Christian man in Lahore charged with blasphemy over WhatsApp poem

By AFP
Published: July 11, 2016
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LAHORE: A Christian man was charged with blasphemy in Lahore on Monday after his Muslim friend alleged he had sent a poem on WhatsApp that insulted Islam, police said.

Yasir Bashir said Nadeem James had sent him a poem on the messaging app that was derogatory about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and other holy figures.

“Police have registered a case on blasphemy charges against Nadeem James and are searching for him as he has fled his home,” a local law enforcement official told AFP on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the matter.

Muslim, two Christians sentenced to death for blasphemy

Another police official said that James’ relatives had been taken into “protective custody” and that there was increased security in Christian neighbourhoods in the town of Sara-i-Almgeer, around 160 kilometres north of Lahore, because of local tension arising from Bashir’s complaint.

Such allegations can trigger beatings and mob violence while strict blasphemy laws including the death penalty for insulting the prophet exist in the country.

A Christian couple were lynched then burnt in a kiln in Punjab in 2014 after being falsely accused of desecrating the holy Quran.

Rights campaigners say blasphemy laws are often used to settle personal disputes in the country.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Hameed
    Jul 11, 2016 - 8:26PM

    There aren’t as many blasphemy cases in the whole of Muslim world as there are in middle Punjab alone. Why is that?Recommend

  • Arsha
    Jul 11, 2016 - 9:40PM

    And the one who accused was supposedly a “friend”!Recommend

  • SaneVoice
    Jul 11, 2016 - 9:42PM

    I am waiting for the liberal fascist squad to show up and start denouncing Pakistan and its laws. Whereas when in the Western world their laws are enacted to punish people, all this shameless squad has to say is “There country their rules” Yeah so same is applied here. Don’t break the Pakistani laws and you will be fine.Recommend

  • TooTrue
    Jul 11, 2016 - 10:26PM

    Can you publish the poem so we can judge for ourselves?Recommend

  • Anon
    Jul 11, 2016 - 11:27PM

    Thank you Allah for not making me a Muslim…..Recommend

  • Hameed
    Jul 11, 2016 - 11:46PM

    @SaneVoice:

    I am waiting for the liberal fascist squad to show up and start denouncing Pakistan and its laws.

    This law is wrong and against human rights. Period.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Jul 12, 2016 - 12:43AM

    Another case to substantiate the need for the abolition or serious review of the blasphemy law, so that gross misuse of this law is limited.Recommend

  • Ajeet
    Jul 12, 2016 - 2:41AM

    India too should enact the blasphemy law and punish those who insult Hinduism. Recommend

  • Ajeet
    Jul 12, 2016 - 2:43AM

    @SaneVoice:
    The mullah fascist vs liberal fascist? My vote is for the liberals. Sanevoice as in religion of peace! Recommend

  • Khan Gul
    Jul 12, 2016 - 5:13AM

    If this time again the allegation proves wrong the accuser must be prosecuted and hanged. It would send a strong message to all those who use blasphemy laws to settle their own scores against their opponents. Recommend

  • whatever
    Jul 12, 2016 - 8:48AM

    the event tells you that minorities can’t trust muslim as a friend. they always trying to get a chance to kill you while pretending that he is your best friend. a friend in need is a friend indeed. don’t trust muslims you might get into the trouble.Recommend

  • Babar
    Jul 12, 2016 - 9:48AM

    I want to see the poem and then judge. This so called “Muslim” friend should be hanged if the poem is not blasphemous. I know if I ever come across this “Muslim” friend, I shall give him the beating of his life. I wonder if he has a family. Would love to know their stupid mindset!!!! Yes, I am a Muslim but not an idiot who is Mullah brainwashed. Pakistan as a state encourages intolerance by having idiotic laws. Recommend

  • Heroes Sin
    Jul 13, 2016 - 2:25PM

    Is the faith into which one must give Allah so weak that a Christian is charged with blasphemy for expressing himself in a poem? Has the faith of Pakistanis become so hollow, as to be waved away by a non Muslim Poem? Recommend

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