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Thread: How to commit blasphemy in Pakistan

  1. #1
    Toppa_Toppa
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    How to commit blasphemy in Pakistan

    The country's blasphemy law is overwhelmingly being used to persecute religious minorities and settle personal vendettas. As the case of 14-year-old Christian Rimsha Masih gains global attention, why have politicians failed to act?

    How to commit blasphemy in Pakistan

    A young girl carrying trash in a plastic bag in a slum in the capital of Pakistan is not likely to arouse much curiosity. Not unless the girl is a Christian. Not unless there is a Muslim boy who wants to inspect the contents of her bag. Then this certain young man, Hammad, takes the trash bag to the local mosque to show it to the imam, Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti (also known as Maulana Jadoon), who decides that the contents of the bag are, indeed, blasphemous but wonders if they are blasphemous enough. So he inserts some pages of the Qur'an in the trash bag. What the girl was carrying was a book of alphabets, taught to children, may or may not have had a verse from the Qur'an in it. Reproducing an image of the contents of this trash bag would be blasphemous, so we are never likely to know. We discover the imam's role in sexing up the blasphemous contents two weeks later when one of the imam's deputies cracks up. By then Rimsha has been arrested, refused bail, sent to jail and a medical board constituted to ascertain her age and mental health. We are still not sure if she is 11 or 14, we don't know if she has Down's Syndrome as was originally claimed. In the initial days of the case, human-rights workers pinned their hopes on Rimsha's mental condition. As if those who demanded her arrest, those who arrested her, those who denied her bail and put her in jail were all mentally "normal". Her family has gone into hiding; another 300 Christian families have been forced to leave their homes and are struggling to find shelter in one of the Islamabad forests.

    So what can constitute blasphemy under the blasphemy law, which has killed dozens in the past decade, made thousands homeless and millions live in permanent fear about what might be found in their trashcan. It's up to the lawyers to argue over how to avoid: "Whoever by words, either spoken or written or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles …" but here are some of the everyday situations that can turn you into a blasphemer:

    1. Transporting ashes in a plastic bag to a rubbish dump, as has happened in Masih's case.

    2. Discussing conjugal rights according to Islam with fellow Muslims if you disagree with them. You might think you are with a fellow Muslim, around a water pump and relatively safe. That is what a schoolteacher in Chakwal thought. And got into an argument. He has been in jail for the past 10 months. His 14-year-old daughter told the daily newspaper Dawn last week that kids won't talk to her because her father is a blasphemer.

    3. Not minding your spellings. Last year a teacher checking exam papers called in the police after he found blasphemous material in an answer sheet. The police wouldn't reveal the exact material because that, you know, would be blasphemous. Later it transpired that it was a case of bad spelling.

    4. Writing a novel called Blasphemy. Last year there were calls to put an author on trial because she had been disrespectful to religious scholars and spiritual saints. Last I heard she was fine but not writing any more novels with any other name.

    5. Writing a children's poem with a lion as its central character. Pakistan's most famous social activist, Akhtar Hameed Khan, who spent his life helping people in Asia's largest slum, tried his hand at a poem like that and spent his last years in courts facing blasphemy charges.

    6. Refusing someone a drink of water. Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, who among other blasphemous things (which can't be repeated for reasons by now obvious to the readers of this article) refused her co-workers a drink of water. The local imam accused her of blasphemy. The then governor, Salman Taseer, came out in her support, talked about changing the law, and was killed by his own police bodyguard. The policeman's picture adorns many shops and businesses in Pakistan. Taseer's name has become synonymous with "going too far". And nobody, really nobody, wants to mention Bibi's name in a discussion about blasphemy law.

    7. Throwing away a visiting card. A doctor in Hyderabad did that to a pestering pharmaceutical salesman and found himself in serious trouble. The salesman had Muhammad as part of his name.

    Before the current law came into existence, in 60 years there were six reported cases of blasphemy. Since the current law was constituted there have been more than four thousand. But the law has such power that even pleading the statistics is considered blasphemous. When Governor Taseer challenged it, they killed him, and then many of the same Islamic scholars refused to say his funeral prayers.

    People listen to religious scholars.

    "If she is innocent, she should be released," thundered a dozen maulanas on TV screens after Rimsha was arrested. "And if she is guilty, the law must take its course." They completely ignored the fact that an illiterate child is not likely to even know what constitutes blasphemy. And the law they want to be implemented has led to a situation that even when the accused is found innocent, they are condemned for life.

    All you need to do to condemn someone for life is to switch on a mosque loudspeaker and make the allegation. Before Chishti was caught in his own trap in the Rimsha case, no accuser had ever been arrested or tried. The laws against hate speech are weak, and almost never implemented. And how can it be considered hate speech when all they are doing is expressing their faith that might include demanding death for all Shias and Ahmedis, and an occasional Christian who may or may not have crossed the line.

    There are enough sectarian organisations in Pakistan to wage perpetual war. There are enough factions within these organisations that will shoot down every argument, every appeal to rationality. You can't reason with Allah, so you mustn't reason with a mullah, because that too might be blasphemous.

    A few days before it was found that Chishti had planted evidence against Rimsha, he was interviewed on TV. He was asked if he had been campaigning to expel Christians from his neighbourhood. He seemed puzzled for a moment, then rebuked: "This is a Muslim country, Allah has given it to us. If these Christians make noise at the time of our prayers, then they should be asked to leave." I am certain that even when Chishti was stuffing pages from the Qur'an in the poor girl's trash bag, he believed he was doing Allah's work.

    Rimsha's future

    For the first time since the Right Rev John Joseph shot himself, there is some public support for a blasphemy victim. Some religious scholars have come out in Rimsha's support, an odd politician or two have talked about this case becoming a tipping point in the blasphemy debate. But let's not have any illusions: no political party has the courage to rewrite a single word in the law let alone repeal it. The 11-year-old Salamat Masih who Joseph had fought for was sentenced to death. A higher court later overturned the decision but it was obvious the boy would never be safe in the country. A Christian charity helped him find asylum in Europe.

    Rimsha (if found not guilty) has been offered sanctuary by one of the country's largest seminaries, Jamia Banuria, in Karachi. Banuria is also a staunch supporter of the blasphemy law. Rimsha probably doesn't know that she might end up spending the rest of her life in a Muslim seminary or be left at the mercy of a Christian charity.

    Follow link to read complete article.

    How to commit blasphemy in Pakistan | World news | The Guardian

  2. #2
    Insurgent Alpha Unit's Avatar Alpha Unit is offline
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    I would say what I think of them and this issue but I'm sure its obvious why I cant
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  3. #3
    Toppa_Toppa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bo$$ View Post
    I would say what I think of them and this issue but I'm sure its obvious why I cant
    Yuh fraid yuh get charge with blasphemy?

  4. #4
    Insurgent Alpha Unit's Avatar Alpha Unit is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toppa_Toppa View Post
    Yuh fraid yuh get charge with blasphemy?
    Fock Pakhistan, I is ah free Christian an ha no itenshuns to visit dem fockaz
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    Girl Crush Mrs. Campbell's Avatar Mrs. Campbell is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bo$$ View Post
    Fock Pakhistan, I is ah free Christian an ha no itenshuns to visit dem fockaz
    Reminds me of the tranny on the trashy ghetto show you won't watch. She say she's a God fearing woman...the audience laughed....She told the audience fock yall, yall mothafockaz don't know me.
    mz_JazE likes this.
    Our Queen went to sleep, her people left to weep....in song she lives on.



    Long Live the Queen!

  6. #6
    Toppa_Toppa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chinks View Post
    Reminds me of the tranny on the trashy ghetto show you won't watch. She say she's a God fearing woman...the audience laughed....She told the audience fock yall, yall mothafockaz don't know me.

  7. #7
    Insurgent Alpha Unit's Avatar Alpha Unit is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chinks View Post
    Reminds me of the tranny on the trashy ghetto show you won't watch. She say she's a God fearing woman...the audience laughed....She told the audience fock yall, yall mothafockaz don't know me.
    Space available for RENT

  8. #8
    Earth Angel dollbabi's Avatar dollbabi is offline
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    Pakistan is no joke for non-Muslims. We have family friends who were victims of the same "blasphemy" allegations, due to being Christians. There is a bounty over their heads, dead or alive. We are talking about 2 quiet, traditional women. Another friend from Jamaica visited this Christian area to do some work. He was picked up in an armored car and when he reached the compound, it was heavily guarded. Though oppressed, he said the Christians have such strong faith.
    Toppa_Toppa likes this.

  9. #9
    Southern Belle mz_JazE's Avatar mz_JazE is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bo$$ View Post
    I would say what I think of them and this issue but I'm sure its obvious why I cant
    Quote Originally Posted by Chinks View Post
    Reminds me of the tranny on the trashy ghetto show you won't watch. She say she's a God fearing woman...the audience laughed....She told the audience fock yall, yall mothafockaz don't know me.

  10. #10
    Registered User Sankat's Avatar Sankat is offline
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    Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, "Don't do it!"
    He said, "Nobody loves me."
    I said, "God loves you. Do you believe in God?"
    He said, "Yes."
    I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?"
    He said, "A Christian."
    I said, "Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?"
    He said, "Protestant."
    I said, "Me, too! What franchise?"
    He said, "Baptist."
    I said, "Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?"
    He said, "Northern Baptist."
    I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"
    He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist."
    I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region."
    I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?"
    He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912."
    I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over.



    The joke is quite funny but the reasoning behind it creates hell in reality. Is it human nature to be divisive?

  11. #11
    Earth Angel dollbabi's Avatar dollbabi is offline
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    But yes, it is human nature to be divisive because we have been corrupted. Nothing wrong with having different convictions but when it becomes a reason to mistreat someone else...that's a problem.

  12. #12
    Registered User Poca's Avatar Poca is offline
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    Pakistan frees Christian girl jailed for burning Qur'an - World - CBC News

    Pakistan frees Christian girl jailed for burning Qur'an
    Muslim cleric arrested last week for planting evidence to incriminate the girl
    The Associated Press

    Security officials surrounding a Christian girl accused of blasphemy and move her to a helicopter after her release from Adyala jail in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Saturday. Security officials surrounding a Christian girl accused of blasphemy and move her to a helicopter after her release from Adyala jail in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Saturday. (Reuters)

    A young Christian girl accused of burning pages of Islam's holy book was freed Saturday from a jail near the Pakistani capital where she had been held for three weeks, a jail official said.

    The release, a day after a judge granted her bail, is another step closer to ending an episode that has focused an uncomfortable spotlight on Pakistan's harsh blasphemy laws, which can result in life in prison or even death for defendants. Many critics say the laws are misused to wage vendettas or target Pakistan's vulnerable minorities like the Christians.

    The jail official, Mushtaq Awan, said the girl left the prison in Rawalpindi, a garrison city near Islamabad, amid tight security.

    An Associated Press reporter on the scene said she was taken from the prison in an armoured vehicle and whisked to a waiting helicopter while covered with a sheet to protect her identity.
    Police escort blindfolded Muslim cleric Khalid Jadoon as he is brought before a judge at a court in Islamabad.Police escort blindfolded Muslim cleric Khalid Jadoon as he is brought before a judge at a court in Islamabad. (Faisal Mahmood/Reuters)

    A Muslim cleric from her neighbourhood was arrested last week for planting evidence to incriminate the girl, an about-face in a case that has drawn strong international condemnation.

    Even in Pakistan where there is significant support for punishing people accused of desecrating the Qur'an or insulting Islam's prophet Muhammad, the girl's age and questions about her mental state have earned her a degree of public sympathy often lacking in other blasphemy cases.

    Her lawyers say they will now push to have the case against her thrown out entirely.
    'She has been taken to a safer place'

    "Her parents were with her when she was freed from the jail, and she has been taken to a safer place," said a member of her legal team, Tahir Naveed Chaudhry.

    The girl's release came a day after a judge in Islamabad granted bail to the mentally challenged girl, a move hailed by the human right activists and representatives of Pakistan's minority Christian community. Bail is rarely granted in blasphemy cases, and the decision signals a degree of sympathy that could result in all the charges being dropped.

    The girl, who medical officials believe to be between 11 and 14 years old, was arrested August 16, shortly after hundreds of angry Muslims surrounded her house, and accused her of burning pages from the Qur'an, an act punishable by life in prison. Her lawyer has denied the allegation.

    But in a sudden turn-around, police arrested a cleric after a follower from his mosque accused him of stashing pages of a Qur'an in the girl's bag to make it seem as if she burned them. He allegedly planted the evidence to push Christians out of the neighbourhood and is now being investigated for blasphemy himself. He has denied the allegation.

    The arrest was applauded as a rare occurrence when blasphemy accusers are held responsible for false claims.

    In his ruling granting bail, the judge wrote that the arrest of the cleric cast serious doubt on the prosecution's case. He also said she was a minor, had mental challenges and that it was "not believable" that she had intentionally burnt the verses from the Qur'an. On those grounds, he decided to grant the bail.

    The tight security present during her release is a sign that authorities are taking her safety seriously in light of previous attacks on people accused of blasphemy. Two prominent politicians were gunned down last year for suggesting the blasphemy laws should be amended to prevent misuse. The killer of one of the politicians was later lauded by supporters who threw rose petals whenever he appeared at court.

    A man in the central Pakistani city of Bahawalpur was beaten to death in July by an angry mob after he was accused of blasphemy.
    Chen ki japé pa mòde!

  13. #13
    Earth Angel dollbabi's Avatar dollbabi is offline
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    Thank God she was released. I hope that, if necessary, her family is able to leave Pakistan. It's doubtful that they are safe, even though the Muslim cleric has been arrested for planting the evidence.

  14. #14
    Registered User SKBai1991's Avatar SKBai1991 is offline
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    The sad thing is, historically the Muslim world was much more tolerant of it's religious minorities, especially Christians and Jews. Up until the 20th century, communities of Jews and Christians were thriving in the Middle East, it's a shame what's happening now.
    "sa ki ta'w sé ta'w, la rivié pé pa chayé'l "


    Father, before mi mind get bad
    Betta yuh flip it round and mek mi mind get mad
    Mi prefer fi work hard everyday fi achieve mi goals
    Nah grudge nobody fi dem own

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    Registered User Shabeel's Avatar Shabeel is offline
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    we live in very divisive times, but the potential to build something better is great

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