Time to repeal the blasphemy law

Published: November 16, 2010
The writer is director current affairs, Dunya TV and a former fellow at Asia Center, Harvard University

The writer is director current affairs, Dunya TV and a former fellow at Asia Center, Harvard University nasim.zehra@tribune.com.pk

In June 2008, Asiya Bibi, a Pakistani farm worker and mother of five, fetched water for others working on the farm. Many refused the water because Asiya was Christian. The situation got ugly. Reports indicate Asiya was harassed because of her religion and the matter turned violent. Asiya, alone in a hostile environment, naturally would have attempted to defend herself but was put in police custody for her protection against a crowd that was harming her.

However, that protection move turned into one that was to earn Asiya a death sentence. A case was filed against her under sections 295-B and C of the Pakistan Penal Code, claiming that Asiya was a blasphemer. Her family will appeal against the judgment in the Lahore High Court.

The Asiya case raises the fundamental question of how Pakistan’s minorities have been left unprotected since the passage of the blasphemy law. There may have been no hangings on account of the law but it has facilitated the spread of intolerance and populist rage against minorities, often leading to deaths. There is also a direct link between the Zia-ist state’s intolerance against minorities and the rise of criminal treatment of Ahmadis.

Cases have ranged from the Kasur case to the more recent Gojra case, from the mind-boggling row of cases between 1988-1992 against 80-year-old development guru Dr Akhtar Hameed Khan, to the case of the son of an alleged blasphemer, an illiterate brick kiln worker who was beaten to death by a frenzied mob.

Although doctor sahib faced prolonged mental torture, he was saved from the maddening rage that has sent to prison, and in some cases devoured, many innocent, poor and hence unprotected Pakistanis.

There is a long list, prepared by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, of unjust punishments handed down to Pakistani citizens whose fundamental rights the state is obliged to protect. Beyond punishments, minorities live in constant fear of being lethally blackmailed by those who want to settle other scores.

Yet most political parties have refrained from calling for the law’s repeal or improvement in its implementation mechanism. When, in the early 90s, I asked Nawaz Sharif sahib to criticise the hounding of Dr Khan, his response was a detailed recall of the story in which Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) went to ask after the health of a non-Muslim woman who repeatedly threw garbage over him. He condemned what was happening but said politics prevented him from doing so publicly. Later, General Musharraf, advised by other generals, reversed his announcement of changing the law’s implementation mechanism. Small crowds protested against it. Among politicians, very few exceptions include the PPP parliamentarian Sherry Rehman and, more recently, the ANP’s Bushra Gohar, who asked for its amendment and repeal.

Already sections of the judiciary have been critical of flawed judgements passed by lower courts in alleged blasphemy cases. Recently in July, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khawaja Sharif quashed a blasphemy case against 60-year-old Zaibunnisa and ordered her release after almost 14 years in custody. According to the judgment, the “treatment meted out to the woman was an insult to humanity and the government and the civil organisations should be vigilant enough to help such people.” Surely the Bench should know the plethora of abuses that Pakistan’s minorities have suffered because of an evidently flawed law.

A message more appropriate, perhaps, would be to repeal the black law that grossly undermines the Constitution of Pakistan and indeed the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, one of the most tolerant and humane law-givers humankind has known. This environment of populist rage, fed by the distorted yet self-serving interpretation of religion principally by Zia and a populist mixing of religion and politics by a politically besieged Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, must be emphatically challenged. A collective effort to roll back these laws must come from parliament, the lawyers’ forums, the judiciary, civil society groups and the media.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 17th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (134)

  • M M Malik
    Nov 16, 2010 - 11:42PM

    Nasim, I am pleasantly surprised that Nawaz Sharif remembers the distasteful acts of the garbage throwing woman. This true story was also in our primary school Islamiat books.
    Google this story now and the supporters of the blasphemy law say that this story was planted by the Bhais or Ahmadis in Islamic literature!
    How many other facts will be changed to support the infamous blasphemy laws? There are no basis of the blasphemy laws in the scriptures or the traditions.Recommend

  • M Usama Kabbir
    Nov 16, 2010 - 11:46PM

    Couldn’t agree more with Ms Naseem Zehra. It is time we move forward and make Pakistan a pluralistic tolerant society by repealing such discriminatory lawsRecommend

  • CCC
    Nov 16, 2010 - 11:48PM

    Question is: Does the constitution have freedom of speech for every citizen? If yes then the woman can file a counter case that her freedom was infringed and supreme court has to uphold the constitional right.

    As regards blasphemy rules, the supreme court could come out with some guidance on how to interpret it and when is not freedom of speech.

    A mother of five, sentenced to death because she said something when she was not given water? Makes the rest of the world cringe. Stop it before international community steps in. Isn’t there enough bad press going around about Pakistan? Could do with one less right?

    Good to see a Harvard University student from Pakistan.Recommend

  • M Mustafa
    Nov 16, 2010 - 11:58PM

    The Holy Prophet (saw) did not allow the destruction of Taif’s citizens who had stoned and abused him. He (saw) forgave the Jewish woman who gave him poisoned mutton, Hinda who had eaten the liver of the Prophet’s uncle was also forgiven. There numerous compassionate acts of the Holy Prophet (saw) negate the blasphemy laws without any doubt. These laws are the imagination of fickle minded and unsure mullas.Recommend

  • Arifq
    Nov 17, 2010 - 12:07AM

    Excellent idea, so when do you think blasphemy law will be repealed? These laws have been in place for a good 25 years, there has to be a good reason why they continue to survive and I am guessing they have popular support among the clergy of Pakistan irrespective of sect. Recommend

  • Roshan
    Nov 17, 2010 - 12:45AM

    Thanks Naseem, we need to abolish it immediately….Hope you bring the issue on the electronic media too !Recommend

  • el
    Nov 17, 2010 - 1:12AM

    thank you for raising your voice!Recommend

  • Humanity
    Nov 17, 2010 - 1:17AM

    There is neither a basis nor room in Islam, the religion of peace, for the blasphemy law. It is against the Quran and sunnah of the Holy Prophet (SAW), whom Allah Himself introduced in the Quran as rehmat-ul-lilalaleen (mercy for the universe). To justify the blasphemy law in itself is blasphemous.

    The nation is on the path towards oblivion unless they rapidly change course. God always waylays the oppressors and tyrants. The state-certified Muslims should not fool themselves by imagining they are outside the reach of Allah’s lathi .. Recommend

  • Talha
    Nov 17, 2010 - 1:17AM

    Until and unless such nonsense laws are a part of our constitution, Pakistan will remain a backward and intolerant nation.

    The minute these laws are gone, the nation envisioned by Jinnah will emerge again.

    I wait for that day.Recommend

  • UmEr
    Nov 17, 2010 - 1:24AM

    I don’t think there needs to be a amendment in the Blasphemy law, people just don’t understand that the law is being misused by Mullahs, the thing is how many of the accused were really executed? Most of them are released afterwards by the High courts, we need to educate our Police that they can differentiate between actual cases and politically motivated cases.

    And as far as Hazoor’s [S.A.W] example of forgiveness and humanity is concerned, no doubt He[S.A.W] forgave the people who even tried to kill him BUT the thing is, most of the poeple here comment without even haveing any knowledge of the religion, Prophet[S.A.W] himself can forgive anyone BUT for the Muslims, it’s not permissible to forgive a true blasphemer, we have examples from Sahaba [R.A], Hazrat Umar[R.A] even killed a Imam Masjid because he spoke a sentence against Prophet [S.A.W] so it is in Sharia’ah, if we are Muslims we have to believe in it.

    A blasphemer if proved in a Sharia’ah court is no doubt liable to DEATH, that’s what Islam says.Recommend

  • Mubarik
    Nov 17, 2010 - 1:25AM

    Thanks Naseem Zehra for raising your voice for weakest of the Pakistani society. I have read in Tribune that we are only one notch below Islamic republic of Somalia, what a progress in short time. A second Somalia with nuclear weapons will be such a blessing for whole humanity and my guess is that rest of the world will take care of us as we will be legendary Jugga of the Punjab. My only fear is that when world is fed up with us they make take us out using Nukes. God help us and give us some good sense to become good human beings who can live in peace with rest of the humanity.Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Nov 17, 2010 - 4:21AM

    Pakistan is toast if this lady is hanged.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Nov 17, 2010 - 5:07AM

    Absolutely, I am in total agreement with you. This law must be repealed immediately – firstly, I believe it to be utterly unnecessary as Allah, Islam and Allah’s Prophet need no defense, and secondly, laws are promulgated to ensure justice while this law is promoting injustice, and cannot be upheld. Recommend

  • Nov 17, 2010 - 7:24AM

    Absolute madness. Mad as a bag of starving squirrels. Blasphemy laws are a complete load of balderdash.Recommend

  • Maulana Diesel
    Nov 17, 2010 - 7:32AM

    Repeal these disgraceful laws please.Recommend

  • Ahsan
    Nov 17, 2010 - 7:36AM

    Where are our ‘liberal’ and ‘secular’ parties? Are they scare to touch this act or the second amendment?Recommend

  • Noor Nabi
    Nov 17, 2010 - 8:00AM

    The Objectives Resolution of 1949 will go down as the biggest self-destructive folly in the history of Pakistan. It sowed the seeds of bigotry which, over time, have snowballed out of control.Recommend

  • Asad Munir
    Nov 17, 2010 - 9:04AM

    Courageous women like you and Asma Jahangir,can initiate a movement and i have no doubt that a large number of Pakistani would support you.We should make efforts to make Pakistan a tolerant state.Recommend

  • Rao Amjad Ali
    Nov 17, 2010 - 9:28AM

    Discriminatory in the extreme as it is, the Blasphemy Law is in stark violation of the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), the Universal Declarartion of Human Rights and the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The need to repeal the Law cannot be overemphasized and this might be an opportune time to launch a movement under Ms. Jehangir’s able leadership at the SCBA. Recommend

  • T R Khan
    Nov 17, 2010 - 9:35AM

    Repealing blasphemy laws is not a straight forward legislative procedure. The poison and misinformation spread by the clergy has seeped deep in the masses. It will now require a massive re-educative drive to purge the misconceptions and drive home the true compassionate, humanitarian and peaceful message of Islam. Recommend

  • Tony Khan
    Nov 17, 2010 - 10:09AM

    Freedom of speech? Its in the constitution, but has been covered in cobwebs of bigotry. The Ahmadis by law cannot recite the kalima, azan or say AsSalam aLaikum.
    The woman in question; theoretically can file an appeal in a higher court, but understand what she is up against, poverty, a society which demeans minorities, lack of education, dishonest witnesses, back-stabbing lawyers, politically besieged leaders and the blasphemy laws. Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Nov 17, 2010 - 10:13AM

    Blasphemy Law should not be repealed as it will not do anything good for the Muslims of Pakistan but it would rather harm the sentiments of Muslims in the entire Muslim World.

    Muslims neither make caricatures of any Prophet sent in the world by Al-Mighty Allah, nor utter a single word about any ones religion, faith or believe.

    It is the history that non-Muslims time and again have made caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and have disturbed the sentiments of Muslim Ummah.

    As regards to non-Muslims in Pakistan are concerned, they should know what the law of land is and should not indulge in such activities which become a problem for them.

    The Blasphemy Law is enforced not only in Pakistan but it is enforced in all Muslim States in the world.

    Repealing Blasphemy Law in Pakistan will be tantamount to give blanket permission to the non-Muslims to openly made caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and they will be free to openly write or utter such words which may harm the sentiments of the Muslims.

    Any case relating to Blasphemy Law is heard by the relevant court with full facts and figures. It is not so simple that some one report the matter against some person to the Police and then the relevant Court without hearing the cases and cross examinations of the witnesses would award death sentence to the offenders. Recommend

  • Nov 17, 2010 - 10:47AM

    And the Hudood Laws, and the Amendment declaring Ahmadis non-muslims and the rule requiring them to declare someone a false prophet before they get a passport.

    Only, if wishes were horses.

    Let us begin small and take out the posion from school textbooks to startwith. Maybe one generation down there will be a critical mass of Pakistani citizens supporting legal reforms.Recommend

  • Nov 17, 2010 - 11:07AM

    The very popular Aamir Liaqat on his programme Aalim online has called the law a firewall – you can depend on him to find a suitably contemporary word to justify this regressive law. Much like the acceptance of talaq via sms. The Mullahs are so ready to embrace technology when it suits men.

    I am assuming that the bearded men who figure on his show and the many men and women who call in will take to the streets if any party talks of repealing the law. The problem is there are no people on the streets today to speak for the Christian lady. Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Nov 17, 2010 - 11:41AM

    Look Nasim, all what you have penciled down here is already known to all Dick, Tom and Harry of our country. You spend so much time on discussing foreign policy so what message is being sent to the whole world on this Blasphemy Law which is human made who are prone to mistakes. Putting down this article in an English News Paper (Tribune) will not serve any sane cause to get this barbaric law repealed. You are among few journalists/anchor person whose talk shows are watched very seriously so why don’t you and other like minded highlight this thorny issue in your talk shows for the majority in Pakistan who mostly can not either read or write English and can only understand things when they watch live talk shows???? People in Electronic Media can make lot of difference as is being witnessed on different issues of the government and politicians. Do something before something goes wrong with this Christian women and her family. See that they are not slaughtered as others were when they were either convicted or their cases were still pending on Blasphemy charges.Recommend

  • Imran Munawar
    Nov 17, 2010 - 11:54AM

    It’s high time people in Pakistan start viewing things in objective and practical fashion. Politics in Pakistan has always been of expediency and vested interests. Elites, politicians and feudals have common interests to sustain their superiority by usurping rights of common people. We are victims of confused and botched up priorities. Unless and until we are not going to collectively straigthen out our priorities we will continue to see sorry state of affairs on part of high-ups and needless misery for common folks.Recommend

  • Munazza
    Nov 17, 2010 - 2:10PM

    @Syed A. Mateen
    Majority of us lived with Hindus and Sikhs amongst us pre-partition. Today more Muslims live in a sea of Hindus and Sikhs in India. There was a token blasphemy law pre-partition and in India there is effectively no blasphemy law. How many offensive caricature do you see?
    Non-Muslims make caricature of living Muslims, because our character is reflected in our behavior. Non-Muslims see the Holy Prophet (pbuh) through our behavior. If we reform and become true Muslims, there will be no caricatures.
    I accept all case are examined by courts. but look at the hassle and agony that the mostly innocent accused has to go through. All this for a law that has no basis in Islam.Recommend

  • Nov 17, 2010 - 2:14PM


    the thing is how many of the accused were really executed? Most of them are released afterwards by the High courts,

    More importantly, find out how many have been gunned down / lynched even after acquittal. And I also recall a Justice of the High Court in Pakistan encouraging people to kill the accused instead of bringing them to trial.
    No sir, such laws have no place in a civilised state.Recommend

  • parvez
    Nov 17, 2010 - 3:31PM

    Repealing these laws (bad as they are) will be an exercise in futility, as the law making body (the parliament) will place political expediency before moral rectitude.
    The workable answer is to amend this law so that the person who accuses another of blasphemy is subject to the same punishment as the alleged victim. This logic should be acceptable to the religious segment as cases are heard by the relevant court with full facts and figures.Recommend

  • Amjad Rana
    Nov 17, 2010 - 3:41PM

    Fully agree with you Nasim! Recommend

  • Nabiha Meher
    Nov 17, 2010 - 4:31PM

    Syed A. Mateen you just made me SICK to my stomach.

    People like YOU are the reason why the world hates us, and that comment just turned me into a self hating Pakistani for a few minutes.

    Sadly, however, you are a typical example of the mentality that pervades this land. Your pathetic slippery slope argument that “repealing Blasphemy Law in Pakistan will be tantamount to give blanket permission to the non-Muslims to openly made caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and they will be free to openly write or utter such words which may harm the sentiments of the Muslims” is insane and ridiculous.

    And when the world reads nonsense the this, when they see how cruel we are, do you blame those with a soul for hating us? I certainly don’t! Recommend

  • Nov 17, 2010 - 5:22PM

    Pakistanis are quite capable of misusing any kind of law, I repeat any kind … if changing laws is the real solution to the problem created by their misuse then perhaps all kind of laws should be repealed. Why only blasphemy or hudood law, we just talk about … ?Recommend

  • Umar Farooq
    Nov 17, 2010 - 5:33PM

    No one has ever been executed on court orders in Pakistan for decades the law is not such a big deal and it is a good measure of last resort in case someone like Salman Rushdie props up in Pakistan.The law should remain in place because if it is repealed then there will be no legal alternative to deal with such individuals.Recommend

  • Rehan
    Nov 17, 2010 - 6:16PM

    All those who think that this law should not be repealed, GROW-UP!Recommend

  • Nov 17, 2010 - 6:53PM

    Pakistan and Pakistanis need to grow up and smell the coffee, this law and our pre-occupation with ‘Mullahism’ is doing a great disservice to Islam, Muslims not just Pakistan but around the world – how many opportunities have we wasted just to keep the village mullah mentality happy.

    This law is in itself a form of blasphemy and its needs to be abolished without ceremony.Recommend

  • Ishaq
    Nov 17, 2010 - 7:28PM

    This Law has used as Licence to kill minorities in Pakistan Recommend

  • Umar
    Nov 17, 2010 - 8:07PM

    All those who think that this law
    should not be repealed, GROW-UP!

    @Rehan: That would be the whole world. May be you grow up instead of asking the rest of, mostly much more develop than Pakistan, world to do so.Recommend

  • Umar
    Nov 17, 2010 - 8:34PM

    The law should remain in place because
    if it is repealed then there will be
    no legal alternative to deal with such

    @Umar Farooq: It’s laws like this that have made everyone start hating and hurling insults at Islam. Just read comments on some of the international print media where blasphemy cases are reported, this one for example; Family leads outcry at blasphemy death penalty

    This law has exactly the opposite effect to what you claim it is to achieve. Talk of shooting yourself in the foot.Recommend

  • Umar
    Nov 17, 2010 - 8:37PM

    @Rehan: Sorry I missed the ‘not’ in your comment and took it exactly the opposite to what you meant.Recommend

  • Arshad Mahmood
    Nov 17, 2010 - 9:13PM

    The so called elected government should look into the Asiya case and ensure justice to her on priority basis as this is earning a bad name for the country. Furthermore the Parliament should also look into long term solutions and scrape discriminatory laws like the Blasphemy law without any further unnecessary delay.Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Nov 17, 2010 - 9:29PM

    To all those who oppose my comments: Why at the first place the Blasphemy Law was introduced in Pakistan? What became the base of introducing such a law in the country?

    I am not a Mullah, but at the same time I cannot tolerate that The Holy Book “Quran” should be burned by non-Muslims in Islamic Republic of Pakistan. I was unable to stop my tears when someone in the West makes caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and labelled all Muslims of Pakistan as terrorists.

    The Agents of the West wants to repeal Blasphemy Law in Pakistan to please the West, so that non-Muslims should openly burn Quran in Pakistan and that too in front of the Muslims and at the same time utter whatever bad things they can say about our religion Islam.

    Those who are living in Pakistan must accept that Pakistan is an Islamic State. The religion Islam was spread from Saudi Arabia. Why you people don’t ask the King of Saudi Arabia and Head of the States of all Muslim Countries to repeal the Blasphemy Law from Muslim Countries?

    If other Islamic Countries are ready to repeal the Blasphemy Law from their respective countries, Pakistan should also repeal the Blasphemy Law.

    Don’t worry, whether Blasphemy Law is repealed from Pakistan or not, you people will remain Muslims and in today’s world more particularly after 9/11, all Muslims are branded as followers of Osama Bin Laden. So you people will not get visas to visit the Western Countries, being followers of Osama Bin Laden. Recommend

  • Anoop
    Nov 17, 2010 - 9:38PM

    As long as Pakistan is declared as an Islamic country in its constitution, the blasphemy laws cannot be repealed.

    That is NEVER going to happen. Recommend

  • murassa sanaullah
    Nov 17, 2010 - 9:39PM

    Naseem Zehra is cmpletely write, something should be done to change this brutal law, this law is only used against weak people.Zhialul haq was the creator of this stupid law this law only proof that we muslims are only taught to kill . can’t our ulema do something sensible and constructive. if someone say wrong about our prophet or religion ,the ulemas or writers can give logical answers. instead of killing look how many people blame God and use hasrh language angaist God .He still is Rehman and Rahim to them .the prophet was the messenger of Allah he was also Allah’s banda he was was the first one who gave the message of love ,kindness ,and tolerance. so we the muslims should be tolerant.the govermant, parliment, and judiciary should immediately do smething about this sick law .this law is doing no good to islam only harming this beautiful religion.Recommend

  • Nov 17, 2010 - 9:42PM

    Islam is only thought to be a set of punishments and rituals by our people…..The very way of life of this nation is a “blasphemy” towards Islam and its teachings……..Religion is exploited in every realm…Hypocrisy, Lie, corruption, arrogance, obstinacy runs in our blood….You can clearly see in practical life how pious we as people are, but still when it come to talk about minorities we are the most “pious” creature of Good God on planet earth…..Punjab govt didn’t announce any compensation package for Ahmedies died in Lahore attacks (correct me if I am wrong)….hypocrisy is one word that can describe our behaviors..Recommend

  • Shahjahan Bhutto
    Nov 17, 2010 - 10:18PM

    My question is, why is all the blame placed on the citizens and the clergy when the power houses like GEO or Express can help change the mindset of the people but fail to touch on this? Why aren’t there any active discussions on television regarding this? channels, have the time and energy and resources to make stupid channel ids and 3rd class animations instead of focusing on important issues.Recommend

  • Ali Khan
    Nov 17, 2010 - 10:25PM

    Shame on writing such article, I used to like your programmes, but you are just like other secular minded people

  • Riaz
    Nov 17, 2010 - 11:12PM

    It was insane to put these kinds of laws on the books. How many of these cruel laws were enacted by hazrat umar or during early days of islam when they were christians and jews living in Medina.
    It is shameful that we tell the world we have the best religion yet we want to make Pakistan an intolerant country worse then any other. It is no different then illiterate mollahs want to stone every rape victim even though none them claim to be without a sin themselves.
    If we have to progress then the least we can do treat our brothers and sisters with respect and dignity and make them proud of their homeland.
    Also Allah has promised to protect the religion who are we to judge people. This were the same kinds of measure use by christians marginalize and exterminate muslims and jews in spain and we are doing the same, are not we ?Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Nov 17, 2010 - 11:27PM

    Courts may not be blamed for awarding the punishment for blasphemy and said that they are doing something wrong. As long as this draconian law is there any case put forward as that law they have to pass the judgement as per law…..in this regards not the courts but the legislative bodies are the one who are responsible for promulgation of such law; which are most of the time political motivated. As we know that blasphemy law basically is Ahmadies specific. Since Ahmadies were declared Non-Muslims so it is extended to all the followers of religion other than Islam. Salient of this law are as follow:

    PPC Description Penalty

    298A Use of derogatory remarks etc., in respect of holy personages——Three years’ imprisonment, or with fine, or with both
    298B Misuse of epithets, descriptions and titles etc., reserved for certain holy personages or places, by Ahmadies——–Three years’ imprisonment and fine
    298C An Ahmadi, calling himself a Muslim, or preaching or propagating his faith, or outraging the religious feelings of Muslims, or posing himself as a Muslim——-Three years’ imprisonment and fine
    295 Injuring or defiling places of worship, with intent to insult the religion of any class——–Up to two years’ imprisonment or with fine, or with both
    295A Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs———-Up to ten years’ imprisonment, or with fine, or with both
    295B Defiling, etc., of Holy Quran——–Imprisonment for life
    295C Use of derogatory remarks, etc; in respect of the Holy Prophet—–Death and fine

    The stance of legislative bodies creating such type of law are so absurd and clue less that they are totally unaware of the fact that Islam shuns any kind of discrimination of other faiths.
    After the dawn of Islam there were scores of other religions and God Almighty being well aware of the fact that they will take time to come to reality of Islam so
    In the light of above; let us throw this legislative out to the trash.Recommend

  • Surraiya Aqeel
    Nov 17, 2010 - 11:35PM

    Rasul Allah, PBUH, had set numerous examples of tolerance & compassion. We, as Muslims, advocate following of Sunnah on one hand and make laws on the other which are in clear contradiction of Allah’s and His Rasul’s teachings.Recommend

  • Ali Farooqui
    Nov 18, 2010 - 12:41AM

    change the implementation process change the penalty (make it a non imprison-able offence on pleading guilty for eg) but do not repeal the law itself it will only leave the void which would be filled by mob justiceRecommend

  • Naushad Shafkat
    Nov 18, 2010 - 1:26AM

    The article is on an important topic but reads more like a news report than an opinion. I admire Ms. Zehra for her cool composure and manner. She is to be commended for being-all said and done- a supporter of democracy. I was however struck by this “This environment of populist rage, fed by the distorted yet self-serving interpretation of religion principally by Zia and a populist mixing of religion and politics by a politically besieged Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, must be emphatically challenged.” Zulfikar Ali Bhutto responsible, even partly, for the Blasphemy Law or even the mindset that gave birth to it? For the record Mr. Bhutto was removed from office in 1977 and the Blasphemy amendments were made in the 1980’s. If Ms. Zehra is referring to the Ahmedi’s being declared non-muslims during Mr. Bhutto’s time, as a cause for these laws I, for one fail to see the link. Facts will show that the minorities were never discriminated against at that time. In fact it was one of the best of times for them and the pendulum swung the other way only on Zia’s illegal ascension.
    The Blasphemy law makes clear how easy it is to destroy and how difficult it is to set right. All agree that the law is horrific but none has the courage to take up cudgels and do something. Zia should be held accountable for all the deaths that have taken place because of his amendments.Recommend

  • Humanity
    Nov 18, 2010 - 2:30AM

    @Umar “@Rehan: Sorry I missed the ‘not’ in your comment and took it exactly the opposite to what you meant.”

    This is what the mullah have done by spinning the religion into a set of barbarian rules which IT IS NOT.

    The Quran says their is no coercion in religion and yet they choose to override the holy commandment and enforce the laws that are un-Islamic.

    People must wake up and realize that they will be answerable to Allah for the transgressions they do in the name of Allah, His Holy Prophet (Saw) and the Holy Book.

    The moral and worldly fabric of the society is in shreds already. The decay should be a warning that Allah (SWT) is not happy with this nation. Bigotry, intolerance, and acting God-like are not the ways to gain Allah’s(SWT) pleasure.

    This unguided nation of state-certified Muslims thinks they are self-sufficient and independent of any divine help. Better get out of the delusion, repent and pray to be shown the straight path before God waylays the arrogant transgressors! The current path of intolerance that this nation is treading on is certainly not the straight path. Understand and reflect on the meaning of the oft-repeated seven versus, i.e., Surah Fatiha, that you recite in the namaz and then pray to be shown the straight path. Recommend

  • Realist
    Nov 18, 2010 - 2:44AM

    Any religion that relies on blasphemy laws to ‘protect’ itself shows the world how weak it really is. Recommend

  • Haris Chaudhry
    Nov 18, 2010 - 3:38AM

    @ Syed A Mateen
    Mate, you really need to see the world without the over zealous, gung-ho, intolerant and bigoted goggles.

    Which planet do you live on when you say stuff aka “western conspiracy to repeal these laws so that they could burn quran etc etc”.. In west, there is freedom of speech, thought and expression which dictates that anyone who wants could burn any book can do so without being tortured, killed or executed. Not everyone is a bigot like us. Infact besides us, there are hardly any extreme bigoted societies.

    West has other issues to worry about rather than worrying about repealing laws in a almost-failed state just so their citizens could burn holy books… For Gods sake – you really carry a very very typical mindset of a Pakistani who is yet to get out of its bigoted shell. West has too many issues to worry about like, building infrastructure, improving economy, improving social security and justice system, building new schools, hospitals and roads, worrying about climate change, building theatres, stadiums, cinemas and promoting art, research and development, medicine etc etc.. It is not bothered about useless rhetoric that is our hallmark. It develops and grows and gets better. We stagnate then go back and then stagnate again before going back…

    This is a draconian law and belongs in the middle ages. You need to learn to understand the world from an objective and sensible view point.


  • babar
    Nov 18, 2010 - 5:08AM

    Dear all

    Can someone inform me which year of the Prophet’s (PBUH) life, the shariah was formally announced.

    Also, isnt blasphemy law applicable with hear-say, ie the testimony of 4 witnesses. How just is application of a law with death penalty to apply on word of mouth.Recommend

  • babar
    Nov 18, 2010 - 5:11AM

    Also, how can the constitution ensure freedom of speech and uphold blasphemy law???Recommend

  • Sir Magpie De Crow
    Nov 18, 2010 - 5:31AM

    As a native citizen of the United States I have always had a keen interest in our history. Much like your blasphemy laws we had a set of laws in the south that were commonly called “The Jim Crow Laws”. These laws and rules of social conduct were made supposedly to maintain the purity of the races… the reality was they were used to oppress blacks and other non-whites and keep them in a state of servitude. That “purity” was as much a fallacy as those who seek to punish those who are accused of insulting their faith. Blacks who had either the misfortune or courage to oppose these laws faced unjust punishment from the courts, or certain death in the streets by lynch mobs. To those in Pakistan I suggest that all efforts should be made to prevent such a similar horror. Christians, Hindus and other groups should not face persecution and death under the current circumstances. Personal grudges should not be the reason by which a mother’s life can be ended. The mentality of the Klu Klux Klan of the Deep South doesn’t seem all that different from the small minded religious fanatics of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Nov 18, 2010 - 7:58AM

    remove the umbilical cordRecommend

  • Rehan
    Nov 18, 2010 - 11:19AM

    This really sucks! Laws like these have tarnished the image of Islam across the world. Recommend

  • T R Khan
    Nov 18, 2010 - 1:01PM

    The proverbial West may not be treating Muslims as Muslims want to be treated. As a reaction (and a poor defence mechanism) we justify our infamous blasphemy laws. Our treatment in West is a direct manifestation of our present not very Islamic ways. Our primary emphasis is on jihad, domination and war and we forget prayers (dua), compassion and love of humanity. Recommend

  • PriyaSuraj
    Nov 18, 2010 - 1:30PM

    Just curious, can a muslim also be charged with this law if they say something derogatory about other religions like Christianity or Hinduism? If not this is an unjust law against minorities in Pakistan. Also am just unable to understand why have Pakistanis appointed themselves as the saviours of Islam…I think any sane person would know that religion/ God don’t need to be SAVED by mere mortals like us.Recommend

  • sashayub
    Nov 18, 2010 - 1:49PM

    I would just take your comments a bit further and ask for a scrapping of many other things which are the remains of Gen. Zia’s dictatorship, including rogue political parties as well as their leaders. Another thing which would require to be scrapped from that era is the excessive and unaudited income that the country’s armed forces get from various shady deals…and bring the accounts of all officers of the army ranking upwards from Lt. Col, similar to the accounts/returns of public representatives.
    It would also be worthwhile to repeal all the much discussed Hudood Laws, in current circumstances we dont need any of these. What comes as a surprise is that the column of religion was again mentioned in pakistani passports…that too during the times of another dictator general, who went to great lengths to declare himself a “liberal”.

    Having said the above, i don’t see any of this happening…Recommend

  • Raza
    Nov 18, 2010 - 2:48PM

    Great Article Nasim Zehra.
    Too bad the majority has been left in the dark ages and would probably disagree with you…Recommend

  • parvez
    Nov 18, 2010 - 3:09PM

    The founding fathers of this country envisaged it as a homeland for the Muslims with Islam as the religion and equal rights and freedom for the minorities.
    Today we have turned into a theocratic Islamic state due to the short sighted policies of a military dictator aided by the self serving interests of America.
    The debate weather we are a Muslim state or an Islamic state is very much alive.
    From the comments posted one can see that the majority has views in line with the true spirit of Islam and are against this draconian law.
    Abolishing this law would be the correct thing to do but pragmatic thought says that as this not doable, the law could be amended so that it is not misused to victimise people.
    Simply incorporating the same punishment on the accuser as stipulated for the blasphemer, if the accusation is found false or mischievously motivated would go a long way to bring a balance to this issueRecommend

  • Imran
    Nov 18, 2010 - 3:15PM

    I feel sorry for you. Your viewpoint on the world is in serious need of realignment.

    This is a good start but it will require a lot of push from the media to get this done. It should be done as soon as possible, without hesitation or delay.Recommend

  • Khalid Shahzad
    Nov 18, 2010 - 5:46PM

    I am asking question to all Muslims in Pakistan ‘Is that right way to spread Islam in to other religion in Pakistan?

    I have personnel experience to observe the blasphemy cases against minorities especially against Christians.Last year in Kasure,Koreain,Gojra,Asia bibi,Fanish Masih in Daska Sialkot,every case was false and self made,In Dask Sialkot Fanish Masih has love affairs with Muslim Girl who com meted that she hasn’t Holy Quran or (Spara)at that day.But Muslims put blame That he through holy books in drain and they killed him in Jail.In Korian Chak.they story was same.In Gojra no one Christian burn or try to speak any blasphemous remarks but Muslims burnt our houses and our people were burnt in this fire.In this year in July our two young Christian Pastor real brothers also faced the same 295 C.and they were killed in the custody of Punjab Police.Now Asia bibi who was servant and hard working but the Muslims never ever for give her.Now we Christians are now thinking that ‘Is Islam religion of Peace? Recommend

  • Majid Urrehman
    Nov 18, 2010 - 7:29PM

    It is a simple and hideous case of “common” police failure, illiteracy, non-functionality of true role of Mullah (In respective note) and Masjid. Why people are asking for repealing blasphemy law?

    The other day a group of people murdered their factory owner in Sheikhupura when one of the laborer announced that owner was a blasphemer. It turned out that it was a case of personal revenge. What blasphemy law had to do with it?
    Mr. Amir Cheema of Gujrat living in Germany tried to kill a blasphemer in Germany, what Pakistan’s blasphemy law had to do with it?

    I think something has happened to people’s sanity. Something happens to Qadyanis and people say to repeal 298-B. Some thing happens to a christian and people say to repeal blasphemy law!Recommend

  • CCC
    Nov 18, 2010 - 8:02PM

    So what happens if a muslim says anything that hurts the sentiments of other muslims? Are they subject to the same blasphemy laws? Or is the law applicable only to non-muslims? If a law is not applicable to everybody, then how is it a law?

    Secondly playing the devils advocate, if someone (muslim or non) does hurt sentiments, is death to the person the only solution? That might have been in the 13th century but not in this day and age. Why are the sentiments fragile? Can they be fortified so it doesn’t hurt even if someone tries to?

    There are no such laws in India, or US but you don’t see caricatures or sentiments being hurt. India is home to a muslim population much larger than Pakistan’s. Not helpful?Recommend

  • T R Khan
    Nov 18, 2010 - 9:45PM

    @Majid Urrehman
    Are you justifying the killings of blasphemers? Or are you defending the blasphemy law?
    Killing of blasphemers is against the teaching of Islam and the Holy Prophet (pbuh).
    And you cannot defend a law which is contrary to the behavior of the Holy Prophet (pbuh).
    The Holy Prophet did not allow the destruction of the people of Taif who abused and stoned him. The Jewish woman who gave him poisoned mutton was forgiven and so was Hinda who had eaten the liver of Prophet’s (pbuh) uncle. Abdullah bin Ubaiy a confirmed and known munafiq’s funeral prayers was lead by Holy Prophet (pbuh) and he gave his shirt to be buried with him, on his son’s request. Recommend

  • Salman Arshad
    Nov 19, 2010 - 1:07AM

    @Anti-Blasphemy posters:

    Why are you assuming that the Blasphemy Law, when enacted, was not based on sound Islamic principles ?
    If you have so called “examples” from the Sunnah that you think refute the blasphemy law, why don’t you make the effort to understand how the Blasphemy Law could even become enacted if it was against the Sunnah ??
    There are documented incidents of extra-judicial murders on the basis of blasphemy in the Hadiths, for example the one of the blind man who murdered his slave woman, who was acquitted by the Prophet PBUH, which are cited in support of the law. The law at least tries to pursue responsibility for due process.
    Please form your opinions on facts, not on 21st century human-rights emotions.Recommend

  • Juan Dixon
    Nov 19, 2010 - 1:49AM

    What the hell? People take this religion stuff way too seriously. Glad I live here.Recommend

  • Nov 19, 2010 - 6:28AM

    Although i would love to hear the garbage ‘story’ but we can surely agree up to some facts.

    Kindness and mercy does not equal Blasphemy (all these incidents are authentic, copied from online sources nevertheless has been verified)

    His Kindness and Forgiveness does not extend to blasphemy :

    -A Jewess put poison in the food of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He felt the effect of the poison and called the Jews who made the confession of guilt; but he did not say anything. He forgave the savage who had killed Hamza, his uncle.

    -He forgave Hinda, the wife of Abu Sufyan who tore out the heart and liver of his (the Holy Prophet’s) loving uncle.

    -He forgave Habbar b. Al. Aswar who had inflicted severe injury to the Prophet’s loving daughter Zainab (May Allah be pleased with her).

    -During the Treaty of Hudaibya, a band of sixty men descended the mount of Tanim at dawn, with an intention to kill he Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). They were arrested; but the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) let them off.

    -The people of Ta’if hooted him through the streets listening to the call of Islam and refused to give him shelter. They pelted him with stones and blood flowed down upon his legs. The angel said to him: If he desired we cause the mountain to fall upon them. He said: No, perhaps any believer of Allah may be born from their progeny.

    and many others .

    It is important here to note that all these incidents were not related to the cursing or degrading remarks regarding Prophet Muhammad SAW , either on his personal self or his prophethood.

    On the conquest of Makkah, everyone was forgiven but 10 people who were ordered to be killed, all were blasphemers who insulted the messenger SAW by words or remarks.

    Even if we were to include the garbage story in these lines , that is no justification to whether blasphemy is to be forgiven. If only the condition of witnesses is established, it will be enough to verify whether a person is guilty or not.

    An Islamic witnesses is a sane muslim , who is known to be ‘truthful’ in the society he lives. In a hypocritical society like ours, perhaps blasphemy law should be repealed but also the blanket of Islam or Islamic Republic. Recommend

  • Khalid Kamal
    Nov 19, 2010 - 7:51AM

    Very rational analogy by Nasim.
    It is about time we change our cultural mindset and exercise sense via out of box approach.
    This has already destroyed the moral fiber which was once our hallmark.

    Islam has clear & explicit on this anything else is dogma by sick guys.Recommend

  • Maximus
    Nov 19, 2010 - 9:28AM

    What nobody seems to cover is the number of mental unstable people who are targeted by these blasphemy laws! Even schizophrenic and people who have Tourette syndrome are punished under these insane laws!

    If you want to judge a society, just look at how they treat their weakest. Recommend

  • Meher Bano
    Nov 19, 2010 - 11:20AM

    @Muhammad Ziad
    “It is important here to note that all these incidents were not related to the cursing or degrading remarks regarding Prophet Muhammad SAW , either on his personal self or his prophethood.”

    Please remember everything the Holy Prophet (saw) did was at the will of God, his personal emotions were never manifested. The infidels called him a ‘magician’ and slandered him viciously, read the Quran and the Hadees. The hypocrites called him various names, which went beyond blasphemy, recall Abdullah bin ‘Ubai vile and his son’s intentions of killing his father.
    The few persons put to sword on the conquest of Mecca were seasoned criminals and murderers and not mere blasphemers. If mere blasphemers were to be killed; very few Meccans would have lived to see the day end. Recommend

  • umar abid
    Nov 19, 2010 - 11:45AM

    i think the first step should be to atleast devise a mechanism by which we can authenticate these allegations before filing of a case under the blasphemy law. Recommend

  • SH
    Nov 19, 2010 - 12:25PM

    After reading all the comments made about this excellent article, you being to realize how pervasive fanaticism really is. While most people have quoted examples of tolerance and compassion shown by the Holy Prophet (pbhu), those opposing changes to these draconian laws really have no substance to their argument beyond:

    Shame on writing such article, I used to like your programmes, but you are just like other secular minded people – Ali Khan

    To Syed Mateen, Ali Khan and anyone like them reading this: Pakistan was not created an Islamic Republic. It was created to be a secular state, predominantly for muslims, but where people would be free to go to their places of worship. Do you know anything about your history??! Do you know what the white part of the Pakistan National Flag symbolizes?
    That you cried when you saw the caricatures is testament to your personal beliefs; I’m sure inshAllah God saw those tears and will count them on the day of judgement. Do not forget however that religion has no business in the running of the state; when the Prophet could forgive people for the things they did to him, you have no business going uncontrolable; and to kill one person is as though to have killed all of mankind. A muslim is tolerant, composed and shows restraint. In arabic it’s called taqwah.

    Killing minorities for their utterances, stifling their rights and being ok with the discrimination they face including the sacrilege done to their Holy Books and places of worship while at the same time crying foul when it is done to you is not reflective of Islam; certainly not the one I follow at least.

    If I, who is not particularly religious, can understand these concepts, I don’t understand how people like you survive in the real world. Perhaps you should spend more time learning about your religion rather than getting frustrated about things you’re clearly misinformed about?Recommend

  • Faseeha
    Nov 19, 2010 - 1:04PM

    @Muhammad Ziad
    “His Kindness and Forgiveness does not extend to blasphemy.”

    A very outrageous statement. How can you be the judge on the ambit of the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) kindness and forgiveness? Your statement in my humble view is blasphemous, but you have the right to hold your views and there is no temporal punishment for this blasphemy.
    In your view the infidels were ready to kill the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh), but were very civil in their choice of language used against the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh). This presumption is against human nature and the well documented history. Please stop re-writing and distorting historical facts to justify the un-Islamic blasphemy laws. Recommend

  • Nov 19, 2010 - 2:03PM

    @Meher Bano : Prophet Muhammad SAW ordered the blasphemers to be executed. There also exists incidents where Prophet Muhammad SAW was not concerned if someone killed a blasphemer in Sunan Abu Dawud Book 38, Number 4348. The poets of Makkah who used to call him names were all ordered to be executed , those included = Asma bint Marwan , Abu Afak , Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf and the 4 jewish women at the time of the conquest. They were neither criminals nor warriors but poets and women who used to pass degrading remarks in their speeches and poetry. You can do a little research before denying facts by calling these people involved in other crimes , which they were not. They committed blasphemy thus ordered to be killed .
    I would still call for repealing this law from Pakistan since it is exploited and this country does not meet the specification of an Islamic witness. The only witness here is the child molesting, halwa addict , fat baba who lives in the midst of villages acting as the tribal chieftain of the Islamic republic of his small town. Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Nov 19, 2010 - 3:49PM

    Many contributors have given examples of forgiveness of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on many occasions, but no one has mentioned as yet whether similar examples of forgiveness are also available among the followers of other religions, faith and believe?

    There was no mercy shown by the US government awarding punishment to Dr. Afia Siddiqui who has been sentenced for 86 years of imprisonment?

    There are number of other Muslim languishing in the US jails for committing minor offences but cannot come out from the jail during their life time?

    The Pope Benedict XVI has called for the release of Aasia Bibi and said that Christians in Pakistan were “often victims of violence and discrimination.”

    If the Grand Mufti-e-Azam of Muslims Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah will make a similar request to US government to release Dr. Afia Siddiqui, will the US government release Dr. Afia Siddiqui?

    Why the pressure is always on Islam and then on Government of Pakistan to show mercy? Why mercy is not been shown in the cases of Muslims detained on minor offences in the Western Countries and are languishing in jails for uncounted years?

    To see that Aasia Bibi and other offenders of similar nature are set free by Pakistan’s Government, the writer is making all out efforts to repeal the blasphemy law from Pakistan.

    Can’t she make such an effort to get Dr. Aafia Siddiqui release from US jail, when the writer and Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, both are Muslims. Recommend

  • muyyu
    Nov 19, 2010 - 4:49PM

    To those who have condemned “secularism” as something to be looked down upon, I ask – have you heard of the “Golden Rule”- which basically means to do the same to others that what you would have them to do to you.

    In other words how would you like it if Europe, for example, declared itself a Christian country following the teachings of the bible, which would of course support christians over others?Recommend

  • Mawali
    Nov 19, 2010 - 5:36PM

    It is literally mind blowing to read some of the comments in favor of keeping the blasphemy laws in place. Here is my question; which Shariah does one follow? There are at least four versions of this dubious law in Sunni Islam and at least one for the Shia Muslims. I personally do not subscribe to either one period.
    Then Shariah laws are based on countless set of self concocted hadees that according to self described Muslim scholars lacked authenticity and never corroborated. Secondly, if the prophet was as magnanimous as most cite here then who the heck are you to kill, maim and execute people who may or may not have said something about him.
    For all the “Muslims’ who get teary eyed when they see caricatures of the Prophet; I say this if you are so emotionally involved with the prophet then take the good out of his message of love, brotherhood, peace and co-existence with Muslims and Non-Muslims alike.
    There are enough people who despise you not because you are Muslim, but because you lack character and self esteem. Don’t give those same people more opportunities to further dislike you. Capeesh!Recommend

  • G. Din
    Nov 19, 2010 - 6:13PM

    @Syed A. Mateen
    “…no one has mentioned as yet whether similar examples of forgiveness are also available among the followers of other religions, faith and believe? ”
    So are your laws in retaliation to the laws in other lands about the genesis of which, I am sure, you probably know next to nothing. The laws of other lands are not based on their religious tenets, yours are. And such laws give bad name to your religion. Are you concerned about that.
    I am sorry that you seem to think that you know better than the citizen juries which decide the cases of those you have referred to. The problem is Muslims suffer from a persecution complex and just cannot rid themselves of hold of conspiracies against them. You can be assured that no one amongst the non-Muslim population gives a damn about self-important Muslims.Recommend

  • faraz
    Nov 19, 2010 - 6:59PM

    @Syed A Mateen

    Now you have no arguments and now you are trying to exploit sympathies which people have for Dr Aafia. What has Blasphemy law to do with terrorism? Recommend

  • Muneer
    Nov 19, 2010 - 7:06PM

    A religion that uses force to attain respect deserves none, and if we look around it isn’t getting much respect either.Recommend

  • T R Khan
    Nov 19, 2010 - 7:11PM

    @Syed A. Mateen
    Religion is not a tit for tat phenomena. The West may be treating some Muslims unfairly, but following the teachings of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) we cannot justify the harsh treatment of our minorities. Our Holy Prophet (pbuh) is Rahmat lil Alameen and just not Rahmat lil Muslameen.Recommend

  • Muneer
    Nov 19, 2010 - 7:28PM
  • Maz
    Nov 19, 2010 - 8:03PM

    Correct me if iam wrong hasnt Islam orginated from an arab country and how come they are more tolerant then Pakistanis towards other religons .People of other religions enjoy freedom of worship in Dubai,Kuwait,Baharin and Oman.
    People living here respect the religon of the country they are livining in even though none of them are the citizens of these countries. How come we treat our NON-MUSLIM citizens as third grade citizens even if they are non-muslims still they are Pakistanis. I think all should have equal rights be it a muslim, christian,hindu,sikh or ahmadhi .
    Every religon teaches tolerance towards other fellow human beings how come we forget we all human beings have one same thing running in our veins which has same color RED that is Blood.

  • aly ercelan
    Nov 19, 2010 - 9:00PM

    the real issue is not all persons are equal in law. citizenship requires equality in application of the constitution. justice goes beyond equality of opportunity to equity in outcomes.

    Pakistan is a sunni state created on the basis that minorities cannot get justice.Recommend

  • raza
    Nov 19, 2010 - 10:33PM

    Blasphemy Law should not be repealed as it will not do anything good for the Muslims of Pakistan but it would rather harm the sentiments of Muslims in the entire Muslim World.
    Muslims neither make caricatures of any Prophet sent in the world by Al-Mighty Allah, nor utter a single word about any ones religion, faith or believe.
    It is the history that non-Muslims time and again have made caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and have disturbed the sentiments of Muslim Ummah.
    As regards to non-Muslims in Pakistan are concerned, they should know what the law of land is and should not indulge in such activities which become a problem for them.
    The Blasphemy Law is enforced not only in Pakistan but it is enforced in all Muslim States in the world.
    Repealing Blasphemy Law in Pakistan will be tantamount to give blanket permission to the non-Muslims to openly made caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and they will be free to openly write or utter such words which may harm the sentiments of the Muslims.
    Any case relating to Blasphemy Law is heard by the relevant court with full facts and figures. It is not so simple that some one report the matter against some person to the Police and then the relevant Court without hearing the cases and cross examinations of the witnesses would award death sentence to the offenders.

    NASIM ZAHRA SHOULD READ THROUGH THESE COMMENTS PASSED BY SYED A MATEEN…these cast enough light on this issue…Recommend

  • M Mustafa
    Nov 19, 2010 - 10:38PM

    @Muhammad Ziad
    “They committed blasphemy thus ordered to be killed.”
    There are thousands of books and websites who are blasphemous to the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Are their authors all wajib ul qatal? If this is true you should be restrained from leaving Pakistan. You will be another Amir Cheema, who tried to stab a cartoonist in Germany recently.
    If killing blasphemers is a duty of every red blooded Muslim, then our Muslim brothers living in the West are cowards and indifferent to their religious duty. Similarly, Muslims living in India are ignorant of their religious duties. Indian newspapers and TV programs do have anti-Islam and blasphemous content and Muslims ignore them. Are these Muslims cowards or ignorant. Again, for thirteen years early Muslims lived in Mecca before migrating to Madina and endured torture, vile abuse and slander and what was their reaction? History tells us they did not resort to the sword and bore the hardships silently praying to Allah.
    Killing blasphemers is not the Islamic way, think for yourself and do not follow mulla’s teaching blindly. Recommend

  • Nov 19, 2010 - 11:21PM

    @Syed A Mateen
    Many contributors have given examples of forgiveness of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on many occasions, but no one has mentioned as yet whether similar examples of forgiveness are also available among the followers of other religions, faith and believe?

    Well, the Prophet (PBUH), spoke against the religious beliefs of the residents of Mecca,he reportedly even cast their idols aside, they disliked him, abused him, but they did not hand out the death sentence to him,( as has been done to Ashia Bibi). You want any more examples of forgiveness amongst the followers of ‘other religions’?

    There was no mercy shown by the US government awarding punishment to Dr. Afia

    Are you sure Dr Aafia has been convicted under ‘blasphemy laws’ for deriding Jesus Christ? Or do you believe that the Kafirs have no business trying and sentencing a muslim for any crime whatsoever.

    Why mercy is not been shown in the cases of Muslims detained on minor offences in the Western Countries and are languishing in jails for uncounted years?

    Do you have any concrete ,verifible eaxamples in mind or are you just suffering from the foot in the mouth disease. Have you heard of Fundamental Rights and are you aware that in most ‘western countries’ without due process of law you can not keep anyone in jail. Or by western do you mean anything ‘west of Pakistan’ which will include Iran, Saudi Arabia and the entire middle east.Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Nov 19, 2010 - 11:54PM

    @ Faraz: You wrote “What has Blasphemy law to do with terrorism?” Don’t you think that to disrespect Prophet Muhammad (PBUM), Islam and the Holy Book Quran is more than the terrorism? It is matter of your perception.

    @ Maz: Muslims respect every religion, but non-Muslims do not respect our last Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the Holy Book Quran and Islam.

    Muslims in the Western Countries have been branded as terrorists. Though the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan has guaranteed all the minority communities, but how the State can tolerate if a non-Muslim while living in Pakistan does not respect Islam?

    Muslims are killed in their own Muslims countries and this is one of the reasons that some of the Muslims have become fanatic and take law in their hands. Muslims know better than any body else what is Islam.

    One should go and read Quran and its translation which is available in all most all the languages in the world. Islam is a peaceful religion and has its own parameters. The ones who go out of the parameter go out of Islam.

    A single Christian lady Asia Bibi is facing death penalty announced by the court and the whole Christianity including some of the so called Muslims are yelling to repeal the Blasphemy Laws and to set her free? Recommend

  • Khalid Shahzad
    Nov 20, 2010 - 12:10AM

    After the partition we are still slaves,we have duel faces where their is no profit their is Islam, and where there is profit their is Islam.Our Islamic brother are willing to build relations with Chinese(who are without religion) even they never ever belief on God and other religion.they are eating every thing and drinking every things.

    But our Islamic brother heating from Christians Hindus,Sikhs,and Ah midis,why?
    Before partition Hindus don’t like to set or to eat from Muslims.then after soon partition Muslims took revenge from Christians.Bhuto was the first leader and founder of the Islamic ideology,Zia ul haq the promoter,and Nawaz Sharif is the believer.they all wont like to spread the literature of harmony peace and equality.or PTV is one of element who spread one sided Islamic programs where only emphases that ‘That only Islam can save the humanity other religion are ended ‘My Dear brothers and sisters when your Official T V telecasting these type of Programs then how do you think about Tolerance,Peace and Harmony? When your literature present the people who killed the person involved in blasphemous case as a Hero or role model.Then how you accepted the peaceful society? Recommend

  • G H Haider
    Nov 20, 2010 - 12:35AM

    The conflicting stances taken by the comments proves that we do not a consensus on the issue of ‘death for blasphemy’. The positions are poles apart; death the only stance on one side and no punishment at all; on the other side. Islam has been round for 1500 years and we still have not solved this very basic issue. The main reason for this lingering problem is that the Quran is quite on the blasphemy issue. But the Quran is not quite on compassion, forgiveness is definitely against all coercion in religion. Therefore, in my view there is no temporal punishment for blasphemy.
    Further, any law which has its basis in a universal religion should have universal application. Can a death penalty for blasphemy applied universally?
    Again, the law should apply to all prophets and all religious leaders of various denomination. Is this practical?
    Further, the blasphemy law should also apply to the Almighty. We defy His commandments every minute, should we all be punished?Recommend

  • ann syeda
    Nov 20, 2010 - 4:27AM

    May be nobody believe me but I can BET over my words !
    “just repeal all the so called islamic amendments injected to the constitution by zia dictator and even by quaid e awaam zulfiqar ali bhutto shaheed.( i.e declaring ahmadis as kafirs) and the world will see how pakistan will overcome all its problems by the grace of almighty allah “..Recommend

  • ann syedha
    Nov 20, 2010 - 5:46AM

    ” The year 1995 also witnessed a ghastly incident of religious frenzy, when Dr. Sajjad Farooq was beaten to death by people outside a police station in Gujranwala. He was declared an apostate and accused of having desecrated the Qur’an. Dr. Farooq, who was later reported by the press to be a staunch Muslim, was dragged out from the police station where he was lodged and stoned to death by frenzied mobs. On the basis of a rumor, apparently circulated by someone out of personal enmity, he was proclaimed to be a Christian through the loud-speakers of the mosques in his locality.”[ wikipedia]

    What kind of a SHARIAH is this ??Recommend

  • Anis Qureshi
    Nov 20, 2010 - 7:10AM

    This extremist ideology needs to be treated with measures which can help pakistan to get rid of it.Recommend

  • Nov 20, 2010 - 10:14AM

    @Khalid Shahzad

    Sir, I agree with you fully. Only if all of us could see the folly of our ways, instead of finding faults with others, the world would be a much better place. May God bless you.Recommend

  • Tony Khan
    Nov 20, 2010 - 10:14AM

    @G H Haidar
    “Again, the law should apply to all prophets and all religious leaders of various denomination.”

    It should apply to all religious leaders, including the founder of Ahmadiyya movement? The obvious conclusion would be that 97 percent of Pakistanis will be guilty of blasphemy as we declare the person a impostor and a liar in our national ID card application.
    The above example just shows the absurdity and illogicalness of the blasphemy law.Recommend

  • Nasir Mustafa
    Nov 20, 2010 - 10:22AM

    This law is used for personal grudges and enmities. A common Pakistani does not know how much a person suffers when he/she is implicated in such cases. Our religion teaches us to show tolerance and forgiveness but we do not bother about the teachings of the Prophet. We take lives of our own Muslim brothers how can we take care of non-Muslims. However, it is great to raise voice against such injustices and discriminations.Recommend

  • John Bosco
    Nov 20, 2010 - 11:05AM

    Thanks Naseem for writing this column. As Naseem rightly poointed that this is one of Zia’s policies. I would like to remind you that 295 B & 295 C were note included in the Pakistan Penal Code and Christians live together with their Muslims brothers before Pakistan came in 1947. There was no problem until 1986.

    It is not hidden from any one that the 295-C and such clauses were deliberately included in the constitution to achieve the political support. Pakistan’s late dictator, Gen. Mohammed Zia ul-Haq in order to maintain his Govt he created Federal Council (Majlis-e-Shura) consisting of such persons as the President may, by Order, determine. This Shura consisted of like minded people as they were selected not elected, and even if they were elected but the PPP was not included. As I stated above he needs to protect his seat thus he was on the mercy of their decisions, and the blasphemy law and other Islamic clauses included in the constitution to gratify them.

    The Pakistani Islamic Blasphemy law, Section 295/C of the Pakistan Penal Code, is vague and susceptible to abuse, but carries a mandatory death penalty, with practically no right to bail and is, therefore, inherently oppressive, unjust and unethical. It is widely abused as an instrument for terrorizing political opponents and members of religious minorities, and for settling political, sectarian and petty rivalries. This is nothing less than religious terrorism through the abuse of the state apparatus and the civil law.

    In 1986 General Zia revised it again to be more strictly in accordance with the Sharia, and finally in 1992 it was revised again when the death penalty was made mandatory under the democratically-elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

    People thought after the Gojra incident false blasphemy cases would be stopped henceforth However this is not the case as the culprit behind such pictures never punished

    I urge the honourable President,
    Prime minister of Pakistan,
    concerned official, Chief Justice of
    Pakistan & other judges to take this
    issue very seriously. Why not this
    Muslim cleric, a local clergyman who
    plot a blasphemy accusation against
    Asisa Bibi should be punished, and
    the punishment should be according
    to the law so that in future no one
    can take the law in their hands.
    How can we return Asia’s 2 years
    which she spent in the Jail?
    How can we return Zaibunnisa 14 years
    which she spent in the Jail and
    Lahhore High Court Chief Justice
    Khawaja Sharif quashed a blasphemy
    case against 60-year-old Zaibunnisa
    and ordered her release after almost
    14 years in custody. According to
    the judgment, the “treatment meted
    out to the woman was an insult to
    humanity and the government and the
    civil organisations should be
    vigilant enough to help such
    people.” Surely the Bench should
    know the plethora of abuses that
    Pakistan’s minorities have suffered
    because of an evidently flawed law.

  • Aamir
    Nov 20, 2010 - 11:29AM

    The blasphemy law is a blasphemy towards Islam itself. There is no teaching of Islam that encourages violence. While in Pakistan it is totally the opposite.

    Let me give you an example of how to ‘use the blasphemy law’. Pick someone you hate the most in Pakistan, then go to the Maulana of the local mosque, tell him that you have murdered that person because he/she used terrible words for the Prophet of Islam, you were enraged, hence you thought it was right. Not only will you get protection from the Mullah and his congregation. But all cases against you will be repealed and you will be as clean as a new born baby.

    This law is clearly barbaric and mullah of Pakistan has always used Islam specific laws to gain the upperhand. Recommend

  • maz
    Nov 20, 2010 - 11:49AM

    @ Syed
    If you feel that Muslims are being branded as terrorist how come western governments are providing all the facilities to them , its just few people those who tarnish the image .
    My dear friend Mr Syed we should have patience and tolerance in us then only we can survive as a nation other wise we all will be killing each other just to prove our point or that we are superiors.
    “Muslims respect every religion, but non-Muslims do not respect our last Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the Holy Book Quran and Islam.”
    If non-muslims do not respect how come Eurpoeans and Americans have allowed the muslims to practice the faith with full freedom and building of mosques as well .Recommend

  • Shinny Kaur, Dehli
    Nov 20, 2010 - 11:49AM

    The war on terror should include a battle with the blasphemy laws.Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh
    Nov 20, 2010 - 12:08PM

    These blasphemy laws, have created a culture of intolerance, which goes far beyond just its effects on mistreatment of minorities. In fact, this has also created a culture of intolerance in the name of religion against non practising Muslims as well. All the harassment, discrimination and abuse that we also experience, experience in the name of it being in God’s will and those perpetrating such acts argue that they are absolutely right in what they are doing and this is God’s will, we must blindly accept what they are saying or doing, without even a shred of realisation of the consequences of their actions. Even a lot of thoughts communicated by non practising Muslims such as my self are labelled as blasphemous and we are subjected to intolerable social and emotional cruelty. Recommend

  • news
    Nov 20, 2010 - 1:40PM
  • khalid
    Nov 21, 2010 - 3:18AM

    I am afraid for this Ummah and its compromise. I hope and wish that this women havent said anything to Muhammad (SAW) and is not forced as well. Otherwise i dont have any reasons to support all the people trying to prove themselves as intellectuals.. Recommend

  • Kashifa
    Nov 21, 2010 - 7:55AM

    For too long, Pakistan has treated its minorities with contempt and hatred. The presence of the infamous blasphemy laws has escalated the hatred against minorities in Pakistan. This case of Aasia Bibi is just one of the many examples of the bigotry found within the Pakistani legal system. This woman was accused of “blasphemy” simply because she spoke against the prejudice inflicted upon the Pakistani Christian community! These blasphemy laws allow many misguided Muslim extremist to get away with promoting hatred for minorities such as Christians, Ahmadis and Hindus, etc. They forget that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) made extensive treaties and established peace with people of all faiths. Hence, if we are to follow the tolerant and peaceful teachings of Islam, then we must abandon these blasphemy laws that infringe upon the rights of minorities.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Nov 21, 2010 - 4:35PM

    One purpose of any legislation is to stop people taking law in their own hands and providing a proper judicial system. If there is any problem that is with the way system is implemented. If people are using this law to set personal scores then those people shall also be tried under this law.

    Repealing a law is not a solution. And infact a very stupid idea. Just consider that everyone knows that judicial system in Pakistan is ineffective and does not provide justice to people. By same standards we should repeal all laws in Pakistan.

    You really think that people do care whether there is such law or not. Judicial process should be improved so no innocent is targetted and no one should dare to misuse the law.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Nov 21, 2010 - 4:44PM

    @ John Bosco: I agree with you but the problem is with the system judicial system and not with this law. As far as I know there are very severe punishment for abusing sharia laws for personal advantage. But I have never seen anyone being punished for using these laws for personal advantage.

    The real problem lies in our whole judicial system. Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Nov 21, 2010 - 4:50PM

    @ Shinny Kaur, Dehli:

    I once read a news (TOI) that in India a dalit family was killed. women were raped and killed and men were mutilated (i do not want to write details) and killed. indian higher courts reduced the death penalty to imprisonment.

    my pooint is you should concentrate on india rather then looking into affairs of Pakistan, China, Srilanka (Search about Indian Peace Keeping Force IPKF’s “contribution” to human rights in SriLanka).Recommend

  • Shahjahan Bhutto
    Nov 21, 2010 - 4:55PM

    And while we’re discussing this, something already happened…

    A man accused of blasphemy was shot and killed near his home in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore shortly after being granted bail by a court, according to a media report.

    What an awesome country we live in where taking law in your hands is easy and where you’re not allowed to speak what’s on your mind. I starting to feel a bit ashamed of being Pakistani…Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Nov 21, 2010 - 5:15PM

    @ Shahjahan Bhutto:

    I could not understand “And while we’re discussing this, something already happened…”.

    That incident happened on 11th Nov in Lahore. The matter was related to burning of pages of Holy Quran which in opinion of one school of thought is allowed if damaged/old pages are burned in a clean place. The other party or the accuser disagreed with this opinion.

    My opinion is that we should have a strong, unbiased and transparent judicial system in place. I do not see this happening in near future bcoz a large number of people have stakes in the current system lawyers, judges, rich, corrupt, politicians, etc. etc…. I wonder why sharia law relating to wrongfully accusation of innocents are not being implemented. There should be thorough investigation and innocents should be safegurded.Recommend

  • Khalid Shahzad
    Nov 21, 2010 - 9:24PM

    Remember, All Christians either they are un educated knows very well that Holy Bible and Holy Quran are books by the God,Then they also knows the behavior of Muslims who are so powerful and strong in every sector so they won’t like to call the death. Recommend

  • Nov 21, 2010 - 9:37PM

    I wonder why sharia law relating to wrongfully accusation of innocents are not being implemented. There should be thorough investigation and innocents should be safegurded.

    You keep talking about ‘Shariah’ and ‘thorough investigation’ at the same time. What are the standards of investigation in Shariah? What ever I have read only talks about witnesses? For example if four people accuse any one of blasphemy, the accused is guilty. Similarly if four witnesses for rape are not present, it is not rape and gina is self proved.
    So if four persons are accusing some one of blasphemy does it still require investigation, and what kind of investigation and according to which shariah?

    About dalits being killed and the sentence being reduced to life imprisonment, yes we do have a problem here and my head hangs in shame. But please notice,

    i.We do not have a law condoning murder of dalits.In fact not even have a TV personality, pronouncing ‘wajib-ul-qatl’ categories.

    ii. The accused got punished, can you name one person punished for killing a blasphemer through the years. There have been seversl such incidents, Gojra for example, including on Nov 11.

    iii.Death sentence is awarded in India in rarest of rare cases. If you care to see, even those found guilty of attack on Indian Parliament, leading to several deaths have also received sentences other than death.

    iv Since this article was about blasphemy, can we stick to that please. On dalits perhaps you can write an article and initiate another discussion.Recommend

  • Nov 22, 2010 - 2:07AM

    So basically a Mullah jumps up declares someone a heretic and off go Pakistanis lynching…. Subhanallah! May Allah Pardon us for being stupid slaves of silly peopleRecommend

  • Ahson Hasan
    Nov 22, 2010 - 7:04AM

    I’m rather pleasantly surprised reading this piece. I’ve followed the writer’s work almost for two decades now and, for the most part, strongly respect her opinion. However, not much has been expressed in the Pakistani media with respect to human rights. To my mind, human rights is perhaps not even a subject of discussion in Pakistan, especially when it comes to protection rights of religious minorities.

    Pakistanis, i.e., the so-called Muslim ( read ‘Sunni ) are a racist creed. The essence of their pride has, perhaps, its roots in the well-entrenched societal norms and an inclination to consider themselves superior to the non-Muslim ‘variety’ of the population.

    I recall witnessing the treatment meted out to the low-income, G-d forsaken millions who were massively and constantly discriminated against.

    Regardless of Islam or no Islam, protections provided by the tenets of the religion or by the law of the land, there is no escaping the fact that Pakistan is a decaying culture whereby rights of minorities is a hopelessly distorted and dead issue.

    In any event, writers like Ms. Zehra should continue their struggle again the superfluous laws that are outdated and have no place in human civilization.Recommend

  • Azad
    Nov 22, 2010 - 11:05AM

    “Time to repeal the blasphemy law”

    This article got 120 comments 99% in favor of repealing the law. Had Ms. Zerha written this article for some Urdu paper, 120,000 posts would have appeared to support the Blasphemy law. Why our liberals prefer to write in English media in Pakistan is anyone’s guess.

    I personally would support repealing the law but I know I and other 120 posters here represent minority in Pakistan and a overwhelming majority in Pakistan would support the law.
    I don’t read very many Urdu papers but the ones I read, did not even bother to run one article against the Blasphemy law.Recommend

  • Tayyab Ahmed Tahir
    Nov 22, 2010 - 1:05PM

    I am 100% agree with You. General Zia made this Ordinance only for tacking the support from Mullahs, and trying to become a Ameer ul Mominean. That Law should be erased from constitution.Recommend

  • pastor Ilyas Ch. Nawab
    Nov 22, 2010 - 9:12PM

    Thank God for Nasim zahra The writer is director current affairs, Dunya TV. thanks to her for all she wrote in favor of poor Christian community and against the blasphemy law which is taking fundamental right away of living from Pakistani minorities and responsible of making Christian helpless before our Muslims fellow country men. i can guarantee my Muslim brothers and sisters that no Christian ever dare to do this heinous act against prophet Mohammed (pbuh) because this misconception that Christian doesn’t like Islam that is total a propaganda against Christians ,only some innocent Christian people become victims of this law because they wants express their faith according to Holy Bible but most of time they failed to convey what they wanted to explain, because lac of knowledge turn against them. we are the Pakistani we love Pakistan and also we love our Muslims bothers and sisters and respect Islam as we respect Christianity. Thank God who moved at least some of Muslim hearts to raised the voice in favor of Minorities. Nasim Zahra one of the Top. Recommend

  • Anon
    Nov 23, 2010 - 11:10AM

    “…grossly undermines the Constitution of Pakistan and indeed the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, one of the most tolerant and humane law-givers humankind has known.”

    I love the blatant pandering. It’s truly pathetic how people are scared of any criticism of their beliefs. The only reason for blasphemy laws is that they are afraid of having to justify their views and argue against contradictory ones. Islam shouldn’t have to hide behind things like this.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Nov 24, 2010 - 2:04AM

    Commendable article written by NaseemZehra.This Law needs to be abolished as it has brought enough Mockery to Islam and Pakistan. Recommend

  • Nov 25, 2010 - 7:16PM

    May be all the laws in Pakistan should be repealed, because all of them have been misusedRecommend

    Nov 28, 2010 - 5:40AM

    Actually intolerance is the result of illiteracy which is getting unaffordable by the poor masses especially women.

    The way those Muslim women behaved with Aasia depicts the ignorance of our society. It demands to revise our Islamiat curriculum.We think that Islamiat is useless for our children, though we can generrate tolerant society by brining some realistic change in it. We must include the teachings of Quran and the Prophet (SAW) about the Non- Muslims especially the Belivers of Holy Books. Quran sets clear guidelines and Prophet (SAW) set an excellent example about the relationship with the Belivers of Holy Books.Quran gives respect to all humans especially Christians as well as Jews who keep faith in Allah Almighty and warns Muslims how to debate with them on common grounds.

    This kind of change will bring great result that wont even bring by the repeal or reconsideration of blasphemy laws. Unfortunately fuedal lords are the main hurdle in promoting educated society and results in caste- based society where women are deprived of their basic rights including education. Solution lies in up-rooting the fuedalism and eduating the true teachings of Quran and Hadith to our country-men.

    Uzma Barry

  • affie
    Nov 30, 2010 - 9:41PM

    Actually Nasim and most commentators don’t know the laws of Islam, otherwise they would not have just foolishly talk like that. As a matter of fact I too am not a scholar of any kind, but one thing is definite, that whatever Allah has decided it is final and clear of any doubt. So if such people don’t know the law better keep quite, but as such people are uneasy with Islam so they will try to criticize whenever they will get a chance.
    Why so much of a fuss for this Asiya, especially in this particular paper (Tribune), i don’t know which agenda this paper is promoting, everywhere in this paper you will find the word “a mother of five” just to show that this state of Pakistan has been very cruel to a mother. Her case is in the court, so if she is not guilty definitely courts will acquit her. Another amazing thing is this minorities issue, though it is very unfortunate but nowadays in this country not a single person (irrespective of whether he is a muslim or not) is safe, but the author and many like her are making issue of a convicted christian woman.
    Here in this country thousands of Muslim men, who have been picked up and so many years there is no clue where on the earth they are? don’t they have children? What happened in Lal Masjid, hundreds of innocent young girls were brutally killed.
    If you think that this particular blasphemy law can be mis-handled or misused, then every law could be. So better say good bye to all the laws, so the law of jungle will prevail. Already our jails are full of mostly innocent people who are all victims of mis-usage of various laws.Recommend

  • Lubna Hussain
    Dec 1, 2010 - 10:00AM

    This should have been done yesterday. It is time to repeal this outrageous law. Great article!Recommend

  • Khalid
    Dec 5, 2010 - 8:10PM

    Being a Pakistani Christian not take a single risk to speak out any prophet.

    But Christians are easy target. It is amazing that one Muslim what ever he is saying will acceptable, but the Christians are not guilty they made them guilty.

    Now if the court will release Asia, where shall she go???

    The Muslims never ever set her free. They will shoot her no one felling that although she is human. Now tell me is that true picture of Islam?Recommend

  • Khalid
    Dec 5, 2010 - 8:19PM

    Last year Fanish Masih 18 was persecuted and was killed in a Jail.

    In this year July to real brother was appear in Fasialabad courts was killed in courts without any trail. These 3 young Christians were facing the same blame, but the people never wait to proven their faults??? What will be Asia?Recommend

  • Dec 31, 2010 - 2:30AM

    Linking of the draconian blasphemy law to the Saudis and our mullahs, militants, army and foreign policy makes this blog a fascinating and informative read.Recommend

  • Anonymous2
    Jan 11, 2011 - 7:58AM

    The blame goes to the general public for electing such an unethical crowed and some parties over and over. Education or none, the people there are lost. Does mister 10% still takes the same rate as it was when he worked with his wife or has that increased.Recommend

  • M. Masood
    Jan 13, 2011 - 3:29PM

    Assalaamu ‘alaikum Ms. Zehra,

    I would like to ask for some clarifications when you state in your article above (espicially the term “black law”) and I quote, “A message more appropriate, perhaps, would be to repeal the black law that grossly undermines …”

    Looking forward to your comments.



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