Source: The Express Tribune
LAHORE: An Ahmadi jeweller in Silanwali, Sargodha was charged with blasphemy for the second time in his life for “posing as a Muslim” and for putting up a translation of the Quranic text in his shop.
Muhammad Ashraf, who was earlier charged along with his co-workers in 2009 for posing as Muslims, was charged with blasphemy on July 23 this year under Section 298-C on the complaint of Hafiz Muhammad Imran.
Ashraf was sent to Central Jail Sargodha on July 24 and was released on bail on the exchange of bail bonds worth Rs50,000 on July 31. The case is under trial at a local magisterial court in Sargodha.
The FIR registered against Ashraf mentioned that he had put up translations of text from the Holy Quran in his shop at Kobi Market, Saeed Bazar, which was against the Section 298-C of 1984 Ordinance.
As per Section 298-C, an Ahmadi who “refers to his faith as Islam, or preaches or propagates his faith, or invites others to accept his faith, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations, or in any manner whatsoever outrages the religious feelings of Muslims” will be punished with up to three years in prison and is liable to pay a fine.
The text translation in Ashraf’s shop read, “O people of faith always speak the straight truth.”
The Station House Officer (SHO) of the Silanwali Police Station, Irfan Safdar, told The Express Tribune that, “After the complaint, our security constable Aslam and other investigation staff of police went to verify if the translation of the Quranic text was actually there at Ashraf’s shop, and it was. So we registered the FIR.”
The SHO said the security constables verified that, “Ashraf was spreading his faith and pretends to be a Muslim.” He further said that the “entire process of verification and taking Ashraf into custody took about two hours. Ashraf was taken into custody and then the FIR was registered quickly after that.”