Lal Masjid

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Description:
The Lal Masjid (; translated: Red Mosque) is a mosque located in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. A religious school for women, the Jamia Hafsa madrasah, and a male madrasah, Jamia Faridia are attached to the mosque.

History

The Lal Masjid was built in 1965 and is named for its red walls and interiors. According to CDA records the Lal Masjid is one of the oldest Mosques in Islamabad. Maulana Muhammad Abdullah was appointed its first imam. Abdullah was critical of all governments except Zia's with whom he was very close. General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq had very close relationship with Maulana Muhammad Abdullah, the former head of the Mosque. During the Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979–1989), the Red Mosque played a major role in recruiting and training mujahideen to fight with the Afghan mujahideen. Throughout its existence, it has enjoyed patronage from influential members of the government, prime ministers, army chiefs, and presidents. Several thousand male and female students live in adjacent seminaries.

After Abdullah was assassinated in 1998, his sons Abdul Aziz Ghazi and Abdul Rashid Ghazi took over the mosque, making it a centre for hardline teaching and open opposition to the government. Abdul Aziz remained the official khatib of the masjid until he was removed in 2005 for issuing a controversial fatwa stating no Pakistani Army officer could be given an Islamic burial if died fighting the taliban.

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