Kashmir International Front Condemn the Court decision

by: Afzal Tahir, London

Courtesy: United Kashmir
Kashmir International Front strongly condemn the sentence awarded by
one Pakistani Court to Mohammad Shafiq Lateef. The government must change the law and
before doing so they must educate public. Had the public been educated, they must not asked sister to be raped just to pay the price of his brother?

A District and Sessions court on Wednesday sentenced a man to death on charges of blasphemy. Mohammad Shafeeq Lateef was charged with using derogatory remarks in reference to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and desecrating pages of the holy Quran on March 17, 2006. District and Sessions Judge Suhaib Ahmed Roomi sentenced Lateef to death for making blasphemous remarks and issued a separate fine of Rs 500,000 for desecrating pages of the holy book. Lateef was arrested from a village near Sialkot and charged under
the blasphemy law. Judge Shoaib Ahmed Roomi awarded death sentence to Mr. Mohammad Shafiq, in
Sialkot, a northern city of Pakistan.

Originally, there is no evidence of blasphemy law in
Islam. Though, the political and tribal power
struggle had been the source of conflict within Muslim
Community of early Islam, but no such thing like
blasphemy law.

The ideological debate and conflicting arguments were
even at the time of Prophet and Prophet himself
allowed different point of view. Even so much so
Prophet allowed people to read Qur’an in their local
accent. In fact it was Sufi school of thought who
distance themselves from political controversies and
confronted scriptural Islam ideologically. They were
of the opinion that scripturalists are promoting
distorted version of Islam that is more to employee
tools of fear and greed rather than love. They
rejected the idea that just five times prayer,
fasting, Zikka and Hajj can not make people good.
The point of departure was to love God without
expecting any reward. Further more they interpreted
that God is not some where in the textual statements
of the scripture but with in the human being. Their
approach was to love every one and do not discriminate
people because of their faith, color or gender. This
is the reason that the famous Sufi Saints from North
Africa
to East Asia were always very popular among
common people.

The early historical evidence shows that in fact it
was a bench on the North side of the Madina Mosque
that is also known as Prophet’s Mosque. The poor
companion of the Prophets use to sit on that bench
known as suffa. The same Mosque was also Prophets
residence. Though not direct access to the mosque but
from out side access, there was nine apartments
made-up of mud-walls in use of Prophet’s house hold.
Prophet himself use to send food for these poor
companions who use to sit in the subject suffa and
known as Asab-al-Suffa. Historical evidence shows
that these people spread all around and Sufism started
from them

The earliest who become victim of the scriptualist
violence was the famous saint Mansoor al-Hallaj. Suffi
growth in Islam was enormous and spread all corners
of the Muslim community.

The very rational debate is re-surfacing within the
Muslim community. The level of consciousness is
becoming very high with every passing day. There are
very fundamental questions taking shape in people’s
mind. The scripturalists unable to answer new
questions and rather trying take refuge in the
Christian tradition, the blasphemy law.

The point is that Mohammad Shafiq Lateef is Muslim and
many Muslims in Pakistan got killed for the same
reason. The very common sense beg to ask question,
why Mr. Lateef did this? He is not made? It is very
certain to presume that, he must have enter into
discussion. He must be asking very rational questions
that resulted his opponents to resort to the blasphemy
law. This is what, was exactly happening in 16th and
17th century in
Europe.

Pakistan is plague with religious violence. Hundreds
of people along with their mullahs being blown up in
Nishtar Park Karachi. The century’s old famous shrine
in
Rawalpindi, Mian Mir was bombed. The Girls schools,
Music shops, you name it are under attack.

An open debate and discussion is essential for a
better understanding and tolerance. If the question
of offensive and blasphemy is a ready-made tool, then
the religious people have to stopped their
interference in people’s private life. It is the
fundamental right of the people, what they believe,
what they eat, drink or wear, as long as they are not
violating the law. The law must not contradict
fundament freedom, freedom of choice, freedom of
expression etc. The laws, that discriminate or put
unnecessary restrictions bound to fail and would not
any helpful.

Issued by:
Afzal Tahir
London.
19 June 20, 2008

http://www.unitedkashmir.synthasite.com/

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