Despite how they’re used to victimize innocent people. “Pak: Islamic Body Oppose Repeal of Blasphemy Laws,” from Outlook India, December 19:
Pakistan’s top Islamic body has opposed the repeal of the controversial blasphemy laws that has been used by a court to sentence a Christian woman to death, which has sparked an outrage in the country and abroad.
The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), Pakistan’s top constitutional advisory body on Islamic injunctions, has opposed the repeal of blasphemy laws, which were promulgated by former military dictator Zia-ul Haq in the 1980s.
A death sentence by a lower court in Punjab to a 45-year-old Christian woman, Asiya Bibi, for allegedly insulting Prophet Mohammed has triggered a debate on the need to repeal or amend the blasphemy laws.
An official report on Asiya Bibi’s case submitted to President Asif Ali Zardari said she had been framed in the case.
Last week, a doctor in southern Sindh province was arrested on a charge of blasphemy after he threw the business card of a pharmaceutical representative into a dustbin….
Minority communities and rights groups have said that the law has been misused to falsely implicate non-Muslims in blasphemy cases.
The police and law enforcement agencies have charged 1,274 people with offences under the blasphemy laws from 1986 to 2010. Sixty per cent of the people charged were non-Muslims. Several of the accused were murdered according to media reports, the report said….
United States and the United Kingdom have called for their repeal, describing it as anti-Christian. The case Asiya Bibi, a mother of five children, has drawn appeals from Pope Benedict XVI and international human rights groups to free her.
However, radical Islamist groups and banned terror outfits like the LeT-linked JuD have openly opposed changes in the blasphemy laws. The leaders of the main religious parties have vowed to resist any move to amend the blasphemy law.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has called for a strike across the country on December 31 to oppose moves to change the law.
In Peshawar, hardline cleric Maulana Yousaf Qureshi of a 17th century mosque offered a reward of Rs 5 lakhs to any person who killed Asiya Bibi.