LOOK OUT! I Committed Blasphemy in Pakistan


John R. Houk

© March 15, 2019

I have mentioned that I operate three blogs:

 

  1. SlantRight 2.0

 

  1. NeoConservative Christian Right (NCCR)

 

  1. Ubiquitous8Thoughts

 

The first is a Blogger platform. The second is a WordPress platform. And the third is an OverBlog platform (located in France under EU rules).

 

A couple of days ago I received an email from WordPress Support notifying me the government of Pakistan had contacted WordPress over one of my posts. The Support Team informed me they weren’t going to censor my blog but if I did not remove the alleged content the NCCR blog would be banned from the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

 

Here is the content of the WordPress Support email:

 

Mar 12, 19:33 UTC

 

Hello,

 

A Pakistan authority has demanded that we disable the following content on your WordPress.com site:

 

https://oneway2day.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/taqiyya-action_thumb.jpg?w=553&h=416

 

While we have not complied, due to the order it is possible that your site could at some point in the future become inaccessible for Internet visitors originating from Pakistan. Visitors from outside of Pakistan would still be able to access the site.

 

You and your readers may be interested in these suggestions on bypassing Internet restrictions.

 

For your reference, we have included a copy of the complaint below. No reply is necessary, but please let us know if you have any questions.

 

— Begin complaint —

 

Dear WordPress Team,

 

I am writing on behalf of Web Analysis Team of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) which has been designated for taking appropriate measures for regulating Internet Content in line with the prevailing laws of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

 

In lieu of above it is highlighted that few of the web pages hosted on your platform are extremely Blasphemous and are hurting the sentiments of many Muslims around Pakistan. The same has also been declared blasphemous under Pakistan Penal Code section 295- B and is in clear violation of Section 37 of Prevention of Electronic Crime Act (PECA) 2016 and Section 19 of Constitution of Pakistan.

 

Keeping above in view, It is requested to please support in removing following URL’s from your platform at earliest please.

 

The below mentioned websites can be found on following URL’s:-

 

[…]
https://oneway2day.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/taqiyya-action_thumb.jpg?w=553&h=416

[…]

 

You are requested to contribute towards maintaining peace and harmony in the world by discontinuation of hosting of these websites for viewership in Pakistan with immediate effect. We will be happy to entertain any query if deemed necessary and looking forward for your favorable response at your earliest.

 

Regards

Web Analysis Team

+92 51 9214396

 

— End complaint —

 

It looks like I will not be travelling to Pakistan anytime soon. Pakistan actually shows the legal code my “Blasphemous” content breaks.

 

So, quoting the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority:

 

Pakistan Penal Code section 295- B and is in clear violation of Section 37 of Prevention of Electronic Crime Act (PECA) 2016 and Section 19 of Constitution of Pakistan

 

I found three PDFs from Googling portions of the law I am breaking:

 

 

 

 

Of particular interest to me was from “PAKISTAN Use and abuse of the blasphemy laws,” the penalty for breaking the Blasphemy law under the heading, “2.2 Sections of the PPC amended or added during Zia-ul Haq’s Islamization drive” which is on page 7 of the PDF referencing section 295-B:

 

Several sections were inserted in the PPC in the 1980s. Section 295-B was added in 1982; it made defiling the Koran a criminal offence. It reads: “Whoever willfully [sic] defiles, damages or desecrates a copy of the Holy Koran or of an extract therefrom or uses it in any derogatory manner or for any unlawful purpose shall be punishable with imprisonment for life.” [Bold text by Blog Editor]

 

In 1980, section 298-A was inserted in the PPC, by which the use of derogatory remarks “by words, … or by imputation innuendo or insinuation, directly or indirectly” in respect of persons revered in Islam, was made a criminal offence punishable with up to three years’ imprisonment. In 1986, defiling the name of the Prophet Mohammad was made a criminal offence and the relevant section, 295-C added to the PPC (see below in detail).

 

Most alarming after examining further penalties heaped on is on page 8 of the PDF under the subheading, “2.3. The blasphemy law: Section 295-C PPC”:

 

In 1986 the penal code was amended by Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1986, which added the blasphemy law under section 295-C to the Pakistan Penal Code. It provided the death penalty or life imprisonment for the criminal offence of defiling the name of the Prophet Mohammad. It reads:

 

“295-C: Use of derogatory remarks, etc. in respect of the Holy Prophet: Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.” [Bold text by the Blog Editor]

The Court directed the government of Pakistan to effect the necessary legal changes and added, “in case this is not done by 30 April 1991 the words ‘or punishment for life’ in section 295-C, PPC, shall cease to have effect on that date”. Decisions by the Federal Shariat Court are binding on the government under Article 203-D(3) of the Constitution. The Government has the possibility to appeal against such decisions to the Shariat Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court before any directive of the Federal Shariat Court takes effect. The government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did not file an appeal against the decision making the death penalty the only punishment available for blasphemy. In July 1991, it announced that it had decided to amend section 295-C as directed by the court. A bill to that effect was placed before parliament in 1992. While the Senate, the upper house of parliament, unanimously adopted the bill in July 1992, the lower house of parliament discussed it at length but did not pass it. Opposition parties considered it to be too vague and …

 

Now that’s some Free Speech limitations for essentially speaking the truth and then receiving the death penalty. Pakistan’s law establishing all things Islam as supreme is not surprising since 97% of the population is Islam and of those 97%, a staggering amount are Sunni-Islam Muslims.

 

Considering the huge number of Muslims that undoubtedly accept Islamic principles in Pakistan’s rule of law, laws relating to Blasphemy are unsurprising. Just as Christian principles should be an influence in the rule of law in Western nations.

 

As far as I am concerned, Pakistan’s rule of law is a glaring example of why Islamic principles CANNOT BE ACCEPTED in the West as the rule of law, ESPECIALLY IN AMERICA WHICH HAS A BILL OF RIGHTS AS PART OF THE CONSTITUTION WHICH AFFIRMS CHRISTIAN CONCEPTS OF NATURAL LAW!

 

I responded to the WordPress Support thinking I would get some kind of reply affirming, rejecting or a mixed reaction my Free Speech stand:

 

Pakistan is in a sad state of Sharia censoring the citizens from Free Speech truth. I pray the WordPress powers that be and the blog platform’s legal team are more protective of Free Speech than Pakistan. On the other hand Pakistan is a sovereign nation and I suspect the Pakistan government is protecting its Muslim citizens (as you probably know Pakistan is overwhelmingly a Sunni-Islam majority nation) from getting upset. In Sharia, placing the prophet Muhammad in a bad light – even when factual – is a capital crime. A Pakistani Christian (**Asia Bibi) survived for nearly 9 years on death row accused of insulting Muhammad by implying Jesus was a greater person. After nine years and the failure of evidence from Bibi’s accuser, Bibi was released from prison nearly causing riots by the devout Muslim Pakistanis.

 

It’s sad but I can live with accommodating Pakistan’s request as pertaining to Pakistan. However, outside of Pakistan, I pray you honor Free Speech and not censor posts that are outside of Pakistan’s authority.

 

Thank you for your consideration and your work, [Blog Editor: The links related to Asia Bibi were not in the original email sent to WordPress Support. The double asterisks (“**”) near Asia’s name is to a recent link about Asia stuck in a secretive location in ill health and being refused medical attention. I want to bring attention to the plight of Asia Bibi and thus will posting her still horrendous treatment directly after my thoughts on Free Speech.]

 

No response or further action of notifications so far from WordPress.

 

I can live with my blogs being banned in a 97% Muslim nation. And I believe I will not be visiting Pakistan anytime soon … or ever.

 

JRH 3/15/19

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‘Everyone is Worried’: Asia Bibi ‘Very Unwell’ in Pakistani Safe House, Being Denied Medical Care

 

Asia Bibi

 

By Will Maule, Faithwire

03-11-2019

CBN News

 

Asia Bibi, the mother of five who spent almost a decade on death row for a crime she did not commit, is reported to be in dire physical condition as she continues to be held in a safe house in the Pakistani city of Karachi. Bibi, 53, was acquitted of blasphemy last October after the Supreme Court ruled that the accusations had no evidential basis. Since then, Bibi has been granted asylum in Canada, but as yet has not been released from her home country.

 

What Is The Latest?

 

According to a source quoted in The Daily Mail, Bibi is “very unwell” and being denied medical care while holed up in a safe house with “low blood pressure.”

 

“Everyone is very worried,” the source explained. “She won her appeal and was supposed to be out of Pakistan by now.”

 

Despite the fact that Bibi’s children are now safely in Canada, the Pakistani government has wanted to seek assurances from the embattled mother that she will not speak ill of her home country upon leaving. There is still no indication of when exactly Bibi will finally evade the clutches of the country that has caused her so much strife.

 

“Even though the government says she can leave, the army has all the power in this case,” the source added. “They are in control of her. They are fearful about getting a negative press if she speaks out about her experiences – but they will get an even worse press if she dies in protective custody.”

 

British officials recently stated that the Pakistani government has “confirmed that Asia Bibi is free to make her own decisions and to leave Pakistan,” but the realities of this case speak of a very different story indeed.

 

Many are calling on prominent church leaders, such as Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, to do more on Bibi’s behalf.

 

 

For now, Asia and her husband, Ashiq Masih, remain in Pakistan with little idea as to when they will be allowed to leave.

 

What Is The Background?

 

Bibi was initially arrested back in 2009 after supposedly entering into an argument with a group of women about a source of drinking water. The Islamist women accused Bibi of drinking from the same tap as them, to which Bibi allegedly responded, “Jesus Christ died for my sins. What did the prophet Muhammad do for you?” a remark which they believed offended their revered religious figure.

 

However, in the Supreme Court’s final judgment, it declared that the two sisters who accused Bibi “had no regard for the truth,” before adding that “the said semi-literate young sisters had a reason to level allegations against the appellant which could be untrue.”

 

The landmark judgment also noted that the prosecution’s presented evidence in the case “was nothing short of concoction incarnate.”

 

“Her conviction is set aside and she is to be relieved forthwith if not required in other charges,” said Chief Justice Saqib Nisar in the astonishingly bold ruling, as reported by The Guardian.

 

But the court’s statement went even further, implying that Bibi had been subject to clear-cut prejudice in her arrest and trial.

 

“It is ironical that in the Arabic language the appellant’s name Asia means ‘sinful,’” read the judgment written by Justice Asif Khosa, “but in the circumstances of the present case she appears to be a person, in the words of Shakespeare’s King Lear, ‘more sinned against than sinning.’”

 

The radicals, however, have remained bloodthirsty from the very day Bibi was arrested.

 

Prior to her acquittal, in Pakistan’s second-largest city of Lahore, hundreds of protesters gathered together and chanted “Hang infidel Asia.” Sickeningly, the hashtag #HangAsiaDefend295C was trending among the religious extremists on Twitter, with the “295C” referring to section 295-C of Pakistan’s penal code, which makes it a criminal offense to blaspheme against the Prophet Muhammad.

 

What Does The Blasphemy Law Actually Say?

 

According to the Penal Code itself, 295-B refers to the prohibiting of “Defiling, etc., of Holy Qur’an,” and 295-C is in reference to the “use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet.” Other violations not specific to Islam contained in Pakistan’s criminal laws include “trespassing on burial places” and “disturbing religious assembly.”

 

Those who have chosen to support Bibi’s cause have faced grave consequences. In addition to the threat against Bibi, her family and the justices involved in her acquittal, other prominent politicians have lost their lives in the pursuit of religious freedom.

 

In 2011, shortly after Bibi’s conviction, Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was brutally murdered for speaking out in support of the wrongly convicted Christian woman. Shot dead on the streets of Islamabad, his own bodyguard was found guilty of the heinous crime and, though sentenced to death himself, he has since become a cult hero with a large shrine in his honor erected on the outskirts of the capital city.

 

Just two months later, Christian politician and outspoken critic of the blasphemy laws, Shahbaz Bhatti, was also assassinated — shot dead by the Pakistani Taliban as he traveled to work.

 

Do continue to pray for Asia Bibi as she does everything in her power to flee Pakistan.

 

CBN News Related:

 

Pakistani Authorities Stopping Asia Bibi From Leaving Country, Despite Asylum Offer

 

Top Pakistani Court Upholds Acquittal, Frees Captive Christian Asia Bibi

 

‘Pray the Lord Restores Her Completely’: Asia Bibi’s Road to Recovery and How Christians Can Help

 

Report: UK’s Theresa May Personally Blocked Asia Bibi’s Asylum Request

_____________________

LOOK OUT! I Committed Blasphemy in Pakistan

John R. Houk

© March 15, 2019

___________________

‘Everyone is Worried’: Asia Bibi ‘Very Unwell’ in Pakistani Safe House, Being Denied Medical Care

 

© 2019 The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., A nonprofit 501 (c)(3) Charitable Organization.

 

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CBN News

 

Time to Remember the Forgotten Jihadist Beheader in Oklahoma Now Cleared for Execution


Prison converted Muslim Alton Nolen after asked if regretted beheading Colleen Hufford at an Oklahoma food plant:

 

“There wasn’t nothing but a trial for me. I passed it because, like I said, I felt oppressed. I knew for sure that, if I was to die right then, I was going to heaven.” He added: “I feel, you know, you know what I’m saying, if I was to die in five or 10 minutes, I’m going to heaven. That’s all that matters to me.”

 

This scum of a Muslim had his last appeal to avoid the death penalty rejected by SCOTUS on 10/1/18. Clearing the way NOT for him to go to a Muslim heaven of carnal pleasures with eternal virgin Houri hookers, but to suffer in the fires of hell where all unrepentant murderers are headed.

 

Revelation 21: 6-8 AMP:

 

And He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts I will give [water] from the fountain of the water of life without cost. [a]He who overcomes [the world by adhering faithfully to Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior] will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But as for the cowards and unbelieving and abominable [who are devoid of character and personal integrity and practice or tolerate immorality], and murderers, and sorcerers [with intoxicating drugs], and idolaters and occultists [who practice and teach false religions], and all the liars [who knowingly deceive and twist truth], their part will be in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

 

JRH 1/1/19

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Time to Remember the Forgotten Jihadist Beheader in Oklahoma Now Cleared for Execution

 

By TODD BENSMAN

December 31, 2018

Middle East Forum

(also at The Federalist)

 

THE SEPTEMBER 24, 2014 ATTACK IN OKLAHOMA IS SOMEWHAT NOTABLE IN THE ANNALS OF MANY OFFICIALLY UNCALLED TERRORIST STRIKES IN THAT HE EMULATED A FAVORITE ISIS DEATH TACTIC NO DOUBT LEARNED ONLINE. 

 

This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially cemented the execution of America’s least known Islamic terrorist. Jihadist convert Alton Nolen is now set to be put to death in Oklahoma, likely by nitrogen gas inhalation.

The Supreme Court’s October 1, 2018 rejection of Nolen’s final death penalty appeal went unremarked upon by any news media and so, partly as a result, even I missed it. But the Nolen case is very much worth remembering along with all religiously motivated attacks that occur on U.S. soil, if not just for the victims and their survivors but for lessons that can and must be learned.

 

Nolen on death row, the forehead mark from frequent praying in his Islamic faith. Photo: Oklahoma State Penitentiary 2017

 

The September 24, 2014 attack in Oklahoma is somewhat notable in the annals of many officially uncalled terrorist strikes in that he emulated a favorite ISIS death tactic no doubt learned online: he fully beheaded a co-worker – the very beloved wife, mother and grandmother Colleen Hufford – inside the Moore, Oklahoma food processing plant where they both worked. Shouting “Alluah Akbar” throughout the attack, Nolen was using the same oversized butcher knife on the neck of a second co-worker, Tracy Johnson, when the company’s chief operations officer, a reserve law enforcement officer named Mark Vaughn, burst in with an AR-15 rifle. He shot and wounded Nolen as Nolen disengaged from his second victim and charged at him with the bloody knife.

 

Such an attack must feel a particular horror to its witnesses and, when Nolen is finally put to death, one should keep in mind what Colleen Hufford must have experienced in her last moments.

Rather than to charge this attack under federal terrorism statutes and ascribe a religious motive to it, President Obama’s U.S. Department of Justice let the local district attorney charge Nolen under state murder statues (and as an assault and battery against survivor Traci Johnson). The whole disgusting affair was quickly forgotten by the rest of the nation, government and all but those involved and some locals.

But make no mistake; This was a jihadist attack on American soil, motivated by interpretations of the Quran that are commonly preached in Wahabi mosques and cited by killers across the globe.

Some have argued that earmarking attacks aggrandize and gratify the killers. There is something to be said for that. But the Nolen attack – as well as events such as the Supreme Court’s rejection of his appeal and, one day, the execution itself – warrants our full national attention and should be properly memorialized until all related matters are finally resolved, not least for any comfort doing so can still bring the victim, survivors, and witnesses. Government acknowledgement of a repetitive motivation for killings like this, and media treatment of it, can encourage the nation to comfort those who were there and help them close the emotionally important loop of knowing WHY loved ones and innocents died, who did it and for what Cause.

But calling out Islamist religious motivation for murder portends practical benefits too. It can open the throttle on investigations that identify co-conspirators and foreign connections. Public acknowledgement and remembrance can spur suspicious activity reporting from the general public, which can roll up other cocked and loaded extremists before they too kill.

Also importantly, identification of repetitive Islamist motivation for violent acts helps homeland security authorities look inward to determine if intelligence failures occurred. Homeland security professionals learn from those what not to repeat and how to fix broken processes, to reduce the chances of future law enforcement intelligence failures, which invariably lead to funeral processions.

The Obama administration decided not to involve itself in a prosecution under federal terrorism statutes, even though Nolen, a prison convert to Islam, had filled his Facebook page with hideous ISIS propaganda and openly praised the death cult’s rise to global prominence through constant blood-letting. Nolen had just been suspended after co-workers rejected his Islamist proselytizing and demands for religious accommodations at the company, Vaughan Foods. This gave those already predisposed to downplay Islamist motivations for attacks the excuse needed to suggest workplace violence and mental illness was somehow at play, instead.

Proof of Motivation Overflowed at Trial

The 2017 trial, which received only some highly localized Oklahoma TV news coverage, decisively showed this was neither mental illness nor workplace tension drove Nolen to do what he did.

Taped police interviews of Nolen and other evidence showed Nolen was motivated by Quranic scripture and the very same well-worn extremist ideology we have seen cited for attacks across the globe, to include the 9/11 attacks. Nolen has proven unrepentant.

On September 29, 2017, a jury rejected defense arguments that Nolen was insane after hearing the evidence.

Right after the attack, for instance, police asked a very calm and collected Nolen if anyone told him to behead unbelievers. He responded that the Qur’an gave him the idea. (Qur’an 47:4 states that “When you meet the unbelievers, strike their necks.) Nolen answered: “Uh, no. I read the Qur’an. Like I say, the Qur’an is easy to understand. No one guides me but Allah.”

When asked why he beheaded Hufford, he answered: “I just feel like…I did what I needed to do. What Allah says in the Qur’an to do. Oppressors don’t need to be here. You know the Muslim is somebody who submits their will to Allah…Whatever he wants done, that’s what we do…And you know he wants us to get the oppressors out of this place.”

When asked if he regretted murdering Hufford, Nolen answered: “There wasn’t nothing but a trial for me. I passed it because, like I said, I felt oppressed. I knew for sure that, if I was to die right then, I was going to heaven.” He added: “I feel, you know, you know what I’m saying, if I was to die in five or 10 minutes, I’m going to heaven. That’s all that matters to me.”

Nolen also confirmed that he screamed “Allahu akbar” as he beheaded Hufford.

Traci Johnson testified that she ran into the next room after hearing screaming and saw Nolan standing over Hufford with a bloody knife. “When I saw the defendant, I was frozen. I couldn’t move. And I saw the knife with the blood on the knife, and he made a mad dash toward me and pushed me up against the wall and held me up with his forearm against the wall and just started splicing my neck. He was just going back and forth like he was just cutting a piece of meat.”

The hero of this tragedy is Mark Vaughan, then COO of Vaughan Foods and an Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Deputy. When the call came that a knife attack was underway, Vaughan suited up with his weapon, ammo and first aid on a vest. Vaughan testified that he and another employee entered the building where the attack was underway and saw Nolen on top of Johnson. He testified that he called for Nolen to stop. Nolen jumped up, ran around a corner and charged Vaughan at full speed. Vaughan said he fired three rounds.

Nolen leaned against a wall and fell to the ground. Vaughan then held Nolen at bay until police arrived and took the suspect away.

Execution Date Unclear But Deserves Right-Of-Passage National Acknowledgement and Coverage

Although Nolen’s execution warrants national notice, no solid date was readily available. Oklahoma has been caught up in political wrangling with death penalty opponents and shut down the state’s supply of lethal injection drugs. Most of the state’s executions are awaiting a resolution over state plans to start using nitrogen gas. Earlier this year, the state announced it was working to develop a new execution protocol making nitrogen hypoxia the preferred method.

When this is all sorted out, politically and legally, Nolen’s turn will come and bring the state’s only possible final resolution to this episode so we can all properly move on. And when that resolution is at hand, I hope somehow the world finds out about it.

Todd Bensman is a Texas-based senior national security fellow for the Center for Immigration Studies. For nearly a decade, Bensman led counterterrorism-related intelligence efforts for the Texas Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division. Follow Todd Bensman on Twitter: @BensmanTodd

____________________

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We Want Justice


A member of the Pakistani Christian community holds a placard as he shouts slogans during a protest rally to condemn Sunday's suicide attack in Peshawar on a church, with others in Lahore September 23, 2013

Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws are a tool for the Sunni Muslim population to persecute Christians. The law of the land of Pakistan is actually used to persecute Christians for their beliefs. Most Pakistani Christians are highly aware of the danger they live in if they complain about Islam in earshot of any Muslim. Because of this most blasphemy accusations are fabricated as revenge or some other nefarious design by Muslims. BUT think of it – the Islamic faith’s religious texts specifically claim Jesus is not the Son of God; hence when a frustrated Christian was to embark on a moment of bravery and tell an insulting Muslim that Jesus Christ is the Saving Messiah Son of God who arose from the dead in bodily resurrection and thus Mohammed is not telling the truth – that Christian will be sentenced to death.

 

JRH 11/1/14

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We Want Justice

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 10/31/2014 10:33 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Lahore High Court – LHC judges have saved their skin and confirmed the death sentence of Asiya Bibi. Unfortunately, in [the] high profile case of Asiya Bibi, the radical groups are also tracking her case and their presences in the court have shown that they were willing to keep Asiya’s death sentence confirmed. I am just hypothesizing but I am sure that Justice Anwar ul Haq while deciding Asiya’s case at the LHC must be thinking about Salman Taseer (late) and Shahbaz Bhatti (late) and their own security.

 

Asiya Bibi was first sentenced to death in 2010, and now LHC upheld her death sentence. The mother of 5 was accused of blaspheming against [the] Prophet Mohammad following an argument with two Muslim co-workers during an incident in 2009 in one of her parent’s village.  There are dozens of these people waiting for their fate in different jails of Pakistan and many from the religious minorities were sentenced to death under 295-C PPC. The constitution of this country is:

 

 

295.

Injuring or defiling place of worship, with Intent to insult the religion of any class:

Whoever destroys, damages or defiles any place of worship, or any object held sacred by any class of persons with the intention of thereby insulting the religion of any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction damage or defilement as an insult to their religion. Shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

 

295-A.

Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting Its religion or religious beliefs:

Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the ‘religious feelings of any class of the citizens of Pakistan, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations insults the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both.

 

295-B.

Defiling, etc., of Holy Qur’an:


Whoever willfully defiles, damages or desecrates a copy of the Holy Qur’an or of an extract there from or uses it in any derogatory manner or for any unlawful purpose shall be punishable with imprisonment for life.

295-C.

Use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet:

Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.

 

Pakistani courts; under any circumstances are very strict to announce a death sentence to the accused of blasphemy from the people of religious minorities. And none of the judges from the senior court dares to remove the decision of a lower court. Likewise, we have seen with Asiya Bibi’s case, the LHC upheld her death sentence. If so, what about the section 295 A, which says, Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the ‘religious feelings of any class of the citizens of Pakistan, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations insults the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both.  [Blog Editor: Bold emphasis is mine] 

 

During the last few years, there are many incidents [that have] accrued of this kind; in Shinti Nagar, a hundred of the Holy Bibles were burnt by a mob. During the Gojra riots two churches and seven members of a family were burnt alive. Shanti Nagar, a Christian village with its churches was burnt, in Mardan, a hundred year old church with its old signs, pastor’s house and a school were turned to ashes. And in **Joseph Colony hundreds of the houses and two churches were burnt.  Alas! No one is being punished by the court. Many Muslims involved in riots were arrested and were released one after another. It is clearly seen here that JUDGES’ decisions seem biased here. When the constitution says whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of the citizen of Pakistaninsults the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished [Blog Editor: Italics added by me for emphasis]. Unfortunately the law is being imposed on minorities but the rest of majority is not punished.

 

**[Blog Editor: To make the anguish of Pakistani Christians clear, I have found a video of the aftermath of the Joseph Colony Muslim attack triggered by yet another revenge moment by a Muslim against a Christian – Sawan Masih:

 

VIDEO: Joseph Colony Christian Homes In Lahore After The Attack & Arson By Islamists

 

Published by DLX Area 1

Published: Jul 5, 2013

 

Thousands of angry protesters on Saturday set ablaze more than 100 houses of Pakistani Christians over a blasphemy row in the eastern city of Lahore, officials said.

Over 3,000 Muslim protesters turned violent over derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammed allegedly made by a young Christian, Sawan Masih, 28, three days earlier, police official Multan Khan said.

The exact number of houses in Joseph Colony, a Christian neighbourhood in Badami Bagh area, were not immediately known but police and rescue officials said they belonged to low to middle-class families from the minority community.

“Police arrested Masih, a sanitary worker, on Friday night while the incident actually happened on Wednesday evening,” Khan told AFP.

He said that the arrest was made when Masih’s barber friend Shahid Imran complained that he had made blasphemous remarks about Prophet Mohammed, adding that READ THE REST after the video]

 

Was Pakistan being made for this day? Unfortunately; [the] religious [Islamic] mind-set segment is ruling in [our] country and [they] have forgotten that this country was not partitioned from India to become a Muslim state. Primarily the founder of our nation – Muhammad Ali Jinnah – had conceived [Pakistan] as a democratic state for Muslims and all other minorities [as well], [so] they could live together in peace and harmony and can worship freely. Non-Muslims of the region have struggled for this country so that they could be forever protected and treated as equal citizens.

 

I think there is chance apex [Highest] court can overturn the death sentence of the blasphemy cases, despite pressure on judges from radical groups that are determined to see Asiya executed. In many cases, especially blasphemy cases, court decisions are influenced, either by ideology or threats, by local radical groups. In this regard, at least President Barack Obama, the Pope and other Westerners can play a positive role to convince the Pakistani government to ensure justice in blasphemy cases facing a death sentence.

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Masih

Diplomatic Correspondent, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, UN, F & S, MOST and CADD

 

Daily Khabrian – in Urdu (PakBiz.com description – in English) & Channel – 5

Human Rights Activist

 

For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

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Edited by John R. Houk

All links and text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Masih