LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) The elderly man’s troubles started when two young men milling inside his homeopathic clinic casually asked him about his religion. He thought they were merely curious. In fact, they belonged to an outlawed militant group and were carrying hidden tape recorders.
Within hours, police officers showed up at Masood Ahmad’s clinic and played back the tape in which he explained the tenets of the minority Ahmadiyya sect, rejected by mainstream Muslims because it disputes the basic tenet of their faith that Muhammad (pbuh) is Islam’s last prophet.
Ahmad, who returned from Britain to his Pakistani homeland decades ago to open the clinic, was charged with blasphemy which can carry the death penalty. The 72 year old has been jailed since his arrest this month, awaiting a trial that could take months or even years to begin.
He is not alone. Just last week, a Pakistani court sentenced a mentally ill British man, Mohammad Asghar, to death on blasphemy charges after he allegedly claimed to be Islam’s prophet.
Pakistan’s blasphemy law is increasingly becoming a potent weapon in the arsenal of Muslim extremists. Although Pakistan has never executed anybody under the law, vigilantes frequently entrap and sometimes kill adherents of minority religions accused of blasphemy. They …continue reading at nzherald.co.nz