Friday, January 7, 2011

Pakistan's Blasphemy Laws

I'm currently suffering the loss of Punjab's governor, Salman Taseer, who was killed because he called Pakistan's Blasphemy Laws "black." His own guard, Mumtaz Qadri, killed him, and, sadly but not surprisingly, Qadri is celebrated as a hero among many Muslim groups in Pakistan. Fortunately, though, there are those few groups who are against the murder, but as of yet, the murderer has not been charged! Yes, can you imagine what the killer and his supporters will do if the killer were freed?! Really, just when I thought Pakistan was so stuffed with chaos and problems, it could not handle anymore . . .

These black Blasphemy Laws (yes, I call them black, too! Black, backward, unjust, repressive!) state (and I apologize for quoting Wiki al-Saheeh, but I can't find it anywhere else at the moment. I promise to give a more reliable source once I find one soon):
Whoever, with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utters any word or makes any sound in the hearing of that person or makes any gesture in the sight of that person or places any object in the sight of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
 Um, so, how do we know people's intentions? How do we know that someone "deliberately" intended to wound the religious feelings of a Muslim? That "any person" should be changed to "Muslim" only. There aren't any laws against offending Hindus or Sikhs or Christians in Pakistan; only against offending Muslims! 

The first victim of the Blasphemy Laws was Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman. She is accused of having said something against Prophet Muhammad (we don't know if she really said what she said, but her neighbors reported her for doing so, and her neighbors are Muslims who refuse to drink water from her hand because anything that belongs to Christians, according to those women, is "unclean"!). Initially, the police are said to have rescued her from her village attackers for what she'd been accused of, but then Judge Naveed Iqbal sentenced her to death in November 2010 -- sentenced her to death by hanging.

Of course, we're talking about the same country that has officially, constitutionally declared Ahmadi Muslims non-Muslims. They are constitutionally prohibited from behaving like Muslims. Pakistani authorities are constitutionally permitted (rather, obligated!) to threaten, harass, and kill them.

I'm too disheartened right now. Will write more on this later.
Good night/morning/day.

P.S. For what our voice might be worth, could you please join and support this Facebook Group called "Help Save the Life of Asia Bibi, Mother of Five" and all the others in her support? It's a pity that Qadri has already won thousands of fans on social networks. Damn injustice. Why is it so much more appealing than justice?


  1. saw in the news about Mr Taseer!
    may his soul rest in peace

  2. Does this 'blasphemy law' have any basis in Shariah whatsoever? Where do people come up with these laws? Maybe I should start studying Islamic law and interpretation. I think we need to take our religion back..

  3. Aameen, SEPO!
    Rukhpar Mor, good question! That's what all Muslims should be asking! As for the answer, no, there's no basis for this whatsoever in Islamic law -- not as far as I'm concerned at least!

    Perhaps Pakistan got this from those hadiths in which some of the Prophet's companions indicate that they'd behead anyone who dares to speak against the Prophet, the Beloved of God, but the Prophet himself never approved. So we need to ask ourselves how our Prophet would respond to this. Would he applaud the person who killed Taseer? Would he applaud the person who came up with this absurd law? A BIG NO comes to my mind.

  4. I think this is so revolting. And no, I don't think these laws have any basis in Islam. Doesn't it say several places in the Qur'an, for you your religion, and for me my religion or something to the likeness of that?

  5. Hi, Becky Jaan!
    Correct -- no Islamic basis. I'm still trying to figure out why any human would kill another human simply because the latter called the law bad!!!

    Many people believe that this murder was just an attempt to divert the common peoople's attention from the more serious problems that Pakistan is facing right now. I think that's true! This is certainly a very effective way to divide the people, too. Whereas they could possibly have united to fight together for justice for themselves from an oppressive regime, now they're divided into those who celebrate Taseer's murder and those who mourn it. The latter group is quite small, from what I hear.


Dare to opine :)

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...