31 verses, I cannot cite them all, but the Koran says clearly, and I have no intention to upset
02:37 anybody, I tell the reality, and you yourselves can see it by reading the Koran,
02:43 the Koran says clearly: ‘kill them wherever you find them. - Kill the infidel,
02:49 - The infidel, those who are not Muslims. And regarding the discrimination of women,
02:55 hit them if they do not obey you, so the Koran teaches men that
03:01 they are allowed to hit women, and this happened when some months ago an Imam was
03:07 teaching Muslims in Catalonia… - The imam of Mataró. - Yes, the thing is that
03:13 all they do is written in the Koran. They don’t do it
03:16 by themselves, but because the Koran says it.
03:19 The Koran says clearly not to make friends with infidels. They must be persecuted and tortured
03:25 until they convert to Islam. Jihad must be practiced till the entire world is ruled by Allah…
03:30 Wait a moment, this is important: you got refugee status
03:34 in Spain because of your fight against
03:37 Islam. - Yes. - Because the Spanish Government had knowledge that you were in danger, and
03:42 you were granted the status. - Yes, no doubt.
03:45 The day I applied for the refugee status, the officer
03:49 asked me: ‘Are you writing a book about Islam called Islam: Religion or Punishment’?
03:55 I answered yes, and they told me to give them articles about me
04:01 from the press, videos of TV interviews in which I appear talking about Islam.
04:07 They had 100% knowledge about my activities regarding Islam, and they told me that
04:13 it was my freedom of speech. - In what year was this?
04:16 - 2006, with Zapatero (Socialist) in power.
04:19 Yes, with Zapatero in power, and they didn’t tell me
04:22 that here one cannot criticise Islam, or that
04:25 my activities can spark danger coming from Islam, so I assure you, and I can prove it, that
04:31 I was granted political refugee status because of talking about Islam.
04:37 - And what changed between then and now, Imran, that they wants t
04:43 take it away from you? - Change of government. - So the PP (Right wing) is worse?
04:49 It is the same. Well, you know why they want to revoke my status, but
04:55 the only I want to say is that in the repeal of my refugee status decision,
05:01 it appears nowhere that I might have committed any crime or violation of Spanish law.
05:07 There’s nothing about it, for I did not breach any law,
05:10 I haven’t - will never have any criminal record.
05:13 So, all they say in this resolution is that my activities
05:19 about Islam provoke Muslims and offend their religious feelings,
05:25 and they could commit violence, but hey, if they commit unjustified
05:31 violence, so why do we have to fear them? Why can’t we tell them that what they do is illegal?
05:37 But no, instead of halting them, they halt me if I speak (out).
05:43 - Like criminalizing the old lady who carries her bag,
05:46 in this way tempting the thief to steal it. - Yes.
05:49 So now we’ll try to talk with your lawyer, so that he can explain us your situation
05:55 Let us connect with Claudio Lobo Villanueva, Imran Firasat’s lawyer,
06:01 We’ll talk about the support you received. Is Alerta Digital mentioned somewhere by some
06:07 of the Spanish authorities? Yes, the police asked me about my links with
06:13 Alerta Digital, that so much is talked there about you? So I told them that apart from…
06:19 - The police of Madrid? - Right. Apart from
06:22 the fact that we are friends, they speak the truth,
06:25 they talk about thing nobody dare to, about controversial issues,
06:31 that is why Alerta Digital talks about my case, not because they are my friends, but
06:37 because we have a mutual respect, I have
06:40 great respect for AD, and I am grateful that they talk
06:43 about those issues which no other media want to discuss, that’s what I told the police.
06:49 - Excuse me, your wife is in Indonesia? - Yes, she is in Indonesia.
06:55 - She is not allowed to enter the country? - In spite of having the right to get all papers
07:01 in order to return to Spain, because my kids were born in Spain, my family has refugee status,
07:07 but they are not given the papers due to pressure
07:10 from the Islamic state. - Due to pressure from
07:13 the Islamic state of Indonesia? - Yes, I have been
07:16 requesting the papers for them for more than two years,
07:19 in spite of being in danger. But I am not given any reason, nor right to appeal.
07:25 It is very complicated. But I have no more hope that they will be allowed to come
07:31 - Do you have more family in Europe? - I have a sister in the UK.
07:37 She refuses to stay in contact with me because she says that I am an infidel,
07:43 for Muslims, contacts come after religion. First comes Islam,
07:46 and only after that come brothers, parents.
07:49 So I spent the last 3-4 years trying to convince her that ‘look, my opinion about Islam
07:55 is my personal opinion, it is not about you and our relationship’, but she refuses because
08:01 she says that she will be my sister again until the day I reconvert to Islam. Otherwise not.
08:07 - We have on the phone your lawyer, C.L.V., a renowned lawyer from Madrid. Welcome Claudio!
08:13 - Hello. - How are you? - Fine , thanks. - Imran’s testimony is spine-chilling,
08:19 which reveals the double standard, not only by part of the Spanish authorities,
08:25 but also of the national media. Just imagine what would be if instead of Imran’s case,
08:31 with his video which clearly shows to the public opinion the reality of Islam,
08:37 if instead of being an anti Islamic activist, he would be a Moroccan journalist
08:43 rebelling against king Mohammed VI. What would be the Spanish media saying,
08:49 all those NGOs, civil organizations, and all those religious good-will people
08:55 if the Spanish Government would have dared
08:58 to threaten that journalist with deporting him back.
09:01 But in the case of Imran Firasat, no one but AD raises a voice
09:07 about this, which is another scandal of the many taking place in the Spanish public life.
09:13 - Yes, I fully agree with that, about the regrettable double standard
09:19 in the reality of Spanish political life, and in the case of Imran this is
09:25 blatantly visible, this actual double standard.
09:31 Claudio, what is the legal situation now of Imran Firasat’s case?
09:37 It is unfortunate, he is in an extremely bad situation
09:43 in Spain, because his status as a political refugee has been revoked,
09:49 and plainly stated, he is in a limbo,
09:55 in a legal limbo, he has no papers, but he cannot be expelled
10:01 from the country. - The case is now being dealt with in the national court, right Claudio?
10:07 No, we are considering going to the national court, but
10:13 what is suitable now is an administrative appeal against the decision of the administration,
10:19 but we are considering going directly to the national court,
10:25 regarding his civil rights, what might this revocation mean
10:31 to his condition as a refugee in our country, of Imran Firasat?
10:37 Well, I can feel what he is passing through, it is a Dantesque situation,
10:43 - He can be detained at any time. - He has no papers at all in Spain,
10:49 and he has entered a vicious circle, in which he will hardly get legal residence
10:55 in Spain, but neither can he leave the country.
11:01 I would not like to be in that situation, the (sense of) abandonment is overwhelming,
11:07 and speaking again about the double standard, the administration
11:13 does not understand the situation of the other person, that returning to his homeland
11:19 would clearly mean the death sentence for him. - But this is beyond judgement,
11:25 but what options dose the government see as viable, Claudio? Extradition to Pakistan?
11:31 No, I don’t think so, because of the asylum rights themselves, it must consider
11:37 sending him to a third country willing to admit him,
11:43 in which he receives guarantees that his rights will be respected.
11:49 But nowadays I don’t think that (the government) would do it. - Claudio, do you think
11:55 that there is pressure being exerted by some Arab countries?
12:01 I don’t think so, I would not like to think that, sincerely.
12:07 I find it difficult to think about this. - Claudio, do you feel optimistic
12:13 regarding the resolution of the case? - Yes I am, no doubt.
12:19 Imran is a good fellow, he deserves to have rights respected,
12:25 that his right to voice his opinions be respected, and it is simply that
12:31 what he is doing is just criticising, showing the
12:37 real behavior of those extremist Muslims who rely on their religion.
12:43 If this is a sin, then it would be regrettable to understand it in this way.
12:49 - And first and foremost, Claudio, our astonishment that these events
12:55 and threats come from a government of which some members see themselves as Catholics.
13:01 - Yes, it is regrettable, no doubt about that.
13:07 - Well, Claudio…
13:13 (this was) the testimony of Claudio Lobos Villanueva, the lawyer for Imran Firasat.
13:19 It was clear enough to know a bit more of all
13:25 the legal context of this case. Your lawyer says he is moderately optimistic,
13:31 regarding the outcome of this case. - Yes, I trust Spanish justice.
13:37 The administration can make abusive use of its power, but Spanish justice
13:43 will not leave me in a limbo, or in danger. I am optimistic, and my lawyer too, that
13:49 we go to Spanish justice to ask for my rights and my freedom,
13:55 and they will rule in our favor, because one thing is that if they
14:01 give me refugee status for one reason, they cannot revoke it for the same reason,
14:07 and if in this country criticising Islam is a crime, then this must be
14:13 ratified in the Spanish constitution, and that if Islam is already something
14:19 valuable which cannot be criticised,
14:25 this has to be clearly said by the law.
14:28 But the double standard, on the one hand, everybody has
14:31 the right to freedom of speech, but if one uses this freedom of speech for talking
14:37 about Islam, then there is pressure, persecution, abuse of power, and all that.


Anonymous said...

This is another truly shocking story!
this poor man, and how is it that rajoy and his nazi regime is scot free, without fear or favour to
foist this evil injustice onto an innocent person and feel safe that they will not have answer for this attempt at murdering a man who is simply speaking the truth!

who is rajoy? why is there outrage in main media of this holocaust upon the innocent tellers of the simple truth?

has spain forgotten its own history?
there has soon to be a new reconquista, and spains people must overthrow rajoy and put hin to trial for treason against the spanish people and crimes against humanity!

rajoy, and all you spanish left wing nazis, you are going to hell.......your time is running out....


British Freedom Party

Anonymous said...

ChristianInfidel says:

Thanks for this. I hope Imran's attorney is right and the court overturns this action against him. Maybe the action at the European Parliament by the UKIP member from Britain will help swing the balance. I will pray.