Blasphemy case : Zardari warned not to grant pardon

Published: November 23, 2010
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Aasia Bibi’s fate hangs in the balance. PHOTO: FILE

Aasia Bibi’s fate hangs in the balance. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: In an unprecedented move, top Deobandi and Barelvi clerics joined hands to warn President Asif Ali Zardari against granting a discretionary pardon to a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy, saying that the decision may trigger adverse reaction.

“I advise him (Zardari) not to take a hasty decision under foreign pressure,” Qari Hanif Jallundari, who represents the Deobandi school of thought, told The Express Tribune by phone from Lahore. “Such a decision will lead to untoward repercussions,” he added.

Hanif’s Wafaqul Madaris Al Arabia (WMA) is an umbrella organisation which leads more than 12,000 seminaries across Pakistan, mostly in Punjab, where many people accused of blasphemy have usually lost lives at the hands of religious zealots. An organisation which wields control over Barelvi seminaries has also joined the Deobandis in a bid to change the president’s decision which, they think, he has already taken. The two sects have a long history of sharply differing with each other on almost every issue.

Sahibzada Fazl Karim, a representative of Barelvi seminaries, said his organisation would stage demonstrations across the country if someone involved in a “crime like blasphemy is granted pardon”.

“It would be too much if the woman is set free. Death is the only punishment for a person who commits blasphemy,” Sahibzada Karim told reporters in Karachi on Sunday evening.

At the heart of the controversy is a Christian woman, Aasia Bibi who was sentenced to death by a sessions court in Sheikhupura district for blasphemy – a charge vehemently denied by the woman. The November 8 judgment revived a debate on whether such ‘controversial’ laws should continue or be reviewed.

Liberals, although a minority, believe such laws were enacted by former military ruler General Ziaul Haq in the 1980s to please the religious right, should be revoked to stop their misuse.

Both Qari Hanif and Sahibzada said they had a different perspective.

“Our point of view is…clear. Misuse is insufficient a justification for abolishing any law. Many laws are misused, even the country’s constitution, which is the mother of them all. Does this mean we will have to abolish all of these laws?” Jallundari said.

He advised Zardari to let the case reach him through proper channels – to the high court, then to the Supreme Court and then to the president. “Otherwise, it will be premature… and tantamount to putting (undue) pressure on the judiciary,” Qari said.

More pressure on Zardari for clemency

Federal Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti on Monday ratcheted up the pressure on President Asif Ali Zardari to pardon Aasia Bibi, the Christian mother of five who has been sentenced to death for blasphemy.

The case began in June 2009 when Bibi was asked to fetch water while out working in the fields. Women labourers objected, saying that as a non-Muslim, she should not touch the water bowl.

Bibi was later arrested by police and prosecuted after women complained that she made derogatory remarks about the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

“According to my own investigation, it was a personal dispute and she did not commit blasphemy; she is innocent and her case is baseless,” stated Shahbaz Bhatti.

He stated that President Zardari had commissioned him to investigate the case. “I will hopefully submit my report to the president on Wednesday and recommend to him to grant pardon to Aasia Bibi.”

Also, Punjab Governor Salman Taseer on Sunday became the first senior government official to appeal to Zardari for clemency after visiting Bibi in prison.

“We have forwarded her petition to President Asif Ali Zardari and it is with him,” Taseer said. “She is poor and belongs to a minority community and should be pardoned.”

The presidency, however, informed AFP on Monday that it had received no such petition.

Meanwhile, Pope Benedict XVI last week also called for Bibi’s release. Human rights activists have expressed concern over the matter.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2010.

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Reader Comments (88)

  • Anis Qureshi
    Nov 23, 2010 - 8:59AM

    May Allah bring his azaab( Wrath) on these maulvis sooner.Recommend

  • Shakil Ahmed
    Nov 23, 2010 - 9:13AM

    To pardon the bibi shall be offer a free passage for all to make such type of blasphemy. A punishment by Judiciary must be treated as final. and In case if a Lady has to be treated such a way, so why not the Aafia treated in US courts.

    If an proposed attack or plan to attack to US army officers can result in a life time sentence so the attack on the Respect of Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him shall be treated thousands time more then of it.

    However, the fake cases shall also be controlled through a systematic way.

    Regards
    Shakil Ahmed
    Karachi.Recommend

  • Maz
    Nov 23, 2010 - 9:38AM

    What a shame!!! that is why Im ashamed to call myself Pakistani!!!where there is no law and order or jungle law.Survival of the fitest!!!! Shame on you clerics you have destroyed our country!!!Recommend

  • samina
    Nov 23, 2010 - 9:48AM

    Our Prophet did not gave death sentence to non believers. What we are doing is wrong we must remember that in this world if we cannot provide justice then God too will not provide us justice in the hereafter. so those who think that they are real muslims remember that there is life after death and you will be judged tooRecommend

  • Shahryar Ahmed
    Nov 23, 2010 - 9:51AM

    First of all this Law is not a shariah law & these people are bunch of animals.

    Thank you Zia-Ul-Haq, the real dictator.

    What I fail t understand is, during times of our Prophet, weren’t there people who wanted to kill him, we all have heard about the woman who use to throw garbage on him everyday, Didn’t he visit her to ask about her health. This simple act of tolerance & humbleness influence her to convert to a Muslim.

    Our prophet was & is a great man, a perfect human being, so why are we killing in his & his religion’s name??????Recommend

  • faraz
    Nov 23, 2010 - 10:11AM

    These are the same Deobandi and Barelwi mullahs who declare each others as heretics and wajibul qatal. Recommend

  • Reasoner
    Nov 23, 2010 - 10:20AM

    I’ve heard that an old lady used to through litter on Prophet Muhammad, how did Prophet reacted to her actions ???
    What did Budhists do when Taliban destroyed centuries old statues of Budha in Bamiyan, Afghanistan ????
    Is there any Ayat of Quran which specifically instructs us about punishment of blasphemy ???Recommend

  • Imran
    Nov 23, 2010 - 10:26AM

    Its ok, Its ok! Only IF the illiterate, poor, extreme people of Pakistan could read your cry and realize there is more to life then Hate, jealousy, and corruptionRecommend

  • Atif S Ahmad
    Nov 23, 2010 - 10:34AM

    What a shameful law – Islam does not permit murder of any human being in the name of blasphemy – A national debate should be called and everyone who present logical facts from Quran & Sunnah should be allowed to participate in it !!

    Join hands to tackle Extremism & save Pakistan before it’s declared a Taliban Mullah state Recommend

  • ann syedha
    Nov 23, 2010 - 10:51AM

    These Black laws 295 A,B and C all were injected by a ruthless dictator into 73 constitution.Since that time we the Pakistanis are facing Wrath of Allah, if these laws were so Pious and included in the constitution with good faith Pakistan would have become a Paradise but my beloved country has turned to a HELL after Zia ‘s Anti Human ,Anti ISLAMIC amendments.These cleric should think about the END of ZIA that is an eye opener to everybody who are doing favor to these so called Islamic but actually UN ISLAMIC laws ! Recommend

  • ann syedha
    Nov 23, 2010 - 10:52AM

    since 1984 these laws were in constitution and no government dared to repeal it and what we got in result DEATHS, EARTHQUAKES,FLOODS,SUICIDAL BOMBERS,HUNGER, MISERIES ,CORRUPTION and whatever named as Curse ! LET’s have these amendments REPEALED by the present government & see what happen next …… Recommend

  • Shemrez Nauman Afzal
    Nov 23, 2010 - 11:03AM

    Shame shame shame! SHAME on Deobandi school of thought and Barelvi school of thought.
    Are you more Muslim than I am? According to what yardstick or measurement?
    STOP acting like the protectors of Islam. We are all Muslims, so don’t act like you are closer to Allah than any one of us.

    Do you know what a hypocrite is called? A mushrik.
    Allah will be the judge of you in the Hereafter.
    May Allah show us all the Right Path. Aameen. Recommend

  • Masroor
    Nov 23, 2010 - 11:11AM

    If she had committed this crime she should be punished, but make sure that she did it delibrately & she is still onto it. if zardari grant her a favor on US pressure i can say this will be the last nail in his coffinRecommend

  • IZ
    Nov 23, 2010 - 11:20AM

    Once again they hold the country hostage. I would appeal to Mr Zardari to take a courageous stand against this bigotry and pardon her. Yes, it will affect his popularity. Yes, it may lead to adverse reaction. But for once, let a leader of Pakistan do what is the right thing to do without worrying about popularity.Recommend

  • Gilany
    Nov 23, 2010 - 11:34AM

    All of you given your comments, you are not known to decide anything on it. An Aalim can give decision on this. Not peoples like us who were silent on Fashion Show in Karachi on first week of Zil-Hajj. We all know our rulers of now and we all know who is giving dictation to them to release the lady. Where are the Baloch boys which wiped off since last many years. We just read news, texting messages and sleeping well.Recommend

  • Arif
    Nov 23, 2010 - 11:41AM

    @ Reasoner:

    With regard to the Sunnah, Abu Dawood (4362) narrated from ‘Ali that a Jewish woman used to insult the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and say bad things about him, so a man strangled her until she died, and the Prophet…… (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ruled that no blood money was due in this case.
    Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said in al-Saarim al-Maslool (1/162): This hadeeth is jayyidRecommend

  • Shakeel
    Nov 23, 2010 - 11:49AM

    Great to know that my countrymen/women thinking on positive/correct lines (with reference to and as far I know). I hope the woman gets the fair justice.
    @Samina- my friend I think I understood what you are trying to say, but probably the words selection has gone a bit incorrect as GOD is only known to do the justice :-) – no offense intended and hope you will react with open heart and positive mind to this comment !!Recommend

  • MAD
    Nov 23, 2010 - 12:00PM

    Yes he should grant the pardon. not only to her but nall thiose accused/ convicted of blasphemy. that would be a good first step and the next step should be to repeal the law. In fact it should be challenged in the Supreme Court. on merit it would be rejected by teh Supreme Court as well as the Federal Shariah Court sionce it has no place in law. there are no such examples of this in Shariah as well. It is totally against the spirit of Islam. I personally like to think of it as a “Satanic Law” that brings out the worst in us Muslims. Recommend

  • Karim Khan
    Nov 23, 2010 - 12:10PM

    To these so-called religious scholars, the answer regarding abolishing misued laws is “No, you don’t need to abolish laws. But you definitely and urgently need to reform them. If not, justice will be muredered each time their misuse is repeated.” Imagine your daughter being sentenced to death in a Christian country only because a bunch of Christian women spitefully create evidence of heresy against her. Similraly, Asia Bibi is someone’s daughter, someone’s wife, and someone’s mother. And besides, where exactly does Islam teach such a hateful thing as not to allow a non-Muslim touch a Muslim’s food or water? In conferences and seminars, Christian sholars and Muslims eat from the same bowl. Are they different kinds of Muslims? Recommend

  • Carol Grayson
    Nov 23, 2010 - 12:13PM

    I have a great deal of respect for the citizens of Pakistan and ask them to please consider this case carefully. This woman claims she is innocent and even if that is not so, the death penalty is too harsh. I ask all reasonably minded individuals to sign this petition set up Pakistanis and their supporters. Aasia Bibi has children and they need their mother…thank-you

    http://www.gopetition.com/petition/40649.htmlRecommend

  • David
    Nov 23, 2010 - 12:29PM

    Where does one start! The injustice of being convicted and imprisoned, never mind the death sentence for the spoken word, would command hefty compensation in the free world and rightly so.
    Pakistan and several other countries are light years away from being civilised societies. Should we allow immigrants from these places without prolonged all encompassing investigations?Recommend

  • Rehan
    Nov 23, 2010 - 12:31PM

    If she is innocent then that is something different, but if she has committed this severe crime then she can’t be pardoned off !!Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Nov 23, 2010 - 12:37PM

    We are being fed with all bread and butter provided by the West or USA and a couple of other countries, what if all of them take a position to get this Blasphemy Law removed from the constitution. No aid of any type and remove us with a collective decision from being a member of UN ????? Later declare us as a terrorist at all level with all cut off from rest of the world due to the pressure we take from our “Strategic Assets”. Mind you, we have already been declared as “Habitual Thieves and Habitual Corrupt” even our Media is also singing the same song in a very designed “Chorus”.Recommend

  • Masroor
    Nov 23, 2010 - 12:38PM

    ” Shah se barh kar shah k wafadar “Recommend

  • Babruk
    Nov 23, 2010 - 12:42PM

    have you ever heard anything positive or constructive from them?Recommend

  • Carol Grayson
    Nov 23, 2010 - 12:45PM

    There is an excellent arguement here for repealing the death sentence on Pakistan Cyberforce Website, Facebook… please take a few moments to read it…thank-you…

    Aasia Bibi deserves mercy from the Nation of Prophet Muhammad, Mercy To The World

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=737628739#!/note.php?note_id=171770272841391&id=152497481443515Recommend

  • Noor Lodi
    Nov 23, 2010 - 12:46PM

    Before its too late, Pak Army needs to cut of this cancer. They need to take out these sects, there entire leadership along with the critical mass. Unfortunately there is no other way. Cancer is spreading fast and before we know Pakistan will be finished.

    Zia-ul-Haq initiated the law. This law must be abolished immediately. There is not such thing as blasphemy law in Islam. This is complete and utter non-sense. Law is abused. Anyone can walk in and accuse the other party of this.

    My request to the sane elements of Pakistan, please stand-up to this now, before it is too late. Recommend

  • mehsud
    Nov 23, 2010 - 12:51PM

    let the case be decided in the court of law. Judges know well how to deal with the case. Ordinary people could just make comments without having proper information about the incident. Human right activists should inquire about the health of scores of Iraqis who were made disabled by the US marines and several were killed without any legal justifications and also should raise slogans to brought detainees of Cuba Jail to the the court of law.Recommend

  • Atif S Ahmad
    Nov 23, 2010 - 1:11PM

    @Rehan : What do you mean if she is innocent that is something different – Lets PUT you behind the bars for an year an half and then claim it was a mistake – Mullahs commit blasphemy on daily basis by cursing and disrespecting others religious beliefs – They are/were never charged for BLASPHEMY , WHY ?!?1?

    I believe that all those who misused 295 in any form against Ahmadis, Christians, Shias etc should be severely punished and the laws should be repealed right away !!Recommend

  • Nov 23, 2010 - 1:15PM

    The whole country is lives on the whims of a few extremists who rather than exercising the right to protest peacefully, threaten the state with adverse repercussions. No wonder they get away with everything. Recommend

  • M M Malik
    Nov 23, 2010 - 1:20PM

    An illiterate, poverty stricken Christian mother of five from the backwaters of Punjab has pitched against her the top Deobandi and Barelvi clerics. The ancestors of these clerics once fought the mighty Christian knights during the crusades and ultimately defeated them. The present day clerics have chosen this poor woman for their saber rattling on the pretext that she has uttered some remarks against our Holy Prophet (saw).
    The Holy Prophet is the pinnacle of God’s creations and a few words from an illiterate, non-Muslim woman spoken in the heat of the moment cannot from any imagination sully or tarnish the high station of the Holy Prophet (saw).
    The Holy Prophet (saw) in his life time was exposed to vile slander and physical torment, but he never sentenced the wrong doers to death, on the contrary he was kind and benevolent towards them.
    Defending the blasphemy laws on the notion that blasphemy irks and provokes the emotions of Muslims is un-Islamic. Islam means submission to God, complete submission which will include emotions and irrational behavior. Controlling emotions and anger is jihad.Recommend

  • Advocate Habib
    Nov 23, 2010 - 1:21PM

    I think the appeal should go to high court and the gov must help her get a good lawyer. If she is innocent that i am 100% sure she will get acquit. If she is pardoned and sent abroad than we have lots of ppl here who will want to expliot this loop hole.Recommend

  • Nov 23, 2010 - 1:38PM

    There is no moral or religious justification for killing someone. What happened to innocent till proven guilty? Oh wait, that’s right, the women accusing her are MUSLIM and thus pious uprighteous women that wouldn’t lie. Hah!Recommend

  • Nisar
    Nov 23, 2010 - 1:44PM

    we all as a nation react first and think laterRecommend

  • maestro
    Nov 23, 2010 - 1:45PM

    Put all “mullahs” in a ship and sink it – this is what Kamal Ataturk did in Turkey. No Islam teaches murder for “blasphemy”. The Quaid’s Pakistan promised EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL! This is our Pakistan not you Taliban Neanderthals!! Go live in Saudia if you love your warped vision of a great religion so much! Islam has been tainted with violence by these uneducated jahils who cannot name one surah. Recommend

  • Pakistan One
    Nov 23, 2010 - 1:54PM

    Let there be another trial. I know many people (read illiterates) specially in Interior Sindh and Pubjab tend to mis-use the law. I know of incidents where the barelvis accuse the Ahle Hadees of blasphemy and threat the police to register them for blasphemy or else they will thrash them.

    I cannot comment any further without having thorough knowledge of the case and I advise all commentators to abstain from reaching conclusions without knowing the facts.Recommend

  • Waheed Yousuf
    Nov 23, 2010 - 2:02PM

    Asia Bibi should be treated with justice and if she is innocent, she must be freed. There is need of tollerance and understanding in society for all faiths and nobody should make remarks against any faith leader, including Hazrat Muhammad (SAW). Recommend

  • Faisal Amjad
    Nov 23, 2010 - 2:20PM

    to hell with them – please mr zardari do somethimng good for once and pardonRecommend

  • Rehan
    Nov 23, 2010 - 2:56PM

    @Atif S Ahmad
    Open your eyes and read again, you will get what I mean..if still not then let me tell you again..
    “what it means is if she is innocent then she should be out of the bars as soon as possible as no one has the right to put her behind the bars BUT if she has committed the said crime then she deserves the treatment accordingly !!! “Recommend

  • Ali Khan
    Nov 23, 2010 - 2:58PM

    I am surprised that the vedict was announced by the court but majority of the participants on this forum are cvursing Islam and Mullahs. If the woman has any reservation against the high vourt vedrict then she has the right of appeal in the supreme court.
    Now-a-days it has become a fasion to accuse Islam and Muslims for every wrong whether committed by a mullas or a common Muslim. Recommend

  • Qadir(murtad)
    Nov 23, 2010 - 3:55PM

    Shame on pakistan. This is utterly disgusting. What if a Pakistani muslim gets hanged in some other country just because he is a muslim ? Will they take it lightly ?Recommend

  • Atif S Ahmad
    Nov 23, 2010 - 4:01PM

    @Rehan Thankyou so much for documenting that , but my friend the real issue is the procedure and terms of the law -Blasphemy law 295C added to the constitution in the 80’s and death penalty for the same in 90’s ? Everything was perfectly fine before that, why was a need felt after 40 years of Independence ? BTW Pakistan promised equal rights for ALL – Have you ever heard of ANY MULLAH sent behind the bars for cursing Shia’s, Bahi’s, Ahmadis, Ismaelis, Christians or Jews ???

    @Ali Khan – No one cursed Mullahs without a reason – Mullahs are the root cause of terrorism and extremism in our society – The case against the lady was registered by the MULLAH of the local Masjid who is not even an eye witness Recommend

  • Usman
    Nov 23, 2010 - 4:19PM

    Its a shame. A real,big shame. Mixing religion in the state’s affairs has messed up our country.Recommend

  • gul
    Nov 23, 2010 - 6:56PM

    @anis qureshi… Dear we hate mulvis because our faith is on such a point…. I’ve got nthng to do with mokvis or others. But sorry to all those who fevours her becausr i’m not so called moderate enough to favour her at any cost.. V muslims r weak and couldn’t stop those who made fun of our beloved prophete calling it freedom of expression. But i was not aware that we can’t even take any action against enemies of islam in our own country. We deserve azaab.Recommend

  • Liam
    Nov 23, 2010 - 7:03PM

    None of the above user except one discuss that she’s guilty or not. what you guys are discussing is the law.
    What if she intentionally done that? Should we forgive him?Recommend

  • hm
    Nov 23, 2010 - 8:06PM

    One can always count on the Barelvi and Deobandi clerics to take the unrelenting inhumane approach. THEY bring so much shame to Rasul Allah’s legacy, THEY should be charged with blasphemy. LET AASIA GO!Recommend

  • CCC
    Nov 23, 2010 - 8:14PM

    Those who think if she is guilty of blasphemy she must be executed they can join the ranks of Taliban and relocate to those mountains because that is the barbaric version of religion that is being practised by the terrorists. That is also the 13th century.

    Those who think regardless of whether she is guilty or not, she should be free, welcome to civilization and democracy of the 21st century.

    You choose where you want to be.

    Going by past history, regardless of what the final decision is, her life is in serious jeopardy. I suggest she do a Zulqarnain and go to England to save her life.Recommend

  • Danish S.
    Nov 23, 2010 - 9:13PM

    You know we adopted blasphemy law from Christianity? Most of all the christian nations have gotten rid of this law but now the Islamic states have embraced it wholeheartedly. The reason I’m bringing this notion is simple. In Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) life there were so many recorded incidents when people insulted him to his face and yet he pardoned them. Even esteemed sahaba Umer on couple occasions wanted to kill those perpetrators but the Prophet advised him not to as they were ignorant. There’s not even one incident in the history of Islam that shows that sahaba’s punished someone by taking his/her life for blaspheming. So if the Prophet and his sahabas, who were the actual champions and leaders of Islam tolerated and pardoned such behavior then who in the world are we to uphold such a ruthless law which did not even originate in our religion??
    Not just religiously, humanistically it is ridiculous to kill someone for having a different set of opinions than yoursRecommend

  • Aisha
    Nov 23, 2010 - 9:35PM

    I wonder how much we know about Islam and we are making fatwas on an Islamic issue. At the time of Prophet(may Allah’s peace be upon him) people who cursed or bad mouthed Prophet (pbuh) were executed. No matter if it was a he or a she,poor or rich,or a non-muslim. Are we going to do according to islam or according to others. if we take decisions on islam from sources other than islam then we are not actually following islam and we are not actually muslims. we should refer this case to Quran and Sunnah.
    and this is a very serious issue. if we dont deal this issue in the light of Islam then i am 100% positive that Allah’s Wrath is going to befall us. so people if you dont know about the seriousness of this issue,go and learn Islam and fear Allah. baecause the status of Prophet(pbuh)is far higher than we can comprehend.Recommend

  • Danish S.
    Nov 23, 2010 - 9:54PM

    @Aisha!
    You’re kidding me right? Don’t you remember the incident of Taa’f? Or the lady who use to throw rubbish on the prophet? Did the Prophet have them executed? After the incident at Taa’f where the people threw rocks at him so much so that his shoes were filled with blood, the ANGELS, not your maulvis or courts but the ANGELS asked his permission to destroy them all and what did the Prophet say in return? NO! he forgave them and made dua for those people. Now, here we are the morally corrupt in all sense of the word upholding the religion by actually disobeying the Prophet! So being muslims, isn’t disobeying the teachings of Prophet and Quran a bigger blasphemy? Bravo to us!Recommend

  • Anjum Hameed
    Nov 23, 2010 - 10:07PM

    To all Deobandis and Barelvis and other mullahs….you are living in the year 2010, in the 21st century..if your blood aches for executions, then either migrate to Saudi Arabia, or invent a time machine and go back to the 7th century and get your fill of blood lust…but be beware…you will find a kind and loving Prophet, very different from you… Recommend

  • Insaaf
    Nov 23, 2010 - 10:28PM

    A christian or a Hindu is as sure about their religion as the true religion as ours. So suppose Muslim gets a death penalty in India for saying something bad about Ganesh or Ram.. how would you feel.. Recommend

  • maestro
    Nov 23, 2010 - 11:45PM

    The Rasool (PBUH) took garbage on his body from a “non-believer” and forgave her. This is the legacy of our Hazoor (PBUH) that everyone in the muslim world seems to have forgotten. Recommend

  • Sal
    Nov 24, 2010 - 12:11AM

    Aisha, people with your mindset should be sent back to the stone age. You are an embarrassment to Islam and our country. Incidents like these and ideas like yours portray double standards in Islam. How in this holy world can we claim to be a tolerant and peaceful religion when we act otherwise.

    Please open up your mind people for once. Think before you make such an unintelligent statement. Where in Quran or the teachings does it mention about execution for blasphemy? Its everyone’s right to say what they want, as we Muslims can and do about other religions. You can argue and make an effort in correcting the other person, but you cannot threaten or instill fear in someone to get respect for something. That has and will never achieve anything.

    We need to stand up against these mindless mullahs and throw them in jail for any threatening statements. Recommend

  • Usman
    Nov 24, 2010 - 12:18AM

    @ Aisha. Can you provide any evidence for your claim please? because if you cant then you have given a false statement regarding the Prophet (pbuh), and according to the Islamic Law you so kindly shared with us all, you also need to be beheaded, and the person who does that will go straight to heaven. no stops on the way…Recommend

  • Akifa
    Nov 24, 2010 - 12:29AM

    Disgusting. Shameful. If we murder a Christian woman in this way we are announcing that Pakistanis are ignorant, barbaric, bigots. This is intolerable and all of you in the comments who think it’s ok to do this need to dig deeper into your religion to understand that Allah is Ya-Rahim. Recommend

  • Nov 24, 2010 - 1:19AM

    Every time these Mullahs open their mouths for blood they blaspheme against Allah swt and the ways of the Last Prophet pbuh, in fact so much they have done to hold back Muslims and defame Islam for the sake of power – are they not out of the fold of Islam? When are we Muslims going to awake to this evil? We will be held responsible when we saw injustice and refused to condemn it and refused to protect the weak

    Mohammed Abbasi
    Association of British MuslimsRecommend

  • Akif
    Nov 24, 2010 - 2:58AM

    There are so many things that can be said about this issue. Some readers have pointed out the strong element of forgiveness in Islam including the various depictions of this act in life of the Prophet (PBUH). Not just the kindness in asking about the health of the woman who threw garbage on him on a daily basis but also the total forgiveness of all Makkans who had fought against Muslims for so many years including Hind – the woman whose slave Habashi had martyred Amir Hamza, the Prophet’s dearest uncle and companion in the Battle of Ohad. She was forgiven but only asked not to show her face to the Prophet. This and the well known verse of the Qur’an “There is no compulsion in Islam” (2:256) as well as the total and unconditional amnesty on the Conquest of Makkah (in the words of the Quran appearing in Surah Yusuf There is no retribution Today).

    Apostasy (Arabic: ارتداد, irtidād can only be committed by a person who was follower of Islam. Throughout history Muslim scholars have differed on the earthly punishment for apostasy, ranging from death to no punishment at all. It is said that the advocates of the harsh penalty for apostates only attempted to silence people from speaking out against Islam. The four major Sunni schools of Islamic jurisprudence (Madh’hab) differentiate between harmful apostasy and harmless apostasy and the issue of repentance.

    Many “progressive” contemporary scholars oppose any penalty for apostasy; these include Gamal Al-Banna (brother of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood), Javed Ahmad Ghamidi (now in exile from Pakistan due to death threats against him) and Shi’a Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri.

    The well known Zakir Naik has stated that any Muslim is free to convert out of Islam if the person so chooses, but adds that if a Muslim converts then speaks against Islam then that is considered as treason which is generally punishable by death.

    As for the crime of blasphemy in Pakistan it is proven that there were only 7 cases in the 50 year period from `1927 til 1986 when this was taken out from secular laws and made into a separate hudood law. Of the nearly 3000 cases since then almost 50% are in the Punjab’s seven districts where a majority of Pakistani Christians live. Pakistani criminal justice being proverbially deficient and corrupt, this kind of negative publicity is the last thing we need. Aasia Bibi’s assertion that she was framed must be considered and she be let out.Recommend

  • maestro
    Nov 24, 2010 - 3:29AM

    @Aisha – go back and read the Quran again with comprehension. Shame on you. Every “muslim” these days bad mouths anyone of other religions – should they all be killed. Islam is not about killing – its about peace and a decent society – NO ONE has the right to pass judgement on others because there is only one judge that we will all face – GOD. Recommend

  • Ahmed Khan
    Nov 24, 2010 - 4:28AM

    How come the media started focusing on the blasphemy law and not looking at the corruption which is scoring at a geometric rate!!

    @ Danish:
    Do you think you know Islam more than the ulema..quoting an incident out of context doesn’t make the right wrong or the opposite..Do you know about Muaaz (R) who killed the Prophet (SAW)’s uncle who used to bad mouth about him.(Abu Jahal)Recommend

  • Muslim Guy
    Nov 24, 2010 - 4:49AM

    Where were these deo bandi and barelvi sects when Salman Rushdie wrote the book and blasphemed?

    Not even one of them had the guts to give a fatwa, becos they were scared of the consequences.

    Basically, they are a bunch of Munafiqeen(Hypocrites) who are ready to oppress the oppress-able for their local publicity.

    If they are so clean and islamic, they should know one thing, Allah will judge them accordingly and then there will be no going back.Recommend

  • Arif
    Nov 24, 2010 - 6:25AM

    Pakistan, Please satisfy Mullah who are the Aleem of Aiyame Zaheliayat and who have become your both Spiritual and Worldly Leader. This Mulla has left all the basic teachings, rule of Islam.Recommend

  • Danish S.
    Nov 24, 2010 - 11:17AM

    @Ahmed Khan
    Our biggest problem is we follow the ‘so called’ ullema more than learning and understanding the dean ourselves. Prophet at his death bed didn’t say I’m leaving ullema for you, he said I’m leaving Quran and Sunnah for YOU (not only for the ullema) so you don’t go astray. Recommend

  • Liam
    Nov 24, 2010 - 11:20AM

    @Danish..
    What you’re talking about is Rasoll-ullah SAW forgiveness, this has nothing to do with blasphemy act we’re discussing. what my sister Aisha talking about is different.
    At least read the comments carefully before replying.

    This is a serious issue.
    May Allah SWT guide us. AameenRecommend

  • Liam
    Nov 24, 2010 - 11:24AM

    @MuslimGuy.
    What about you? do you think you’re pure Muslim? do you think you know Quran more than the ones you’re abusing? Do you know what Quran told about the actual Munafiqeen.
    Go and read Quran with translation of Muslims.Recommend

  • nan
    Nov 24, 2010 - 12:43PM

    I am sorry to say this.. But from a lot of these posts, I believe Pakistan is seriously filled with fanatics. There seems to be no room for free thinking. Is our faith so weak that a random woman’s comments will affect it? Why are you people so hate filled that you want some one dead for something based on belief? This is exactly why Pakistan is going down the drain. Recommend

  • MAD
    Nov 24, 2010 - 12:54PM

    @nan

    The majority of the country is illeterate which is why our people end up following the local political and religuious leaders. There word is law as fara s they’re concerned. They will lie if told to do so. thats how these cases come about. ALso the judge who convicted the poor women was probably pressurized to do so as an aquittal may have meant a death sentence. yes this is the way things work here and this is why a large part of the countrry is the way it is. we do not progress because we refuse to do so and those in power want it that way because thats how they retain power.Recommend

  • Rehan
    Nov 24, 2010 - 1:09PM

    Top Deobandi and Barelvi clerics joined hands to warn President Asif Ali Zardari against granting a discretionary pardon to a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy, saying that the decision may trigger adverse reaction.

    How sad! They are willing to punish an innnocent just cuz she from a different faith not seeing the underlying principle of humanity that is the base for all the religions and faiths.

    Its high time Pakistan got rid of these Islamic Fundamentalists who severely lack even the tiniest bit of tolerance towards people belonging to a different faith.

    As if making her a Social Outcaste was not enough, that now they crave for her Blood!Recommend

  • Disco Molvi
    Nov 24, 2010 - 1:33PM

    @ Aisha, Ahmed Khan & Liam:

    Maybe its you who need to read and understand the Qur’an yourselves rather than relying on someone else (read Ulema) to do it for you.

    Do you know that when Abdullah ibn Ubayy made slanderous remarks against the character of Hazrat Aisha(R.A)in order to bring a bad name to the honour of Prophet Muhammad(PBUH)’s family.(The incident of Al-Ifk as described in Surah An-Nur)

    This reached the ears of Prophet(PBUH) and his companions wanted to kill Abdullah ibn Ubayy but Prophet(PBUH) prevented them from doing so.

    When Abdullah ibn Ubayy was on his death bed, his
    son Abdullah ibn Abdullah approached Prophet(PBUH) to pray for his father, Prophet(PBUH) not only accepted the request but also gave his own shawl to Abdullah ibn Abdullah for his father to be buried in.

    Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) DID NOT declared him to be Wajib ul Qatl!

    And yes I’m more knowledgeable than these Ulemas. Furthermore, Islam is a direct relationship between Allah and His believer, without the need or requirement of the Ulemas/ Alims to act as middlemen.Recommend

  • Aamir
    Nov 24, 2010 - 1:44PM

    Mark my words, this nation will be doomed in the name of Islam. Pakistan has distorted religion to the very edge, no wonder Allah’s wrath is upon you all. The Mullah is the main culprit and Pakistani’s ignorance the other culprit.

    Wake up Pakistan before its too lateRecommend

  • Educated
    Nov 24, 2010 - 1:57PM

    The biggest problem here are the Molvees. They have completely changed the real peace loving message of Islam. They get little bit of education from these madarsaas and they think they are GOD. They even dont know the meanings what they learn in these madarsaas. Do they don’t understand from simple Hadeeth of Prophet(PBUH) what used to happen with him. What the kufaar did to him and he responded with love only. Some thing seriously should be done with these so called Molvees(Mullas), they are destroying the image of Islam and Pakistan.Recommend

  • Klues
    Nov 24, 2010 - 2:42PM

    All closet seculars and Islam bashers why dont you create your own identity if you dont like the rulings of Ahl-e-Sunnat wul Jammat.

    You can start by Exegesis of Quran from your point of view. Set up Hadees science given if you still believe in it. Set up your own opinion on rulings and issues. Give yourself an alternate system if this current Islam you dont like or see it as distorted by Mullah conspiracy theory.

    No one is putting a sword on your head to follow this 1400 year old teachings, so why bother us with your one sided comments. Recommend

  • nan
    Nov 24, 2010 - 9:21PM

    May I say , think for a moment what is humane instead of quoting the Quran and life of prophet. Am I going to be hanged for saying this?

    Pakistan is one of the most unjust and unequal societies in the world. And the worst part is you are proud of it.Recommend

  • Raja Arsalan
    Nov 24, 2010 - 11:42PM

    Deobandi or Brelvi, they are united for keeping the society is the dark. 295-C is symbol of theocratic state for which every clergyman is fighting for. Every tool is being used to ensure that Pakistan does not turns into a “monster”, that is the secular state.Recommend

  • zubair torwali
    Nov 25, 2010 - 12:15AM

    What a dichotomy!!! On the one hand we claim that Islam is the best religion; and the truest of all but on the other we are out to kill those who think otherwise. If Islam is the best; and its protection is promised by Allah then why we react so fiercely against any event which is said to be against our religion. Is it not a negation of your belief that you think Islam is divinely protected and nobody can harm it. In fact those who advoccate killing of people of other faiths on the basis of rumours; probably village feuds commit blasphemy against Islam. They in heart regard their religion in danger of extinction. Their faith is also very weak as they regard individuals could diminish Islam.
    In Asia’s case there is room for doubts; and shame on the ignorant Mullahs who cannot give benefit to the doubt. How dare they say so firmly that the person should not be deemed of pardon? Did they witness the incident themselves? Were they there when Aisa supposedly abused our Prophet (pbuh)? I wonder where has that critical approach gone which analysed the traditions so eagerly.
    These Mullahs might have read the Ahaadith Books by the great traditionalists such as Imam Bukhari etc. In their view these great people would be guilty of blasphemy who has so boldly narrated the family matters of the Prophet (pbuh). Actually it is Muslims who are in danger mainly due to their own follies rather than Islam; and the general psyche of the disgraced Muslims is represented by the sick Mullahs. They see themselves, their vested interest in danger hence spew the wrath on ther Muslims and non-Muslims.
    Given the current circustances, we are in despair that Muslim can ever make any progress. To free the common people from the Mullahs we have to expose their ignorance for their knowledge is just our ignorance.Recommend

  • Awais
    Nov 25, 2010 - 2:31AM

    I think Zardari must allowed the legal course to take its due course before taking any decision Recommend

  • Meera Jamal
    Nov 25, 2010 - 6:08AM

    When americans persecute arabs or pakistanis we say that they are anti-islamic. what in the world are these people doing in Pakistan. Isn’T it anti-Chrishtian? We need to respect human beings, their personal choices and beliefs. Nothing else is more important than thisRecommend

  • Anwar Hasan
    Nov 25, 2010 - 11:06AM

    Will these Maulvis come on TV and show their faces, so we know who they are.Recommend

  • kashif
    Nov 25, 2010 - 11:22AM

    @all dudes:
    why you silence over killing of innocent people in drone attacks.Recommend

  • Noor Lodi
    Nov 25, 2010 - 12:18PM

    The people who are preaching this twisted version of Islam that condones violence in the name of religion, is the cancer. There is no other way to deal with cancer but to cut it off. The sooner we deal with this, the better the chances of survival.

    There is only one institution in Pak that can effectively deal with it and that is Pak Army. It needs to put together a marshal plan to identify the leaders of this cancer, there tier won workers, freeze the country and remove them from society.

    Short of that, we will loose this country to extremist element. This is a country with 100+ nukes. West and East will not sit and watch these nukes getting in the hands of these twisted people.

    I appeal to the General Kiyani and the president of Pakistan to get rid of this menace as priority number one. We cannot wait any longer. This cancer has to be dealt with.

    Sane people of Pak, which is large majority needs to support the government and Army in this operation. Great many people can die and will die as a consequence of this operation but unfortunately there is no other way to deal with this.

    On the heals of this execution, Pakistan needs to revamp the entire Islamic education system to reflect the moderate nature of our religion. Recommend

  • kashif
    Nov 25, 2010 - 3:14PM

    what is extremism ?Recommend

  • Raja Arsalan
    Nov 25, 2010 - 8:06PM

    To Kashif:
    If terrorists, both locals and foreigners, are provided safe havens in FATA, you forget sovereignty. If they are killed in drone attacks you are saying they are innocent. How?
    The women killed in these strikes mostly are the wives of terrorists while the children their product. Remaining dead females are the relatives of those who are providing shelter.
    They are not innocent. Recommend

  • Nov 25, 2010 - 8:56PM

    @Danish S., Right on.

    Seems to me that these Deobandi and Barelvis leaders, when they are not condoning killing of each other for silly reasons, are united over death of the utter helpless in the society. Death seems to define the personal character of these contemporary mullahs. May Allah have mercy on their followers.

    When was the last time these people spoke about the rights of the minorities in a Muslim country who are not involved in blasphemy?Recommend

  • Nov 25, 2010 - 9:30PM

    May Allah have his eternal curse on the multitudes of problems for the Pakistani nation including the blasphemy law.Recommend

  • kashif
    Nov 26, 2010 - 12:24AM

    @Raja Arsalan: prove they are terrorists and prove asia is innocent… Recommend

  • Nov 26, 2010 - 10:26AM

    If the only reasons for amendment is misuse of this law then no doubt that these cases must be investigated but why touches law?

    Is it the only law which is being misuse? If not and surely not, then why not change all laws which are surely being misused by majority and make them inactive?

    Recommend

  • Maggie Bockmann
    Nov 26, 2010 - 5:52PM

    I read this article with tears in my eyes for so many reasons.

    First of all, I am so touched by the high level of discourse that Pakistanis on this site maintain, even while disagreeing with one another.

    I see this over and over in different articles here. I am developing a deep respect for the Pakistani people and for Islam because of this. Thank you for educating this very ignorant American about your country and your faith.

    Secondly, as a Christian, I am deeply saddened that a Christian, if the accusations are correct, would have such a shallow understanding of her faith as to disrespect the Prophet, peace be upon him.

    While praying that clemency can be found for her, much more I pray that her faith may deepen, and that she may face death, if need be, in the same spirit of patient forgiveness as did the blessed Christ, whose name she has taken, who instructed us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Who is sufficient for these things? I pray for her!

    “Surely the patient will be paid their wages in full without reckoning.” [39:10]

    In this way her death, not that I wish for it, could prove redemptive and healing to those of both of our faiths whom she leaves behind. This would not prove the superiority of Christianity over Islam, but would demonstrate what is deeply foundational in both faiths, I believe.

    Please forgive and correct my abysmal ignorance, but did not the Prophet say:

    “That man is nearest to God, who pardoneth, when he had in his power him who would have injured him.”

    Those words represent the highest sentiments of Christianity as well, surely.

    May God forgive us Christians, who have not lived by this wisdom and yet require it of others, and may God heal our world.

    I’ll close with a quote I read on Facebook today:

    “If only man would talk more with his fellow beings. Our Creator made us with a state of being inclining towards good / piety, known as fitrah. This is in everybody male female black White yellow brown. It has a positive effect of attracting mankind to each other.”
    –Zafar JahangirRecommend

  • Raja Arsalan
    Nov 27, 2010 - 5:46PM

    Kashif: If you are not accepting even today that they are the terrorists, there is some real problem, which is to negate the truth. Taliban are not terrorists! This is just disgusting. They claim the responsibility for every attack and want to conquer the whole world to impose their lifestyle, but they not terrorists!!!!
    They do not believe in nation state system but still they are most patriotic persons on the globe!!!
    They are recruiting the youngsters from around the Pakistan but still they not terrorists!!!
    Their leaders, even their “political version” openly say they desire creation of a Caliphate but still they are not terrorists!!!!
    Yes they are not terrorists but only for those who want to bring back 8th century back.
    By the way, why should you not prove that they are not terrorists? Recommend

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