Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/7/2012 (1 year 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 (1 year 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'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

What they are doing in the Philippines will make you sick! Watch

Image of More than 1/3 of all Filipinos live below the poverty line.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The passage of Typhoon Haiyan through the Philippines has caused devastation and humanitarian disaster on a scale not previously seen, forcing hundreds into doing horrible things to survive their new found poverty. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Probably the ... continue reading


CRISIS HEATS UP: Russia sends troops over border into Ukraine Watch

Image of The latest development has further hindered any attempt to resolve the five-month-old conflict diplomatically.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Armored Russian troops have been sent across the border into eastern Ukraine, in the boldest move yet by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The recent move is seen by analysts as Russia's attempt to preserve the pro-Russian revolt in eastern Ukraine. The latest ... continue reading


AMAZING PHOTOS: Chinese man survives metal bar going through head - and lives! Watch

Image of Luck was with a 50-year-old Chinese man - an inch thick metal spear went straight though his head. The object narrowly missed his brain and left eye socket, and he's expected to recover fully.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Luck was with a 50-year-old Chinese man - an inch thick metal spear went straight though his head. The object narrowly missed his brain and left eye socket, and he's expected to recover fully. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Identified only as Mr. Ho, the ... continue reading


People of Hong Kong prepare to rebel against Beijing if their demands are not met - will it end in massacre, or democracy? Watch

Image of Pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong, demanding the right to elect the leader of the semi-autonomous region.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress is set to hold a week-long session starting August 25, to discuss how Hong Kong will be able to pick its leader. If this does not go well however, tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents have pledged an ... continue reading


CASTE SYSTEM AT WORST: India's 'night soil gatherers' collect human excrement Watch

Image of An overwhelming majority of manual scavengers are women, according to the U.N. They are still inextricably linked to cleaning human excrement.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Due to a brutal caste system, as well as being a nation tolerant of open defecation and dry, non-flush latrines, women born into a certain community are condemned to live out their lives scooping up human excrement out of toilets. Called "night soil gatherers, ... continue reading


Time to learn Chinese: Forget Microsoft, your next OS could be Chinese! Watch

Image of China is creating its own operating system after blacklisting Windows 8 from government computers over fears that the American operating system could provide avenues for intelligence agencies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China's state-controlled Xinhua News Agency announced that China is developing their own operating system for desktop computers and mobile devices, citing U.S. surveillance as one of the key factors. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - China intends the new ... continue reading


WRONG ANALOGY? Cardinal outrages child sexual abuse victims - and truck drivers! Watch

Image of Speaking at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Cardinal Pell said it would not be appropriate for legal culpability to be

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Australian survivors of clergy abuse are highly incensed by comments made by Cardinal George Pell. Speaking form the Vatican via video-link, Cardinal Pell gave an analogy which absolved the Catholic Church from culpability in past molestation cases. The ... continue reading


DIFFERENT FASHION SHOOT: Five Indian acid attack victims pose for photos Watch

Image of First published on Facebook page run by Stop Acid Attacks, an organization raising awareness about the plight of acid attack victims, the photos have since been featured extensively across the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Five female Indian acid attack victims gathered for a different sort of fashion shoot recently, in order to raise public awareness. The effect has been positive. "After the acid attack I never took photos," Rupa, one of the models said. "When the photos got ... continue reading


Man bites dog? Try man BITES SNAKE - and lives to tell the tale Watch

Image of Kraits are one of the four poisonous snakes which account for the most attacks in India where 50,000 people are killed by venomous bites annually.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They say when a man bites dog, its news. A man in India did that adage one better by biting a venomous blue krait snake, and managed to live to tell the tale. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A man in central India killed the snake by biting it after he saw ... continue reading


Pope Francis Gives Important Interview On His Return From the Apostolic Visit to Korea Watch

Image of This Prophetic Pope named Francis is known for shaking things up when he does his interviews with the Press upon returning from his beautiful and significant apostolic visits. Well, he just did it again.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Pope Francis is a refreshingly frank, charismatic and prophetic successor of the Apostle Peter. He stands in the trajectory of Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict. He is a true gift to the Catholic Church, the entire Christian community, and the ... 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, First Corinthians 2:10-16
10 to us, though, God has given revelation through ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 13-14
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger, full ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:31-37
31 He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2014 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skänninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... 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