Tag Archives: Blasphemy

Pakistan or Fascistan? – by B. R. GOWANI

… All signs point to fascism

While Taseer’s body was being riddled with bullets, the other guards stayed inactive.

(The infiltration of the security and the armed forces by the Islamic elements has been a known fact since the late 1970s when General Zia-ul-Haq was in power.)

The reason given by the assassin was Taseer’s criticism of the blasphemy law. According to Qadri’s lawyer, Saimul Haq Satti, Qadri told him: “I am proud of it.” …

Read more: Globeistan

Jamat-e-Islami sees Taseer’s assassin in ‘seventh heaven’

JI sees Taseer’s assassin in ‘seventh heaven’

By Shamim Bano, Karachi

In a shockingly blunt endorsement of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer’s assassination, Ameer Jamat-e-Islami in Sindh Asadullah Bhutto has declared that the assassin will directly go to the “seventh heaven”.

He said this after a press conference addressed by JI Ameer Munawar Hasan at Idara-e-Noor-e-Haq on Tuesday. The press conference ended abruptly when a JI spokesman Sarfaraz Ahmad broke the news of Taseer’s assassination to Munawar. “Is he alive?” was his first reaction.

“Whoever has killed him is a pious man and will go directly to heaven,” replied Bhutto to a question put forward by this correspondent.

He even went on to say that Taseer would not have got killed if the government had replaced him. “Aasia Bibi will suffer the same fate if the punishment awarded to her by the court for using derogatory remarks against Hazrat Mohammed Mustafa (PBUH) is not implemented,” he added.

Earlier, during the press conference, Syed Munawar Hasan said that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) should also clear its position in Sindh after parting ways with the government at the Centre. …

Read more : The News

Salmaan Taseer: assassinated on a perilous path – Dr Mohammad Taqi

Salmaan Taseer dedicated his personal fortune to the cause of publishing the unvarnished truth and the people’s right to know this truth. It would not have been possible for this paper’s editorial board to carry itself independently were it not for Salmaan Taseer’s personal commitment to not only this project but to the very freedoms of speech and expression.

“The sorrowful smell of the mist,

Lingering over the Indus,

Gentle waves of rice, dung and rind,

This is the salt cry of Sindh,

As I die let me feel,

The fragrance of tears”

— Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai.

“It was a Sindhi poet, Shah Abdul Latif, who captured the forlornness of his country in this haunting verse,” wrote Salmaan Taseer in the opening chapter of his 1979 book, Bhutto: A Political Biography. I have read these words many times but had never once thought that the forlornness might get deeper than the deepest depression one could feel. But the assassination of Salmaan Taseer has left many of us even more devastated and depressed than what Shah Latif could depict.

I do not mourn Salmaan Taseer alone but I also mourn those who have been killed before him on the perilous path of speaking their mind, and those who will be killed in the future on this journey. Ayesha Siddiqa, Kamran Shafi, Nadeem Farooq Paracha, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Sherry Rehman,  and so many others are living on borrowed time. It is not a matter of if but when an indoctrinated bigot let loose by the deep state will get to them or, for that matter, any of us who decline to follow the rotten creed that it has been peddling for decades.

However, I have a feeling that Salmaan Taseer would not have wanted to be remembered with melancholy. His illustrious father, Dr M D Taseer, once said:

Parwana jal kay dil ki muradon ko pa gaya, Aur shama reh gayi rukh-e-zeba liay huay” (Translation: The light-loving moth has died caressing the candle flame. The candle thus remains alone in all its elegance).

It is nearly impossible to accurately translate the above Urdu verse, which my father, Malik Rahat Ali, had quoted while writing Dr M D Taseer’s obituary for Edward’s College, Peshawar’s magazine Tajjali (light) in 1951. The obituary was titled ‘Aik raushan dimagh tha, na raha’ (an enlightened mind is no more). It is amazing how references to light and progressive thought keep popping up when discussing the Taseers and in the work of the Taseers themselves. Pakistan, and the liberal thought within Pakistan, is the candle that Salmaan and M D Taseer loved to the extent that to see it remain alight, they would dedicate their lives to it.

When thinking of Salmaan Taseer, two images come to mind. One is of a political activist and the second is of a patron of progressive and liberal thought. Perhaps senior members of the Indo-Pakistani leftist movement will recall that Dr M D Taseer, along with Abdullah Malik and Rajindra Singh Bedi had pioneered a liberal publishing house called Sangham Publishers in 1947, before the partition. I would not be wrong in assuming that the Daily Times and its media affiliates came into being due to Salmaan Taseer’s desire to follow in his father’s footsteps. …

Read more : Daily Times

Religion has made Pakistan a schizophrenic society: Ayaz Amir

In a time when obscurantists and terrorists have tried to silence our voices and strike off the heads of those who dared oppose them, Taseer spoke without fear, condemning the blasphemy law and those who stood in its defence, despite the very real threat of violent retribution.

Source Link – You Tube

A divided Pakistan buries Salman Taseer and a liberal dream

by Declan Walsh in Lahore

Liberals have long been a minority force in Pakistan, reviled for importing ‘western’ ideas and culture; now they are virtually an endangered species.

There was silence in the ancient city of Lahore yesterday as Salman Taseer, a pugnacious son of the soil who made his name by speaking out, was lowered into an early grave. …

Read more : Guardian.co.uk

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To read BBC urdu column, click here

Lawyers shower roses for governor’s killer

LAHORE: Lawyers showered the suspected killer of a prominent Pakistani governor with rose petals when he arrived at court Wednesday and an influential Muslim scholars group praised the assassination of the outspoken opponent of laws that order death for those who insult Islam. …

Read more : http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/05/lawyers-shower-roses-for-governors-killer.html

Pakistan : Sindh breaks the silence!

Karachi – Sindh: Today on January 05, 2011 in the evening hundreds of people turned up at Karachi press club against the assassination of Salman Taseer. They marched from press club to Zainab market (Saddar). Male- female participants were chanting slogans against the assassination of Salman Taseer & “mulla minded” forces. At the end candles were lit to pay tribute to salman Taseer.

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To watch BBC video, CLICK HERE

Salman Taseer’s murder will become a pretext to topple the democratically elected PPP government!

Pakistani governor Salman Taseer’s assassination signals tightening grip of Islamist extremism

By Karin Brulliard
KARACHI, PAKISTAN – The tightening grip of Islamist extremism in Pakistan was violently highlighted Tuesday with the assassination of one of the nation’s most outwardly progressive politicians by his own police guard, who told investigators he was incensed by his boss’s stance against a controversial anti-blasphemy law.
Read more : Washington Post

Punjab governor Salman Taseer assassinated in Islamabad

Courtesy: SAMAA TV (Reema Show with Salman Taseer)

via – ZemTVYou Tube Link

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… The governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, Salman Taseer, has died after being shot in the Pakistani capital Islamabad. Mr Taseer, a senior member of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), was shot in a popular shopping district of the city by a member of his own security …

Read more : BBC

“Calculated persecution of religious minorities” under blasphemy and other laws

Concern voiced over intolerance

HYDERABAD, Dec 16: The Sindh Democratic Forum has expressed concern over rising religious intolerance and a new wave of “calculated persecution of religious minorities” under blasphemy and other laws, citing the case of Asia Bibi in Punjab and the recent case of Dr Noshad Walyani in Sindh.

A statement issued here on Thursday said the Constitution ensured equal rights to all citizens irrespective of religion, caste, creed and colour.

The SDF said it was feared that religious extremism and fundamentalism, which had already destroyed harmony in Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, was now making inroads into Sindh, stressing the need for struggle to save “progressive values” in society.

The SDF as a civil society think-tank warns all such miscreants not to disturb or distort peace of Sindh which had been a cradle of peace for centuries.

Read more : DAWN

We hypocritical Muslims – by Dr Manzur Ejaz

Muslims have convinced themselves that they are super-humans. They believe that the world should be very attentive to the Muslims’ religious and cultural sensitivities while they can persecute any minority

On an international level, people from every religion exchange greeting cards to commemorate different occasions. We all know that most of these cards are meant for the wastebasket. What if a Christian or Jew saw a Muslim salesperson throwing his card with Jesus or Moses’ name on it and called the police to register a case of blasphemy against him/her and the police arrested the violator? Most western readers would laugh out loud at this unlikely scenario but it is not a laughing matter for a physician from Hyderabad, Pakistan, who, unwittingly, threw a Muslim’s visiting card in the trash basket. He apologised to the offended party and yet the police arrested him under pressure from religious fanatics.

The manner in which the religious parties are campaigning for Aasia Bibi’s hanging has given me many nightmares while living in the US capital. What if the Bible belt of the southern states in the US became as influential as the religious parties in Pakistan? The US Congress and Senate would add a constitutional amendment on blasphemy laws according to which anyone who believes in any prophet after Jesus would be sentenced to death. Under pressure from Washington, most European and South American countries and those with majority Christian populations would follow suit in making the Christian blasphemy law. Hindus, Buddhists and people of other religions would also be forced to pass such laws. What kind of world would we live in if all that should take place?

Whatever happens, the Blasphemy Law will be fully operational against Muslims because they were the ones who set the precedent. This means that the millions of Muslims living in non-Islamic countries would face persecution and may even be led to the gallows. Fundamentalists and extremists of every religion will justify Muslim persecution on the basis of their belief in a prophet who came after Jesus and other prophets and the way the people believing in this religion have been targeting Christians and other minorities in their own countries.

Lucky for the Muslims living in the US and other non-Islamic countries that no nation has blasphemy laws and Muslims can throw any greeting card in the wastebasket or even openly put down other religions without fear of reprisal. Of course, after 9/11, Muslims may be screened more at airports. Even the Indian ambassador to Washington, Ms Meera Shankar, was put through a body search for which India has lodged a strong protest with the US. One can see regular white Americans also being humbled at airports. Therefore, discrimination is there but Muslims never realise that they have worse practices in their own countries. They do not see a connection between the liberties they enjoy abroad in contrast to the persecution of minorities in their homelands.

Furthermore, Muslims in the US and other European countries are not taking discrimination lying down; they are fighting for their equal rights. Nowadays, US-based Muslim organisations are campaigning for the US government to allow them to send zakat money to other countries. The US put many restrictions on such charities under the pretext that such money is being used to fund Muslim terrorist organisations. The point is that Muslim organisations can challenge such laws publicly despite American sensitivity about the role of charitable organisations in funding jihad.

While Muslims enjoy such liberties in the western world, they are intolerant towards minorities in their own countries. Religious parties take the most hypocritical positions at home and abroad. They agitate for equal rights in the west and demonstrate to maintain the Blasphemy Law and hang a poor rural Christian like Aasia Bibi in Pakistan. Religious parties want democratic freedom when it comes to their own interests but become fascists when it is someone else’s right. For example, the Jamaat-e-Islami wants pure democracy and transparency in the country but in institutions under their control, like the Punjab University, they become a corrupt, tyrannical force. A similar pattern is repeated wherever religious parties gain control, be it in FATA or an educational institution.

Aasia Bibi’s case does not make much sense. Having lived with many rural Christians — who are mostly very poor and are considered untouchables — I know that these poor souls are incapable of committing the crimes they are accused of. Most of the time, the grudging ‘Muslim masters’ register such cases to punish them for disobeying or refusing to do free work. Muslim organisations are up in arms to free Aafia Siddiqui for violating US laws but show no compassion for Aasia Bibi. Obviously, this is a crude example of double standards. …

Read more : WICHAAR

Pakistan Medical Association concerned that Dr. Noushad Ahmed Willani accused on fabricated charges of blasphemy

Pakistan Medical Association is extremely concerned over the orchestrated incidence occurred at Hyderabad in which Dr. Noushad Ahmed Willani was wrongly accused, beaten and arrested on fabricated charges of blasphemy. It is heartening to note that the role of police was extremely commendable who protected the doctor from mob attack. Yet it is unfortunate that a senior family physician providing healthcare to local community has become a victim of criminals with collaboration with fanatics.

If this situation continues and doctors are not protected then it will become impossible for health workers to continue working in the province. It is not only the duty of police to protect citizens but public at large should also play their due role like as civilized community. This situation is intolerable and action is required immediately.

PMA Demands for;

· Protection of Dr. Noushad Ahmed Willani and his family members. · Judiciary inquiry about the incidence and violence against doctor in the clinics. · Action against those who physically abused the doctor and destroyed his clinic.

· Formulation of a committee for legislation to deal with such matters and impose penalties against the culprits taking matters in their hands unlawfully under fabricated charges, and such culprits should immediately be prosecuted and if found guilty should be fined upto Rs.5 Lacs and imprisonment for 7 years.

Continue reading Pakistan Medical Association concerned that Dr. Noushad Ahmed Willani accused on fabricated charges of blasphemy

Blasphemy laws are un-Islamic, unethical, inhuman, racist & draconian laws imposed by model dictator Gen. Zia & through it political mullahs are terrorising the people

The language of discussion is urdu/ Hindi.

Courtesy: DunyaTV (4 Dec, 2010, Policy Matter  with Naseem Zehra, guests Francis Joseph, Javed Ahmed Ghamdi,  Ali Hassan Deyan, & Molvi Ibrahim.)

via – zemTvYou Tube Link

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

Welldone Naseem Zehra to discuss on blasphemy law, it is not easy to speak truth in Pakistani (Junooni) soceity

Nice talk show by Naseem Zehra .. it was a pleasant surprise to have such discussion on TV… its not easy to speak truth in a ”junooni” (Pakistani) society. Blasphemy (Toheen) Law should be castoff because it is too easy in Pakistan to accuse anyone of Blasphemy to settle a score.

Courtesy: DunyaTV (Rana Sanaullah, Javed Akram Raja, Tahira Abdullah & Javed Ahmed Ghamdi join Naseem Zehra in Policy Maters 20 November 2010 program to discuss Aasiya Bibi’s death sentence under blasphemy law)

via- Siasat -> YouTube Link 1, 2

Pope Benedict weighs in : The Pakistani power corridors will act only when important foreign leaders weigh in. Otherwise, every person will be slaughtered like goats and chickens!

LAHORE: Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti on Thursday called for a thorough re-investigation and fair appeal for Aasia Bibi, who was sentenced to death for blasphemy, after the pope called for her release.

On November 8, Aasia Bibi was sentenced to hang in after being accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) in 2009.

Bhatti told AFP that Aasia had filed an appeal at the Lahore High Court (LHC).

“We have requested the Punjab government that the trial should be fair in the high court. She must also be provided security in jail,” he said.

Aasia’s supporters say the case is baseless and that her first trial “was not heard properly,” Bhatti said.

“We have, therefore, asked the Punjab government that the case be reinvestigated properly.”

Governor Punjab Salman Taseer also expressed his support for a fair trial for Aasia Bibi on Thursday when he tweeted:

Aasia bibi’s appeal has been filed in the High Court. I am personally supervising the case.inshallah I will ensure she is not victimised.

Pope Benedict XVI this week called for her release and said Christians in Pakistan were “often victims of violence and discrimination.”

“I feel close to Aasia Bibi and her family and I ask that she be released as soon as possible,” he said on Wednesday.

Italy’s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has said he was told during a visit to Islamabad last week that Pakistan was committed to changing the blasphemy law and promised to join the fight to save Aasia. …

Read more : THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE

In Pakistan, a Christian woman gets death for blasphemy

by Aziz Narejo

This is outrageous. The people must stand up and stop this nonsense. This women should immediately be set free and the judge should be arrested and prosecuted for such unjust, harsh and uncalled for verdict. This should not happen in the name of religion.

According to news reports ….

Read more :  Indus Herald

For more details : BBC urdu

Christian woman sentenced to death in Pakistan ‘for blasphemy’

A Christian woman has been sentenced to hang in Pakistan after being convicted of defaming the Prophet

By Rob Crilly in Islamabad and Aoun Sahi in Lahore

Asia Bibi, a 45-year-old mother-of-five, denies blasphemy and told investigators that she was being persecuted for her faith in a country where Christians face routine harassment and discrimination.

Christian groups and human rights campaigners condemned the verdict and called for the blasphemy laws to be repealed. ..

Read more : THE TELEGRAPH

Two Christians Accused Of Blasphemy Killed In Pakistan

(RTTNews) – Suspected Islamist militants shot dead two Christian brothers charged with blasphemy in the Pakistani city of Faisalabad, 260 kilometers south of the capital Islamabad on Monday, reports said.

The incident occurred as the duo–Pastor Rashid Emmanuel and Sajjid Emmanuel– was being taken back to jail after an appearance at a local court in connection with the case.

It was on July 2 that the two were arrested by the police after Muslims accused them of making blasphemous remarks on the Prophet (pbuh) in pamphlets.

Strangely, the names of the two accused are said to have been printed at the bottom of the pamphlets along with their phone numbers. Further evidence of the charges being ‘trumped up’ came to light as handwriting experts found that the writing on the pamphlets did not match either that of Rashid’s or Sajjid’s handwriting.

Critics of the blasphemy law– first introduced by former Pakistan President Gen. Zia-ul-Haq to woo ultra-conservative sections of the Pakistani society—have long held that it was being misused to settle personal scores.

A recent report from the US State Department on religious freedom in Pakistan says it had become a convenient tool for persecuting the country’s religious minorities.

Courtesy:>> RTTNews

The blasphemy around us

by: Ayaz Amir

The News

If Islam stands for anything, it is for a just society, free from want and oppression. There is, thus, in Islam no blasphemy greater than a child dying of hunger, a child begging for bread, a woman drowning herself and her children, as has frequently happened in the Islamic Republic, because the burden of life was too much for her, a man throwing himself before an onrushing train because of poverty.

Continue reading The blasphemy around us

Issue a verdict allowing women to marry four men simultaneously to equate them with men in the Sharia – Nadine Al Bdair, a female Saudi writer says

Polyandry call is ‘akin to blasphemy’ – By Duraid Al Baik, Associate Editor

* Traditionalists argue that Islam forbids women to marry more than one man at once to determine the fatherhood of the child in case the women becomes pregnant. This argument has now collapsed because modern science can identify the father of any child through DNA testing, Nadine Al Bdair says.

Dubai: A 790-word opinion article by a female Saudi writer, Nadine Al Bdair, might start a fierce legal and social confrontation between traditionalists and reformists.

In her weekly article published on December 11 in the Egyptian newspaper Al Masri Al Youm, Nadine cynically urged religious scholars to issue a verdict allowing women to marry four men simultaneously to equate them with men in the Sharia, a move that was considered by many Muslims as blasphemous and a blunt call to wreck the foundations of the religion.

Her argument was that women could now marry more than one man thanks to scientific developments.

“Traditionalists argue that Islam forbids women to marry more than one man at once to determine the fatherhood of the child in case the woman becomes pregnant. This argument has now collapsed because modern science can identify the father of any child through DNA testing,” she said.

Nadine, a Dubai-based Saudi journalist, who started her career as an opinion writer in a number of Saudi and Gulf newspapers, has lived in Dubai, Cairo and Washington. She also works as a presenter of a TV show at the Virginia-based Al Hurra TV Arabic Channel. Nadine’s weekly programme, Mosawat, that translates into equality, focuses on issues related to women’s rights in the Arab world.

Lawyer Khalid Fouad Hafez, who is also the secretary general of the People Democratic Party in Egypt, filed a complaint against Nadine and Magdi Al Galad, editor-in-chief of Al Masri Al Youm, for his role in publishing the opinion article in the newspaper.

In a telephone interview, Hafez told Gulf News the literal meaning of the article is blasphemous and includes a call for an immoral act, which, he stressed, is a violation of the Egyptian criminal code.

He said the case was filed at the public prosecutor office on December 15 under the number of 21663.

“I am waiting for the decision of the public prosecutor in order to start legal investigations in the case,” he said.

“Regardless of the nationality of the writer and the place of her residency, the prosecutor has to take action against a crime committed in Egypt and has to do whatever is possible to bring the perpetrators to justice,” he said.

Hafez believes that Egyptians have every right to secure the society against Nadine’s call to ‘legalise adultery’ and allow women to marry four husbands at the same time.

“People who have little knowledge about Islam might be seduced to think that Islam permits polygamy for women based on the advancement of science and DNA test technology according to [Nadine’s] call,” Hafez said.

This a crime and unless Nadine repents it in the same newspaper, he said the law must take action to protect the society. Hafez said he has never been against freedom of expression. He said he had volunteered to defend many journalists in the past in court cases.

Free speech

“I am known amongst journalists as the ‘lawyer of journalists’. I represented journalists in courts free-of-charge in a number of major cases in the past and won verdicts in their favour. In this particular case which I filed against [Nadine], I would not have reacted this way if Nadine limited her call to expressing her own views without calling for fatwa to alter the religion in accordance with her sexual desires,” he said.

Gulf News contacted Nadine to comment on the complaint filed against her in Egypt and if she was willing to appear in courts to defend her views, but she declined to comment.

Staff members at Al Hurra TV in Dubai and in Washington, who were reached for a comment on the case refused to give an official statement.

A senior official from Al Hurra told Gulf News on condition of anonymity that the Nadine issue this time is related to her activities outside Al Hurra and the station has nothing to do with it.

“We will review the level Al Hurra would support [Nadine] once the legal action starts against her,” he said.

Salwa Al Lubani, a female Jordanian writer based in Cairo, told Gulf News that she believes Nadine has the right to discuss any issue and the society has the right to discuss the points being highlighted.

“Filing a case against [Nadine] or any other writer is inappropriate and such a move in the 21st century reflects the rise of fanatics in the Muslim world. In the 60s and 70s [of] the past century, writers [had] more freedom of expression than we have nowadays.

“I read [Nadine’s] articles and I have a feeling that she sometimes expressed her views in a confrontational manner that diverts her aim from the main course, but this is not an excuse to refer [Nadine] or any other writer to courts.

“We have crisis in the Arab and Islamic world and we should work together to resolve them before they hit the nerve of the society which is about to explode.”

Courtesy: Gulfnews.com

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