Blasphemy killings: 15 of 34 murdered were Muslims

Published: December 7, 2010

Human rights organisations urge immediate repeal of blasphemy laws.

LAHORE: A total of 34 people were killed extra judicially in Pakistan during 1990-2010 following charges of blasphemy, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The information obtained by the Tribune revealed that 15 of those killed were Muslims and 31 were killed in the Punjab.

16 of the murdered people were Christians, 15 Muslims, two Ahmadis and one a Hindu. All these people accused, of crimes under the blasphemy laws, were either killed extra judicially or found dead in prison under dubious circumstances.

Eight of these people died in the police custody. Five were killed by the police. One of them committed suicide and two were found dead in prison with the cause of their death unknown.  Dr Mehdi Hasan, Human Right Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) chairperson, said that he believed that the extrajudicial killings raised questions in relations to the failure of the police security. “The HRCP has always been condemning such tragic incidents. We have long been campaigning for repeal of these laws,” he added.

Ali Dayan Hasan, the senior South Asia researcher at the Human Rights Watch, said that Pakistan would remain a laboratory for rights abuse in the name of religion if blasphemy laws were not repealed.

National Commission for Peace and Justice (NCPJ) is among the organisations calling for blasphemy laws repeal. NCPJ Executive Secretary Peter Jacob said, “In a society like Pakistan where people can be easily instigated into taking law in their hands, such laws should be immediately abolished.”

Religious scholar Javed Ahmad Ghamidi said that the Quran does not lay down a punishment for blasphemy. “In talking about these laws, one should understand the circumstances in which Ziaul Haq introduced them,” he said. He also said that the current laws were not Islamic.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 7th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • shy
    Dec 7, 2010 - 11:32AM

    Un islamic laws imposed by ziaulhuq.Recommend

  • T R Khan
    Dec 7, 2010 - 4:09PM

    Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Ahmadis are God’s creation and He loves his creations and deals justly and benevolently with them. The Almighty also expects that his creations will behave similarly amongst themselves.
    Prescribing a worldly punishment for blasphemy is undermining His powers.Recommend

  • MK
    Dec 7, 2010 - 5:01PM

    Its time to throw out this law … the govt doesn’t have guts to stand up to just a few idi*ts of JUI JI etc Pakistan would be a very better and safe place without these few so called political parties Recommend

  • athar mahmood
    Dec 7, 2010 - 6:02PM

    Its time to abolish these UNISLAMIC LAWS and their misuse by clerics.Recommend

  • M M Malik
    Dec 7, 2010 - 7:51PM

    Death for blasphemy is from the Torah and un-Islamic.Recommend

  • Muhammad Faisal
    Dec 7, 2010 - 8:41PM

    I will request all you guys commenting here… please write your religion name with your comment as well… so we know, who know Islam and saying UnIslamic Law. If you are not a Muslim then just close your eyes as you do close when Millions of Muslim people dieing in War On Terror in many countries… and If you are Muslim then you better watch your mouth because indirectly but intentionally you are committing a sin… so better come with proof or leave this matter as is(A request to Muslims, if 1% of Eymaan exist in them)Recommend

  • Humanity
    Dec 7, 2010 - 10:37PM

    @Muhammad Faisal “I will request all you guys commenting here… please write your religion name with your comment as well… so we know, who know Islam and saying UnIslamic Law. If you are not a Muslim then just close your eyes as you do close when Millions of Muslim people dieing in War On Terror in many countries… and If you are Muslim then you better watch your mouth because indirectly but intentionally you are committing a sin… so better come with proof or leave this matter as is(A request to Muslims, if 1% of Eymaan exist in them)”

    People who oppose the blasphemy law understand and practice Islam very well and perhaps better than you do. There are millions of Muslims who practice Islam, as a religion of peace, tolerance, and service for humanity as taught by the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

    The Muslims dying in war on terror are because a handful of mis-guided Muslims have hijacked Islam to commit violence and spread terror in the form of suicide attacks and blasphemy law. Stop violence, intolerance, and hatred for others. Adopt the peaceful way of life through service of humanity and uplift of the poor, which is the way of true Islam.

    Let Allah (swt) be my witness when I say I commit no sin by opposing violence and injustice committed in the name of Islam against helpless people, regardless of their race, religion, gender, or ethnicity be. I believe this is what my Holy Prophet(pbuh) taught me to do. I oppose those who call themselves Muslims and then go around spreading hatred and murdering innocent people. These people bring shame to the name of Islam.

    Thank you, but no thank you. I will let my Allah judge my eymaan for me. You look your self up in the mirror and judge yourself for any eymaan in yourself. You seem to have no problem arrogating yourself as the judge on behalf of Allah (swt) (naauzobillah)!Recommend

  • Arnie
    Dec 8, 2010 - 12:50AM

    Please go and read Quran. It clearly support blasphemy laws. If Quran supports it then why people are saying that it un-islamic ? Islam clearly separates kafirs and apostates from muslims.
    And historically both kafirs and apostates have been punished on countless occasions.Recommend

  • Dec 8, 2010 - 1:29AM

    how many mullahs were killed due to blasphemy laws?Recommend

  • Tahir Adeel
    Dec 8, 2010 - 1:47AM

    I think we now need to solve some issues here. Can we kill some one in the name of religion? Some mullah say yes. Two conditions are 1) Blashpemy 2) Apostay (one who accept other religion and leaves islam). Muslim scholars need to cleary tell us the stance of Islam. As a Muslim I have no idea because thing are not clear. Islam also say to abolish system of interest rates but no one has any issue with this. Why? May be becaue it’s not doable. Then I believe killing weither on the name of blashphemy/apostary is just not doable.Recommend

  • Yasir
    Dec 8, 2010 - 5:12AM

    @Arnie:

    Please go and read Quran. It clearly
    support blasphemy laws. If Quran
    supports it then why people are saying
    that it un-islamic?

    I want to be educated. Please quote relevant verses which CLEARLY say that. Please note word CLEALRY, no stretching please.

    Islam clearly separates kafirs and
    apostates from muslims.

    This is not the same as killing them.

    And historically both kafirs and
    apostates have been punished on
    countless occasions.

    Really? How about when they were not punished such as the inhabitants of Taif when they actually physically attacked and injured the Holy Prophet? Point is, this not a general rule of Shariat. There were times such as in wars when this was strategically necessary otherwise in times of peace no such punishment.Recommend

  • Angelos
    Dec 8, 2010 - 7:59PM

    @Tahir Adeel
    Interest is HARAM. As per my knowledge, court has issued orders of it to be stopped but Govt had taken ‘stay’ over this case and this is going for years and years……

    @Yasir
    Not all things are mentioned in Quran ‘Clearly’, many things are infered from Quran and you also need to take in cosideration the Hadith/Sunnah. For example, raakah of namaz etc etc. There is mention of blasphemy by hadith/sunnah. Read Ibn e Taymiyyah’s book “Saarim ul Maslool”. You can also listen to Imam Anwar Awalaki’s lecture on the topic.

    @Rest
    Extrajudicial killings have nothing to do with Islam. A person who commits blasphemy needs to be given fair trail and if court rules he is innocent no one has any right to harm him in any way. If court found him guilty then he should be punished. Regarding blasphemy laws, yes 295C is vague and it should be amended as I see words like “intent”, “deliberate” are missing in it!Recommend

  • PRINCE SHAHRYAR RANA
    Dec 21, 2010 - 4:28AM

    Foolish systemRecommend

  • Khan
    Jan 7, 2011 - 10:39PM

    The question is what Islam and Quran says? Is there any proof? TWO most important questions i want to raise here:

    I am standing on street and i raise finger on you and started telling people that you have said something wrong for our Prophet (PBUH). So by that should i have the right to kill you for putting finger on you? Anyone has prrof of that christian woman who were punished by a muslim that she said wrong things against our Prophet (PBUH)?
    When we live in a country, a society then do anyone has a right to kill someone on his own saying he has said anything wrong for our Prophet (PBUH)? Then do we need a society? Are we even a human being? We as muslim know what worst people did with Prophet (PBUH) on the times when He (PBUH) was preaching Islam. The people of Makkah i mean. Did he (PBUH) ordered anyone to kill all those people who throwed stones on him? I am confused here.
    Proofs: I am working on the details and meeting with scholars. Not those mulahs of Pakistan. I mean scholars to discuss on this. But i found few notes at the following link. I want all of you to read those.
    http://www.insaf.pk/Forum/tabid/53/forumid/1/tpage/1/view/topic/postid/98014/Default.aspx#98014
    Recommend

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