Saturday, January 01, 2011

Blasphemy law protests in Pakistan

The Independent, January 1, 2011

AP

Businesses shut down and buses stayed off the streets in many parts of Pakistan yesterday as thousands rallied against changing the country’s controversial laws against blasphemy. 
In one major city, police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators who pelted them with stones.

Pakistan’s long-standing law against blasphemy gained new attention in November when a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, was sentenced to death for allegedly insulting Islam’s Prophet Mohamed.

She is believed to be the first woman condemned to die under the statute, and her plight has caused outrage among human rights activists and Christian organisations who say the blasphemy laws are too often abused.

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1 comment:

Dr Nasir Khan said...

In Pakistan, religion has been a cheap tool in the hands of clerics for advancing their rightist agenda and strengthening their power base. The tragedy is that very many Muslims in that country believe what their mullahs and imams tell them as being ‘authentic’ Islam! The degree of credulousness and deep ignorance they show is beyond belief. If such people want the blasphemy laws to continue, they think they are doing a meritorious service to God and his Prophet, but their views and actions are an insult to every intelligent being, old or new, whether on the planet Earth or somewhere in the heavens.

To start with, the Pakistani ruling oligarchs and manipulators introduced such absurd blasphemy laws for their own political ends. And now they are the ones, who can remove them without giving in to the ignorant zealots. At the same time, human rights activists and people of various faiths should demand the repeal of such anti-human laws which violate the basic human rights and are easily misused against Pakistani religious minorities and the secular people.