One of the strongest demonstrations of Sharia as a defective and unjust system is how its cruel and unusual provisions serve especially to exploit the vulnerable in society: those who, for any number of reasons (including Sharia’s own marginalization of women and non-Muslims), are not in a position to schmooze or buy (see: diyya, or blood money) their way out of trouble.
Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are exactly such a weapon — a “wild card” up the sleeve, to be played wherever the accusing Muslim feels the need to keep someone in line, or remove an obstacle or inconvenience.
All such initiatives, most notably those by the OIC to stifle free speech based on accusations of “Islamophobia,” operate in the same spirit. The end result, should those measures succeed in the West, will be the same climate of fear and intellectual subjugation as in Pakistan, sold on a platform of “tolerance” and “respect.”
“Tolerance” and “respect,” or else, of course.
Such laws are clearly, fatally flawed by nature, and by those very defects, lend themselves to further abuses.
“LHC upholds death for blasphemy accused,” by Rana Tanveer for the Express Tribune, September 30 (thanks to all who sent this in):
LAHORE: A division bench of the Lahore High Court on Wednesday confirmed the death sentence handed down to a blasphemy convict and ordered that he be hanged till death.
This is the second case of its kind in the country when the death sentence of a blasphemy accused has been confirmed by the LHC since inception of the blasphemy law.
An Additional District and Sessions Judge Lahore on May 27, 2002 had awarded Wajihul Hassan death sentence for allegedly uttering blasphemous remarks against the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and other prophets. He was also accused of hurting religious sentiments of the complainant – Senior Advocate Muhammad Ismail Qureshi.
Allam Iqbal Town Police registered an FIR against Hassan under sections 295-C (use of derogatory remarks in respect of Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), 295-A (malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) and 298-A (use of derogatory remarks in respect of holy personages).
The session judge had awarded him death sentence and Rs0.2 million fine under section 295-C, 10 years’ imprisonment and Rs50,000 fine under section 295-A and two years’ imprisonment and Rs20,000 fine under section 298-A.
According to the complainant – Advocate Muhammad Ismail Qureshi – who had got Ahmadis declared non-Muslims by the Supreme Court, some unknown persons had been wiring him frequent letters carrying blasphemous remarks against the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and other prophets.
In the FIR he alleged that although the letters did not contain names of the senders, he was sure that Wajihul Hassan was behind these letters. He alleged that Wajihul Hassan was a Muslim but later converted to Christianity and was using derogatory remarks against the Holy Prophet (pbuh). The complainant could not produce any of these letters before the police and mentioned in the FIR that he had burnt all the six letters.
Just in case blasphemy doesn’t get him, Qureshi seems to hope apostasy will.
During the course of investigation, however, he handed over seven such letters to the authorities attributing them to accused Hassan. He also said that Nawaz Butt and Hassan are names of the same person.
During the trial, the complainant produced 10 prosecution witnesses to buttress his case against the accused. The witnesses said they had seen Hassan uttering blasphemous remarks.
Counsel for Hassan, Advocate Parvaiz Aslam Chaudhry, strongly rejected the prosecution story, saying that on the basis of extra-judicial confession of witnesses before the trial court, an accused could not be awarded death sentence.
He told The Express Tribune that in his statement under section 342 of CrPC his client had denied uttering any blasphemous remarks. He quoted Hassan as saying that he was a Muslim and believed in the last Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and never dared to utter or write any blasphemous remarks….
In a civilized country, it wouldn’t matter if he intended to or actually did so.
He said by birth he is a Muslim and never converted to Christianity. He said the complainant deliberately named him as Murshad Masih to strengthen his stance but it was not his name. They intend to file an appeal against the LHC order before the Supreme Court.
Advocate Chaudhry claimed that the motive behind registration of FIR was that complainant Qureshi had a grudge against former Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) chairperson Asma Jahangir.
A grudge involving the Human Rights Commission? Most ironic.
Hassan and his father Safdar Hussain were employees at the office of Asma, he claimed, adding that Qureshi tried to use Hassan against Asma but over his refusal he implicated him in the case….