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PAKISTAN must abolish the blasphemy law

Pakistan Must Abolish the Blasphemy Law

 

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent  – THE SEOUL TIMES

 

Pakistani Christians in a Christmas Mass

The nation of Pakistan faces many internal problems and minorities reside in fear because political leaders have been in self destruct mode. This applies to the role of Pakistan in fostering and spreading radical Sunni Islam to regional nations. At the same time the internal legal system is openly espousing hatred and creating mayhem by maintaining the blasphemy law.

This was clearly visible when Christians were burnt alive by radical Sunni Islamists, therefore, now is the right time to eradicate this dangerous law which is sowing discord and hatred. Both internal and external pressure is needed in order for Pakistan to start afresh. The same applies to crushing radical Sunni Islamic institutions and networks which are causing mayhem.

However, will the current leadership deal with this crisis and tackle rogue elements within both the political system and military? After all, the role of the security services in Pakistan is clearly a major issue because they have given a free reign to Sunni Islamic radicals to kill at random in both Afghanistan and Kashmir (India). More recently, this external export is now trying to challenge the state internally so the stakes are clearly high.

Turning back to the blasphemy law it is abundantly clear that this issue is being manipulated by radical Sunni Islamic forces within Pakistan. Therefore, many innocents have been put in prison on the grounds of blasphemy and this law threatens the Christian community, Ahmadiyya Muslims, and anyone deemed to have blasphemed against the Koran and Islam.

It is clear that the blasphemy law can be used by Muslims in order to crush both the minorities of Pakistan or to accuse so-called enemies of Islam or on the grounds of having a grudge. Therefore, many Christians and Muslims have been victims of this terrible law and the fear of being accused of this is great.

Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti, President of the Pakistan Christian Congress, has demanded openly and with a firm conviction that the government of Pakistan must “repeal the blasphemy law.” Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti is also calling for the “arrest (of) the culprits before August 11, 2009.”

According to an article written in the Pakistan Christian Post (http://pakistanchristianpost.com) by Joseph Keenan “The culprits belonged to a banned Sunni Muslim extremist group – Sipah-e-Sahaba….” This applies to the attacks on Christians in Gojra town which led to many Christians being burnt alive by Sunni Islamic zealots.

The article by Joseph Keenan also highlights how the brutal blasphemy law was implemented and strengthened. He states that the “Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC) said Section 298-A added in an amendment in 1980 stated that use of derogatory remarks, respect of holy personages, whoever by words, either spoken or written or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo or insinuation, directly or indirectly defiles the sacred name of any wife or member of the family of prophet Mohammad, subject to three years imprisonment.”

The article continues and shows you how the legal system became even more brutal and harsh against all minorities in Pakistan or against any person who supports freedom or liberty.

For “In 1982, another amendment was made and section 295-B was added in PPC, punishable with imprisonment of life.” Then the most controversial part was added in 1986 because “section 295-C, was added, the most serious, controversial and presently invoked amendment was made, a capital punishment of death penalty.”

Therefore, in modern day Pakistan you can be killed on the grounds of blasphemy according to the judicial system. Of course the blasphemy law is about Islamizing Pakistan and crushing all minorities or people who disagree with Islamization.

After all, in the past “fear,” Islamic Sharia law and “dhimmitude” was part and parcel of Islamization and the same applies to laws which always favour Muslims versus non-Muslims during legal cases. Therefore, the blasphemy law is about stifling religious minorities and of course it panders to radical Islamists who desire to kill and persecute all minorities or any deemed enemy.

Joseph Keenan further comments that “There have been many arrests of Christians under section 295-B & C in Pakistan. Some have been brutally murdered in day light from (the) hands of radical Muslims, some killed in jails and police lock ups.” He also makes it clear that fairness and protection is not happening and clearly the treatment of people accused of blasphemy is brutal and harsh.

Therefore, I hope many people join Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti because a “Black Day” will be observed on August 11, 2009, in order to highlight the ongoing suffering of Christians in Pakistan and the recent brutal murders which took place in the town of Gojra.

All information can be found at http://pakistanchristianpost.com The Pakistan Christian Post. Therefore, it is clear that “Black Day” is a way to raise a very important issue because does Pakistan want to modernize or Islamize?

Also, “the soul of Pakistan” is being blighted by hatred and moderate Christians, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, or whoever, must stand up and be counted because freedom and liberty is under assault and dangerous forces want to impose radical versions of Islam on the masses.

If the government of Pakistan wants a bright future for all citizens in this nation then real changes must be implemented and the forces of radical Sunni Islam must be crushed. Pakistan is “at the crossroads and on the abyss” because in parts of this nation it is a failed state because government control is being challenged by radical Sunni Islamic fighters.

Yet the real tragedy for minorities in Pakistan, irrespective if Christian, Shia Muslim, Ahmadiyya Muslim, Hindu, or whatever; is that minorities face systematic persecution at the hands of both radical Sunni Islamists and the central government. It is time for a new way in Pakistan and repealing the blasphemy law would be a good start and after the recent brutal murders of Christians, I clearly support Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti and other leaders who want the legal system changed.

LEE JAY WALKER

http://www.theseoultimes.com

http://www.leejaywalker.wordpress.com

leejayteach@hotmail.com

 

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PAKISTAN and the persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslims and Christians

Pakistan and the Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslims and Christians

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent –
THE SEOUL TIMES – SOUTH KOREA

 
Dr. Abdul Mannan Siddiqui is seen at Jalsa Salana Qadian 2005. the regional president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Mirpurkhas, Sindh, Pakistan was killed on Sept. 12, 2008 at around 2.30pm Pakistani time. Dr. Siddiqi was both a most eminent member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and also a renowned physician.

In the land of Pakistan hatred continues to grow in many parts of this nation. This hatred, inspired and ignited by Sunni Islamic extremists, is directed against all moderates and all faiths. To make matters worse the institutions inside Pakistan, notably the government, judiciary, and police, is also part of the problem and internal security services are divided. Therefore, Pakistan is either unwilling or unable to stop the flow of radical Sunni Islam and nations like Afghanistan and India are bearing the brunt of this failed nation state. Also, the internal situation in Pakistan is out of control in parts of this nation. So how can this nation be trusted when so many failures are taking place?

After all, within Pakistan you have many minorities who reside in fear because of the ongoing violence directed against them. This applies to radical Sunni Islamic extremists who are killing and persecuting Ahmadiyya Muslims, Shia Muslims, Christians, and other minorities. Even moderates within the Sunni Muslim community face persecution because the madness of radical Sunni Islam appears to be out of control. If this hatred is not challenged, then Pakistan faces a bleak future and regional nations will suffer via terrorism, indoctrination, and agitation.

If we focus on Ahmadiyya Muslims, then it is clear that these Muslims only want liberty, freedom, and the right to live in peace. However, even Ahmadi doctors face persecution despite these doctors loving humanity. After all, Ahmadi doctors merely want to help all people, irrespective if Sunni Muslim, Christian, Shia Muslim, or a member of another faith or a person of no faith. Yet to extremists, mainly in the Sunni Islamic camp, they are deemed to be “infidels” and worthy of killing.

This is clearly happening because since 1982 you have had 15 brutal murders of Ahmadi doctors in Pakistan. The most recent murder happened on September 8, 2008, when Dr Abdul Mannan Siddiqi was killed. Therefore, a man of peace and a highly respected individual who helped the poor and all people who needed help, was killed in the name of radical Islam. This hatred is sadly growing and all minorities reside in fear and more alarmingly, to the haters of humanity, their list of so-called infidels appears to be growing.

Abid Khan, a representative of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, stated that “The murder of Dr Abdul Mannan Siddiqi is a grave tragedy. He was a true servant of mankind and lived his life according to the Ahmadiyya motto, ‘Love for All, Hatred for None.’ His death was simply due to his being a peace loving member of the Ahmadiyya Community.” Yet this man of humanity was deemed to be an infidel and “the forces of evil,” the very same forces of evil who massacred hundreds in Mumbai, India, in 2008; appear to be growing in power and influence in Pakistan.

Also, it is not only radical Islamists that minorities fear, but the Pakistan government itself and the judicial system which is openly biased. This applies to the blasphemy law, and other laws which infringe on the rights of equality. Yet of major concern is the blasphemy law because all non-Sunni Muslim minorities fear this law and the same applies to liberal Sunni Muslims who face the same consequences. For blasphemy in Pakistan is punishable by death and Sunni Muslims can use this law in order to persecute minorities and liberals within the Sunni community.

Overall, in modern day Pakistan you have frequent cases of Sunni Muslims raping Christian women and then converting these Christian women to Islam. For Christian parents, it is one long nightmare because regional police forces and the judiciary are obviously biased. All too often these Christian girls are denied equal rights and the courts deem their conversion to Islam to be final, despite the seriousness of their respective ordeals. Therefore, rape and liberty is “thrown out of the window” and instead Islamization is the winner.

I remember writing about the same issue many years ago after the brutal death of a brave Muslim cleric called Mohammed Yousaf Ali. For in 2002 this brave Muslim cleric spoke out against discrimination and he condemned religious Islamic extremism. This brave cleric called Mohammed Yousaf Ali was therefore a threat to Islamic militants, for he happened to care for people from all faiths and in the eyes of Islamic extremists he was no longer a Muslim. Therefore, Mohammed Yousaf Ali made many enemies and for this he was murdered.

To make matters worse, this brave Muslim cleric was not only killed by an Islamic zealot, but he was also condemned by the judiciary of Pakistan and, more worryingly, by the government of Pakistan which allows people to be put in prison on the grounds of blasphemy. This means that Mohammed Yousaf Ali was murdered collectively by the judiciary who put him in prison, by the Islamic zealot who killed him, and by the government of Pakistan which allows blasphemy to be a criminal offence.

The gunman who murdered Mohammed Yousaf Ali showed no remorse, on the contrary, he believed that this was legal and part and parcel of the teachings of Islam. For the alleged killer, Tariq Mota, stated that “I now feel spiritually satisfied. It is the responsibility of every Muslim to kill these infidels.” Therefore, this hatred is not only deep but it is based on the Hadiths and Islamic Sharia Law which clearly supports the theory of killing apostates. This fact can be seen clearly in Saudi Arabia where leaving Islam equals the death penalty. So this issue is not just about Islamic extremists, but it is about aspects of Islam itself.

Yet six years later, moving from 2002 to 2008, and we still see the same hatred. Therefore, Pakistan must be sternly rebuked and the international community needs to wake-up! Also, militancy within this nation is being exported to Afghanistan and India, and much further. After all, the terrorist attack in London was done via the behest of radical Sunni Muslims within the Pakistani community in the United Kingdom.

Therefore, how much longer do Ahmadiyya Muslims have to wait before they have equality? Also, why should Christians, women, Shia Muslims, liberal Sunni Muslims, Hindus, and others, reside in fear? Surely this nation needs to be challenged verbally and these crimes should not be hidden from readers. Instead people like Mohammed Yousaf Ali should be remembered for speaking out against hatred, if not, the only winners in modern day Pakistan will be Islamic zealots and criminals who are abusing women. Surely this situation needs to be changed and quickly, but does the international community care?

Lee Jay Walker Dip BA MA
lee_jay_teach@hotmail.co.uk
 
 

 

 

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