A useful history. “Is there an end?,” from Dawn, August 6 (thanks to Varunappa):
Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy law, enacted by President General Zia-ul-Haq in1986 and later amended by the parliament in 2004, is one of the most stringent laws. The penalty includes a mandatory death sentence for defaming Prophet Mohammad and life imprisonment for desecrating the Holy Quran. According to official reports, to date, over 500 people have been charged for breaching the Blasphemy Law. Dawn.com traces the history of some of these cases that have been highlighted in the media since 1990.
2009 — August 05: An angry mob attacked the house of an elderly woman in District Sanghar, Sindh, accusing her of desecrating the Holy Quran. A case has not yet been registered but the District Bar Association assured the mob that if the woman — identified as Akhtari Malkani — is found guilty, she will be charged under the Blasphemy Law.
2009 — August 01: Seven people were burnt alive and 18 others injured in Gojra, District Toba Tek Singh in Punjab after fresh violence erupted in the town over the alleged desecration of the Holy Quran three days ago. More than 50 houses were set on fire.
2009 — July 31: A mob burnt 75 houses of members of the Christian community over the alleged desecration of the Holy Quran in the village Azafi Abadi at Gojra-Faisalabad Road. Seventy-five houses and two churches were burnt by the residents of a neighbouring village.
2009 — February: Five Ahmadis in Punjab’s Layyah district were arrested on charges of writing blasphemous remarks in the toilets of Kot Sultan’s Gulzar-e-Madina mosque. No evidence or witness was presented. They were just detained on a “˜presumption of guilt,” stated the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
2009 — January 28: The Punjab police arrested a labourer and four students for blasphemy, all of whom were Ahmadis. They were accused of writing the name of Prophet Mohammed on the wall of a toilet in a Sunni mosque. Investigations into the case revealed that the accusation was baseless.
There is much more. Read it all.