Pakistani couple get death sentences for blasphemy

Source: BBC

Human rights groups say Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are often used to target minorities, including Christians

A Pakistani Christian couple have been sentenced to death for blasphemy after allegedly sending a text message insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

The couple, named as Shafqat Emmanuel and Shagufta Kausar, were found guilty of sending the text message to the imam of their local mosque.

Allegations of blasphemy against Islam are taken very seriously in Pakistan.

Several recent cases have prompted international concern about the application of blasphemy laws.

The imam brought a complaint against the couple last July.

The couple’s lawyer told the BBC he would appeal against the sentences and said the trial had not been conducted fairly.

Pakistan has a de facto moratorium on the death penalty so it is unlikely the couple will be executed.

They come from the town of Gojra in Punjab, previously the scene of communal violence.

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Pakistan’s blasphemy laws

  • After partition in 1947 Pakistan inherited offences relating to religion which were first codified by India’s British rulers in 1860
  • In the 1980s clauses were added to the laws by the military government of General Zia-ul Haq
  • One clause recommends life imprisonment for “wilful” desecration of the Koran, another says blasphemy is punishable by death or life imprisonment
  • Muslims constitute a majority of those booked under these laws, followed by the minority Ahmadi community
  • A majority support the idea that blasphemers should be punished, but there is little understanding of what religious scripture says as opposed to how the modern law is codified

In 2009 the rumoured desecration of a copy of the Koran led to a mob burning nearly 40 houses and a church in Gojra. At least eight members of Christian community died in the violence.

Minorities targeted

Since the 1990s, scores of Christians have been convicted for desecrating the Koran or blaspheming against the Prophet Mohammed.

While most of them have been sentenced to death by the lower courts, many sentences have been overturned due to lack of evidence.

Critics argue that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are frequently misused to settle personal scores and that members of minority groups are also unfairly targeted.

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Chief Editor’s comments: Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been speaking for religious freedom and against the Blasphemy Laws for a long time:

Murder in the Name of Allah | PDF

Islam’s Response to Contemporary Issues

Shariah Relationship Between Religion and Politics in Islam

Categories: Asia, Blasphemy

1 reply

  1. Bismilahirahmanirrahiim

    ==Allegations of blasphemy against Islam are taken very seriously in Pakistan.====

    Ohhh my God, I can not believe this Blasphemy law, which Government Pakistan is same as the laws of Taliban, Al Qaida, Saudi Arabia or all extremist Muslim to kill blasphemy.( death sentences for blasphemy ).

    Often I posted this forum that these Extremist Muslim, extremist Government follow his idols,(Scholar Muslim and Bukhari etc) through the book of Hadits.

    A Hadits said that;

    1. Anyone of you who saw heresy, apostasy, let is changing with your HANDS, if not able, let the verbal, if not able to let the heart. However, such is weak as weak faith.HR.Muslim

    When the end times will appear young people and bad attitude. They said word by using the word of GOD , when they had come out of Islam as an arrow from his bow slipping . Wherever you meet them , then kill them . Because real people are killed they will get a reward on the resurrection day ” HR Bukhari

    These False Hadits are against Al Quran,

    God said; Do not kill innocent people.

    If he slew the whole people: and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. QS 5:32.

    And there is no such punishment (death ) for Blasphemy, apostasy, Gay-lesbian and infidel in HOLY AL QURAN.

    So those who follow his Idol as Islamic teaching, they are wrong and fall into the biggest sin, sinful Syrik.

    I urge all Moderately educated Muslim around the world together with our brother Christian and Human Right activities to protest until our voice be heard.Let we speak up loudly to Government Pakistan to reject the Blasphemy laws. Blasphemy law,do not exist in Al Quran (Islam).

    May Allah guide all extremist Scholar around the world, specially Government Pakistan to the truth of Islam.

    All love

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