Sharia alert from Pakistan from AFP, with thanks to Bryce:
KARACHI: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court sentenced a man to life imprisonment for writing an allegedly blasphemous book about the Holy Qur’an and the Islamic justice system, a lawyer said yesterday.
Police in the Islamic republic arrested 40-year-old writer Younus Shaik early this year in Karachi after he brought out the book called Shaitan Maulvi (Satanic Cleric).
Blasphemy in Pakistan carries a maximum sentence of the death penalty. Although no-one has ever been executed, the country”s harsh laws for the crime have been heavily criticised by rights groups.
“The court has sent him into jail for life as he described the four Imams as Jews in his book,” public prosecutor Naimat Ali Randhawa said after the court in Karachi sentenced the man on Thursday.
The four Imams were the third generation interpreters of the religion after the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and their views on law are widely respected by Muslims, he said.
The writer also committed blasphemy by saying that stoning to death for adultery was not mentioned in the Qur’an, he added.
Once again Muslims persecute someone for telling the truth. Stoning for adultery is indeed not mentioned in the Qur’an, and Islamic apologists in the West have never been shy about pointing that out. However, there is this hadith (among others):
‘Abdullah b. ‘Abbas reported that ‘Umar b. Khattab sat on the pulpit of Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Verily Allah sent Muhammad (may peace be upon him) with truth and He sent down the Book upon him, and the verse of stoning was included in what was sent down to him. We recited it, retained it in our memory and understood it. Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) awarded the punishment of stoning to death (to the married adulterer and adulteress) and, after him, we also awarded the punishment of stoning, I am afraid that with the lapse of time, the people (may forget it) and may say: We do not find the punishment of stoning in the Book of Allah, and thus go astray by abandoning this duty prescribed by Allah. Stoning is a duty laid down in Allah’s Book for married men and women who commit adultery when proof is established, or it there is pregnancy, or a confession. (Sahih Muslim, book 17, no. 4194)
This article concludes:
Pakistan’s national assembly last year passed a bill aimed at reducing abuse of the blasphemy law – under which anyone accused of the offence is immediately arrested and charged before any investigation.
Human rights activists say it is often misused to settle personal vendettas and arguments over property or money, particularly against the minority Christian community.