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Posts Tagged ‘blasphemy’

Religious “love”

In ethics, history, moral issues, people, philosophy, politics, relationship, religion, traditions on February 26, 2013 at 08:11
Lahore, Feb 21: A Pakistani court has begun hearing a petition seeking the reopening of an 84-year-old case in which a court under the British administration had given the death sentence to Ghazi Ilamuddin for murdering a Hindu writer named Raj Pal.

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umer Ata Bandial heard arguments by the petitioner’s counsel on the maintainability of the plea yesterday and adjourned the case till March 14.

Ilamuddin killed Raj Pal for allegedly committing blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad and was sentenced to death by British judges of the Lahore High Court in 1929.

Imtiaz Rasheed Qureshi of the “Save the Judiciary Committee” has filed the petition for reopening the case and exonerating Ilamuddin.

Farooq Hasan, the counsel for Qureshi, argued Raj Pal had included blasphemous material in his book and had “invited his death“.

He said: “Ghazi Ilamudin had no personal grudge with Pal and acted only out of love for the Prophet like a true Muslim.

Hasan requested the court to set aside the impugned order by exercising the principle of review.

Qureshi asked the court to direct authorities to honour Ilamuddin with state awards.

He also requested the court to direct the government to arrange a state funeral for Ilamuddin after declaring him “not guilty”.

You may think this is possible only in Pakistan and so on. Wrong. I have heard a person calling himself an Orthodox Christian saying “O, Lord, forgive us: we forgot how to die and kill for our faith”.

Remember the trial of  Pussy riot.  The patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill I, and Vsevolod Chaplin, chairman of the Synodal Department for the Cooperation of Church (Russia’s “Great Inquisitor”) condemned Pussy Riot’s actions as “blasphemous“, the patriarch was saying that the “Devil has laughed at all of us … We have no future if we allow mockery in front of great shrines, and if some see such mockery as a sort of bravery, an expression of political protest, an acceptable action or a harmless joke.”[65] 

Years in prison because somebody thinks they offended his imaginary friendHere a typical Orthodox fanatic says “no mercy” to them.

Remember the witches. There is no magic, of course, but christians are still afraid of it. “Witchcraft is dangerous“… You don’t find apologies to innocent ladies burned by priests here. Read the rest of this entry »

Christian girl with Down’s Syndrome arrested in Pakistan for desecrating Koran: reports

In Uncategorized on August 20, 2012 at 19:07

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A young Christian girl with Down’s Syndrome has been arrested in Pakistan for desecrating Koran, according to reports

The girl, believed to be as young as 11, was arrested for violating the country’s strict blasphemy laws after a mob surrounded her house and accused her of burning pages of the Koran.

The arrest of the girl and outrage among the local community demonstrates the deep emotion that suspected blasphemy cases can evoke in this conservative Muslim country, where rising extremism often means religious minorities live in fear of persecution.

In Pakistan, anyone found guilty of insulting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, or holy book, the Koran, can be sentenced to death, although they’re rarely if ever executed.

A Pakistani police officer, Zabi Ullah, said Monday that the girl was arrested Thursday after hundreds of neighbours, angry over reports she had allegedly burned religious papers, gathered outside her house in a poor outlying district of the capital, Islamabad.

He said the police took the girl to the police station, and that she’s been held for 14 days while authorities investigate.

“About 500-600 people had gathered outside her house in Islamabad, and they were very emotional, angry and they might have harmed her if we had not quickly reacted,” he said.

“Some Muslims from the area claim the girl had burned pages of the Koran, and we are investigating, and we have not reached any conclusion,” he said.

Mukhtar Khan, neighbor of an arrested Christian girl, shows the locked house of a girl and vowed will never allow them to live in this neighborhood, in a suburb of Islamabad, Pakistan on Monday, Aug. 20, 2012.

Another police official, Qasim Niazi, said when the girl was brought to the police station she had a shopping bag that contained various religious and Arabic-language papers that had been partly burned but no Koran.

Another police officer said the matter would likely be dropped once the investigation is completed and the atmosphere is defused, saying there was “nothing much to the case.” He did not want to be identified due to the sensitivity of the case.

There were varying reports on the girl’s age and whether she was mentally handicapped. Ullah said she was 16 while other officials have said she was either 12 or 11. Niazi said that when the girl was brought to the police station she was scared and unable to speak normally, but he did not know whether she was mentally handicapped.

Christians often live in fear that they will be accused of blasphemy, and many critics say the legislation is sometimes used to settle scores.

Angry mobs have been known to sometimes take the law into their own hands and beat or kill people who are accused of violating the blasphemy laws. In July, thousands of people dragged a Pakistani man accused of desecrating the Koran from a police station in the central Pakistani city of Bahawalpur, beat him to death and then set his body on fire.

Attempts to revoke or alter the blasphemy laws have been met with violent opposition, however.

Last year, two prominent Pakistani political figures who spoke out against the laws were killed, in attacks that raised concerns about the rise of religious extremism in Pakistan.

Liberal politician Salman Taseer was shot and killed by one of his own guards in January 2011, and in March 2011, militants gunned down Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian minister in Pakistan’s Cabinet.

A spokesperson for Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Farhatullah Babar, said the president has taken “serious note” of reports of the girl’s arrest and has asked the Interior Ministry to look into the case.

Saudi Journalist Tweets Against Prophet Muhammad, Gets Death Sentence

In Uncategorized on February 13, 2012 at 07:04

by | Sunday, 12th Feb 2012

With its rising popularity, Twitter has given a new meaning to free speech and highly engaging global communications. However, this popularity has come for a price. The opinions and sentiments that people tweet are being used as evidence against them, increasingly. This threatens the aura around Twitter, and the recent censorship attempts by various governments taint its image further.

Recently, A Saudi Journalist, Hamza Kashgari, was extradited from Malaysia, for making seemingly blasphemous remarks on Prophet Muhammad. To make matters worse, Interpol was forced to hand over Kashgari. This same Interpol is supposed to remain politically neutral, and not intervene on cases of military, religious or racial nature. Article 3 of the Interpol’s constitution clearly states that

It is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

The Guardian reports this incident, saying,

Kashgari, a newspaper columnist, fled Saudi Arabia after posting a tweet on the prophet’s birthday that sparked more than 30,000 responses and several death threats. The posting, which was later deleted, read: “I have loved things about you, I have hated things about you, and there is a lot I don’t understand about you … I will not pray for you.”

Kasgari is a 23-year-old journalist and faces the death penalty for this deed. This matter proves once again that regional laws govern the use of Twitter. It is only time before someone points a finger at the things we tweet.

Poland fines pop music star for blasphemy

In Uncategorized on January 24, 2012 at 16:54

Poland last week fined one its pop music stars $1,450 for stating in an interview several years ago that the Bible is full of “unbelievable tales” that are hard to accept because “it’s hard to believe in something written down by someone drunk on wine and smoking some kind of herbs.”

Dorota Rabczewska, otherwise known as Doda, was charged under a law that protects the feelings and sentiments of religious believers in the heavily Roman Catholic country. The law dictates that charges are brought if at least two complaints are filed. Doda’s statements apparently bothered a sufficient number of people, including Ryszard Nowak, chairman of the Christian advocacy organization Committee for the Defence Against Sects, who said: 

“It is clear that Doda thinks that the Bible was written by drunkards and junkies. I believe that she committed a crime and offended the religious feelings of both Christians and Jews.” ….

Indonesian Charged With Blasphemy for Atheist Post

In Uncategorized on January 21, 2012 at 07:40

Indonesian police say a civil servant who posted “God does not exist” on Facebook faces a maximum penalty of five years behind bars for blasphemy.

Thirty-one-year-old Alexander Aan was taken into police custody Friday after his remarks triggered public outcry in West Sumatra province.

He was attacked by a mob on his way to work.

Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim nation of 240 million, recognizes the right to practice five other religions. But atheism is illegal.

Col. Chairul Azis, police chief in the West Sumatran district of Dharmasraya, says Aan was charged because he used the social networking site to spread beliefs that violate the law.

He says Aan also lied on his job application by claiming he was Muslim.

Girl accused of blasphemy for a spelling error By Muhammad Sadaqat Published: September 25, 2011

In Uncategorized on September 28, 2011 at 13:05

Eighth-grader expelled from school; mother forced to move from city.

ABBOTTABAD: 

It may have been a mere misplaced dot that led to accusations of blasphemy against a Christian eighth-grader, whose miniscule error led to her expulsion from school and uproar amongst local religious leaders.

Faryal Bhatti, a student at the Sir Syed Girls High School in Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) colony Havelian, erroneously misspelt a word in an Urdu exam while answering a question on a poem written in praise of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The word in question was ‘laanat’ instead of ‘naat’ – an easy error for a child to make, as the written versions of the words are similar.

According to the school administration and religious leaders who took great exception to the hapless student’s mistake, the error is ‘serious’ enough to fall within the realm of blasphemy, Saturday.

Spelling out her punishment

On Thursday, Faryal’s Urdu teacher was collecting the answer sheets from her students when she noticed the apparently offensive word on her pupil’s sheet. The teacher, Fareeda Bibi, reportedly summoned the Christian girl, scolded her and beat her. Her punishment, however, did not end here. When Faryal’s class fellows learnt of the alleged blasphemy, the teacher brought the principal’s notice to the matter, who further informed the school management.

In the meanwhile, the news spread throughout the colony. The next day, male students of the POF colony school as well as certain religious elements took out a rally, demanding the registration of a criminal case against the eighth-grader and her expulsion from the area.

Prayer leaders within the community also condemned the incident in their Friday sermons, asking the colony’s administration to not only take action against Faryal but her entire family. In the wake of the increasing tensions, Managing Director POF Colony Havelian Asif Siddiki called a meeting of colony-based ulemas and school teachers to discuss the situation. The girl and her mother were asked to appear before the meeting, where they explained that it was a mere error, caused by a resemblance between the two words. The two immediately apologised, adding that Faryal had no malicious intentions.

In a move that was apparently meant to pacify the religious elements clamouring for action against the teenage ‘blasphemer’, the POF administration expelled her from the school on Saturday. Faryal was not the only one who got in trouble for her spelling error, however, as her mother, Sarafeen Bhatti, who was a staff nurse at the POF Hospital Havelian for several years, was immediately transferred to POF Wah Cantonment Hospital.

Decision applauded

While talking to The Express Tribune, Maulana Alla Dita Khateeb of Gol Masjid praised the decision of the POF colony administration, claiming that he had personally seen the answer sheet in question. He further went on to say that he had met the girl himself, who had apologised for the word used in error.  Asked whether the incident still fell within the realm of blasphemy and whether Faryal deserved expulsion when she had misspelt the word unintentionally, Khateeb said that although he was unclear about the intentions of the girl, the word she had used was sacrilegious.

The managing director of POF Colony was not available for comment.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 25th, 2011.

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