Blasphemy

4785 words 20 pages
Table of Contents

Letter of transmittal …………..………………………………………………….pg i

Executive summary ………………………………………………………………pg ii

Introduction ………………………………………………………………………..pg 2

Blasphemy laws in Pakistan Offenses relating to religion: Pakistan Penal Code…..pg 4

Critique ……………………………………………………………………………..pg 7

Cases ………………………………………………………………………………..pg 12

Recommendations …………………………………………………………………..pg 17

Bibliography ………………………………………………………………………..pg iii

Introduction

The blasphemy laws under the Pakistan penal code were introduced around 1985 Zia ul Haq, a military dictator, to protect the rights of the Muslim majority of Pakistan. Since then, these laws have been used to terrorize the minorities of Pakistan, particularly Christians. Blasphemy laws
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Any person of the Qadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves Ahmadis or any other name), who directly or indirectly, posses himself as a Muslim, or calls, or refers to, his faith as Islam, or preaches or propagates his faith, or invites others to accept his faith, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or in any manner whatsoever outrages the religious feelings of Muslims, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.

Critique

1. At present, if an individual goes to the police and simply accuses someone of blasphemy, the police have to make an immediate arrest before an investigation. This had been noted in Ayub Masih’s case and various others relating to Christians and Ahmadis, even before any formal investigation is made. Though, the law itself does not state that a person who is accused can be arrested without proof, but people are taking advantage of this apparent loophole in the law.

2. In 1990, the Federal Shari’ at Court ruled that the penalty for blasphemy should be mandatory death sentence, with no right to reprieve or pardon. The decision of the Federal Shari’ at Court is binding but the Pakistani Government has so far failed to pass the necessary bill to amend the law. Hence the current situation is that the clause ‘or life imprisonment’ is void, even though the

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