Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/7/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Fifteen annual cases involve mostly Muslim majority

Pakistan is generating global headlines due to its controversial anti-blasphemy laws. The arrest and imprisonment of an 11-year-old Christian girl for allegedly burning pages of the Noorani Qaida may be shocking, but it's only one of the eight to 15 cases of blasphemy that reach the Pakistani courts annually.

Without a legal definition of blasphemy in the Pakistan Penal Code, the strict anti-blasphemy laws here are ripe for misuse and abuse. Those accused of blasphemy usually arise from personal and religious rivalries.

Without a legal definition of blasphemy in the Pakistan Penal Code, the strict anti-blasphemy laws here are ripe for misuse and abuse. Those accused of blasphemy usually arise from personal and religious rivalries.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/7/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Pakistan, blasphemy, laws, mob violence, justice


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The majority of the blasphemy cases involve members of the Muslim majority here - rather than Pakistan's Christians, Hindus and Ahmadis who are charged.

Without a legal definition of blasphemy in the Pakistan Penal Code, the strict anti-blasphemy laws here are ripe for misuse and abuse. Those accused of blasphemy usually arise from personal and religious rivalries.

The punishment for those found guilty can range from a fine to death. However, there has never been an execution of a person charged with blasphemy in Pakistan. Convictions typically result in a prison sentence of at least three years.

There is a high rate of acquittal upon appeal. Unfortunately, the legal avenues for redress usually end in mob justice. When somebody is accused of blasphemy, they, their family and their community will likely be targeted.

Many feel the laws currently on the books run counter with Pakistan's founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

"You may belong to any religion, caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the state. In due course of time, Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims will cease to be Muslims - not in a religious sense for that is the personal faith of an individual - but in a political sense as citizens of one state," declared Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan's founder, in his first address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947.

In the latest instance, many of the Christian neighbors of the accused 11-year old reportedly fled their homes in the slum area of Islamabad where the Christian community is largely located. They claimed either fear of attack, or reports that senior members of the Muslim community allegedly pressured landlords to evict Christian tenants.

A man suspected of being mentally ill and accused of throwing pages of the Quran onto a street last month was hauled out from police custody in southern Punjab by a mob of hundreds, beaten to death, and his body set ablaze.

 "What comes with the mob mentality is that people would not even want to verify [the facts of a case]," Ejaz Akram, professor at Lahore University of Management Sciences says. "Mob psychology overrules common sense ... Everything is seen as black and white [and] the most unintelligent with the loudest voice commands the mob."

There have been 34 suspected extrajudicial killings of people accused of blasphemy between 1990 and 2010. Of those, 15 were Muslims, 16 were Christians, two were Ahmadis and one was a Hindu. They were either killed extra-judicially or found dead in prison under suspicious circumstances. Thirty-one of those deaths occurred in Punjab.

"Nobody has read the blasphemy law. Nobody understands which clauses were added when and why," Syed Zaid Hamid, a political commentator says. "It has become a weapon that is being used in sectarian wars. Facts and figures show that it is used against Muslims as well. The real problem lies with the interpretation of the law.

"We are against the religious fanatics who exploit this law. There are fundamental flaws in it," he adds.

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

'I knew then my life was over': The heartbreaking reality for teen rape victims shamed in India Watch

Image of

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Indian women suffer as rapists force families to accept money in exchange for silence. In many villages, women are blamed for being raped and men do not marry single mothers, as such women are seen as shameful. Without time to finish their educations, and beaten down ... continue reading


North Korean submarines suspiciously missing following the dissolution of standoff with South Korea Watch

Image of Prime Minister Kin Jong Un.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A few days after Kim Jong Un ended a stand-off with South Korea, 50 North Korean submarines were reported to have vanished from radar. A possible surprise attack from the North is expected. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The North Korean submarines ... continue reading


Family mourns loss of newborn after it is attack by rats in hospital Watch

Image of Rat infestation in Indian hospital leads to gruesome newborn death.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A newborn died of rat bites in a government-ran hospital in the city of Vajayawada, located within the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Los Angeles, California (Catholic Online) - The newborn boy was born in the government-ran hospital where he was sent to the pediatric ... continue reading


1,500-year-old mummified newborn uncovered in Siberia could provide insight into ancient Siberian life Watch

Image of A newborn mummy discovered in Siberia.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The remains of a newborn that was accidentally mummified 1500 years ago has been discovered in an ancient grave in Siberia. This discovery could lead to the unraveling of several mysteries concerning ancient Siberians. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


15-year-old girl forced to marry 32-year-old man: The life of Bangladeshi child brides can be full of violence and abuse Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Weddings are supposed to be one of the most memorable moments in a woman's lifetime. But for 15-year-old Nasoin Akhter it was nothing but loneliness. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Akhter was coerced into marriage with a 32-year-old man. In her wedding ... continue reading


Final Attack Operation: Kim Jong Un prepared North Korea military for battle Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Although the peninsula is technically still engaged in war, alarm and concern was raised in the region and other parts of the world after a report that North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong Un convened with the country's senior party and defense officials. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Welcome to Beidaihe - the Chinese seaside resort town where leaders meet to plot world domination Watch

Image of The Chinese government's meetings in Beidaihe are never formally announced. The only clear indication that political and governmental activity is afoot is when soldiers of the People's Liberation Army appear on the streets.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Known for its gentle ocean breezes, seafood, beaches, and fun activities, the Chinese seaside resort town of Beidaihe is very popular with tourists. Families and young people gather there in the summer months for fun in the sun. Bedidaihe is also very popular with ... continue reading


Relations between China and the Holy See move forward with recognition of seminary studies, students Watch

Image of Diplomatic relations between the Holy See and China were cut in 1951, two years after the Chinese Communist party seized power.

By Andrea Gagliarducci, CNA/EWTN News

In a tiny victory for Vatican-Chinese rapprochement, China's government now recognizes seminary studies and allows seminarians to continue their education in a state university should they leave. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - The Bachelor of Arts diploma young ... continue reading


Christianity sweeps mainland China - in reaction to nation's modernizing world, analysts say Watch

Image of According to the renowned sociologist Rodney Stark, the number of Christians in China is growing at an impressive annual rate of seven percent.

By Carl Bunderson, CNA EWTN News

Christianity is spreading rapidly in China, and it could be because of how well the faith fits in with modern scientific technology. Fort Worth, Texas (CNA/EWTN News) - According to the renowned sociologist Rodney Stark, the number of Christians in China is growing ... continue reading


Massive floating fortress planned on China's disputed waters, but what will they be used for? Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Floating fortresses are set for construction by two Chinese companies in an area of territorial dispute. Although the companies insist the plans were for a more commercialized and civilian engaging hub, but there are some that speculate the fortresses will serve for ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8
1 'And now, Israel, listen to the laws and customs ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 15:2-3, 3-4, 4-5
2 Whoever lives blamelessly, who acts uprightly, who ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
1 The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come ... Read More

Reading 2, James 1:17-18, 21-22, 27
17 all that is good, all that is perfect, is given us ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 30th, 2015 Image

St. Rumon
August 30: St. Rumon, also known as Ruan, Ronan, and Ruadan, was probably a ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter