Among the blasphemers

Published: March 14, 2011
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Salmaan Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti may have been the most high profile targets, but countless others are suffering at the hands of the draconian defenders of a misunderstood faith.

Salmaan Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti may have been the most high profile targets, but countless others are suffering at the hands of the draconian defenders of a misunderstood faith.

Salmaan Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti may have been the most high profile targets, but countless others are suffering at the hands of the draconian defenders of a misunderstood faith. Salmaan Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti may have been the most high profile targets, but countless others are suffering at the hands of the draconian defenders of a misunderstood faith. Salmaan Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti may have been the most high profile targets, but countless others are suffering at the hands of the draconian defenders of a misunderstood faith.

The fugitive

“I changed my name once I got out of jail,” says Yakoob nonchalantly.

“Why did you do that?” I ask him.

“To live.”

It seemed so aptly put. At the age of 28, he was forced to become someone else — adopt a new name, find a new home, and start a new life. The reason? — he had been convicted for committing blasphemy. Ten years after getting out of jail, he already looked old and worn out. So much for a new life…

“I was in for 3 years, and I was kept in solitary confinement throughout,” Yakoob tells me. “I was kept separate from the rest of the inmates, but the prison guards tortured me and kept saying things which I knew weren’t true.”

“Like what?”

“Like, if I converted to Islam, they would try to get me a pardon.” He seems nervous saying this to me, perhaps because he knows I am a Muslim by faith.

“Why didn’t you convert then?” I ask.

“Sir, why should I? To each his own; my religion is as beloved to me as theirs is to them.”

Religious intolerance — that was the root cause of Yakoob’s misery. If religion is the opium of the masses, I was now beginning to find out why this particular narcotic was so lethal. In the wake of the much talked about case of Aasia Bibi, I had met Yakoob through the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), a human rights organisation that provided legal and financial help to those accused of blasphemy. We had agreed to meet in a church in Lahore where Yakoob felt safe.

Yakoob was from Sialkot but the fear of ‘street justice’ prevented him from visiting his family in their hometown. In the late 90s a rival shop-owner accused Yakoob of pelting stones on religious hoardings during a rally organised by Christians. This happened in the wake of a bishop killing himself in protest against the blasphemy laws. But according to Yakoob, he didn’t even know about the rally, much less attend it. Of course, no one paid attention to his pleas and the court sentenced him to jail. He has now been living in Lahore for many years, afraid that he will be lynched by the people in his hometown, despite already having served his sentence.

A glass half empty

Yakoob may have got out of jail in 3 years but Aasia Bibi isn’t so lucky. On death row, her hanging is contingent only on approval from the Lahore High Court, which is still pending. A friend sent me the 15- page court verdict on Aasia. An interesting fact in the hearing was Aasia’s denial of ever having committed blasphemy, but the large number of witnesses against her made her case weak. Aasia’s lawyer also raised objections on grounds of the discrepancy between the time of the incident and the complaint, which was registered four days later, but the district court judge still ruled against Aasia.

Out of the 300 households of Ittanwala, a small village some two hours’ drive from Lahore close to the Indian border, the only Christian residents were Aasia Bibi and her family. Our guide, a local journalist, took us along a road that led to mud houses built close to each other. “That’s Aasia’s house,” he said, pointing to the first house. “Some family members are still living there.”

This was surprising because the media had reported that Aasia’s family was on the run.

Before meeting anyone, we had to see the Maulvi of the village. Qari Salaam’s house was the last in a narrow lane lined with concrete and mud houses, next to the mosque where he led prayers. A friendly man in his mid-thirties, he had a long black beard and wore a turban. Salaam was the one who had registered the case against Aasia after two village-girls had complained to him.

Salaam took us to the exact spot where Aasia and the girls had had an argument. From a dirt road, we were led to an orchard where a man named Idrees, was sitting on a charpoy. Idrees was one of the testifier in Aasia’s case. With Idrees, we made our way further into the orchard until we reached an open spot under a tree. “This is where it all started,” said Idrees.

“It was the summer of 2009,” he began. “I was out here when I heard Asia fighting with the two sisters. It was lunch time and they were having food. When I asked them what the problem was, Mafia told me that Aasia had just committed blasphemy and said things about our religion and our Prophet,” he added.

“Why would she do that?” I asked.

“Well, Aasia and the sisters had just eaten lunch, and Aasia took their glass and drank water out of it. The two sisters did not touch the glass after that. So Aasia inquired why they weren’t touching the glass. The sisters told her that it was because she is Christian and they would not drink out of her glass,” said Idrees.

“This infuriated Asia so much that she went on to say blasphemous things,” Qari Salaam added.

“Like what?” I asked.

“Those are words that we cannot repeat,” the two said in unison.

I wanted to meet the girls who had reported Aasia Bibi to Qari Salaam and the maulvi agreed to take us to their house. Of the two sisters, only Mafia was home when we arrived. Her younger siblings and nephews were playing around her. She kept her face covered during our meeting. Her story was a repeat of what we’d heard in the orchard.

When she had finished, I asked her why she wouldn’t drink out of a Christian’s glass.

“As Muslims we should not share it,” she said with conviction.

Then I asked her what she thought of the pardon for Aasia.

“Aasia deserves death. She should be killed soon,” she said furiously. “These delay tactics of our judicial system reflect inefficiency.”

Fear and loathing

Our next visit was to Aasia’s house which was on the same street as Mafia’s. Aasia’s sister-in-law, woman in her mid-thirties, opened the door and told me that she was living there to take care of Aasia’s sister who had had a baby recently. By that time a sizable crowd had gathered outside the house and as she opened the door to let us in, I could tell that she was scared. Inside the house, I met Aasia’s sister, Sonia* a malnourished woman holding a baby in her lap.

When asked her if she thought Aasia could say all that she had been accused of, she replied “I don’t know.”

Then she added, “This is not the first time Aasia or her family have been targeted in this village. They would block the family’s sewerage line, damage the house walls. She was uneducated, she didn’t know about her own religion. How could she come up with such specific facts about the Prophet (pbuh) and present them in a twisted, derogatory manner?” she asked.

“So you think she’s being targeted for her religion?” I asked.

Before she could say anything, a face popped up from the wall beside her. A man was listening to our conversation. Sonia froze, too scared to speak.

“Are you not scared to live here?” I asked her.

“We don’t have a choice. Someone has to live here to protect the house,” she said.

Ashiq, Aasia’s husband, was on the run, and Sonia told me to get in touch with him through Aasia’s lawyer.

But, when I contacted him, the lawyer was reluctant. “Ashiq is in danger,” he told me over the phone. “Salmaan Taseer’s assassination has changed everything,” he added. Finally, he agreed to arrange a meeting in a village just outside Lahore after midnight.

I met Ashiq in a house that was under construction. I was ushered to the first floor where cement and sawdust were strewn on the floor. There sat Aasia’s three children, with their aunt. Their faces were unwashed, their clothes were tattered and uncertainty lingered in their eyes… I wondered how long it would be before they could stop running.

Ashiq told me that he met his wife once a week but the children never went along with him since it was too dangerous. He had lost his job a while ago and only his son was working now. He had a job in some other village, but it was likely that he would lose it soon. The family was barely able to survive.

I asked him why he was on the run but, before he could reply, one of children piped up.

“They were going to kill her that day. She was thrashed for hours. Do you think we could stay there? They beat her almost to death.” The anger in this child’s voice broke my heart. She was barely 12 and that had been the last that she’d seen of her mother.

“So do you think you will ever see your mother again?” I asked her.

“I trust God — He will bring her back to us,” she replied.

The road to Gojra

Analysts say that because of the circumstances surrounding Governor Salmaan Taseer’s assassination, Aasia has little or no chance of getting her sentence reverted. Following Taseer’s murder, the government announced that it would withdraw the proposed amendments’ bill in the blasphemy law which had been submitted to parliament by Sherry Rehman. With this, any hope of change has died out.

The blasphemy law was amended under General Zia-ul-Haq — a dictator who we all agree brought ‘the Kalashnikov culture’, heroin smuggling, and ethnic tension to this country. Pakistan is one of only two countries in the world that award capital punishment for blasphemy; the other is Saudi Arabia. Other Muslim states do not award death sentences for blasphemy. In that case do Pakistan’s laws really uphold the ideals that the country was built upon? Another round of investigations answered my questions.

In 2009, seven Christians were burnt alive by a mob in Gojra and recently, the Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah claimed the issue had been settled. But NCJP, which had been handling this case, took issue with the minister’s claim. So I decided to see for myself.

The next day I was on my way to Gojra, an hour’s drive from Faisalabad. We had arranged to meet the local priest, Father Younus, in a church. As we sat down for tea, I noticed a nearby wall had ‘The Gojra Tragedy’ written on it. On closer inspection, I saw it was covered with photographs of women crying, injured men and a street with burnt houses… Father Younus introduced us to Haroon, whose mother and sister had been amongst those that died when Christian houses in Gojra were set on fire. Haroon took us to the street where it had all happened.

We reached a noisy street with freshly-painted houses on each side. Kids played in the street and women chatted with each other in corners. A big signboard lauded the government of Punjab’s reconstruction efforts. At the end of the street was a house which the government of Punjab had obviously not reconstructed: its walls were scorched and the dilapidated door had a big padlock on it.

“This is the house where seven people including my sister and mother were burnt alive,” Haroon said. “It all started with the sermons in the mosque that day. We could hear them over the loudspeakers: ‘Kill the Christians!’ And even though we were forewarned, what could a few Christians do against a mob of hundreds of people who wanted to kill them?” Haroon had fear in his eyes as he narrated the events of that dark day. He went on to tell us how, following the announcement, mobs of teenagers descended on their street, beating people, throwing petrol bombs into homes, and opening fire at those who were fleeing.

“Why wasn’t this house reconstructed?” I asked him.

“Because the son of the man killed in this incident has not withdrawn the case yet,” he said. Apparently, the Punjab government has rebuilt only those houses whose owners have withdrawn charges against members of the mob. And all have done so, except for the owner of this house where seven human beings had been burnt alive.

So that’s what the Punjab Law minister had meant when he said the issue had been settled.

Haroon took us to the Muslim preachers of the area. “That’s the mosque,” he said. “The mullah there is from Sipah-e-Sahaba.” According to reports from the interior ministry, Sipah-e-Sahaba, a banned organisation, was behind the Gojra attacks. I waited for Maulana Kashmiri to finish Friday prayers so that I could talk to him. His sermon that day is something that I cannot forget even today. He was screaming through a microphone and claiming that he was quoting most of it from the Quran. The crowd was mesmerised. “The infidels will lead you astray. They do everything for money — a worldly pleasure that will not last,” he shouted.

While waiting for him to get done with the prayers, I met some teenagers outside the mosque. One of them pointed to the mosque and said, “Maulana Kashmiri is not affiliated with Sipah-e-Sahaba anymore but he was with them. He left it after coming back from jail.”

When I joined Maulana Kashmiri at his home, I asked him whether he was a member of Sipah-e-Sahaba.tase

“No, I don’t belong to any religious organisation. I am just an imam of this mosque,” he replied. He told me that he had been in jail for fourteen months after the Gojra incident and had gotten out a few months ago. But his fourteen month detention was illegal, he claimed.

He flatly denied having made anti-Christian statements in his sermons. “I have made no such announcements. Nothing of the sort happened that day,” he said, referring to the day of the Gojra tragedy. “Actually some Muslim youth were attacked and injured by Christians. That led to the ‘riots’. You should check the hospital record which shows that Muslims were brought to the emergency room before the time quoted on the FIR registered by the Christians.”

He went on to defend himself and I realised that Maulana Kashmiri was not going to change his version of events. “It was just that people were angry because of the blasphemy committed by a Christian family in Korian, following which Christians tried to attack and ridicule Muslim youth in Gojra. This is what caused the riots.”

“So now you’re out and free?” I asked him.

“Not really, I still have to go to the hearing in the court,” he replied.

No Witnesses, no case

A few days later, I was at Maulana Kashmiri’s hearing at the Anti Terrorist court in Faisalabad. I found out that none of the victims would be present at the hearing, because all had withdrawn their cases except Almas Hameed. Almost all of Hameed’s family including his wife, son, daughter, sister-in-law, mother, aunt and father had died that day. Hameed himself had left the country for Thailand a few months ago, owing to security concerns. Now it was just the state and one Christian that pursued the case.

A few minutes after 9.00 am, a bus stopped in front of the gate and a group of around 50 people got off.

“Who are these people?” I asked the man leading the group.

“They are the nominated accused in the FIR of the Gojra incident,” he said.

The man I had spoken to was Rehmatullah, who belonged to the Jamaat-e-Islami and was providing legal support to these villagers.

When Rehmatullah came out of court he said, “The court has deferred the hearing for the next week due to a lack of witness accounts and has asked the state to present the witnesses next time.”

“We are innocent!” cried one of the men standing next to Rehmatullah. Maulana Kashmiri, who had also come out, nodded in agreement. “There are no witnesses because they know they are wrong,” he said. “We will get justice.”

“Do you know what happened at Gojra and Korian?” I asked him.

“Yes, I do, and even though none of us did it, the Christians still deserved it. They are blasphemers!” he shouted angrily. And a chorus of people echoed his words.

Among the believers

So whether it was the villagers, the educated masses or the politicians — the stance against blasphemy was the same.

I saw all these people come together under one umbrella the following week at a rally in Lahore organised by Islamist parties in support of the blasphemy law. The Jamaat-e-Islami representative Rehmatullah, who I had met outside the ATC in Faisalabad, was at the rally which was to begin from Nasir Bagh on Kachehri Road near the District courts and stop at the Punjab Assembly prominent leaders from the JUI-F, JI and JuD would address the crowd.

Islamist organisations were one of the biggest pressure groups in support of the blasphemy law and I could see how they managed their support. They backed these accused villagers and in return they got the street power they needed to shake the pillars of power. It was a win-win situation.

Rehmat-ullah got out of a bus in which he had brought a crowd of more than 150 people who were now marching towards the Kachehri Road.

The government had set up a loose security barrier that many were bypassing as we followed the group. The crowd was becoming larger and louder, shouting anti-government slogans, holding placards and party flags (including that of the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba’s). The rally was astonishing — there were people that carried posters of Mumtaz Qadri, the murderer of Salmaan Taseer with statements like ‘He is our hero’, and ‘Free Qadri’. Some people had placards with ‘Hang Aasia Bibi’ written on them. On Mall Road, a truck was painted with a photo-shopped full-size poster of Qadri sitting on a throne. His handcuffs had been digitally removed from the picture and two dead dogs lay in a puddle of blood at his feet. Two other dogs stood by, with Pope Benedict’s face photoshopped on their bodies. People were kissing Qadri’s feet while spitting on the dogs. A group of people carried effigies dressed as witches with the names of who they represented written on a placard. A man pointed at the effigies and shouted, ‘Meet Sherry Rehman and Fauzia Wahab.’

Sherry Rehman’s name had been changed to Sherry Satan. “She wants to bring a change in the blasphemy law. We will not let her,” shouted the man carrying her effigy. “She will end up like Salmaan Taseer!”

I had thought that the Islamists in Pakistan were politically motivated to pressurise the government and that the rally would be their show alone– but I had been wrong, mainstream political parties were at the rally as well. Outside the Punjab assembly, the rally was being addressed by the PML-N’s Khawaja Saad Rafiq and the ex-chief minister Punjab Chauhdry Pervez Elahi from the PML-Q. The Pakistan Tehreek-I-Insaaf had also sent its representative.

I asked Khawaja Saad Rafique if it was wise to mix politics and religion. “This is not politics; it is our duty as Muslims to defend Islam,” replied the parliamentarian before leaving in a convoy of jeeps.

“Islam will prevail no matter what,” screamed the loudspeakers around me as another political activist started to speak.

“Will it?” I thought to myself. And if so, which brand of Islam? With the hatred and bigotry I have witnessed in the past few weeks, I wondered what happened to the Islam of my childhood, the religion of peace, harmony and tolerance? How many more Taseers, Bhattis and Aasias will pay the price for our inability to tolerate the opinions and faiths of others?

Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, March 13th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (96)

  • abdul moiz
    Mar 14, 2011 - 2:16PM

    we treat any nonmuslim horribly.we treat them like animals by not drinking or eating from their glass & plates,we call them ‘napaak’; when nothing else works we accuse them falsely of having committed blasphemy so we can settle our personal scores.

    Repeal the black blasphemy laws,they are an insult to anyone with an ounce of intelligence.Respect should come from the heart,you can’t force people by killing them to start respecting your religion.Recommend

  • rehman irfan
    Mar 14, 2011 - 2:19PM

    Gays,lesbians,athiests,agnostics,ahmadis,christians,parsis,hindus have a right to live life according to their own beliefs & values.

    Our violent insistence on forcing them to observe our religious rituals while disrespecting & ridiculing their rituals & beliefs has led to a society where all nonmuslims live in fear of hurting the “Mazhabi jazbaat” of the muslims.Recommend

  • nasir shahzad
    Mar 14, 2011 - 2:22PM

    separate mosque & state,allowing religion to poke its nose in the affairs of the government has led us to the abyss.
    Remove all laws made on the basis of religion as they breed discrimination,hatred & injustice.

    Pakistan’s original name was “republic of pakistan” before the religious savages blackmailed the government into changing it to the “Islamic republic of pakistan”.
    Change it back to its original name which was there at the time of pakistan’s birth.Recommend

  • qaiser naveed
    Mar 14, 2011 - 2:26PM

    blasphemy laws were made by human beings so why can’t humans discuss & debate these laws.The mindnumbing ,closedeyed ,rigid adherence to anything with a hint of religion has created a nation of zombies incapable of rational thinking who don’t question & debate anything fed to them in the name of religion.

    If a person finds something inappropriate or offensive he should be able to say it without having his head sliced off like a goat.Recommend

  • waqar shakeel
    Mar 14, 2011 - 2:30PM

    if any law is needed in pakistan,it’s for the protection of athiests & agnostics,the most marginalised community in pakistan.Everyone has the right to believe or not believe in something,you can’t force & threaten people into believing something.

    Why is that we celebrate loudly amidst cheers when a christian,hindu or parsi is converted to islam but shout ” kill the apostate” when a muslim leaves his/her religion?? why this glaring double standard?? why this hypocrisy in the name of religion?? Recommend

  • An opion
    Mar 14, 2011 - 2:44PM

    I see no future for minorities in Pakistan anymore!!!Recommend

  • M M Malik
    Mar 14, 2011 - 2:53PM

    Is this the Islam of our Rahmat-lil-Alameen (saw)?Recommend

  • AM
    Mar 14, 2011 - 3:19PM

    Brilliant. For all those who have been on these forums claiming that foreign forces are responsible for the murders of Taseer and Bhatti, this should serve as a corrective. 60 or more years of mainstream political parties in this area using religion as a political tool, growing illiteracy, intellectual mediocrity and the stunningly distorted history taught in our schools: it would be truly bizarre if we did not have a price to pay in our lifetimes for the concentrated historical forgetting and erasing that sustains the myth of this nation.

    And thanks for the one genuine, solid eyewitness report in the midst of the slurry of “opinion pieces” and second-rate “analyses”. Recommend

  • M
    Mar 14, 2011 - 4:00PM

    Oh dang! Recommend

  • Zeeshan
    Mar 14, 2011 - 4:04PM

    very sad indeedRecommend

  • Mar 14, 2011 - 4:05PM

    This was an incredibly well written and engrossing article, really high quality stuff. Well done.Recommend

  • Rafay Alam
    Mar 14, 2011 - 4:07PM

    Good journalism. Well done.Recommend

  • rofl
    Mar 14, 2011 - 4:33PM

    Pure horror!Recommend

  • Mawali
    Mar 14, 2011 - 4:50PM

    Great peace! But, a couple of observations. One, is Islam really the religion of peace that everyone seems hell bent on proving? ; and two, is the problem Islam or its multiple manifestations or perhaps rooted into a brew of illiteracy, unemployment, security and hope for a future?

    Personally I think Islam needs a major revision of the way its being interpreted. This can only happen if the reasonable voices in Pakistan which are few and far in between prevail. Its sort of getting late in the hour for Pakistan. The walls of its bower closing in caught in a deathly quagmire it sinks further everyday dread the day the end approaches it will be heinous.

    Bereft of a moral code of conduct, fortitude and a sense of due diligence Pakistan;s only hope out is through economic stability and opportunity for the young. But then how do you do it? Recommend

  • MilesToGo
    Mar 14, 2011 - 4:58PM

    @M M Malik:
    The answer is yes.Recommend

  • S. Asghar
    Mar 14, 2011 - 5:23PM

    Taha S. Siddiqui, excellent reporting about GOJRA incident. Being a Muslim, I went to GOJRA with my students, to support my fellow countrymen; Christian by faith. It was not the help, but to personally tell them, that all Muslims are not like that :-/

    Few things, I want to add:
    1) Blasphemy accused lived in a village 10-5 kms out of GOJRA. A night BEFORE GOJRA incident, they attacked the village. They tried to come towards city, but stopped that night.
    2) Next day attack was well planned, with activist of Sipah-e-Sahaba from Jhang, Faisalabad, Shorkot, and surroundings gathered by newly appointed same Maulvi Sb. (It is heart breaking, that he is back, and sick that also in same Mosque, so near to the Christian population)
    3) The well organized crowd (Which you would have seen) attacked from Railway lines. Special chemical bombs were used (TO THIS DATE, smell in that house of burned bodies is sickening :/)

    4) Punjab Govt. Is truly responsible for his law minister RANA Sana Ullah; who is firmly supporting banned outfit Sipah-e-sahaba publicly.

    Being a Pakistani, and a Muslim — I will remain sorry to my christian fellow man. We did not represented any NGO, but a small Pakistani school from a remote city; near Lahore.

    Syed Asghar.
    Recommend

  • Arun
    Mar 14, 2011 - 5:31PM

    I wondered what happened to the Islam of my childhood, the religion of peace, harmony and tolerance?

    The celebrated Ilmuddin of 1929 suggests that the childhood was a brief interregnum, an aberration in the way things always were.Recommend

  • __FundaMental
    Mar 14, 2011 - 5:55PM

    This is an excellent article. It shows the religious insecurity of Pakistan’s Muslim population. The government deserves censure for not showing muscle in tough times. If Pakistan is to be the personal property of holy Muslims then the government should plan a peaceful exit of religious minorities to better places on earth where they’d be able to enjoy their fundamental rights of liberty, freedom and life. If indeed the government is serious about assimilating them in the society (sad we still have to ‘assimilate’ them after 60 years of independence!), which I’m sure is not the case, the instigators of hate should be put in jails, a law protecting the minorites should be passed.

    If we can’t give equal rights to religious minorities the least we can do is collectively hang ourselves.Recommend

  • Mar 14, 2011 - 6:07PM

    Taha – as a fellow journalist, I can only say – bravo. So simply narrated. Recommend

  • Sarah Ovais
    Mar 14, 2011 - 6:49PM

    Pakistan was created to fight intolerance, an escape, a new land marked by its green and white flag to symbolise freedom, the green for the muslims and the white for the religious minorities. Religious persecution – the very thing Pakistan was created to defeat – has now become the nations’ united goal; the common man, the masses, the politicians, all together believe that religious intolerance is the epitome of the perfect muslim existence. It is thoroughly sad how much we have regressed since our independence. How cruel we have become.Recommend

  • NB
    Mar 14, 2011 - 6:53PM

    As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.Recommend

  • Jahanzaib Haque
    Mar 14, 2011 - 7:12PM

    This is an excellent piece of work on a very important issue. Brilliant.Recommend

  • kiran
    Mar 14, 2011 - 7:29PM

    Excellent piece based on investigated journalism. Rooted in fact and presented with balance. A refreshing voice of reason and objectivity, qualities that sadly many in the journalist community badly lack.

    Today we need calm, reasoned analysis and presentation of facts – not highly charged, emotional screaming match that is the nature of public debate and discourse on the airwaves and in the press.

    A job well done, Mr. Siddiqui . We all need to step back, and cool-headedly, look at FACTS, their origins, causes and consequences in the context of the direction of intolerance and injustice that the nation has set itself upon. Recommend

  • Mar 14, 2011 - 7:32PM

    thank you everyone.. Recommend

  • Zulfiqar Haider
    Mar 14, 2011 - 7:45PM

    Excellent Work. A very simple and easy to understand logic. You should translate it into Urdu as well. That way people that you mentioned in your piece will be able to read it. Recommend

  • Ruhina Hashmi
    Mar 14, 2011 - 8:11PM

    @MilesToGo:
    How can you say that?? Saying that THIS version of Muslims has anything to do with the teachings of our beloved Prophet, s.a.w., is an insult to him!

    Very well written piece. One feels that you havent just written it, you have ‘felt’ what you wrote. It is so saddening to read and contemplate. What can one say? I dont see things changing.. the chains that bind the collective soul of our people are thick and rusted. They will not move and they will not loosen. They can only be jerked broken… but who will do so? Who has the will and the strength? Recommend

  • T R Khan
    Mar 14, 2011 - 8:26PM

    Blasphemy laws are a British legacy. Zia-ul-Haq tweaked them to prolong his stay. The mullahs have clung to these laws to safeguard their bread and butter. There no worldly punishment for blasphemy or apostasy. The punishment is in the hereafter.Recommend

  • wahab
    Mar 14, 2011 - 8:39PM

    A nice article telling the truth..No wonder blasphemy law was never an issue.. Religious parties and media are to be blamed for all this hatred that resulted in loss of so many livesRecommend

  • Mubarak
    Mar 14, 2011 - 8:48PM

    Unless the head of this poisonous ‘Sanp-e- Sahaba (Sipah-e-Sahaba)’ is not crushed, there is no hope for this land of ‘Pure’. Lord Almighty have mercy on this unfortunate land.Recommend

  • waqar
    Mar 14, 2011 - 8:49PM

    Just an absolute piece of work mr sidiqueRecommend

  • Arnold
    Mar 14, 2011 - 9:30PM

    Nice article Taha. I’d encourage you to tell more stories about in prison and under trial people of all faiths accused of blasphemy. Also, please translate this into urdu if you can. it’s important to reach out to as many as you can.Recommend

  • Waseem Baluch
    Mar 14, 2011 - 10:30PM

    Gojra genocide was planned and executed by the known terrorists. Ilyas Kashmiri, an ex uniformed commando and now a notorious commander of the so-called Taliban had also delivered a speech at the joint Jalsa of the Islamist parties at Gojra a few hours before the attack on Christian town. At the end of this Jalsa, the participants had started the march towards the ill fated Christian Town. This person Ilyas Kashmiri was then a proclaimed offender with a huge reward on his arrest. How can one believe that the local police and intelligence agencies were ignorant of Ilyas Kashmiri’s presence in a Jalsa, keenly monitored by them- even when he dilevered a flaimy speach too there. Presence of a high profile terrorist in the agitation suggests that it was not a mere “riot” ignited by some fanatic mullahs and a few hundred biased followers of them. Recommend

  • Ali
    Mar 14, 2011 - 11:31PM

    The only positive thing I can see here is that there is not a single comment here supporting these draconian interpreters of religion. Not yet at least. Hope I don’t jinx it. Recently I’ve been concerned about the extent of intolerance in society. I was shocked to hear that 300 lawyers were willing to represent mumtaz qadri for free. Apparantly these are the same lawyers who fought for a free judiciary. They want freedom and justice for themselves but not for others. This is specifically why we need a republic in the true sense (to protect the minority from the will of the majority). For those of you who like to run everything by Islam, republicanism to me is a very Islamic concept which seeks to protect minorities.Recommend

  • Mar 14, 2011 - 11:38PM

    I am yet another blaspher; true, I was also kept 3 years in solitary at the Adiala Jail Rawalpind. But I found out that my Muslim lawyer was cheating on me so I dismimissed him, I secretly smuggled law books in my Death cell; I read them carefully then I took my own case and I was acquitted on legal grounds. When I came out I gave up Islam …!Recommend

  • Abdul-Mughis Rana
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:06AM

    This Divide creation must be dropped now!Recommend

  • Salman Arshad
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:19AM

    If only people would shift their focus from these extremists to those who NEED these extremists for their survival: The Military EstablishmentRecommend

  • rehman
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:25AM

    u cant blame these retards!when one has no meaning to his life only then a person starts doing stuff!!just imagine if we the liberals didn have education,a house,entertainment,laptop films,what am i supposed o do to keep myself busy!!!hmm ill obiously either be in the mosque or out on the streets playin!!!they r doing this because it is their education just like u r busy finding a meaning to ur life so r they!it is the goverments that have failed them!!!tmrw if these people were thinking about how they could ad degrees to themselves i think tht they would automatically leave all of thisRecommend

  • Mar 15, 2011 - 12:40AM

    This is just brilliant first-hand reporting at its best. Hats off to you for telling the truth bare and naked. Too good!Recommend

  • Omer
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:57AM

    I must appreciate your work and efforts. Uneducated people who don’t even know their own religion think all other religions are blasphemers. Unsatisfied life makes them angry and that makes them barbaric. Sad state we’r inRecommend

  • Mubasher Pasha
    Mar 15, 2011 - 2:28AM

    Very engaging indeed. I’d happily share my glass with anyone… except a maulvi !Recommend

  • umer ali
    Mar 15, 2011 - 2:36AM

    impressive job thumbs up for the writer……
    may our people get the true spirit of islam..Recommend

  • Nasir Talib
    Mar 15, 2011 - 3:45AM

    Kiya Baat hai Ap ki :) Taha Sahab! Bold and detailed I wish there were more of this sort of investigative insight into the hideous Pakistan Penal Code 295 C. I being a Christian and Pakistani and a tax payer refuse to accept this Law to be imposed against me, my family or my community. Thank you for actually making me feel less of a an underdog. God Bless all of you and this Nation even the lunatics :) Recommend

  • Amaar
    Mar 15, 2011 - 4:10AM

    The ‘faith’ of these ‘Muslims’ would hopefully meet the same ultimate end as that of Kharjities. These criminals who caused much violence and targeted Sahaba (e.g Ali bin Abu Talib) in the name of Allah but ended up on the wrong side of history – history books.Recommend

  • Mar 15, 2011 - 4:15AM

    This is brilliant Taha! You might have heard, ‘Our minds are artists and not mirrors’. All of paint our own picture and create our own reality based on our own experiences, beliefs and surroundings. Unfortunately, these people have painted a horrible picture of Islam in their minds. An Islam where it is OK to kill people with different opinions, where it is OK to torture the minorities, where it is OK to spread Islam through swords and force.

    People often say Islam is a misunderstood religion in the West. I believe it is more misunderstood amongst the Muslims themselves, at least those living in Pakistan. Had these Muslims understood Islam, the way they would conduct themselves would have shown the world what Islam really is. The problem is not with Islam but with Muslims.

    But people like you give me hope. Your courage to go out and actually talk to all these people is commendable. I look forward to reading more of your stuff!Recommend

  • usman
    Mar 15, 2011 - 6:04AM

    Well done Taha. But if express has any penchant for honest journalism and exposing the truth, I dare them to publish this is their urdu news paper. The majority of the audience here is already convinced of the absurdity of blasphemy laws. Recommend

  • Asad Ahmad
    Mar 15, 2011 - 6:21AM

    Brilliant and heart rending piece of investigative journalism. Unfortunately the government has no will to change this barbaric law and anyone can incite to murder. There is absolutely no concept of blasphemy in islam.Recommend

  • Mar 15, 2011 - 7:31AM

    “Sherry Satan”. Hah!
    Sorry, I needed some humor to compensate the grief I got after reading this. You have some guts to do this kind of reporting my man. Well done!Recommend

  • Fahd Ahmed Khan
    Mar 15, 2011 - 8:40AM

    Asalamualaikum,

    Kindly listen to following lecture about the issue of blasphemy in Islam.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvflIuzCpoo

    JazakALLAH khair,
    Fahd Ahmed KhanRecommend

  • AJ
    Mar 15, 2011 - 8:57AM

    a very nice article, highlighting atrocities and injustice clearly but i hope that this stuff could be read by the masses

    Subscribe to my blog
    http://alijayblog.wordpress.comRecommend

  • Sadaf
    Mar 15, 2011 - 9:51AM

    Brilliant piece of work. If only it could reach out to educate the masses as well. Recommend

  • Najia Hashmi
    Mar 15, 2011 - 9:59AM

    BRAVO Taha
    Well researched piece
    sad but an eye opener
    great job Recommend

  • Farhan Qureshi
    Mar 15, 2011 - 11:02AM

    no, no, no, no no …

    NO NO

    Please stop … Why are we supporting the real blasphemers ??? If one or two innocents were mistreated it does not make the guilty ones innocent. Don’t act childish.Recommend

  • Salayman Mogul
    Mar 15, 2011 - 11:27AM

    From what I understand, Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) was sent to us as “Rehmatulilalmeen.” According to one story, there was a lady who use to throw trash on Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and curse at Him (PBUH), whenever Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), would pass by her home. One day the trash was not thrown,Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) enquired from the neighbours why the woman is not present today? When Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) was told that the woman is sick, Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) went to her and consoled her. This brief story tells us that Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) forgave even those who personally tried to harm him. When the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) always forgave people who committed blasphemy against Him (PBUH), then we should follow the same footsteps and forgive those who commit blasfhemy. We do not have any right to punish someone whom we know for sure that Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) would have forgiven if He (PBUH) was alive.
    I believe true justice can only be rendered by the Almighty; you and I don not qualify.Recommend

  • Farris
    Mar 15, 2011 - 11:27AM

    This well reached Piece is gives no solution. Now that everybody has commented , I see no solutions here? Is this just Blasphemy Law? I don’t think so. It was good that we started from the tip of the iceberg. What’s the problem? And what are the solutions?
    By artificial make-up this and other problems are not going to go away. This whole System needs overhauling because the whole system whether Police or Judicial, was designed by the colonialists to keep the local population under control through their proxies. Police was one of them . Therefore, there are absolute rights for Police and None for citizens. How to change it and other laws? Actually very simple. In Parliament , bring new People’s Bill of Rights and pass it in which all such issues must be addressed and Bill passed. Next stage is to communicate at each platform so that Public knows their rights. And third ,Give extra Powers to Judiciary to implement its writ making sure that Justice is quick and cheap and that no one survives it . Severe Punishments be granted including Police who violate People’s Rights. Example must be set within Police by taking one such case. Only then Justice system will advance and we will get rid of problems we are discussing here. And One more thing, That why would the Politicians will take this pain in the Parliament? They will not. For that , We have to come out and force each representative in each consituency for such measures. Recommend

  • Ashhar Naeem
    Mar 15, 2011 - 11:30AM

    A well researched report – no doubt.

    However, I would really appreciate if this report can be translated into Urdu and published in a more common newspaper as well. The majority of people who will read this article here already have an insight on what is actually happening and the people who need to be informed are the ones in those villages – the ones that cannot even read their names that they write themselves.

    As for the case of ‘Maulana’ Kashmiri – he is not the only one of his kind. A majority of the mosques in Pakistan house similar uneducated and uniformed Imams, which is not so hard to determine: it is really difficult to stand close to a number of mosque at times of Juma prayers – the only thing they want is to get a large number of people to hear what they have to say – doesn’t matter if the material is actual Islam or not.

    Illiteracy is also a major player in the whole anti-nonMuslim stance. Pakistani people, including a number of major politicians, are idiots. They’ll believe whatever you can present with utmost vigor and said-to-be citations form the Quran – a characteristic that a number of Imams have. A little wisdom can force a person to question a number of Ahdith that these people quote.

    As for the Pakistani Judicial system: it may be ‘free’ from dictatorship but it is still under pressure from the community. If any decision is made against the social prevailing ideas, the judges themselves have a risk of getting into trouble.Recommend

  • disgusted
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:00PM

    this is not only happening to non-muslims or vocal liberal muslims, but have you ever wondered if this has ever happened to a pious practicing muslim? Research Director of a leather tannery in Muridkey killed by villagers being accused of blasphemy.

    this is not a problem with the Law.. or the rules of the society. This is purely the vulnerablity of the illiterate People of Pakistan who can be manipulated fo frikkin easily that you have no idea. I being a member of the Pakistani business sector know how this is used against us. We are manufacturing something and then one day a political/religious figure suddenly appears and says that this thing you are making has Allah’s or the Prophets’s (PBUH) name on it. they start bargaining right there n then. This has happened with so many industrialists that you cant even imagine. The first example of the director in Muridkey i was mentioning, the whole drama was created to bargain an amount out of the business family, but the things got out of the hand of the conspirators and the people got so violent that they destroyed the manufacturing facility and killed the owner.

    As a member of the family of the person, I can assure you that no blasphemy had occured at all, and the guy prayed 5 times a day and was very pious. All started because he asked to take down a ramdan calendar. And it was formally announced on the mosque loud speakers that people were burning the Quran inside the factory. The nearby villagers stormed in and took a toll at everything and anything.

    The politicians of our country are keeping people this way, ie illiterate, so they can gather votes more easily, manipulate their feelings, minds and thinking at their will and use them to gain power and get their jobs done. The situation is so out of hand that God help us. I dont know whether to blame the situation on democracy, or what but none of this was happening in times of the martial laws. Atleast none that came to our knowledge. I dont know what is the solution to this but there has to be one. This is what happens when democracy gives power in the hands of illiterate people who know only one way to control the people, and thats by surpressing, threatening and punishing them. Our democracy is nothing better than any tyrant autocracy. There were even political elements involved in the whole scenario.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Mar 15, 2011 - 12:19PM

    “So whether it was the villagers, the educated masses or the politicians — the stance against blasphemy was the same.”

    –> OMG. This is scary. There is no hope for Pakistan. Jinnah made a tragic mistake and the whole Religion of Islam paid the price for it.Recommend

  • Owais
    Mar 15, 2011 - 1:12PM

    This was a haunting article. God, what has happened to Pakistan?Recommend

  • Osama Rao
    Mar 15, 2011 - 1:24PM

    it’s not he fault of the people. let me clarify what i am trying to say.

    When a major part of a country is uneducated they become ignorant to the fact that there are other stuff in this world too. hence they all become a mob. this uneducated mob is most easily controlled by things they cannot see. things they just have a blind faith on. that’s where the religious clerics come in. They basically use religion as a weapon because the mob is out there to listen to them without a contrast. hence that become the only fact to them and everything that is contrary becomes an insult on their beliefs. hence it’s not religious intolerance it’s religious ignorance! the mob doesn’t think for themselves. in the urban areas it’s less since a majority of people are educated enough. Religion has been used as a weapon to entice people and to use them for personal gain since time unknown. That is what has been happening in Pakistan since Zia-Ul-Haq came to power and glorified the self-righteous. and it is their interest that they keep the faith misunderstood, since the mob cannot think for itself.Recommend

  • mona
    Mar 15, 2011 - 1:32PM

    Just reading this makes my Blood boil!!! When are theses people going to stop supporting the Hate Preachers. When will there be change in Pakistan against these man made laws. Are these people not afraid of Allah.Recommend

  • Sadaf Baig.
    Mar 15, 2011 - 3:35PM

    Brilliant Taha.Recommend

  • Mahmood Hussain
    Mar 15, 2011 - 4:42PM

    In whole case people still unaware about ” what blasphemy words that Aasia had spoken??”. Witness use to say that that they can’t repeat these words.
    I bet people would forget Aasia’s case if the muslims read their own hadiath books, that cross the limits. Recommend

  • Mango Man
    Mar 15, 2011 - 5:24PM

    Well done, Taha! Keep up the good work! Recommend

  • SRS
    Mar 15, 2011 - 9:15PM

    An article that spares nothing, with prose that matches its certainty. Your clarity of mind is evident and you should be proud.Recommend

  • Zarrar Khuhro
    Mar 15, 2011 - 9:20PM

    This is the Tribune magazine editor. Thank you all for your comments on this piece, I just wanted to inform you that we will be translating this article into Urdu, as requested by many of you. Thanks for caring! Recommend

  • zeeshan
    Mar 15, 2011 - 10:00PM

    Islamic Republic of Pakistan … how can we even talk about separation of religion and state? the base is flawed. it hate to say it, but the country has to break.

    love the people of pakistan, not its boundaries.Recommend

  • Awais Farid Khan
    Mar 15, 2011 - 11:25PM

    has any one read this law? if some body disrespects my father i will fight him but this is the matter of Holy Prophet (PBUH). SO think before choosing your words. The real question is how to secure the legal right of other party – a person who has performed this act or has been framed for this act. I believe that the same penalty should be for the accuser as well if the person is found not guilty.

    Somebody commended this piece and said “brilliant piece of work”. Dear, journalists should show both side of the story and not present only one side becasue of its exciting & sesational nature Recommend

  • pl/sql
    Mar 16, 2011 - 3:20AM

    What more can you expect from the religion of peace? This is it and dont you tell me anything different because it’s a lie and the good ones are only a minority who are not following islam fully.Recommend

  • Waqqas Iftikhar
    Mar 16, 2011 - 12:05PM

    67 comments and only 2 that are somewhat supportive of these draconian laws…thats nice to see…i will reitrate what the others said ….everyone has a right to live in this country by their own values….no need to impose the perceived values of the majority upon the general populace.Recommend

  • Mar 16, 2011 - 12:58PM

    Salam everyone!
    Blasphemy Law is not in Allah’s Quran. It is a man-made law.
    Should we follow Allah’s Quran–Or–Should we follow man-made law???
    O people of the ummah! Why don’t you read your Allah’s Quran and follow It?

    Allah declares in His Quran:
    —”Indeed, (O Messenger) We will look into the affair of those who speak scornfully against you.” (Al-Hijr-95)
    Allah Himself will look into the blasphemy matter. Allah didn’t allow anyone to take the matter in his hands.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TruthBehindItRecommend

  • Waseem
    Mar 16, 2011 - 2:41PM

    I want to utilize my human right of speech here and now. But i am kind enough to seek permission of all human rightists here. Please allow me to call your moms whatever i want. this is my born right as you say…but still i will use it with your permission plz.Recommend

  • Arshad Farooqui
    Mar 16, 2011 - 8:14PM

    Taha S Siddiqui is a brave journalist, who wrote such a truth facts none will have courage to write. I am living in the UK but have freedom of speech, freedom of religion. We have over 1000 mosques here. Some uneducated Molvis spreading hates among the Muslim community and calling each other Gustakh-e-Rasool because they do not follow their type of Islam. Now we have over 6 Islamic Satellite channels which are busy day and night spreading hates. They have no courage to say against Christianity because of deportation or going in Jail. Thank you Mr. Siddiqui. Recommend

  • pakpinoy
    Mar 17, 2011 - 12:48AM

    @Farhan Qureshi:
    Your mind, thinking and views are pathetic! Get your head out of the ground (or wherever else you may have placed it!)Recommend

  • Chaudhary
    Mar 17, 2011 - 1:47AM

    Assalamoalikum!
    Good Effort but few Disagreements
    1. Blasphemy law is not a black law, rather an inner voice of the hearts of Muslims of ISLAMIC Republic of Pakistan.
    2. Yes, there are chances of it’s misuse, but Courts are there to decide. So why dont u trust your judiciary, there is a formal mechanism.
    3. We as Muslims respect and accept Moses and Jesus as true prophets of Allah. Shouid’nt they. What is ur opinion regarding humiliating sketches of our beloved prohet by Danish & other MARDOOD so called journalists. Is this freedom of speech or liberalism or modernism, then sorry, I am proud to be a Fundamentalist.
    4. Hazrat Muhammad (Sallah ho alahi wa Aalehi Wassalam) is dear to us more than anything else, I say again anything else, that includes our parents, and whole family members. Anybody doing blasphemy in his respect is to be subjected to death, even if he is holding the door of Kaaba and asking for forgiveness. HE CANNOT BE FORGIVEN, there are clear cut orders in Quran & Hadith. So my ignorant brothers & sisters please open ur eyes before commenting on such a sensitive issue.
    5. As far as Salman Taseer is concerned, he asked for it & he deserveed it i.e. hell.
    6. As far as Gojra incident is concerned, it was wrong/criminal on that people’s part who did it & should have taken to task.
    7. There was a good research in ur work but Mr. Taha, u need to explore Islam a little more.
    THANKSRecommend

  • Jack Robinson
    Mar 17, 2011 - 3:20AM

    How many dead be a good enough wakeup call for you? More of this, and you will get what you deserve.

    Allahu Akbar indeed. Recommend

  • Mar 17, 2011 - 4:02AM

    @Chaudhary:
    Salam!
    Blasphemy Law is not in Allah’s Quran. It is a man-made law.
    Should we follow Allah’s Quran–Or–Should we follow man-made law???
    O people of the ummah! Why don’t you read your Allah’s Quran and follow It?

    Allah declares in His Quran: (See Al-Hijr-95)
    Allah Himself will look into the blasphemy matter. Allah didn’t allow anyone to take the matter in his hands.Recommend

  • Fred Rhodes
    Mar 17, 2011 - 5:19AM

    Dear Moderator Zarrah, please accept my apogies. If you feel that my words are so blasphemous as to cause a retaliation and you want to protect me from these evil blasphemy laws, then you would also condemn yourself for saving me.
    FredRecommend

  • Ashhar Naeem
    Mar 17, 2011 - 12:55PM

    @Chaudhary:
    In response to your comments:

    1)- I agree that the law is not ‘black’. Also that it is the ‘inner voice’ of all the ‘Muslims’ of Pakistan. But who is to decide that the ‘inner voice’ is right or mistaken?

    2)- I also agree that the courts are there to decide. But the courts are there to ‘interpret’ the law and not ‘make’ one up… So, our argument is not against the judiciary or their decisions. They are upholding the law and giving out judgments according to what is already written.
    The argument is not against the law either. However, there remains an opening for its revision on account of the evidence required if one is to be accused. We live in a country where people can become eye-witnesses even if they are actually miles away from the real incident. As stated in the original article itself, people say that something bad is done but not what is done. Just knowing that something happened does NOT make you a real witness.

    3)- We as Muslims believe in Mosses and Jesus because we have been asked to do so by our religion, Islam. The people accused of blasphemy are either Christians, Jews, atheists or others. They are to believe that there is no such Prophet as Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) in the same way that we are to believe that he is indeed the last Prophet (P.B.U.H.)

    4/5/6)- Also, I disagree with you on your assertion that such people (including Salman Taseer) cannot be forgiven. See Surah Nisah, Ayah 48,
    If Allah CAN forgive all those who commit sin other than Shirk, then who gives you the right to decide who is forgiven and who is condemned to hell (given that you are a devout believer)?

    If people like yourself feel that Salman Taseer committed blasphemy and that he deserved punishment then shouldn’t his case have been taken into court as well (given the fact that you are a Muslim, uphold that law and respect the Pakistani judiciary as can be inferred from your first comment)?

    Your comments on the Gojra incident clarify the fact that it was wrong and the matter should have been taken to court. Revisit my statements in the previous paragraph.

    7)- I apologize if my tone has been or will be rude but a majority of Pakistani ‘Muslims’ need to revisit their knowledge and interpretation of the Holy Quran – perhaps you should also give it a try.Recommend

  • Fred Rhodes
    Mar 17, 2011 - 4:28PM

    Sometimes little girls are mischievous . This story shows how the Blasphemy law can be used as witchcraft to get rid of people who disagree with you. Recommend

  • Mar 17, 2011 - 5:06PM

    @Fred Rhodes:

    I agree with you.
    Blasphemy Law is not Allah’s Law.—–It is a man-made law and it is being used as a witchcraft to get rid of people who disagee with you.Recommend

  • Fred Rhodes
    Mar 17, 2011 - 5:22PM

    Today the US fired missiles at Pakistani militants, killing thirty.
    http://www.aolnews.com/2011/03/17/pakistani-militants-killed-in-us-missile-strike/

    Please remember when you Islamics retaliate, Many of us American men are suffering the same side effects from being sexually traumatised as infants and need to take revenge by killing the infidel of democracy any way possible. We’re all suffering from the same sickness called Delayed PTSD. Does Islam have any messiah prophecies? Christians have the second coming of the prophet Jesus prophecy.
    Frederick RhodesRecommend

  • amlendu
    Mar 18, 2011 - 11:58AM

    @Sarah Ovais:
    Do not lie there was no religious persecution in Undivided India and Pakistan was not created to escape religious persecution. It was created by feudal lords to save their fiefdoms from socialist congress and was spearheaded by delusional Muslim politicians who new that the could not arrogate supreme power in united and secular India. All else was propaganda. Pakistan was created in name of Islam in danger slogan. The seed of intolerance, bigotry and hypocrisy was shown in Pakistan movement and now it has become a giant tree full of thorns. If you make a state in name of a religion it is bound to be intolerant and bigoted.Recommend

  • Ashhar Naeem
    Mar 18, 2011 - 12:03PM

    @Fred Rhodes:

    Updates:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12769209

    And since the above link is bbc, a local more accurate report says that there were 41 people killed. And if a group of people who had gathered to discuss and resolve some disputes isn’t democratic then I would like to know what is…

    Also, I have absolutely no idea how you are trying to link the sexual assaults with democracy…

    And we, the Muslims also believe in the return of Jesus, the very same.Recommend

  • shagufta
    Mar 18, 2011 - 7:10PM

    taha i really appreciate your work an eye opening article and well said ISLAM is the name of PEACE, HAQRMONY AND TOLERANCE keep it up God Bless U. TCRecommend

  • Fred Rhodes
    Mar 18, 2011 - 7:57PM

    @Ashhar Naeem:
    Yes, they updated their initial death numbers.

    “Also, I have absolutely no idea how you are trying to link the sexual assaults with democracy…”
    Democracy allows freedom of choise, where the covenant law takes away the right of the individual and is forced upon prepubescent men and women by their paranoid delusional parents, and the profitting circumcision industry and religious organizations.

    “And we, the Muslims also believe in the return of Jesus, the very same.”

    Then you must know that the reason that the Jewish rebels who started Christianity and caused the Messiah prophecies to become fulfilled, did so to change the exsisting covenant law of infant ritual sacrificial sexual surgery into a ritual cleancing called Baptism. This was concidered blasphemy by the sexually traumatised Jewish Pharisees, Mohels, and Rabbis, so they were forced to pay the Romans to Cruxify Jesus for Blasphemy against Jewish law.

    Incase you are not informed, the Dead Sea scrolls revealed that the wording of the 10 commandments given to moses were altered by the Pharisees so they could re introduce ritual infant sexual trauma because God ommited this law. then they took all the old unaltered scrolls and burried them according to their laws, and some how the original 10 commandments and ark of the covenant mysteriously dissapeared.

    Now modern Christianity and Islam have been compromised by this act of blasphemy against their own god, misleading everyone who is not able to become educated. This is also a form of witchcraft. Jewesses invented Cabala Witchcraft to protect themselves from the negative effect caused from the belief in a false Heavenly Godfather, Jehova/Yaweh. Cabala has infiltrated Catholism and tricked them into committing this sexually traumatic surgery on infants, again.
    Frederick RhodesRecommend

  • Fred Rhodes
    Mar 18, 2011 - 8:25PM

    Do any of you Islamic Muslims know if Cabala is being used in influencing political or religious law making Blasphmy a death sentenc?. Check out their wives maternal inherrent background…Recommend

  • fayyaz mangi
    Mar 19, 2011 - 8:04AM

    we r suffereing from the the clergy lot selling relegion in bits and peaces to earn a living. they are not ready to allow poor majority to know what the world is and we need to coexhist. having said that, the so called literates have done nothing to educate poor masses. they too are up for selling their brands. we need to educate ….all of us…over 10 million children are out of school.its time to wake up. Recommend

  • pakpinoy
    Mar 20, 2011 - 2:23AM

    @Chaudhary:
    You are sick in your mind. It’s like you live in a warped state of reality and forgot how to come out of it!Recommend

  • Dr Raza Shah
    Mar 20, 2011 - 3:36AM

    now how can we ammend this law as the air now is so sensitive?Recommend

  • Ruba
    Mar 20, 2011 - 10:23AM

    Brilliant! Eye-opener. If only it would broaden everyone’s horizons.
    Time to come out of the dark ages.Recommend

  • Fred Rhodes
    Mar 20, 2011 - 4:32PM

    @Dr Raza Shah, How to amend the blaphemy law.
    When the Jews made the same mistake 2,000 years ago, and created Christianity as a result, they put all their laws to the side and made the golden rules to replace them.

    1Do unto others as you will have done onto yourselves.

    2 Love your neighbors, treat them like you would like them to treat you.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TheGoldenRule

    These rules to live by are not perfect because sometimes our normal brain processes are compromised by delerium caused from micro organisms, or delayed posttraumatic stresss disorders, which can lead to audio and visual halucinations, causing us to actually believe that a supernatural being is controlling our thoughts. Recommend

  • Fred Rhodes
    Mar 20, 2011 - 5:12PM

    Since these rules/laws of Carma can be abused, it is necessary to be judged to be innocent until proven guilty, to avoid causing punishment on those who are litterally sick, or those that were mislead by sick madmen. It would be better to make the death penelty volentary. Recommend

  • A R Khan
    Mar 20, 2011 - 11:19PM

    We are a society in self-imposed decay. We have a culture of bigotry and we use our convenient identities (Muslims, Pakistanis, ethnic identities) as basis to breed our own bigotry against ourselves. We are all racists and we are very proud of it. We are proud of our racist culture! We instrumentalize our identities to no one’s benefit, thinking we are safe-guarding them, preserving them! In the process we have mutilated our identities so badly that we can’t recognize them any more, yet we still desperately cling to them not as rational individuals but as emotional actors. We are all in an identity trap and we can never get out of it unless we educate ourselves and our children, and very consciously set our morals against all forms of racism and bigotry and otherization. Otherwise, all hope will be lost for us. For God’s sake… go read Harry Potter and take some lessons from it… read it to your children too.Recommend

  • Mar 21, 2011 - 1:30AM

    Recommend.1Recommend

  • A R Khan
    Mar 25, 2011 - 3:39AM

    Watch the scene in which Voldemort kills Professor Charity Burbage. Does this ring some bells?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydGkCapgLlg&feature=relatedRecommend

  • Dennis Dey
    Apr 10, 2011 - 12:51AM

    @Fahd Ahmed Khan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvflIuzCpoo
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