Pakistan: Death for Blasphemy

Epigraph:

And if you are in doubt as to what We have sent down to Our servant, then produce a Chapter like it, and call upon your helpers beside Allah, if you are truthful.  But if you do it not — and never shall you do it — then guard against the Fire, whose fuel is men and stones, which is prepared for the disbelievers.  (Al Quran 2:24-25)

They (hypocrites) say, ‘If we return to Medina, the one most honorable (Abdullah bin Ubbay) will surely drive out therefrom the one most mean (Muhammad);’ while true honor belongs to Allah and to His Messenger and the believers; but the hypocrites know not. (Al Quran 63:9)

blasphemy_protest

Dawn Editorial: ONCE again, minorities in Pakistan are left feeling insecure, in an unforgiving milieu that preys on their vulnerability. On Thursday, Sawan Masih, a sanitary worker in Lahore, was sentenced to death for blasphemy.

The incident occurred in March last year during an argument between Masih and a Muslim friend, and triggered rioting by an enraged mob that ransacked and set fire to over 100 homes in Joseph Colony, the Christian-majority neighbourhood where Masih lived.

There was no loss of life simply because residents had already fled their homes in fear of such an attack. Masih’s lawyer has said that he will appeal the decision.

Given that no death penalty awarded for blasphemy has yet been confirmed by the higher courts — apart from one handed down in 1998 that was later set aside by the Supreme Court — perhaps this sentence too will be set aside at some point in the future. What can be said with certainty, though, is that Masih became a marked man from the moment he was accused of blasphemy.

The reality of Pakistan today is that mere accusation of this crime, howsoever unsubstantiated, instantly imperils the life of the individual concerned, and that threat persists not only throughout his incarceration, but even after acquittal.

Minorities are particularly impacted by the blasphemy law. Firstly, they are disproportionately targeted as compared to their actual representation in the population.

More:

Additional Reading

The Muslim Times’ collection about Blasphemy Laws

Categories: Asia, Blasphemy

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2 replies

  1. Vomitable sad and divisive

    Life is precious in all forms

    Even our enemies who disagree with us have a right to life

    but when they spew out hate and condemnation and judging others that is vomit, excrement, foul sewage.

    Fortunately most of these people are screened out in our lives and we only read about their garbage. Thats innocuous vomit and garbage really and just people farting.

    However imagine if they were our neighbours colleagues and family that would be hard to swallow.

    This would require a radical love like Jesus called us to do and that is to love our enemies then we would have to suffer in the footsteps of Jesus

    Easter Celebrations are just 3 weeks a way where we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus so now we are in the period of Lent like Ramadan
    then we experience Easter like EID of joy and happiness ……………To all my Muslim friends who are moderates and not haters Praise God for your faithfulness and strength to be on this path I walk beside you. Mike

  2. In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious Ever Merciful
    Dear Mike first of all I welcome you in The Muslim Times forum where you may share your view points freely and with decency. I appreciate your good points about the sanctity of life.I also share your concern about your fellow brethren who are victims to the cruel blasphemy laws and we stand shoulder to shoulder to all innocent oppressed people without their color race religion or National origin. Actually Islam is secular in its treatment and approach to all religion, it is only due to extremist Mullahs who has vested interest and political ends, that Islamic society seems so ugly, in reality nether it is Islam nor Islamic Society.
    As you celebrate the Easter like EID, I felicitate you in your celebrations, with the same token I want to tell you that I have been in Interfaith conferences and it is admitted fact that Easter and Christmas both are pagans holidays and have nothing to do with religion or Christianity.
    Although teachings of Holy Jesus Christ seemingly very beautiful and attractive, but not practicable that is why they are not being practiced in any where in the world, nor even by good Christian. The beauty of the Islamic teachings are in their practicability, when and ware they are practiced, the society become paradise on earth. Please read the beauty of Islamic teachings in the books of the promised Messiah (a.s.) on the website http://www.alislam.org in the Library section.
    Zarif Ahmad

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