Blasphemy: A Life-and-death Issue in Pakistan

Source: New Delhi Times

Blasphemy is an emotive topic in Pakistan, where strong religious sentiments have led in the past to mob violence and worse.

For those accused of blasphemy – which can include anything seen as a deliberate insult to God, Islam or religious leaders – such an offense is literally a life-and-death matter. The relevant section of Pakistan’s penal code recommends either life imprisonment or death for any convicted blasphemer.

The issue has arisen again in Punjab, where a court last week condemned to death a Christian, Nadeem James, based on evidence police gathered from a friend who said James sent him a blasphemous poem via instant-messenger WhatsApp. A prosecutor confirmed the contention by James’s defense lawyer that he never sent any blasphemous material to anyone.

“The accused said … he never sent any blasphemous message through his cellphone,” prosecution lawyer Rana Naveed Anjum told VOA Urdu. “But once something has been alleged against you and there is enough evidence on record corroborating that assertion, then it is hard to deny or overlook such material.”

A fair trial is difficult.

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2 replies

  1. EXTREMIST ISLAMIC GROUPS ARE GETTING STRONGER ANC STRONGER EVERY DAY! PAKISTAN WILL BE DESTROYED BY THEM.
    I told before that Pakistan is inclining toward the Extremist State like Saudi Arabia where Al Quran and Hadist will become the law of state. Very sad for Progressive Muslim,Ahmadiyyah Christian and other minorities groups.
    We have to speack up loudly to fight the extremist Ideology or extremist State!

  2. TO ALL MUSLIM AROUND THE WORLD !
    Allah say in Bible and Al Quran; Those who elect a extremist leader or cleric or scholar will bring disaster for humanity!
    EXTREMIST LEADER IS DANGEROUS FOR HUMANITY, LIKE NAZI, ISIS, KKK, ROHINGYA BUDDHA ETC.
    As God say in Bible and Quran:
    0. The wise men of knowledge have brought society to prosperity and peace, to Radical clerics, to bring destruction and calamity to their followers and to the people.
    0. The radical clerics (Muslims, Christen, Jews, Hindus, Buddha ) deceive their friends, and dry up their followers into sensual and humiliating lives, seeking ways to harm others, even the word hurt / slander.
    0. And do not incline to those who do wrong / oppressors that cause you to be touched by the fires of hell.QS.11; 113.
    0. And indeed most (from radical intolerant clerics) really want to mislead (others) with their lust without knowledge. Lo! Thy Lord, He is the one who knows the transgressors. QS.6: 119.
    0. And so We have set in every country the greatest villains in order that they may commit the deceit of the land. And they do not deceive but themselves, and they do not realize it. Q.6: (123)
    Hopefully Muslims around the world will follow these warning from God, in order people can live in peace, harmony and prosperity. These are the purpose God sent His Laws.
    Was Salam–All love

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