Tag Archives: Aysia

Why Pakistanis Won’t Speak Out Against Blasphemy Law

By: Tahir Gora

The arrest of 11-year-or-so-old Christian girl, Rimsha Masih, in Pakistan in connection with the blasphemy charges has shocked the world but not Pakistan and majority Pakistanis.

For instance, a Pakistani Canadian from Mississauga, Ontario Canada wrote on the Internet in the wake of this senseless arrest, “Lets fight against the terrorism of USA and support the cause of AAFIA SIDDIQUE (a Pakistani lady convicted and jailed in the USA for assault with intent to murder her U.S. interrogators in Afghanistan)”, he stated further, “I am 100% sure that nothing will happen to the girl (Rimsha) and she will be released, not to worry.”

While undermining the arrest of poor little Rimsha and provoking dispute in Aafia conviction case, that Pakistani-Canadian fellow completely forgot that a Pakistani Christian lady, Asia Bibi, a mother of five is still behind the bars. She received a sentence of death by a Pakistani court in connection of Blasphemy Law in November 2010.

Continue reading Why Pakistanis Won’t Speak Out Against Blasphemy Law

The Talibanisation of Society in Pakistan

Abandoned by their government, the poor of Pakistan have turned to the Taliban and other fundamentalist groups for support and solace. At the same time, a growing pressure for emancipation presses against fundamentalism. Which force will triumph? A report based on travel in rural Sindh.

By: Jan Breman (J.C.Breman@uva.nl) is professor emeritus at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Sciences, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

In her prison cell, Asia Bibi is waiting since 2010 for execution of the verdict brought against her. Blasphemy is the crime she has been accused of and for that gravest of sins the penalty is to be hanged. Why and how was she found guilty?

Asia Bibi is an agricultural labourer in Punjab, illiterate, mother of small children and Christian. When at work in the field as part of a female gang, she went to fetch water to drink and passed around the jug to her fellow workers. A few of them refused, saying that having touched her mouth, the spout had become unclean. Asia belongs to a low caste of Hindu origin that has been converted to Christianity. This attempt to escape from the stigma of untouchability has not ended the discrimination to which she is subjected.

Continue reading The Talibanisation of Society in Pakistan

SAPAC efforts for Rinkal Case

March 30, 2012 – SAPAC, Washington, DC: On 24th February, 2012 , a young Hindu girl named Rinkel Kumari was abducted from her home in a small village in Sindh, Pakistan. It was a full twelve hours before her family discovered where she was. Rinkel, aged 19, had been forced to change her religion to Islam and to marry a young man named Naveed Shah. Her parents immediately filled a first information report and brought her case before a civil judge. The court house was surrounded by thugs and supporters of the Pakistani Peoples’ Party Member of the National Assembly (PPP MNA) who was assisting Naveed. Under tremendous pressure, and obvious duress, Rinkel testified that she had married and converted to Islam of her own will. The judge released her into Naveed’s custody. Unsatisfied with the verdict, the Hindu community in Sindh rallied together to demand justice for Rinkel and other Hindu girls who had faced the same fate.

Continue reading SAPAC efforts for Rinkal Case

Save Sindhyat, Save Rinkal Kumari

Rinkal Kumari, a Hindu Girl, from Mirpur Mathelo Sindh Pakistan, was kidnapped on 23rd February 2012 while she was returning home from her college. After being kidnapped, she was taken to Bharchundi Shareef (a small village near Mirpur Mathelo, Sindh, Pakistan) and was put under the custody of Feudal named Mian Mithoo (Member of Assembly). The victim, Rinkal, was harrowed by Mian Mithoo to forcefully convert to Islam and then get married with Naveed Shah, a resident of the same area. Under defenseless circumstances along with physical abuse, Rinkal married Naveed Shah. Disturbed and agonized by the situation, Mr. Raj Kumar (Rinkal’s Uncle) and Rinkal’s family approached the local law enforcement to seek justice but to no avail. The Policemen, negatively influenced by Mian Mithoo, denied the rights of Rinkal’s family to lodge a complaint.After 5 hours of struggle, pleading and literal beseech, the Police finally accepted a written complaint from Rinkal’s family and issued a First Information Report (F.I.R) saying that the case will be presented at 10 am 24th February 2012 in Ghotki Local Court.

Plan Changed and the victim was taken to a different court in Mirpur Mathelo and hearing was rescheduled to 9:00am from 10:00am. These location and time changes were influenced by Mian Mithoo and Rinkal family were not informed about this change. However, knowing this information from an unknown source, Rinkal’s family reached that place early but they were blocked from entering the court premises by private gunmen (hired by Mian Mithoo) with heavy artillery as seen in the pictures and video clips on different Tv channels. In the video clip below Ayaz Latif  Palijo Protesting against forced Religion conversion The language of the Bolta Pakistan program is urdu (Hindi).

Courtesy: ARY News Tv » (Bolta Pakistan with Nusrat Javed, Mustaq Minhas and Ayaz Latif Palijo, March 06, 2012)

The judge, who had handed down two death sentences to Mumtaz Qadri for killing Punjab governor Salman Taseer, has left Pakistan along with his family after receiving death threats from jihadis

Qadri case judge sent abroad

by Zulqernain Tahir

LAHORE: The district and sessions judge, who had handed down two death sentences to Mumtaz Qadri for killing Punjab governor Salman Taseer, has left for Saudi Arabia along with his family after receiving death threats from extremists.

“The death threats have forced Judge Pervez Ali Shah to leave the country along with his family for Saudi Arabia,” Advocate Saiful Malook, the special prosecutor in the Qadri case, told Dawn on Monday.

He said sensing the gravity of the situation the government had arranged the lodging of Mr Shah and members of his family abroad. “Although security was provided to the judge and his family members, the government on the reports of law-enforcement agencies opted for sending him abroad,” he said.

There were also unconfirmed reports that extremist elements in religious parties had fixed the head money for the judge. “There were such reports but there was a potential threat to the life of Mr Shah and his family members,” he said.

Mr Malook said he also had been receiving threats to his life and urged the government to arrange adequate security. “The government has deployed only two policemen for my security which is not adequate,” he said.

Judge Pervez Ali Shah had said in his verdict: “No-one can be given the licence to kill anyone in any condition, therefore, the killer cannot be pardoned as he has committed a heinous crime.”

Assassin Qadri, a constable in the Punjab Police Elite Force, tried to justify the murder by stating that he had killed Mr Taseer for supporting Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman who the slain governor had projected as having been wrongly convicted of blasphemy. Qadri, who was on duty to guard Taseer, gunned him down outside a restaurant in Islamabad on Jan 4 this year. ….

Read more » DAWN.COM

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Courtesy » Aaj News Tv (Bolta Pakistan with Nusrat Javed and Mushtaq Minhas – 25th October 2011)

via » ZemTv » YouTube

They’re blood thirsty now

The Good Old Days of Fatwas and Anita Ayub

by Dr. Shazia Nawaz

I was reading an article the other day in which a female writer explains that how women too are going to get male virgins in heaven. While I found the article interesting and entertaining, it reminded me of Anita Ayub. Anita Ayub was a model and an actress in Pakistan in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. She also worked in an Indian movie called ‘ Pyar Ka Tarana’. Legend has it that she fell in love with a Sikh, married him, and moved to India. I don’t know if there is any truth to this news or not. Anita was a beautiful, smart, and intelligent model with serious lack of talent. She said things those days that most Pakistani women were not allowed to say. She did things those days that most Pakistani women were not allowed to do.

She got quite a few Fatwas (religious condemnation to be killed) against her. It has been a hobby of our mullas to give Fatwas for centuries. But things were not this bad in the 1990’s. I call those days “good old days of Fatwas”. When moulvi hazarat gave a Fatwa those days, few fanatics sent you death threats, you apologized, they forgave you. Everyone moved on and nobody got hurt.

Who knew that one day the Zia-ul-Haq era would be considered a relatively peaceful era!

Years ago when I was just a child, I heard that Anita Ayub had asked a very bad question, “If men are going to get hoors (virgins) in heaven, what are women going to get?”

I remember my mom commenting on Anita’s morality and mentality in a not so complementing manner. My teenage mind was confused. The question did not seem that unreasonable to me. Risking judgment on my own morality and mentality, I asked my mom if there was an answer to Anita’s question. My mom said very understandably that in heaven women would become hoors themselves. Asking any further questions meant asking for God’s wrath. This is where we are stopped. When you do not understand it, asking any further questions is a sin.

So, moulvis of Pakistan issued a Fatwa against her. Next week, Anita’s apology was published with the explanation that this is not what she meant. How could she possibly question the divine laws? The matter indeed ended. Mullas put her episode of temporary insanity (or logical thinking) behind. So this is what I call good old days of Fatwas. When you spoke your curious mind, few good moulvis actually tried to explain things politely, few gave Fatwa, you apologized, and you got to live.

Mercy no more my friends! Forgiveness no more. Asia Bibi has apologized a million times. Salmaan Taseer gave explanation after explanation that he did not mean to defend a blasphemer, but a weak and poor woman. They did not listen. They’re blood thirsty now. Now those good old days of Fatwas are over. …

Read more: LUBP

Blasphemy allegations: Another Christian family on the run

… a group of men led by Muhammad Sameer, a member of a religious organisation keen on raising its sectarian profile, forced their way into the house and started slapping Zahira, said another of her brothers, Sohail. “Other men and women from the neighbourhood started gathering at the house too and they beat up my sister and mother. They were the only people in the house,” he said.

We tried our best to get her to confess her crime,” Sameer told The Express Tribune. As a member of the religious organisation, he said he could not tolerate any derogatory remarks about the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

Sameer added that he was very proud of his wife’s performance during the mob beating. “She beat Zahira more than anyone else. Her hand is so swollen that she hasn’t been able to make rotis since the day of the incident. I’ve been getting my meals from a restaurant,” he said. …

LAHORE: Two Christian women were beaten and publically humiliated by an angry mob over apparently frivolous blasphemy allegations and they and their family are now in hiding for fear of being killed, The Express Tribune has learnt.

“None of our relatives is ready to let us stay with them. They fear the wrath of the extremists, particularly after the assassination of Salmaan Taseer,” a male member of the family said over the phone from an undisclosed location.

The family and a non-governmental organisation that is helping them asked that their identities not be revealed, lest it put them in further danger. The names mentioned here are fictitious. …

Read more : The Express Tribune

Salmaan Taseer, Aasia Bibi and Pakistan’s struggle with extremism

by Declan Walsh

Aasia Bibi isn’t at home. Children play at the blue gate of her modest home in Itanwali, a sleepy Punjabi village. Bibi, the woman at the heart of Pakistan‘s blasphemy furore – which triggered the murder of Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer last week – is in jail, desperately praying that she won’t be executed. Her neighbours are hoping she will be.

“Why hasn’t she been killed yet?” said Maafia Bibi , a 20-year-old woman standing at the gate of the house next door. Her eyes glitter behind a scarf that covered her face. “You journalists keep coming here asking questions but the issue is resolved. Why has she not been hanged?”

Maafia was one of a group of about four women who accused Bibi, also known as Aasia Noreen, who is Christian, of insulting the prophet Muhammad during a row in a field 18 months ago. But she will not specify what Bibi actually said, because to repeat the words would itself be blasphemy. And so Bibi was sentenced to hang on mere hearsay – a Kafkaesque twist that seems to bother few in Itanwali, a village 30 miles outside Lahore.

A few streets away Maulvi Muhammad Saalim is preparing for Friday prayers. The 31-year-old mullah, a curly-bearded man with darting, kohl-rimmed eyes and woolly waistcoat, played a central role in marshalling the blasphemy charge. When a court sentenced Bibi to death last November – the first woman in Pakistan’s history – he “wept with joy”, he says. “We had been worried the court would award a lesser sentence. So the entire village celebrated.” …

via – Globeistan – Read more : Guardian

Salman Taseer Remembered – by Tariq Ali

Mumtaz Hussain Qadri smiled as he surrendered to his colleagues after shooting Salman Taseer, the governor of the Punjab, dead. Many in Pakistan seemed to support his actions; others wondered how he’d managed to get a job as a state bodyguard in the carefully screened Elite Force. Geo TV, the country’s most popular channel, reported, and the report has since been confirmed, that ‘Qadri had been kicked out of Special Branch after being declared a security risk,’ that he ‘had requested that he not be fired on but arrested alive if he managed to kill Taseer’ and that ‘many in Elite Force knew of his plans to kill Salman Taseer.’

Qadri is on his way to becoming a national hero. On his first appearance in court, he was showered with flowers by admiring Islamabad lawyers who have offered to defend him free of charge. On his way back to prison, the police allowed him to address his supporters and wave to the TV cameras. The funeral of his victim was sparsely attended: a couple of thousand mourners at most. A frightened President Zardari and numerous other politicians didn’t show up. A group of mullahs had declared that anyone attending the funeral would be regarded as guilty of blasphemy. No mullah (that includes those on the state payroll) was prepared to lead the funeral prayers. The federal minister for the interior, Rehman Malik, a creature of Zardari’s, has declared that anyone trying to tamper with or amend the blasphemy laws will be dealt with severely. In the New York Times version he said he would shoot any blasphemer himself.

Taseer’s spirited defence of Asiya Bibi, a 45-year-old Punjabi Christian peasant, falsely charged with blasphemy after an argument with two women who accused her of polluting their water by drinking out of the same receptacle, provoked an angry response from religious groups. …

Read more : LRB.co.uk
http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n02/tariq-ali/salman-taseer-remembered?%22%20target=%22_blank%22%3ELRB.co.uk

A personal story! – by Dr. Shazia Nawaz

I was sitting with a white American female physician. Wonderful woman in her 40s who just adopted a child from China with cleft palate.

She is very religious. I said,” Muslims are very similar to Christians. We do believe that Mary was a virgin mother but we believe that “Jesus was only a miracle of God and not son.”

That doctor’s hands started shaking, her voice started trembling and she literally had tears in her eyes when she said with deep grief, ” Shazia that is our core belief. Our religion is based on that fact that Jesus was God and part of God was in him.”

Before that I did not really know that how strong this part of Christian faith was. I thank that God who created us all that USA does not have blasphemy laws. They let you debate. Or that day, my life would have been taken away from me.

This is what happened to that Christian woman, Aysia Bibi, mother of five children. Since birth she was told that Mohammad (P.B.U.H) [our beloved prophet and last prophet of God according to Muslim faith] is — a prophet (P.B.U.H). — She was beaten and her life was taken away from her and now she is in a jail cell. We all are going to die one day. If I see grave injustice, I would say it. Blasphemy laws can not be applied on non Muslims anyways and a Muslim scholar Javed Ghamdi sahib has said it.

It makes me very sad that a good man (Governor Punjab, Salmaan Taseer) died speaking the truth. I have never called a dead politician Shaheed before but Salman Taseer was.

A cry in the wilderness – Kamran Shafi

….. For this monster does not only threaten the `bloody civilians`, it threatens all Pakistanis who might have a view different to the jihadis who, let me insist one more time (and mark my words), are readying themselves for a takeover of the Pakistani state, no less. For have our own soldiers — serving, retired, even their innocent children — been spared the wrath of the murdering terrorists? So depraved is their conduct in the quest for dominance that they do not even spare mosques and those who are in prayer as happened at Parade Lane, Westridge.

But back to Salman Taseer. He did not blaspheme by saying that the law on blasphemy was a faulty law which needed amending to make it more fair, under which innocent people would not be charged/ harassed/ killed as we have seen in umpteen cases. The government, which is now going blue in the face saying it has no intention of bringing changes to the law, should think again. The minorities too are citizens of this country and need the protection of the state.

Salman and I went back a long way, and even though I opposed vehemently his destabilising the Punjab government in which his own party was a coalition partner and then dismissing it — an act that was doomed to failure — I never quite lost a certain affection for him. He was brash; he was in-your-face; he was loud and brazen. But he was outside what he was inside.

When he was on the run during Ziaul Haq`s cruel dictatorship he hid in my home on Nisar Road for some days, always insisting that it was good the police and the intelligence agencies were as inefficient as they were so that people could hide from them for considerable periods of time. They did get to us one day but I had seen the three police vans parked near our house just as I drove out on an errand.

There were no mobile telephones then so I stopped at a neighbour`s and warned Salman of the impending raid. There was no acknowledgement from him, just silence. I drove back home to find the telephone off the hook where Salman had dropped it, the guestroom window open and no Salman. As he told me later, he dropped the telephone, jumped out the window and over the back wall, ran to the nearest road, flagged down a passing motorcyclist and vanished into thin air! That was the Salman Taseer I will remember. RIP. ….

Read more : DAWN

Pakistan : Will The Political Establishment Wake Up?

Will The Political Establishment Wake Up?

By: Agha Haider Raza

Our country is at a crossroad. Pakistan has come to a point where thousands believe they are righteous and have divine authority to carry out God’s acts on this earth. …

Read more : Agha Haider Raza

Blasphemy laws: what does the Quran say? —Dr Mohammad Taqi

It is a travesty of justice that a verse dealing with war, sedition and rebellion is invoked to punish what may not even qualify as theocratic or religious dissent. In fact, Article 295 is not just a travesty of justice, it is an iftira (slander) against the Almighty and Prophet (PBUH) as it attributes to them what they never mandated …

Read more : Daily Tiems

Condemnation of Death Sentence to Aysia BiBi Under Blasphemy Law

Renowned Urdu novelist, short story writer and peace activist K. Ashraf condemns the death sentence of Asia BiBi under Blasphemy Law. Awarding such barbaric punishment to anyone under such so called Law is against the universal principles of humanity. He appeals to all Pakistanis to stand up against clergy and oppose such draconian punishments. The use of religion to deny justice to people is naked brutality which has no space in any modern day society.

Islam is an egalitarian religion which teaches human beings to live fear-free and peaceful lives. In Pakistan, so much religious deviation has taken place it has become difficult to differentiate between what is Islamic and un-Islamic.

By implementing tribal punishments in the guise of religion is taking toll on Pakistani society. We are already witnessing such incidents in all parts of Pakistan where people have started taking law into their own hands.

It is about time for the members of the governing elite and the people of Pakistan to clearly define what type of Pakistan they want. Do they want a Pakistan where people start killing people or have them killed through state apparatus simply for uttering words which people of one set of faith do not like?

It is heart breaking to see comments from some Pakistani religious clerks in support of death sentence of Aysia BiBi. Supporting death sentence to Aysia BiBi by these religious clerks is causing a bad name to Pakistan.

Renowned novelist, story writer and peace activist K. Ashraf appeals to the government and the people of Pakistan to stand up against this un-Islamic act in the name of Islam and save Islam from becoming a stigma in the world.

November 24, 2010