Misuse of the blasphemy law

Published: September 3, 2012

The writer is chairman of the All Pakistan Ulema Council

Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive subject. No Muslim of even the weakest faith can condone the defiling of the sacred name of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) or the Holy Quran. But blasphemy is an issue that does require extreme care in its handling.

The case of Rimsha, a minor Christian girl suffering from Down’s syndrome accused of blasphemy, should be a watershed for the country’s blasphemy laws. The fact that Rimsha’s entire neighbourhood has fled their homes fearing a backlash from the local Muslims needs investigation. Khalid Jadoon Chishti, who eyewitnesses told the local police had added pages of the Holy Quran to a bag containing the burnt material, should be thoroughly probed as well.

Humanity forms the basis of the principle of human dignity in Islam, whether the person is Muslim or non-Muslim.“And dispute you not with the People of the Scripture, except in the best way, unless it be with those who do wrong, but say, ‘We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; our God and your God is One; and it is to Him we submit (in Islam)’.” (Quran 21:46)

Muslims and non-Muslims have the right not to have their religious beliefs mocked. But no other religion in the world is as fair as Islam to people of other faiths. God has also forbidden Muslims from speaking ill of the gods and deities worshipped by non-Muslims. If the polytheists were to hear Muslims speak ill of their gods, it might lead them to speak ill of Allah. Also, if Muslims were to speak ill of pagan gods, it might instigate the polytheists to soothe their wounded feelings by hurting the feelings of Muslims. God says in the Holy Quran: “Do not revile those whom they call upon besides God, lest they revile God out of spite in their ignorance. Thus, We have made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end will they return to their Lord and He shall then tell them the truth of what they did.” (6:108)

Islam does not compel people of other faiths to convert. It has given them complete freedom to retain their own faith and not to be forced to embrace Islam. This freedom is documented in both the Holy Quran and the Sunnah.  “If it had been your Lord’s will, they would all have believed — all of who are on earth! Will you then compel humankind, against their will, to believe?” (Quran 10:99)

At the time of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), Najran and its surrounding area, in the south of Arabia, was a Christian valley. A delegation of 60 people came to see the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in Madina. As their discussion with the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in the mosque took quite a long time, it was time for their evening prayer. As they prepared to pray, some of the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) followers wanted to prevent them from doing so. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) ordered them to let them offer their prayers in his mosque (Masjid-e-Nabavi).

Not only does Islam give religious freedom to non-Muslims, its tolerant law extends to the preservation of their places of worship. Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab (RA) signed a treaty with Monophysite Christian Patriarch Sophronius, assuring him that Jerusalem’s Christian holy places and population would be protected under Muslim rule. When led to pray at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the holiest site for Christians, the Caliph Umar (RA) refused to pray in the church so that Muslims would not request converting the church into a mosque. He prayed outside the church, where the Mosque of Umar stands to this day, opposite the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The Holy Quran prescribes restraint and distancing from blasphemous persons or situations. The emphasis is on restraint. A study of the following verses should bear this out: “When ye hear the signs of Allah held in defiance and ridicule, ye are not to sit with them unless they turn to a different theme.” [Quran 4:140] And: “Hold to forgiveness, command what is right; but turn away from the ignorant.” [Quran 7:199]

Pakistan belongs as much to the non-Muslims as to the Muslims. Blasphemy laws are often used to settle personal vendettas. And so, we demand a thorough and fair probe into the case involving Rimsha. Strict action should be taken against all those accusing the girl if she is found innocent.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2012.

Reader Comments (170)

  • Sep 3, 2012 - 8:40PM

    It would be great if the good Hafiz could cite even a single example in the Qur’an where worldly punishment for blasphemy is permitted. ZERO SUCH EXAMPLES EXIST. The Islamic solution is to get rid of blasphemy laws altogether and win people’s hearts with Prophet Muhammads(sa) beautiful example, not force their hearts with childish barbaric blasphemy laws.

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  • observer
    Sep 3, 2012 - 8:49PM

    But no other religion in the world is as fair as Islam to people of other faiths.

    I read this.

    And then I remembered ‘religious freedom’ in Saudi Arabia,

    And then I decided not to bother to read any further.

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  • Ali
    Sep 3, 2012 - 8:56PM

    Thanks for this Hafiz Sahib, can you please also translate this into Urdu for the common man to read and know. Our people have become so ignorant we need educated people to guide them.

    I hope this case begins a national conversation on this misused law. Runmad has made a very valid point. As you are a religious person in authority you are in a position to begin this debate.

    May we be guided correctly. Ameen

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  • S.H
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:03PM

    You are great Hafi Tahir Ashrafi Sb.
    You should now teach lecturing ulamas and mullas.
    They have made the great Deen Of Islam intolerant to non muslims at least here in Pakistan.
    If you come forward and start preaching like this, it will definitely makes some difference.
    Moreover your articles should be in Urdu as most people can not read english.
    Warm regards,Recommend

  • zakaria virk
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:03PM

    A mullah was implicated in this sorry episode who wanted to grab land and houses surrounding the masjid. You are bringing shame to your contry and religion. Recommend

  • GS@Y
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:06PM

    This is an interesting write-up and has clearly been penned in sincere earnestness. But the fact remains that the rights of any minority are not safe whenever the beliefs of the majority are state policy. The norms in Islam- quoted throughout this article- may be good and tenable, but they do not (and probably can never) correspond with the reality on the ground. Members of minority religious communities will remain vulnerable until the state stops having a “state religion”. Matters of faith must not become codified in law.

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  • observer
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:08PM

    Not only does Islam give religious freedom to non-Muslims, its tolerant law extends to the preservation of their places of worship.

    Really? So all the famed ‘Butt Shikans’ and Ghazis were actually ‘preserving other’s places of worship’.

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  • Haris Chaudhry
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:15PM

    Well.. REALLY ???

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  • Luciferous
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:16PM

    Hope you also speak about half literate “ulema” who make up “Ahadiths” to strengthen their bigoted theology.
    One such “Hadith” is about “Ghazwa e Hind.”
    You would agree that “Ghazwa” by definition is any military expedition, which was either led by The Prophet PBUH himself or he was physically present; thus making any concept of “ghazwa e Hind” an absured and false concept.
    The “Ghazwa e Hind” fever has become prevalent amongst various Urdu news paper columnists.
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  • Sep 3, 2012 - 9:18PM

    Very nice Ashrafi Sahib,

    I am sure given your compassion, you would understand the tragedy that is also befalling the Shias of Pakistan. I would request you to kindly write something similar for the Shias and then explain that reasoning to your good friend Malik Ishaq et al. Othewise some might say that your compassion for non-muslims only comes out when their tormentor is a Barelvi.

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  • sid
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:18PM

    Theory …………..Write something practical………..We do u have to say about status o non muslims as dimmis,jaziya tax etc………….

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  • AnisAqeel
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:19PM

    Blasphemy laws are ‘black spot’ on our constitution that were forced with amendments to please our masters in Saudi Arabia and against the teachings of Islam. These laws should be removed as they are just contradictory to the religion of Islam.

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  • kanwal
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:20PM

    this law is used by ignorant people who have nothing better to d owith their time or are following a personal agenda by using this law. in the current situation of this country, we should abolish the law. Thats it.

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  • mr. righty rightist
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:22PM

    “Muslims and non-Muslims have the right not to have their religious beliefs mocked. But no other religion in the world is as fair as Islam to people of other faiths. ”

    Oh my god Maulana saheb. Muslims are responsible for half the misery in this entire world. Muslims have killed more non-muslims or just muslims as compared to all other non-muslims combined killing one particular non-muslim sect.

    Islam’s clash with Christianity resulted in millions and millions of death in Europe and the middle east (you know it as Crusade and Jihad). Muslims virtually wiped out all Jewish tribes from the middle-east. Muslims annihilated the pharaos of Egypt. Muslims exterminated the Parsis in Iran (the remaining came to India seeking refuge).

    This is age old history. In the very recent history you have : genocide of Bengalis in Pakistan, genocide of Shias in Iraq, Pakistan, Genocide of Kurds in Iraq, Genocide of Kurds in Turkey, Genocide of Armenians in turkey, ethnic cleansing in Afghanistan.

    And let’s not forget thousands of small scale genocides that have taken place in Africa. And I am not even bringing the terrorism in Phillippines, Thailand, India, Indonesia etc.

    Dear maulana saheb, you show me one country on this map, where muslims live in peace with non-muslims. Just show me one country where muslims live in peace with muslims.Recommend

  • G Wilson
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:23PM

    “Muslims and non-Muslims have the right not to have their religious beliefs mocked.”

    No, that’s not a “right” at all. Religious beliefs are invented and pernicious – mocking them and reducing their abusive power is a net good for society, and such speech must be protected.

    We do, however, have a right not to be subjected to violence for any kind of speech. Why not stand up for that?Recommend

  • Luciferous
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:25PM

    How about repealing it altogether and NOT substituting it with similar inhumane laws?
    How secret is it that this law is being used to settle personal scores against muslims and non muslims alike?

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  • p r sharma
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:25PM

    : “But no other religion in the world is as fair as Islam to people of other faiths”

    Dear Ashrafi saheb ; What is written in the Holy Book Qur’an is not known to most of the non Muslim. It is the actions of majority of the followers of Islam which imprints the image of Islam.
    A non believer is called infidel. (in Pakistan)
    When innocent people are killed by Taliban/ militants they are declared infidel first and wish death for them for their barbaric act.
    .when infidel a non believer is hated , how can you say that Islam is the religion which is most fair than other religions, to the people of other faith. or that the majority of the Muslims in Pakistan do not follow the teachings of Qur’an. No offence intended please.

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  • abhi
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:26PM

    “God has also forbidden Muslims from speaking ill of the gods and deities worshipped by non-Muslims”

    But i think destroying temples and other places of worship is ok.

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  • Dan
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:28PM

    @observer:
    He talked about Islam, not muslims.

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  • Nadir
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:29PM

    Its a shame that the only example you can give of Muslims treating other faiths humanely is 1400 plus years old.

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  • Non Believer
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:30PM

    hahahahahahah

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  • What D Fiqh
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:32PM

    ” … But no other religion in the world is as fair as Islam to people of other faiths. … “

    Really Mr. Ashrafi ? How do you explain Saudi Arabia ?

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  • Sep 3, 2012 - 9:35PM

    The author spoke out and condemned the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, the minority Christian minister who was assassinated but was overshadowed by Taseer’s own demise earlier. He’s been vocal on this issue as well. So credit to him for his progressive voice in defending Pakistan’s minority Christians.

    He’s made some good points, including how Muslims shouldn’t insult other folks’ religions, but unfortunately many hypocritical Pakistani Muslims do it out of ignorance and bigotry, such as against Hindus.

    But it seems he fell short on prescribing the honest solution, which is calling to reform the laws, instead restricting it to a status quo probe to still determine whether the child is innocent or not. And I also do take issue with the cleric’s association with DPC, which as most know, have elements of extremist individuals and organizations.

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  • Zakaria Daud
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:36PM

    This article from a Pakistani religious scholar is like a breath of fresh air. I also recommend to him to translate this and give it in Urdu print media for benefit of the large number of Pakistanis who don’t’ understand English so well. Even if one person in Pakistan benefits from this article and changes his rigid stance on religious matters I would say it is an enlivenment of this gentleman Hafiz Tahir Mahmood

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  • JaMeS
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:36PM

    But no other religion in the world is as fair as Islam to people of other faiths.

    Joke of the day, LOL !!!

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  • Raw is War
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:36PM

    But no other religion in the world is as fair as Islam to people of other faiths.

    So Hindus in Pakistan should thank you for converting and marrying them off?

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  • Syed
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:40PM

    Tahir Ashrafi Sb. — Thank you for taking a proper stand, and giving your full support. It is much needed. May ALLAH always give you courage to guide the nation against this minority extremism.

    Thank you indeed.

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  • Anonymous
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:42PM

    I appreciate this article by Mr. Ashrafi. Islam preaches tolerance and peace. However, the problem lies with the ignorant poplulation of the nation. We have become Muslims by name only, and have no knowledge of what our religion commands of us.
    If the Muslim majority of Pakistan had the proper knowledge of Islam, Pakistan would be a much better society. But there will always be elements within society that will cause problems. We must be able to tackle these elements with the proper knowlege and patience, just as our beloved prophet (pbuh) would have expected of us.

    Please keep up the good work Mr. Ashrafi, and don’t get discouraged by the ignorant comments some people are already posting. Thank you Express Tribune for letting this article to being published.

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  • Habib Sanai
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:44PM

    But here in Pakistan we are most unfair to non-muslims, who are part and parcel of our nation and ummah.Moulana Sahib there is no need of words but action for tolerance.

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  • Hafeez
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:46PM

    @observer:
    Please don’t act like a stubborn child. If you read again you will know that the writer is trying to convey the true message of Islam. Do not confuse some barbaric acts of muslims with true message of Islam.

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  • Asim
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:50PM

    There are lot many laws in pakistan which are not used sincerely.
    It is the duty of religious scholars also to preach tolerance in this regard and tell society not to take law in their own hands.

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  • THINK
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:50PM

    I think Hafiz sahab is right in saying what he said – Its the ‘mazhab ke thekedar’ and ‘holier than the pope’ type who take the law in their hand. It is not the religion but the way it is interpreted and practiced has caused the problem.

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  • Bilal
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:55PM

    @RUNMAD:
    EXACTLY!!! As well-intentioned as Ashrafi saheb might be, I think he, too, truly and wrongfully believes that those that commit “blasphemy” need to be punished. People called our prophet terrible names and even wanted to kill him during his time. But did he order their killings when he won the war? No. Allah has mentioned many times in the Quran that the prophets need NOT distress if others rejected their message and called them names. Clearly, “blasphemy” law is not Islamic.

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  • mahakaalchakra
    Sep 3, 2012 - 9:55PM

    @ Author, you are being very selective. I can quote many verses which has been interpreted to support the preaching and actions of Taliban, who are literally the students of the Koran.

    A religion is judged by its followers, their behavior as a society, deeds and proclamations… it is judged by what is being ‘practiced’ by its followers today rather than some glorified or delusional interpretations by some individual which are never put in actions by the majority of its followers.

    At the end of the day no matter what the Koran says, the impression of the religion is gauged by how it is practiced.

    Is there any country or planet where “true” Islam is freely practiced today or it is a case of “what you see is what you get”? You find me a peaceful Muslim nation and I’ll find Santa Claus and the tooth fairy for you.

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  • Falcon
    Sep 3, 2012 - 10:12PM

    Hafiz Sahab – Its good to hear your thoughts on the issue. However, I can only hope that people like you in the religious elite can recognize the gravity of the issue and speak out loudly against this injustice. Furthermore, please also take this opportunity to raise voice for reforming the blasphemy law where the accuser if found wrong will have equal repercussions to face.

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  • Haris Chaudhry
    Sep 3, 2012 - 10:12PM

    Why is it that we want the world to judge Islam not by the act of Muslims but whats written in Quran, yet we NEVER read Torah, Geeta and Bible before we start judging Jews, Hindus and Christians..

    Isn’t this the height of hypocrisy ? We make our own assumptions about other religions based on the conduct of the people yet we dont afford the same opportunity to the outsiders in judging us with the same yardstick..

    Can someone answer this ??

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  • observer
    Sep 3, 2012 - 10:14PM

    @Hafeez:

    Do not confuse some barbaric acts of muslims with true message of Islam.

    Sir, do you recall the name of the foremost ‘Butt Shikan’ by any chance?

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  • harkol
    Sep 3, 2012 - 10:15PM

    But no other religion in the world is as fair as Islam to people of other faiths.

    This author reminded me of Sanskrit word “Koopa Manduka” – Rougly translates to ‘Frog in a well’ which couldn’t fathom there can be a large river, leave alone sea!

    What other faiths does he even know?

    Is there a Jizya in Hinduism, Buddhism or Christianity? Sure, I have heard the argument about how Jizya is fair! So, should Muslims around the world be made to pay a fair Jizya for living in non-muslim countries?

    How about the treatment of Kafirs in Islam?

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  • observer
    Sep 3, 2012 - 10:18PM

    OK.

    Let me be generous.

    I understand from Hafiz Sahib that the Blasphemy Laws, as found in Pakistan are not supported by the ‘true message of Islam’.

    Well, in that event- REPEAL IT.

    Are you game?

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  • amit
    Sep 3, 2012 - 10:19PM

    does quran’s verse 47.4 talk about equality

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  • Aaa
    Sep 3, 2012 - 10:19PM

    I totally support this. Please educate terrorists on this matter as well and we can all live happily.Recommend

  • Ejaaz
    Sep 3, 2012 - 10:25PM

    Allah commanded:
    9:28 (Y. Ali) O ye who believe! Truly the Pagans are unclean; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the Sacred Mosque.

    Polytheists and Pagans are unclean and no amount of making excuses for them will make them clean.

    Allah does not forgive shirk (Quran 4:48) and it would be cruel not to tell the polytheists and pagans that.

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  • Ali S
    Sep 3, 2012 - 10:40PM

    @observer:

    What can I say, congratulations on being so thick. I hope you stop reading an article and jump to conclusions as soon as you find a single sentence that you disagree with in it. So much for liberal rationality and insightful analysis huh.

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  • SABA ALI
    Sep 3, 2012 - 10:41PM

    No other religi­on in the world is as fair as Islam to people of other faiths.
    no need to read further, spreading hatred :(

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  • Raj Kafir
    Sep 3, 2012 - 10:45PM

    Place where ISLAM originated was/is inhabited by uneducated, violent and angry people. They did/do not understand the philosophy of Islam. If Buddhism was originated where Islam was originated, those people still would have been angry and violent. It is not the religion, it is the climate, resources and geography of that region that have made them to behave like this. On the contrary, if Islam had originated in Japan, the followers of Islam would have been the most peaceful persons. Do not blame any religion, accept the violent/peaceful nature of people of particular regions.

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  • mahakaalchakra
    Sep 3, 2012 - 10:48PM

    Blasphemy law in Pakistan constitution is derived from the Koran.

    Everyone should consult Koran Surah Tauba verse 9 and 79, Sura e Hazab verse # 57 and 61, and Sura e Maida verse 33 which mandates death penalties for Blasphemy.

    Can Muslims tell others the exact Ayat number reference for the below quoted words if correctly translated of from Sura al Hazab and Sura al Masad of Koran refering blasphemy:

    “Lo! those who malign Allah and His messenger, Allah hath cursed them in the world and the Hereafter, and hath prepared for them the doom of the disdained.”

    “The power of Abu Lahab will perish, and he will perish. His wealth and gains will not exempt him. He will be plunged in flaming fire. And his wife, the wood-carrier, will have upon her neck a halter of palm-fiber.”

    If Pakistan changes this law, this means Pakistan doesn’t want Islamic laws.

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  • Sep 3, 2012 - 10:59PM

    Amazing Stories of the nation :ORecommend

  • Great Thinker
    Sep 3, 2012 - 11:18PM

    “No other religi­on in the world is as fair as Islam to people of other faiths.”
    WOW, A Self Certification. Probably the author can cite examples of fairness instead of making grand statements. But, on the other hand, I must say that the arrest of the mullah, who was the source of all this has been taken into custody, now whether he is charged, found guilty and awarded the maximum punishment is to be seen., but at-least it is a start.

    Also, as an aside, I find the word “Non-Muslim” very pompous. Christians or Jews or Hindus do not use the terms “Non-Christians”, “Non-Jews” or “Non-Hindus” respectively for people who do not conform to their belief systems.

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  • Indian Catholic
    Sep 3, 2012 - 11:30PM

    @Author: Forget the Hindus for a moment. Surely you and I believe in the same God? Surely then all the prophets (and you claim Jesus to be one of the prophets) must not be blasphemed?
    .
    But in these very pages I can see phrases like “walking on water” and “turning water into wine”. Is that not blasphemy? In that case, should not a Christian be able to accuse a Muslim for blasphemy? But your Blasphemy Law is one-sided and is unfair and unjust to Non Muslims.
    .
    Let me state for the record though that I am NOT offended by the above phrases or any criticism of Jesus. You will note that the Vatican itself encourages critical research on the historical Jesus.
    .
    Now let us come to the Hindus and your oblique remark about polytheists and deities. Obviously you don’t know that they too believe in one God. After having lived in India for so long, I can safely say that I have barely been able to comprehend the basics of this religion which runs deep at various levels.

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  • Khan Jr
    Sep 3, 2012 - 11:42PM

    The writer Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi admits that “Blasphemy laws are often used to settle personal vendettas”.
    The “Blasphemy law” was promulgated by the British Raj and then tinkered by a Khaki dictator, Zia-ul-Haq, to increase his public image of “piety”.
    Yet, thousands of people, apparently including hundreds of literate but obviously uneducated lawyers, treat this piece of law as if it was divinely ordained. Commonsense dictates that that this law should be properly revised so that in future it is not flagrantly abused and viciously used against innocent people.

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  • Ashraf
    Sep 3, 2012 - 11:46PM

    Moulana Ashrafi is a better face of Islamic clergy. We must encourage persons like him.

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  • Observer
    Sep 3, 2012 - 11:49PM

    “But no other religion in the world is as fair as Islam to people of other faiths.”

    Did the author ask the people of other faiths for their opinion? Isn’t their opinion in the matter that really counts?

    Reading such self-flagellation and patting on the back, when facts and history are diametrically opposite, shows that Muslims are either living in denial of the truth or are plain ignorant of facts and history. Recommend

  • Bilal
    Sep 3, 2012 - 11:49PM

    @mahakaalchakra, in Islam there is a concept of punishment in this world and hereafter. All the verses that you have quoted talk about punishment hereafter or Allah (SWT) ‘s curse.

    Since you have bothered to dig out these verses, and I appreciate your effort, I suggest you read about Conquest of Mecca and the last sermon from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). And you might also wanna read about the stories where people subjected Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to verbal and physical assaults and he forgave them.

    so my friend you’ll find that most of the Muslims in Pakistan are against these draconian laws. More so after the revolution in media. But there is a small, highly vocal minority which is bringing a bad name to our society.

    Peace

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  • Azim Khan
    Sep 3, 2012 - 11:53PM

    A really nice and commendable effort by Ashrafi sahib. I am gald someone from Religious schools and teachers came forward to present the real picture of Islam.but I have one question that is when during Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) time and calips time,there were non-muslims in Medina and adjacent areas. They had their places to worship as well,then why we don’t condemn saudi govt for not allowing any non-muslim worshipping place in Saudi Arabia ?

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  • antanu
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:06AM

    @mr. righty rightist:
    nazis have killed more and jews than any one else….my god they killed 6 million jews alone and you have the guts to point fingers at muslims…Recommend

  • Hassam Tahir
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:13AM

    @mahakaalchakra:
    These verses all talk about punishments on the day of judgement and every ayat including the one you quoted talks about how Allah will punish him. So what your saying is that when the Holy Prophet conquered all the blasphemers who were given mercy was disobeying the Holy Quran?

    Allah does not ask humans to decide who is a blasphemer and who is not. Nor does the power to punish is given,

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  • Hassam Tahir
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:16AM

    @mr. righty rightist:
    Turkey is the county you are looking for

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  • Observer
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:17AM

    @antanu:
    “@mr. righty rightist:
    nazis have killed more and jews than any one else….my god they killed 6 million jews alone and you have the guts to point fingers at muslims…”

    You miss one very important point. No German now denies the Holocaust, find excuses or justifies it. Compare that to Muslims.

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  • Hassam Tahir
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:17AM

    @antanu:
    Nazis may have killed six million jews but that does not undermine the fact that muslims have also killed in nation

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  • Hassam Tahir
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:19AM

    @antanu:
    Nazis may have killed six million jews but that does not undermine the fact that muslims have also killed in millions and are still doing so.

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  • Saif
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:31AM

    Thankyou very much for contributing to everyone’s knowledge with this delightful article. It is now more important than ever to increase awareness (especially amongst the non-muslim population) regarding the difference in what muslims generally believe and what islam actually tells them to believe.
    In this case, you highlighted how islam is fair and lenient towards people of other faiths and how muslims are acting in a manner opposite to those teachings.
    My plight is for the non-muslims to understand islam is not to be blamed for most of the barbaric or inhumane acts carried out by sects and individuals in the name of islam.
    Keep up the good work hafiz saab.

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  • Usman786
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:33AM

    why donot they give muslims right and why they offer money and mulk to some muslims to kill other muslims as these are the fitnas of muslims. I wish I could have the strenght and curage to kill anyone who speaks against the Prophet PBUH or Holy Quran like Qadri. However, all sects and non-muslims be allowed to work for Pakistan. Follow the Quran and Sunnah NOT a taliban who are killing Pakistani soldiers on US and Indian moneyRecommend

  • raj kamal
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:36AM

    @Great Thinker:

    There are many other falacies in the remarks of this author whose perception that “No other religi­on in the world is as fair as Islam to people of other faiths.” is not only silly and untrue but also dangerous, as it puts wrong ideas into the minds of uneducated, easily-impressionable and violent people like those educated in maddrassahs which abound in Pakistan and are providing “standard education” in that country. How can this guy say that Islam is “fair” to other faiths when, aside from Rimsha, there are scores of other cases of religious minorities (the recent kidnapping, forcible conversion and forced marriage of a 14 year old Hindu girl is just the tip of the iceberg) who face constant persecution and both physical and mental violence at the hands of the majority which this author is, apparently, trying to justify? If Pakistanis like him step out of the country and find out what the world thinks of them and their religious hate-mongering of others, he would get a taste of his own medicine. I know there are many well-meaning, tolerant and decent Pakistanis and they are called upon to lend their voice to ending this unjust, violent and anachronist aberration called the blasphemy law which was hatched by former dictator Zia ul Huq to justify his own political misdeeds.

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  • Usman786
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:39AM

    just see what u Hindus do when u r in majority. jazia is a small fee as compared to 35+% taxes in EU

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  • Usman786
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:40AM

    just see what u Hindus do when u r in majority. http://tribune.com.pk/story/430555/massacre-trial-exposes-inconvenient-truth-for-indias-bjp/ jazia is a small fee as compared to 35+% taxes in EU

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  • Parvez
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:47AM

    In the present situation, you Sir have to be commended for having the courage to speak up for little Rimsha while others including the government and courts are dragging their feet.
    The blasphemy law has been on the books since the British ruled India. The punishment was increased to the death penalty in Zia’s time and the number of cases sky-rocketed because now the law was being mis-used for ulterior motives. This simply needs to a addressed.

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  • Feroz
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:55AM

    This is a very good start for the country and the fact that an Islamic scholar is coming out openly to voice his views is welcome. The real battle must now be fought against those power brokers who are perpetrating fake and violent ideology on the nation and besmirching the fair name of Islam. These Thekedars have backed violent obscurantist ideology for building criminal empires in the name of a great Religion, bringing disrepute to it globally.
    Please take note that the foe is very powerful and blood thirsty.
    Wish you all the Best !

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  • Majid
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:55AM

    Hafiz Tahir Ahrafi sahab, this is a commendable effort. Thank you for writing this piece to voice the sentiments of Ulema on this case. So-called liberals are defaming Islam using Rimsha’s case.

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  • Arifq
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:57AM

    Ashrafi Sahib, much needed explanation, well done sir better late than never. One request, don’t gouge your plea in “if’s” and “buts” it dilutes the message, facts are facts, a minor girl who cannot read or write has been falsely accused and now her life is in danger.

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  • Salman Khan
    Sep 4, 2012 - 1:10AM

    This whole episode points to a very sad reality that the narrative of the Right is now the mainstream narrative. Liberals/Moderates are too afraid to take a stand when it comes to religious issues, Rimsha’s episode proves that they have surrendered their rights to speak on such sensitive issues, who knows tomorrow they might surrender their political rights. The Right is coming, prepare yourself for a theocratic state.

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  • Imran Ahsan Mirza
    Sep 4, 2012 - 1:13AM

    @mahakaalchakra:
    Allah left the punishment on Himself in these verses not on Islamic government or deceptive Mullas to take revenge. Read the verses carefully and don’t try to become God. there is no punishment for blasphemy in Quran anywhere.

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  • Sep 4, 2012 - 1:14AM

    respect

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  • F
    Sep 4, 2012 - 1:15AM

    “But no other religion in the world is as fair as Islam to people of other faiths”
    – really! Need one say more!
    – yet another fanciful fact perpetrated to live in denial.

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  • Imran Con
    Sep 4, 2012 - 1:19AM

    You should probably stay away from writing articles on the internet. The world isn’t quite as gullible as the Pakistani Muslim when it comes to the words of the divinely bearded. It just reinforces negative assumptions. If there’s anything worse than most of your actions, it’s the constantly defending them with some kind of self righteous tone as if the lesser beings just need to see the light.
    The negative views from the outside world isn’t due some kind of misunderstanding. It’s because they’re well aware of your thoughts and how they tie into your actions. A mullah has never been afraid of a soap box when it comes to the supposed “Muslim view.”

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  • mahakaalchakra
    Sep 4, 2012 - 1:23AM

    Koran [005:033] whose English translation (by Abdullah Yusuf Ali) reads as follows:

    “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter; “

    This verse is talking about punishment in this life, not after life.

    I will quote more if ET kindly allows.

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  • Kafir
    Sep 4, 2012 - 1:36AM

    @ Author- “But no other religion in the world is as fair as Islam to people of other faiths.”

    Look yourself in a mirror, and then look around you in Pakistan. If you have ayes you would know.

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  • Arindom
    Sep 4, 2012 - 1:39AM

    Every so called Muslim “scholar” cites stories from 1000 years ago as proof of how tolerant Islam really is?! But problem is nothing of the sort happens today. Today the opposite is true everywhere Muslims are in majority.

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  • Alan
    Sep 4, 2012 - 2:13AM

    Muslims are brainwashed to believe in Islamic supremacism and therefore no debate is really possible on Islam or the prophet or their holy book.

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  • Ahmed
    Sep 4, 2012 - 2:27AM

    @observer:

    Since when has Saudi Arabia become the perfect example of Islam in practice? It is by no means even near to some of Islam’s most important principles and in fact one could say that their Islam stems more from cultural norms than a comprehensive study of the Qur’an

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  • Sep 4, 2012 - 2:32AM

    The problem begins the moment you claim the status of the fairest religion,which makes all other religions inferior in terms of fairness.The reality, for example in today´s Pakistan, predominently proves otherwise. An Islamic Republic defying Islam?

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  • O_Rao
    Sep 4, 2012 - 2:36AM

    Finally a voice that appeals to the sanity in us all. A must read for everyone. Thank you Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Sahab

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  • Concave
    Sep 4, 2012 - 3:03AM

    People here making fun of some statements by the author are confusing two things, Islam and Muslims. These two entities are 180 degrees apart.

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  • FU
    Sep 4, 2012 - 3:10AM

    @Usman786 you showed your level intellect like the Maulvi. Now you understand why there is Islamophobia

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  • Observer
    Sep 4, 2012 - 3:10AM

    @raj kamal:
    “I know there are many well-meaning, tolerant and decent Pakistanis and they are called upon to lend their voice to ending this unjust, violent and anachronist aberration called the blasphemy law which was hatched by former dictator Zia ul Huq to justify his own political misdeeds. “

    I commend you for your enlightened post. Just a comment on the above: You can’t blame Zia for “hatching” blasphemy laws. It was hatched 1400 years ago in the Islamic scriptures. If an Islamic country has it in its constitution to go strictly according to the teachings of Islam, blaspehmy laws, hadood laws, stoning to death for adultery are all valid.

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  • Spud
    Sep 4, 2012 - 3:19AM

    Is this man for real? How can he say that “no other religion in the world is as fair as Islam to people of other faiths” when we read everyday Ahamadi mosques being desecrated, Shias being killed, Hazaras being driven out, Hindus being discriminated etc. Read what is happening Mali where ancient monuments have been destroyed. Muslims have created this myth and want the world to believe. This will not happen until Muslims show clearly that they are tolerant of other people’s faiths by allowing Ahamadis and others to practice their religion freely and the sacred places of other religions fairly protected by the police or the army.

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  • gp65
    Sep 4, 2012 - 3:59AM

    @AnisAqeel: “These laws should be removed as they are just contradictory to the religion of Islam.”

    These laws should be removed because they are unfair to some of your citizens – regardless of whether they contradict Islam or not. IF the only reason you propose that they should be removed is that they are contradictory o Islam, then there will be others who will quote something and say they are consistent with Islam. The unfairness of these laws however is beyond question and that should be the reason to remove the changes brought in by Zia.

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  • gp65
    Sep 4, 2012 - 4:11AM

    @Usman786: “just see what u Hindus do when u r in majority. jazia is a small fee as compared to 35+% taxes in EU”
    Are Hindus in charge in EU? Also the 35% tax in EU is for everyone not just for non-Christians. The beneficiaries of social services from those taxes also eeryone not just Christians.

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  • mr. righty rightist
    Sep 4, 2012 - 4:23AM

    @Antanu who writes “nazis have killed more and jews than any one else….my god they killed 6 million jews alone and you have the guts to point fingers at muslims…”

    Nopes. If you just count the number of muslims killed by muslims, it exceeds the above number.

    @Hassan Tahir who writes “Turkey is the county you are looking for”

    Right! With the Armenian genocide, the genocide of the kurds and illegal occupation of Cyprus, Turkey is the country I am looking for.

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  • Awais
    Sep 4, 2012 - 4:39AM

    @observer:

    I wish you had read it further!

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  • Awais
    Sep 4, 2012 - 4:40AM

    Thanks Hafiz Sahab for explaining it. We want Islam implemented in its essence, not in bits & pieces as in Pakistan.

    Peace!

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  • Mohni
    Sep 4, 2012 - 4:49AM

    Islam has taught us all good things but the religion will be judged by the acts of its followers. Just some plain good deeds: are we honest? are we truthful? Are we respectful of other people’s rights?
    And how can killing innocent people in the name of Islam is justified. We are so glad that Maulana Ashrafi publicily asked for a fair treatment for Rimsha but can he tell the Ayat of Quran to the extremists, terrorists that.. If you have killed one human being you have killed the whole humanity. Can he say that life is a sacred trust from Allah and no one is even allowed to take one’s own life. Those who kill other people takes away from people what Allah has given to them and only Allah has the right to take back. Please Maulana Sahib speak out and save this nation and Muslim ummah. Recommend

  • The observer
    Sep 4, 2012 - 5:48AM

    Pakistan should be for Pakistanis. Why classify people into non-muslims? Do any civilized nation classify their citizens as non-christians, non-Hindu etc etc.

    If Pakistani Sunni Muslims does indeed respect the faith of others as you claim in your article, then why is it Government policiy to abuse the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community all the time?

    Allah does not like that people say what they do not do.

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  • kaalchakra
    Sep 4, 2012 - 6:33AM

    Beautifully said, Sir.

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  • Sep 4, 2012 - 6:40AM

    The blasphemy law in Pakistan is a Christian construct from pre-Independence days where the British priests could roam around British India freely to convert and control the masses… Then came Bhutto and Zia and lo and behold they found they could play with Mullahs emotions who in turn played with the masses by using and manipulating this unIslamic law for their own benefit.

    Now besides all this – Hafiz sahib THANK YOU for standing up for the innocent daughter of Pakistan.

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  • nay sayer
    Sep 4, 2012 - 6:44AM

    @mr. righty rightist:
    very well quoted the historical murders of non-muslims … If u have an insight to the geo-politics and world conflicts, then please see why the conflicts begin, and where Nazis were, and wat japanese did during 2nd world war, america civil war wiped out 600k people, Sudan has a break up, Israelis dumped Palestinians, Serbians made mass muslim graves, conflicts in Rhodesia, zimbabwe, issue of tibet, Assam in india, Russians treatment of its breakup, mafia wars in Italy, Irish republican army, Lebanese religious conflict, …. its all over the MAP.

    we shud rather not make this religious issue …. its human psychy to engage in conflict due their respective variables … and civilization prevents it … it may come from religion, culture, education or shared values.

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  • Sid
    Sep 4, 2012 - 7:09AM

    Indian trolls go get a life!! Dont look at a so called muslim to judge Islam. If you want to argue that the religion is wrong read the book and the ahadith and then comment with proof. If you are judging islam by looking at so called muslim countries then you are not guided. Look at islam not a muslim. Majority of people know very little about there own faith but proclaim there beleifs as the truth. If you dont agree then millions are still being killed by christians, hindus and jews are also commiting the most henious crimes. But i will not judge a religion based on what a person does.

    Regards.

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  • gp65
    Sep 4, 2012 - 7:22AM

    @Mohammed+Abbasi: “The blasphemy law in Pakistan is a Christian construct from pre-Independence days ”
    Untrue. The British law was inherited by India and Pakistan . The maximum punishment under that was 3 years imprisonment and also it applied to disrespect for ANY religion not just Islam. Zia changed that law to include death punishment for disrespect to Islam.

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  • kaalchakra
    Sep 4, 2012 - 7:27AM

    Sid, Indians don’t want to believe that one day Pakistan will follow Islam and will leave all other nations behind. The thought is too uncomfortable for them.

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  • Imran Ahsan Mirza
    Sep 4, 2012 - 7:37AM

    @mahakaalchakra:
    That is about war when they attack you. Burning Quran is not mentioned as blasphemy in Quran. Keep your ignorance to yourself.

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  • pmbm
    Sep 4, 2012 - 7:55AM

    @ mahakaalchakra
    Your quoted verses clearly state that punishments are Allah’s domain here or in hereafter, it is not for me as muslim to punish Lahab etc etc.

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  • Hina
    Sep 4, 2012 - 7:56AM

    @Imran Con:
    The world isn’t quite as gullible as the Pakistani Muslim when it comes to the words of the divinely bearded.

    And therein lies all the trouble Islam is facing. It is being exposed and questioned and challenged and ridiculed all around the world. Let the thrashing continue until Islam is reformed and brought into the 21st Century.

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  • Tony Singh
    Sep 4, 2012 - 8:25AM

    All religions are man made and therefore subject to scrutiny. And Islam is no exception.

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  • pmbm
    Sep 4, 2012 - 8:30AM

    @mahakaalchakra
    If you want to understand Quran,Muhammad Asad’s “the message of Quran” is better translation.It is now published in New Dehli, you can not take verses out of context.

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  • Ahsan
    Sep 4, 2012 - 8:32AM

    Mahakaalchakra, I read all the verses you quoted. None has any such mention. The translation which you have given also does not allow you and your ill minded scholars to kil anyone. I humbly request all the Muslim readers to please read the verses and comment of mahakaalchakra. Hope we understand that if Allah has prepared jahanam for the wrong doers, does not allow us to become god on the earth.

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  • saeed
    Sep 4, 2012 - 9:04AM

    @mahakaalchakra:
    Perfect . You are pure . You don’t try to twist and turn the fact. Now it’s upto people
    People like hafiz Sb are hiding the real stuff .

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  • Dipak
    Sep 4, 2012 - 9:05AM

    Blasphemy law in Pakistan is a joke that has kept the country in stone age with no hope for the future.

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  • Ducky
    Sep 4, 2012 - 9:07AM

    @mahakaalchakra:
    Where in the Quran does it say that Muslims themselves are responsible of punishing blasphemers? What I got from your post is that the QURAN ordains divine punishment for them, they will be punished in the HEREAFTER. There’s no need for Muslims to go around putting minor girls in jail. If she ever was guilty (which she isn’t) she’ll get punished in the hereafter. End of story.

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  • Sulman Shaikh
    Sep 4, 2012 - 9:13AM

    @mr. righty rightist:

    Can you please provide evidence that muslims wiped out jewish tribes!!!!
    Muslims gave protection to the jews in Span and in Jerusalem.

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  • nitish
    Sep 4, 2012 - 9:36AM

    Maulana saheb ,one of the girl from you community got married in our hindu family.She is still cursing freedom offered to her as a woman in an islamic society.what do you like to say upon that?If islam is so fair,why she chose to leave islam though there was no pressure to change the religion for interfaith marry.

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  • mfg hUSAAIN
    Sep 4, 2012 - 9:58AM

    @G Wilson:
    You make perfect sense. Not to many rationalist around.
    Take care

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  • observer
    Sep 4, 2012 - 9:58AM

    @Ali S:

    OK.

    Let me be generous.

    I understand from Hafiz Sahib that the Blasphemy Laws, as found in Pakistan are not supported by the ‘true message of Islam’.

    Well, in that event- REPEAL IT.

    Are you game?

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  • antony
    Sep 4, 2012 - 10:06AM

    I would have respected ISLAM if this moulvi has said , lets release the girl right away and even if she had burned lets forgive her and leave her alone as this is ISLAM which is religion of peace ! .

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  • Changan
    Sep 4, 2012 - 10:10AM

    “But no other religion in the world is as fair as Islam to people of other faiths.”

    A good sentiment, and perhaps factually correct from the perspective of the edicts (I have no knowledge on the teachings so am not commenting on them).

    However, I can say one thing with great surity based on a lifetime of personal experience. In my day and age people of your religion are the least tolerant and least fair/accepting of other faiths.

    Perhaps it is time to concentrate on implementation of the facts and examples that you have mentioned in your article??

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  • Another Indian
    Sep 4, 2012 - 10:17AM

    @GS@Y:
    I like that line…..very well articulated….”But the fact remains that the rights of any minority are not safe whenever the beliefs of the majority are state policy.” Kudos to you for this line!

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  • aakash
    Sep 4, 2012 - 10:25AM

    @Imran Khan:
    Good Question, I believe they will never speak in this regard.

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  • MSS
    Sep 4, 2012 - 10:27AM

    Obviously, Mr Hafiz Mohammed has not seen what the rest of the world is like. A ‘village well frog’ level of knowledge and vision is what the crux of the problem is that is creating havoc in the society. Denials in perptuity has become the ‘norm’. No body believes in what Mr Hafeez Mohammed and similar people say.

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  • Sep 4, 2012 - 10:28AM

    @Ali:
    An Urdu-language version has appeared in Daily Jinnah of August 27

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  • Umer
    Sep 4, 2012 - 10:30AM

    @ Luciferous
    Correct defination – slightly flawed, defination- an expedition led by any prophet for defense of islam.
    Ghazwa e Hind is prophesized to be led by Jesus PBUH once he return to the world as the anti-christ slayer.
    Keeping a grudge against urdu columnist may be correct but not in this regard. I suggest that you read more.

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  • SB
    Sep 4, 2012 - 11:00AM

    Can’t we talk humanity without bringing in or referring to religious texts? don’t we have our own brain or heart? why do we always need prove a point and cry – “we are the best…we are the best!!!” ???

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Sep 4, 2012 - 11:27AM

    @Usman786:

    just see what u Hindus do when u r in
    majority. jazia is a small fee as
    compared to 35+% taxes in EU

    Jazia is a punitive tax imposed on non-Muslims just because they are not muslims. The 35% EU tax you compare jazya with, is to fund welfare programs that benefit one and all without discrimination.

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  • W. T. Faqih
    Sep 4, 2012 - 11:33AM

    Although it is hard to believe that Islam is fair to believers of other religions, but let us commend the good Maualan Ashrafi. He is brave in a violent, insane country. Lend him a hand and we might find ourselves taking a turn around a good corner.

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  • Tony Singh
    Sep 4, 2012 - 11:59AM

    @kaalchakra:
    “Sid, Indians don’t want to believe that one day Pakistan will follow Islam and will leave all other nations behind. The thought is too uncomfortable for them.”
    Why that thought should be uncomfortable to anybody? World is uncomfortable with the way Pakistan follows Islam.
    People in general live their lives as they wish to live. The only problem is with people who cannot distinguish between Quran as a book and Islam as a religion. They are two different things. The people who cannot make this basic distinction cannot be called enlightened or spiritual.

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  • Indian
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:06PM

    very commendable effort Mufti saab.. I have followed your interviews and you were very vocal on the whole episode. I hope everyone takes this as their responsibility to protect minorities and prevent misuse (better would be to amend) this law.

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  • Osama
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:18PM

    The article has been translated to English, which means it may be available online in Urdu. Indeed, a thought provoking article.

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  • Faiq
    Sep 4, 2012 - 12:19PM

    so there’s still hope……… Impressed by work of Mahmood Ashrafi… At first i thought seculars can think @this subject… But he proved me wrong….

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  • Sep 4, 2012 - 12:50PM

    Please practice what you preach

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  • Ch Javaid Akhtar
    Sep 4, 2012 - 1:14PM

    Thanks God, we still have a few sane religious scholars like Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi . Keep it up Hafiz sahib. A vast majority of Muslims are with you.

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  • zulfiqar halepoto
    Sep 4, 2012 - 1:14PM

    The way, this time mis-use of the law is exposed- Progressive people has got the opportunity to lobby with the government on the misuse of blasphemy law? Are we ready to take lead.

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  • gp65
    Sep 4, 2012 - 1:26PM

    @W. T. Faqih: “let us commend the good Maualan Ashrafi. He is brave in a violent, insane country.”

    Maulana Ashrafi is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. His concern is only to save the precious blasphemy law and not to save Rimsha – once the perfidy of the prayer leader has created widespread revulsion.

    Please see the url here and see what he says
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/430937/blasphemy-case-ulema-council-chief-demands-bail-for-rimsha/
    Ironically, Ashrafi’s support for Rimsha stems from his concern for the blasphemy law.
    “There is a conspiracy to abolish the blasphemy law and investigators (of Rimsha’s case) should expose elements behind this act,” Ashrafi said

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  • JZ
    Sep 4, 2012 - 1:38PM

    Coming from a religious scholar, this is a first so it must therefore be commended. However, you stopped short of calling for a total repeal of the law which is the logical next step. We need to go deeper into the background and circumstances under which this law was promulgated by General Zia. It was clearly a case of nefarious intentions on the part of the vengeful General. Pakistan before 1986 when this law came into force, was not a victim of “mazhabi bay-raahravi” where common citizens were out committing blasphemy left right and centre forcing the then government to bring a stern law to deal with the situation. That was certainly not the case. We should therefore be cognizant of the ill intentions of the dictator that led to this and other such laws. Ever since its promulgation, almost all, if not all, the reported cases turned out to be false with similar backgrounds – a poor was victimized by the powerful for vested interests.

    Rimsha’s is not the only obviously absurd case of blasphemy. Previously a 60-year old poor woman Zaibunnisa, who was reportedly not normal mentally, was released after wrongfully spending 14 years in prison on blasphemy charges. After her release the accuser in the case claimed that he never named her while police said they had arrested her only to save her from the mob! It took 14 years to get her justice! Likewise only recently a mentally deranged man accused of blasphemy was pushed out of police station by angry mob and burnt to death! in several other cases in the past where cases against accused were proved wrong and courts released them, some outsider killed them! There have been instances where accused have been killed in the premises of the courts!

    With such dark and blood-thirsty history, should we not move ahead to stop this madness? Should we not make an attempt to prove and establish that we are indeed human beings?

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  • Vigilant
    Sep 4, 2012 - 2:45PM

    Good Read….Article must be translated in Urdu and Published in leading newspapers for General masses enlightenment

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  • MAK
    Sep 4, 2012 - 3:15PM

    @mahakaalchakra: the ayah that u translated (correctness of translation couldn’t be confirmed at the time of this comment) says that it is Allah/God who will punish them with their wrath and/or on judgement day for ridiculing Him or the Prophet (SAWS) but He did not give powers to any man to punish the culprit/s. U c, ridiculing Allah and His prophet/s is considered a personal issue and Allah will deal with the blasphemer by Himself. So I believe blasphemy law does not resonate with Islamic laws. Muslims should simply refrain from acknowledging this moronic act and the act will itself die out. Ignoring (not ignorance) is a bliss in this matter.

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  • Anum
    Sep 4, 2012 - 4:29PM

    Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi is quoting the verses from Qura’an majid. So people please stop asking him questions about what is happening in Saudi Arabia or what the other Muslims are doing. Not every Muslim or Muslim country is following Islam correctly, but that does not hold any questions on the religion “Islam” and the “teachings of Quran and Sunnah”, which are the most fair and equitable than any other religion!

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  • What?!
    Sep 4, 2012 - 4:34PM

    I agree with most of the comments by readers on greatly diluting the blasphemy law – the prime example being the general pardon granted by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) of the Makkans residing in Makkah at the time of the Conquest of Makkah by the Muslims. Let us not forget that most of the pagans (who later converted to Islam) had defiled the Holy prophet (PBUH) in one form or other during his preaching in Makkah and hence at that time were blasphemers.

    Nevertheless, I sincerely applaud Hafiz Ashrafi’s effort to become a voice of sanity, reason and peace (which is the crux of Islam – the word itself meaning to ‘enter into peace [with ALLAH]“) in an islamic world gone crazy of religious intoxication. cheers.

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  • Babloo
    Sep 4, 2012 - 4:55PM

    This is sheer insensibility..
    Doesn’t Qoran teach that Muslims should not trust non-Muslims ?Recommend

  • KT
    Sep 4, 2012 - 5:08PM

    The problem are the mullahs, the so called Men of God, especially the ones who themselves are illitrate. Islam never instituted clergy for the simple reason that clerics will become intermediaries between God and people and will exploit them as well as the religion. Islam puts the responsibility on each Muslim to know their faith without depending on these Men of God who have brought misery to the masses and the religion and its followers to disrepute. Even the author, being educate is absolutely wrong about blasphemy. In Quran, Allah only desires the blasphemers to repent. If He were to prescribe capital punishment for them, how will a dead person repent. Also in Quran, Allah takes the responsibility of protecting the religion and Quran and He reserves the right to punish in offences related to Him, i.e., blasphemy. Looking back, Kamal Ata-Turk was a great visionary who dealt with them decisively and we also need one in Pakistan.

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  • Surely Sure!
    Sep 4, 2012 - 5:13PM

    This is best time to “review” the law and its “Implementation” thereof!

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  • Aziz Bhatti
    Sep 4, 2012 - 5:22PM

    I live in a quite neighborhood of Melbourn. Last week I had a Tablighee Jamaat group knocking at my door. I opened the door and heard them for 15 mints. In the end I asked them a question. What if I’m a Chriatian or a Hindu or a Qadiani knocking at your door and telling you about my religion? Would you be listening to me with the same patience? And what if I do this in your country; Pakistan? I ask this simple question to respectable Hafiz sahib?

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  • Wasaw
    Sep 4, 2012 - 6:21PM

    hahahaha LOL is this some kind of joke??

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  • Mahakaalchakra
    Sep 4, 2012 - 6:22PM

    Thank you to all who have responded to my posts.

    ET in their wisdom has decided not to publish my responses on this issue. No Islamic scholar has yet come forward to declare that Blasphemy law is against Islam.

    Again it is a matter of interpretation. I do not claim to be an Islamic or Arabic scholar. Any one can ask Google uncle, he will give you interpretations and quotes which support Anti-Blasphemy law.

    There are many Islamic countries who have Blasphemy law; Kuwait tightened its blasphemy law recently. Muslims get agitated when some of their teachings are criticized.

    I have just one question. Can’t Allah change HIS mind looking at what is going on in Islamic countries, especially in Pakistan?

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  • IM1
    Sep 4, 2012 - 6:26PM

    Hafiz Sahib, your comment “But no other religion in the world is as fair as Islam to people of other faiths” is not true. In fact the opposite is true. Islam discriminates against the minorities by extra taxes “Jizya”. I live in a secular estate and not ruled by Islam (thank Goodness for that), I am not discriminated in any way by law.

    The maulvis also prohibit other religions from spreading their religion. This is another discrimination.

    The maulvis also support death sentence for “Apostasy”. What kind of protection is that ?

    The maulvis, the people who follow faith blindly and are under the illusion that what maulvis tell them is “islam” are pure “fitna”. Recommend

  • Sep 4, 2012 - 6:54PM

    “The Holy Quran prescribes restraint and distancing from blasphemous persons or situations. The emphasis is on restraint. “

    There’s also a hadith that says the majority of a Muslim community cannot be wrong, so if a crowd of Muslims want to sacrifice a little girl they must automatically be correct, yes?

    Clearly the author is speaking around the religious issues powering intolerance and not attempting to face them head-on. Why should such a man be considered a religious leader of any sort?

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  • Ammar
    Sep 4, 2012 - 7:04PM

    If by Quran 21:46 the 46th verse of surah Al-Anbya is meant, kindly correct the reference as that ones wrongly stated !!

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  • gp65
    Sep 4, 2012 - 7:33PM

    @Solomon2: “Clearly the author is speaking around the religious issues powering intolerance and not attempting to face them head-on”.
    @Mahakaalchakra :Again it is a matter of interpretation. I do not claim to be an Islamic or Arabic scholar. Any one can ask Google uncle, he will give you interpretations and quotes which support Anti-Blasphemy law.

    Clearly there is a reason he is doing that. He wants to PROTECT the blasphemy law as has become clear through another ET deadline and does not want the revulsion against framing Rimsha to resulting in mass support for a change in the blasphemy law. http://tribune.com.pk/story/430937/blasphemy-case-ulema-council-chief-demands-bail-for-rimsha/ “There is a conspiracy to abolish the blasphemy law and investigators (of Rimsha’s case) should expose elements behind this act,” Ashrafi said

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  • hamza khan
    Sep 4, 2012 - 7:35PM

    @Nadir:

    thats insensibility…do your own research and you’ll find plenty of recent examples of tolerance for other faiths in muslim countries. pakistan itself is an example of minorities getting adequate protection. this targetting of minorities seems to be a recent phenomenon. Recommend

  • lateralthot
    Sep 4, 2012 - 8:03PM

    I wonder how many Imams would be prepared to allow an Ahmadi to offer salat/namaz in their mosque. Yes it is exactly the same standard prayer which majority of Muslims pray!

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  • Farzana
    Sep 4, 2012 - 8:28PM

    President Asif Ali Zardari did a wonderful job by taking a notice of 11-year-old Rimsha’s case promptly. Soon after her arrest when the news came in the media, he asked the interior ministry to investigate and report the details to him. During a media briefing, a spokeswoman of the US State Department also expressed her satisfaction over the way Pakistan’s authorities have handled the case. It is commendable that President Zardari fervently kept himself abreast with the developments of the case and insisted on giving justice to the girl. It is not only a matter of providing fair treatment to this young girl but it is a matter of our country’s reputation, which is already marred by repeated events of terrorism and extremism. It is time that we begin washing these stigmas from ourselves so that we are treated as a normal nation that looks forward to live in peace with itself and its neighbours.

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  • Muhammad Yaqub
    Sep 4, 2012 - 8:40PM

    @RUNMAD:
    Quran (7:199) says it all. Allah commands that you turn away from the ignorant. Those who in their ignorance say bad words about Allah and the Prophets.
    But then Blasphemy Laws is a Christian creation. 1300 years of Muslim history has no such precedence.
    But then at least the Hafiz talks some sense !

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  • Luciferous
    Sep 4, 2012 - 9:23PM

    @Mahakaalchakra:
    “I have just one question. Can’t Allah change HIS mind looking at what is going on in Islamic countries, especially in Pakistan?”

    Allah may but mullah won’t change his mind.
    Mullah has read Sahih Bukhari, Nisa’ai, Abu Daud and much more.
    Has Allah read that?
    Who is more knowing Allah or Mullah?

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  • Asok
    Sep 4, 2012 - 9:31PM

    “Muslims and non-Muslims have the right not to have their religious beliefs mocked.”

    Disagree. Beliefs are beliefs and can be mocked.

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