Geo TV owner in Pakistan and Three Others Booked for ‘Blasphemy’

Freedom of speech

Source: Dawn.com

The Margalla Police Station on Saturday registered an FIR under sections 295-C and 298-A against owner of the Geo Network Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman, morning show host Dr Shaista Lodhi, actress Veena Malik and her husband Asad Basheer Khatak for allegedly committing blasphemy.
Islamabad Additional Sessions Judge Jahangir Awan ordered police to register blasphemy case against the accused for airing ‘blasphemous’ content in a morning show hosted by Dr Shaista and participated by Veena Malik and her husband as guests.

votaire quote

Arshad Butt, a resident of Sector F-8, Islamabad, had filed the petition.
Meanwhile, the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) chief Sahibzada Hamid Raza filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the administration of Geo Television for airing ‘blasphemous’ content.

In his application, the petitioner pleaded to the court to take action against the accused under Article 20 of the constitution and requested the court to constitute a larger bench to hear the case.

Talking to media on the occasion, Hamid Raza said the Geo administration had hurt the feelings of whole Ummah by airing a ‘blasphemous’ programme.

Meanwhile, Punjab Bar Council (PbBC) called for exemplary punishment to Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman, Shaista Lodhi, Veena Malik and her spouse Asad Khattak.

More:

Additional Reading and viewing

Freedom of Speech: A Core Islamic Value!

The ‘Blasphemous,’ Video included in this Talk Show

Categories: Asia, Blasphemy

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14 replies

  1. Sooner the Muslim societies realize that there cannot be peace and tranquility, without some reasonable freedom of speech, sooner they can start working on more important and real issues of poverty, illiteracy, human rights, women rights, to name only a few.

    Blasphemy Laws are only a source of fragmentation of the society and a sure recipe to introduce chaos.

  2. Sorry Mr. Shah you shud first learn the exact issue before you comment. If people trust you then you shud comment more wisely. It was a big mistake by Geo – which they realized them selves and pardoned. Now the matter is they are forgiven? Let the court decide and hope they be pardoned as they seek.
    The freedom comes with responsibility which was not used here. I wonder if you wud record your protest instead!

  3. 1–What is the freedom of speach? It is a realy deep question !!!!
    2–What someone feels and beleives is up to the person,but,why ignite the other peoples brains by airing person’s own feelings and beleifs.If a person does that,that means he/she has a wish to push his/her own views into other peoples’or folks’ minds/brains.Realise!By freely speaking,if,a person inflames the situation among the peoples’or folks’ .what does he/she gains? Peace of mind by doing free speach!!! Hack that type of free speach!!!!
    3– Every thing has a limit !!!

  4. European Convention of Human Rights
    Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are poorly thought out and give no regard to basic human psychology and international laws and are just emotionally driven to please the religious majority, at the cost of human reason and rationality.

    I think many of the exceptions for freedom of speech are tackled in the Article 10 of European Convention of Human Rights.
    This Article provides the right to freedom of expression, subject to certain restrictions that are “in accordance with law” and “necessary in a democratic society”. This right includes the freedom to hold opinions, and to receive and impart information and ideas, but allows restrictions for:

    interests of national security
    territorial integrity or public safety
    prevention of disorder or crime
    protection of health or morals
    protection of the reputation or the rights of others
    preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence
    maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary

    We would certainly need the best legal minds humanity can offer to give concrete and legalistic details of the above exceptions that may be acceptable to people of all faiths, ethnicities and nationalities.

    If the Supreme Court Justices do not come to our rescue, may be a good and an accomplished writer can help out with a best selling book. But, the key is to at least, win the moderates, in all the established religions of the world and among the agnostics and atheists.

  5. @ Nadi..
    .
    I agree with Zia—-quote–Sooner the Muslim societies realize that there cannot be peace and tranquility, without some reasonable freedom of speech, sooner they can start working on more important and real issues of poverty, illiteracy, human rights, women rights, to name only a few.–unquote.
    .
    Islam is freedom of speak,and expression..100 percent..Jihiiliah people insulted Prophet Muhammad (saw) but Allah did ask Prophet to punish those who insult him…there is no one verse in Al Quran to punish people who insult Prophet.
    .
    Hate speech is also not crime, only stupid people who want to use evil words..
    .
    Do you want all stupid people will be punished if they insult people or use evil words?
    .
    Allah said; love all people who hate you…pray for them..
    with all my love

  6. @ Shah and Alatif:
    I am fully agree dto the notion that pak laws need adjustments – but I again urge you not be driven by modernity snobbery to talk against every thing what pak courts, folks or government or maulvis do!!!
    You shud show some courage or GHAIRAT to also condemn the wrong doings like what was done by GEO, and then you can talk about leniency or forgiveness or tolerance. We shud be balanced or just for both sides.
    Thanks

  7. Nothing is to be done against law for Ghairat (own wishes) and there should be no bad laws. The government of General Zia, on the behest of maulvis, introduced a strict law that no body will be seen eating and drinking during month of Ramadhan. That was because, it would hurt feelings of the Muslims….
    Similar is the case of blasphemy laws. If there is no punishment prescribed in the Quran for blasphemy then why are maulvis anxious to do it themselves? Nobody wants to insult the prophet Muhammad s.a.w.s. It is the bad deeds of the maulvis that is letting down the respect of the prophet s.a.w.s.
    @Shleena Sleet:
    (quote) “2–What someone feels and believes is up to the person, but why ignite the other peoples brains by airing person’s own feelings and beliefs. If a person does that, that means he/she has a wish to push his/her own views into other peoples or folks’ minds/brains. Realize! By freely speaking, if a person inflames the situation among the peoples or folks’ .what does he/she gains? Peace of mind by doing free speech!!! Hack that type of free speach!!!! (unquote0

    The above quote may be blasphemous. It will forbid Jesus and Muhammad to say anything, any word, because that would inflame people minds…..
    Why not people allow others to speak! Peaceful speaking should not hurt any one.
    There is so much honor killing going on in the country. That is all because it hurt some one’s feelings and they take law in their own hands. It all started because some one suppressed the voice of some one in the first place and disallowed some one to express their wishes.
    Zia Shah sahib has given a list of some exemptions about freedom of speech. Those points are justified and there may not be any freedom about those points mentioned in that list. Otherwise what harm is there to allow freedom to speak, as long as no one abuses any one.
    Here we see people abusing others openly. But peaceful, reasonable speech is disallowed and punished under the laws of blasphemy. It is a false love for the prophet Muhammad s.a.w.s. who came to afford (allow) freedom of speech.

    More is here. The trouble starts when a person is not allowed to speak. Prophet Muhammad said, “O people, let me say what I want to say and you also say what you want to say.” The Arab leaders in Makkah said “We will say what we like but we will not let you say what you want to say..” They (leaders) tried hard to put a clamp on the speeches of prophet Muhammad s.a.w.s. that is how it all started and it is a part of history..
    What shall we say now. Was the prophet wrong or it were the polytheist leaders who were wrong. Please decide.

    • @ Ghulam Sarwar:
      I am talking about Ghairat not as you state (own wishes) but I m talking about this Ghairat:
      “Seene Mein Josh e Ghairat Aur Ankh Mein Hayaa Ho / Lab Per Ho Zikar Tera Dil Mein Teri Wafaa Ho”
      No need to quote from here or there – or cmpare apple with oranges.
      I wonder – will you record your protest on anything wrong in the world, apart from something done by pak Maulvis?
      Or you would like to be those who keep sleeping in their beds and just tweet at best?
      “Shamsheere zuban se ghar bathe dushman ko mare jaate hon – medane amal ka naam bhi lo to jheempte hon ghabrate hon..”

  8. @Nadi

    All I am saying that we should not plan to physically punish, what we deem to be blasphemy, or legislate against it.

    Otherwise, I do believe that we should encourage polite and reasonable speech:

    And revile not those whom they call upon beside Allah, lest they, out of spite, revile Allah in their ignorance. Thus unto every people have We caused their doing to seem fair. Then unto their Lord is their return; and He will inform them of what they used to do. (Al Quran 6:109)

    Allah likes not the uttering of unseemly speech in public, except on the part of one who is being wronged. Indeed, Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Al Quran 4:149)

    Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in a way that is best. Surely, thy Lord knows best who has strayed from His way; and He knows those who are rightly guided. (Al Quran 16:126)

    We also have choice of ignoring, what we find blasphemous. The Holy Quran says:

    And when thou seest those who engage in vain discourse concerning Our Signs, then turn thou away from them until they engage in a discourse other than that. And if Satan cause thee to forget, then sit not, after recollection, with the unjust people.

    And those who are righteous are not at all accountable for them, but their duty is to admonish them, that they may fear God. (Al Quran 6:68-69)

    The Holy Quran here is not suggesting any Blasphemy Laws, just a rational approach to whom you lend your ears and whom you dignify with your presence.

  9. @ Ghulam Sarwar…I agree with you 100 percent,

    —Prophet Muhammad said, “O people, let me say what I want to say and you also say what you want to say.”–
    .
    —If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led , like sheep to slaughter–
    .
    But in reality, I want to say some thing, TMT still delete it to respond other Topic….why did it happen?
    Can you tell me? it is simple.
    All love

  10. @Zia Shah
    I am not saying to punish people for every thing wrong or blasphemous – any check s may be through pen or through legislations with punishments including fines or community services and even some sort of physical punishments for some chaotic or purpose based blasphemous acts – whatever suites to check it.
    I believe that Musleh-Maood (RA) also suggested Legislation to check these events from happening – when wrote against the book “Rangila Rasool” Published (without writiers name on it) by Rajpal. It caused chaotic situation and then Rajpal was arrested but then acquitted and then was murdered by Ilam Din in 1929. The British amended the Indian penal code to add punishment for blasphemy and incitement of religious hatred.

  11. Dear Nadi, I agree with you in a sense that freedom of speech is not absolute.

    I covered some of this in my above comment:

    European Convention of Human Rights
    I think many of the exceptions for freedom of speech are tackled in the Article 10 of European Convention of Human Rights.
    This Article provides the right to freedom of expression, subject to certain restrictions that are “in accordance with law” and “necessary in a democratic society”. This right includes the freedom to hold opinions, and to receive and impart information and ideas, but allows restrictions for:

    interests of national security
    territorial integrity or public safety
    prevention of disorder or crime
    protection of health or morals
    protection of the reputation or the rights of others
    preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence
    maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary

    We would certainly need the best legal minds humanity can offer to give concrete and legalistic details of the above exceptions that may be acceptable to people of all faiths, ethnicities and nationalities.

    If the Supreme Court Justices do not come to our rescue, may be a good and an accomplished writer can help out with a best selling book. But, the key is to at least, win the moderates, in all the established religions of the world and among the agnostics and atheists.

  12. Dear Mr. Shah, Thanks for your understanding – And let me add that you don’t really need best minds – but just and simple minds, (better with hearts which have some Ghairat and Haya and Mercy and Dua).

  13. Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments and contributions.

    Allow me to close the discussion in this post now, until we meet again, when blasphemy charges are brought up, in some corner of the world against someone.

    Our Global Village has countless sects, if not religions, and each group has its own understanding of blasphemy and its own sensibilities.

    I close this discussion, wishing peace to everyone and with prayers to Allah, for wisdom to handle this complex issue, with its countless ramifications.

    As my parting gift, let me suggest a small book:

    An online book: Murder in the Name of Allah

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