The heavy burden of Rimsha

Published Aug 28, 2012 05:15pm

I recall that my grandmother, when she was still alive, would dutifully sift through the pages of her Urdu newspaper, searching for extracts from the Quran. “It’s very disrespectful” she would somberly remark, before whipping out a pair of scissors and clipping out the offending portion. “Who knows where these papers end up after they’ve been read.”

Painstakingly, she would collect all the myriad papers accumulated at our house which contained fragments of Quranic verse: flyers, newspaper clippings, wedding invitations, and God only knows what else. I don’t precisely recall what ‘respectful’ means she found of disposing of all that material. Perhaps there’s still an unopened drawer somewhere, stuffed with all of it.

At the time, I found it to be an unusual preoccupation. In retrospect however, I can appreciate the labour she put into the enterprise. Certainly, the material never ended up burnt or mangled, in the hands of an unwitting 11-year-old girl. The unfortunate Rimsha Masih, who did find herself in such a situation recently, now sits in a lock-up facing criminal charges for blasphemy.

Based on what I’ve read so far, I’m fairly confident that the man on whose instigation this travesty has occurred, one Khalid Jadoon, is a bully, a sadist, and a complete idiot. The tragedy however, lies not in Jadoon’s character (or lack thereof), but rather in the ambivalence and confusion which surrounds this incident in the Pakistani mind. Just as with the assassination of Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti, the ongoing massacre of Shia Muslims, and the periodic massacre of Ahmadis, a significant proportion of Pakistanis are unwilling to condemn the incident out of hand, as they should. The stumbling block which prevents them from doing so is the antagonists’ half-brained appeal to Shariah.

The status of Shariah in our society is an odd one. Our day-to-day life is dictated by it, as are our commercial transactions and the very functioning of our state. Yet I have still to come across any average Pakistani who has even a middling grasp of what the Shariah entails. The vast majority of so-called maulanas are even worse. Not only do they fail to grasp its most basic principles, but rather their minds are crammed with half-truths and misconceptions.

This is not a Pakistani problem, it is a Muslim problem. How else can one explain the absurd fatwas (i.e. juristic rulings based on Sharia) periodically propounded by purported Islamic scholars around the world: like the one denouncing Mickey Mouse as an agent of Satan; the one that mandates breast-feeding your co-workers; or how about the one that prohibits nudity during intercourse. Just to clarify, each of the above fatwas was by a noted and respected Islamic ‘scholar’ or ‘institute’. These men are said to be the most knowledgeable in the world regarding Islam.

It is a frustrating state of affairs. All the more so in the present case, where morality clearly points in one direction, and what is purported to be an Islamic dictate, points in a very different direction. A previous generation of ‘leftists’ chose to confront this frustration with denial; they called for a separation between theology and politics. History has taught us that this approach is not feasible. We live in the ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan,’ a fact which is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

The only real solution is to confront the problem head-on. In this case, the ‘problem’ being the degradation of fiqh (i.e. the Islamic legal code), the abject intellectual squalor which it now inhabits, and its stagnation. For hundreds of years, while our understanding and appreciation of morality and ethics has steadily progressed, the Islamic legal code has remained stagnant. What is more, in the absence of actual intellectual analysis, it has fallen prey to superstition and myth, most notably by those purporting to be ‘Islamic scholars’.

So why are Muslims unwilling to stand up for something which they know to be right? Something which is clearly and undeniably ‘moral’? Why are scoundrels like Jadoon allowed to take center-stage in this legal debate, while educated, intelligent people sit on the sidelines? In my view, this absurd situation has come about due to the reluctance of the Muslim society to apply its rational thinking mind to the problem at hand. Its reluctance to study Islam in a critical way and to thresh the chaff from the wheat. It is neither wine nor swine but critical thought that is the greatest taboo for today’s Muslim.

To quote from M. H. Kamali’s Shari’ah Law (2009): “Judging from the precedent and example of the leading Companions, and the renowned ‘ulema’ of jurisprudence, we find that our contemporary scholars feel constrained in attempting legal reconstruction and ijtihad in tandem with the rapid pace of social change. This is partly due to the long history of unquestioning imitation (taqlid) which seriously disrupted the natural growth of fiqh and arrested the efflorescence of ijtihad. Ijtihad must continue at all time so as to keep the law abreast of the needs and changing conditions of society. The renowned closure of the doors of ijtihad at around the beginning of the 11th century has led to stagnation. Consequently, a gab has developed between the Shari’ah and the living conditions of people in many present-day Muslim societies.”

The vast intellectual exercise which Kamali refers to could well be the defining moment for this generation of Muslims. An opportunity to throw off the accumulated dust and debris of generations past. And for every moment that this intellectual exercise is delayed, we will have to bear the heavy burden of yet another Rimsha on our conscience.

 


The writer is a lawyer practicing in Karachi.

 

 


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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Comments (77) (Closed)


El Cid
Aug 28, 2012 09:11pm
@Sandip: "Why is there no seperation of state and religion? Do that seperation and all your issues will go away. One cannot be jailed or killed even for insulting others religion as long as he/she does not harm other society members." 1. There is no separation of State and religion because Islam is a NOT a religion. Islam is a Deen. A Deen is a complete holistic comprehensive system of life covering all aspects of human way of life. 2. Islam includes The State: How it is empowered, organized and carries out its business is a function of the Deen of Islam, as is the daily life of its inhabitants. The State cannot be separated from the Deen in an Islamic State nor the individual from the whole system—All for one and one for all. 3. Insulting, ridiculing, abusing a person or his belief system is categorically prohibited in the Qur'an. Killing anyone for whatever reason, except strict self-defense, is punishable by death in Islam. This punishment is mandatory in the case of delibrate murder. 4. Accidental death is open to negotiation, arbitration, compensation, compromise or out-right forgiveness. Death punishment is not mandatory but is in the hands of the family of the deceased, or in lieu at the discretion of the State.
Karachi Wala
Aug 28, 2012 01:25pm
Dear Yousuf Nasim, if you think separation between theology and politics approach is not feasible then try resolving this problem by confronting the problem head-on. In this case bring forth a set of educated and intelligent Ulema who would be bright enough to do "ijtihad" which will fulfill the needs of contemporary world issues. I would still say first separate "theology and politics" then educate the masses and hopefully one day we will have Alim e Din's who will be willing to take the Muslim world forward instead living in the past.
IndraJeet
Aug 28, 2012 07:24pm
Bravo Mr. Yousuf Nasim. Love from India. People like you are beacon of humanity.
kumar
Aug 28, 2012 11:25am
Rise up people. Now or never. If this lawlessness continues, majority will get killed anyways. Do something and make the country better for kids and grandkids.
MAJOR
Aug 28, 2012 03:51pm
Hats off to the writer for bringing up the critical issue. Hopefully this matter will be dealt sensitively. How many more similar embarrassing events are required to invite amendment in the blasphemy law?
anshu
Aug 28, 2012 06:42pm
+1. Interesting point.
A Fan
Aug 28, 2012 10:36am
Dear Mr Nasim, I usually find your blogs to be insightful and well-concieved but this particular piece has really compounded my respect for you as a writer. Not only did this piece carry the insight of your earlier pieces but also invoked a myriad of emotions for the reader, indignation, concern for our value system, and anger at these so called Islamis scholars, to name a few. Please do keep up the good work and continue writing thought provoking pieces such as this one. These are sorts of issues that writers such as yourself need to highlight.
nadsc
Aug 30, 2012 01:01am
Well written with deep insights as well as what lies ahead for the "Land of The Puritans"! Congratulations
Rafi
Sep 04, 2012 01:36am
Every single day that this poor child spends behind bars, will be a time of great shame for Pakistan.Why is the chief justice not taking prompt action? Where are all the political leaders ? Where is Pakistan heading? Looks like the dark ages is its destination.
raika45
Aug 28, 2012 10:51am
Your last sentence sort of partly explains things. "....we will have to bear the heavy burden of yet another Rimsha on our conscience." How many of these people have a conscience?
Pramod
Aug 28, 2012 11:45am
Thanks for writing such a nice article and thinking with your mind. That s what Pakistan needed, People who can decide by themselve what is wrong and what is right.
Munibullah Khan
Aug 29, 2012 07:50am
Yousuf, I totally agree with you. I am a practicing Muslim (Pakistani) and it saddens me that Islam in Pakistan has become so intolerant and recationary (even more so than global Islam). What worries me further is: what can we do about it? Holding a few protests makes no difference, and at the end of the day nobody wants to get beat up (or worse) by a crowd of radicals shouting "jihad fi sabil illah!". Dialogue is the only solution, but with whom?
Cyrus Howell
Aug 29, 2012 06:31am
Read Ibrahim al-Buleihi. He makes understanding of the West easy. Islamic countries missed 300 years of European political philosophy, the inventions of the Industrial Revolution, the Age of Enlightenment and the Age of Reason.
ahsan
Aug 29, 2012 11:03am
Good work Yousaf. Courageous and long awaited. You should write more
Ash Mirza
Sep 02, 2012 07:29am
Mr.TONY, Hi , I am so happy to read the new article about local IMAM , who put torn pages of Quran in Rimsha Masiha plastic bag, and accused her and got her arrested. Judge issued an arrest warrent for the IMAM , now IMAM in jail, and I hope he should stay in JAIL for atleast 25years...And I hope Rimsha Masiha innocent victim must set free ASAP, and GOVT. must provide full security for her and her family Sincerely Ash Mirza (USA)
Bobs
Sep 02, 2012 02:31am
I saw a video of rimsha neighborhood which a IBN/CNN media person interviewed them and asked if she should be punished. Specially womens which neighbour hood you are talking about...
Ash Mirza
Sep 02, 2012 07:11am
Brother Ahmed Jumma..........Please read recent article at www.dawn.com ..IMAM was involve, he did put torn pages of Quran and put those pages with burn pages in plastic bags, and accused innocent 14yrs old christian uneducated girl...and she was arrested .....Now IMAM IS ARRESTED AND HE IS IN JAIL..........Inshallah she will be free soon.......I hope IMAM stay in jail atleast 25yrs.... Sincerely, Ash Mirza (USA)
Joseph
Aug 29, 2012 01:56pm
What a fantastic article by Yousuf Nasim. I hope there are many who read and understand this. I fail to understand that despite there being sensible people who have given their fair comments here, there is still no one in the government who can take a solid stand and resolve this highly unlikely and practically impossible accusation. How can a person of Jadoon's character be allowed to tarnish the image of the entire country?
Akhter Husain
Aug 29, 2012 01:55pm
You will find these people ready to---very true.These people do not think from the head.
Vineeth
Aug 28, 2012 09:31am
I do not know why 'secularism' ended up as such a dirty word for Pakistanis, since Turkey and even Bangladesh have chosen that path. In my view, separation of religion from the constitution and law (except personal laws maybe) is the only long term solution to make a society progressive. The benefits of such a move becomes evident in the due course.
Neeraj
Aug 28, 2012 09:50pm
I am in agreement with you.
rehan
Aug 28, 2012 09:19am
Can you elaborate what exactly sets Ahmadis apart for the general knowledge of the readers and why are they considered non-Muslims ? I have read a lot about them being marginalized as they are thought to be non-Muslims. How about clarifying the confusion for the readers ?
Zeta
Aug 28, 2012 09:22am
Can't believe such uneducated mullas could become deans of Islam's most prestigious university Al Azhar. No wonder we have so many twisted and absurd fatwas
Salman Balouch
Aug 28, 2012 10:37am
Not Mickey Mouse but I think Mini Mouse was the more successful agent of Satan; women are always used by Satan more effectively :) I also have my doubts on Pink Panther, he is a Spy (probably of Israel). Can I get a Fatwa against him? Mullahs have made Cartoon Network out of Islam !!
Arslan Khan
Aug 28, 2012 07:44pm
If you read all the readings in the media about this matter, not a single soul is standing up and questioning the obvious.... so what if someone has burned few pages of a holy book?
QASIM
Aug 28, 2012 10:40am
Thanks for good article.Muslims still have wise people too.
sharma
Aug 28, 2012 10:16am
The answer to this quandry lies in education of the clergy. Along with religion , the clergy sjhould also be trained in Science, mathematics, Psychology. Im am not talking about science intrepreted in Islamic thought but real science. Only after all this synthesis can the clergy understand what the society requires. However the grip of clergy on Islam is so strong that all attempts to make them see the light fail as they say that they derive their strength from the Book and the Book is the word of God. Book may definitely be the word of God but the meaning and interpretation of the Book is definitely a human endeavour.
Zaira
Aug 28, 2012 09:37am
Dear Lawyer, The only people who will remain in Pakistan are Maulanas and the shariah laws. The minorities will be killed in the name of blasphemy, along with periodic massacre of Shia Muslims and Ahmadis. Later Sunni Muslims will kill each other again in the name of Islam. Hitler and Genghis Khan are personalities to be appreciated. At least they did not kill people in the name of religion.
Kashif Chohan
Aug 28, 2012 10:20am
Beautifully written my friend, I salute you for coming out like a true Pakistani, lot of respect my friend.
petrus
Aug 29, 2012 02:20am
As I read about the killings & violence throughout the Islamic world, I am so grateful that I live in a secular country; & that I personally do not believe in any god.
Siraj Ahsan
Aug 29, 2012 04:37am
its a good piece of work. dont want to say much about it. the burden is felt by all the concious pakistanis
mohammad hamza
Aug 29, 2012 04:38am
The onus lies with the likes of people who write here. Take on the Mullahs by disseminating what is correct and upright. Religious scholars who are truly genuine like Javed Ahmed Ghamdi for example , have to be listened to with an open mind and his thoughts publicised for general information and educating the masses. There is no short cut to detoxifying society from the poison injected by Zia ul haque and the rise of extremism and intolerance through widespread proliferation of Madressahs and now the same outfits quickly infiltrating and indoctrinating impressionable minds through their own networks of English medium schools in KPK, FATA and Punjab. We have to wake up before the damage is beyond repair like the perpetuation of jehadis in the eighties.
Niraj
Aug 29, 2012 10:02am
Man! You are something. And thanks to Dawn for publishing this. You are so right in saying that interpretation of things should change with time. I find it funny some Maulana calling for fair trial of this poor child. What trial? How can she be kept for a moment in jail. Can't imagine my daughter put behind bar for 'insulting' Ramayan or entering a temple with slippers on or some pandit deciding whether she attends school or not. India too has theses viruses, but thankfully they are contained in their labs.
Gerry D'Cunha
Aug 28, 2012 10:30am
These uneducated mullas are responsible for defaming Islam in the world - yes you are right, they are good in absurd fatwas
Saurabh Srivastava
Aug 29, 2012 05:50am
I generally read a lot of articles on dawn, but hardly comment on any. This one however is something different. I am actually an Indian Atheist, born to devoted Hindu parents. Although I find a number of anomalies and instances of "Blind Faith" in Hinduism, it really does make me feel that Muslims are even more "blind" towards faith. Thank God, my mother only calls up a Pandit, when she wants to know the exact dates of a "Vrat" or "Puja". In other words, the "General Interference" of religion in one's life (its surely interference for me at least) is much more I feel in Islam than probably any other religion !!
MilesToGo
Aug 29, 2012 03:23am
@author Sir, do you know Arabic?
Cyrus Howell
Aug 29, 2012 06:24am
Certainly much better than the Indian papers.
anshu
Aug 28, 2012 06:40pm
I would agree. In contrast times of India is a disaster. +1 Dawn.com
Mazher Arshad
Aug 29, 2012 01:16pm
The author has just fired bullets in air. I am sure he does not even know proper definition of Fiqah, Ijtihad and Taqleed, Thats why he believes that Ijtihad has been stopped.
"Dispear"
Sep 02, 2012 08:49am
Finally there is some hope for sense to prevail, and the insanity of the arrest of Rimsa Masih to end. The Imam has been arrested for fabricating evidence, and for framing an innocent disbaled child as a culprit. Should'nt now the Imam be charged and convicted of blasphemy - if anyone ever should be accused of such? - If Rimsah's ordeal finally were to come to an end one day, she and her family need protection and support, and Rimsah medical and psychological help to overcome her trauma caused by the imprisonement. - I also suggest that Dawn will write a proper article about Down syndrome, and the treatments and support for Down-children available nowadays in many countries.
Ahmed Jumma
Aug 31, 2012 11:17am
I do not see any Mullahs or Maulanas involved in the case of Rimsha instead every Muslim is talking in favor of Rimsha, even Muslim women of her neighborhood are favoring Rimsha only because she has committed a mistake which is not punishable due to being innocent little girl so why a hyp is being created against the Ulema-e-Islam. If non-Muslims are talking against Blasphemy Law they must know why it has been legislated because of the fact, many of the non-Muslims are burning the holy Quran and making cartoons of the holy prophet s.a.w.w. Quran is challenging to all mankind to get together and make a verse/line to match with verse of Quran, it also says you can not make it, because the verses of Quran are made by Allah (God) Himself. Islam is a pure religion of true God, Who can not be seen, can not be imagined, nothing is like Him, body is His partner whether he is a prophet or saint, everybody is His slave so why non-Muslims do not come to true and pure religion. What is the doubt in Islam. All the holy books of God have been accomodated in one Quran as a final revelation so non-Muslims must read it otherwise the common Muslims are not caring to bring forward the glorious promises of God before the masses due to lazyness.
newhome.mike@gmail.com
Aug 29, 2012 02:55pm
Tahira you are absolutely right I appreciate it.
Muhammad Asif
Aug 28, 2012 10:09am
Dear Yousuf Nasim, Two of the three referred fatawas were rejected by most of ulemas, but not mickey mouse one. Please exclude the two from your article so as the readers do not get confused.
areluctantpakistani
Aug 28, 2012 10:25am
The biggest problem is that Islam is inherently not a private matter for individuals. It is designed to be a social enterprise and as such when the society is uneducated, corrupt and scheming this is the logical conclusion.
Tony
Aug 29, 2012 01:51pm
Thank you for your support for Rimsha Masih and I thank all those who have spoken up against the blasphemy law. One day this will be a thing of the past. May God Bless you all.
Abdul Wahid Awan
Aug 29, 2012 03:30am
In my opinion the best way to tackle the issue at hand is to separate education from religion and look at social and ethical matters with a critical eye instead of looking at them through the lens of religion. Also in accordance with prophet Muhammad's teachings if we see or hear someone "ullema" teaching hatred openly, we need to raise our voice and make ourselves heard. You will be surprised by how many like minded people will join you, once you have taken the brave initiative. What I am talking about is exactly what we are doing here at DAWN, only it needs to be done in our practical day to day lives.
areluctantpakistani
Aug 28, 2012 12:30pm
I think you have hit the nail on the head there. That is an extremely insightful assessment of these people.
MAJOR
Aug 28, 2012 03:48pm
Hats off to the write for bringing up the issue. I hope such kind of matters will be dealt wisely in the future. How many more similar embarrassing events are needed before some amendment could be done to blasphemy law?
Venkat
Aug 29, 2012 11:32am
Pakistaniyon Islam ka naam badnaam na karo. Failed state to ho rahey ho. Venkat
Cyrus Howell
Aug 29, 2012 07:02am
An absurd one will get mullah on TV these days. The more absurd the better. If it really catches on he can do the Oprah Winfrey Show.
Nawazish Ali
Aug 28, 2012 12:17pm
Very well written, unfortunately ignorant people has stronger and louder voice than you an me. Trigger hippies are ground realitites and Govt is probably not capable and definitely not interested to control them. Parliament's primary job is to make constitution for Pakistan's development. Parliament does make laws but only to favor individuals (who are above law) Commoners are not on any priority list.
kdspirited
Aug 28, 2012 03:29pm
Thanks for writing this article. I however still believe that the secular voices need to be louder and make more noise than those of the maulanas. They have too much power and that needs to be taken away. The only way it will be done is for the sensible people to come together and be a single voice of wisdom. Scream so loud that people have no choice but to listen. That will take courage. United we stand.
ragu
Aug 28, 2012 09:40pm
Pakistan has plenty more issues that immeidate attention compared to a 14-yr girl's alleged insult.
JP Singh
Aug 28, 2012 03:15pm
An excellent piece of analysis on the issue by Nasim. I am happy to see that saner voices do speak up in Pakistan. Any religion they impinges upon an individual is the violation of an Individuals personal liberty. No religion should be dictatorial in its ways and also dictate to people how they should be living. It’s a guide to show the people a particular path of life and living. The moment it begins to impose itself on a person’s personal freedom it ceases to be a religion. Religion should not be dictating laws to people. No human on earth should be dictated by any religion. It should be the personal liberty of an Individual to follow any faith he or she chooses to follow. Another point to be note with concern is of the damage an incident like this does to the Image of Pakistan. What does an 11 year old know about religion?
cosmo
Aug 29, 2012 02:25am
FYI hitler was antisemitic
Raoul Ciao
Aug 29, 2012 06:14am
very well said, with brevity and wit.
areluctantpakistani
Aug 28, 2012 12:35pm
Rehan, This is not a discussion on what sets us all apart. It is a discussion on what we do to each other once we are set apart! Please try to see this view point too.
Sergio
Aug 28, 2012 12:51pm
And for every moment that this intellectual exercise is delayed, we will have to bear the heavy burden of yet another Rimsha on our conscience. The tragedy is that so many Pakistanis do not see such things as a heavy burden.
Feroz
Aug 28, 2012 02:54pm
Excellent article, keep up the good work !
ash mirza
Sep 02, 2012 02:08am
All muslim people speakup and set 14yrs old girl FREE..Let her united with her family, and Govt. must provide her and her family .......Every one know she is uneducated, and mentally ill......... ash Mirza....Muslim (USA)
Dixit
Aug 29, 2012 06:10am
Excellent Comment Zaira!
Sandip
Aug 28, 2012 12:58pm
Why is there no seperation of state and religion? Do that seperation and all your issues will go away. One cannot be jailed or killed even for insulting others religion as long as he/she does not harm other society members
Dixit
Aug 28, 2012 11:07am
Man !!!! this is called brave effort. This is called rational thinking.
ash mirza (USA)
Sep 06, 2012 01:35pm
Oh My GOD, she still in JAIL....now the whole world knows she was setup by local IMAM.. She is innocent...Please let her go.......she need to unite with her family for sure.. Sincerely, Ash Mirza (USA)
AHA
Aug 28, 2012 11:00am
In all fairness, and in the name of full disclosure, all these fatwas were contradicted by other renowned religious scholars. Nonetheless, just imagine how confused an individual would be in the midst of all these contradictory, and tangent, fatwas. Which one does one follow? I own solution to this problem is simple. I believe more in my own mental faculty than in any fatwa or in anything that my Friday maulwi has to say.
Dr. Emile Unjom
Aug 29, 2012 08:17pm
Thank you Dawn for publishing this article and thank you Yousaf for your courage,perception and a sense of humanity clearly seen in your article. At this moment every lover of Quaid's 11th of Aug 1947 speech would garland you. Keep up the good work.
Mohd. Khalid
Aug 28, 2012 02:31pm
Law is only fair if it is equal for everyone if a law is opening a grave for someone accused of Blasphemy then, anyone killing the accused during proceedings should be killed too in the same way, burning alive should be burnt alive. If accused is not found guilty then accuser must be properly investigated for misuse and if proven guilty then should get the same punishment as if he/she has committed the Blasphemy themselves.
Raj
Aug 28, 2012 02:03pm
As an Indian, it amazes me that Pakistan manages to produce a very brave and high quality people even though it is in hatred and a mess for a long time. I really respect some of the bloggers and writers in Dawn. Dawn is a perfect example of high quality journalism.
Majority
Aug 28, 2012 07:58am
Excellent piece Mr. Nasim. Appreciate it. You are right one only needs to read the comments from articles of some good journalists of Dawn to see where the majority are headed to. Laying out such sad incidents of human right violations in Pakistan brandishes one as harboring anti-Pakistan sentiments and hijacking the Muslim civil society of its true essence etc etc. A very sad development indeed.I do not know from who the quote comes but my mother used to say it to me as a kid and I translate it from Persian as follows: "half a physician is a danger to your health, but half a Mullah (religious scholar) is a danger to your faith and soul" - I think that says it all.
Pranav
Aug 28, 2012 07:58am
You have put it very nicely - but in simple words most muslims I know want to appear to be like "real muslims" in public (dosent matter if they are hopelessly corrupt or womanizers to the core) which includes blindly supporting anything that is done in the name of Islam. I am sure Mr. Jadoon is throwing stones to hide his dirty hands.
Ahmedi
Aug 29, 2012 04:13am
Though I commend your article, I fail to understand why backing something that is stagnated since 11th century, if you have to struggle then why not unite with the rest of the humanity and be done with the religion to impose its irrationality on reason and rational thoughts.
Tahira
Aug 29, 2012 04:23am
The blasphemy law will stay since no one has the moral courage to speak against it after the fate of Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti. Let us test the so-called religious fanatics who demand punishment and bloodshed for minorities. Let USA and Europe offer immigration/ asylum visas to all minorities in Pakistan. You will find these people ready to change their religion/ sect to get out of the hell they are in and migrate to the humane and peaceful societies of the West. I am quite sure about this.
Nuzhat
Sep 01, 2012 10:19pm
Good article. Good to see so many comments commending the article published. I am totally convinced there are more people who know that this law is so badly constructed that it is a license to kill. People must be protected from this law by whatever means possible.
Samresh
Aug 30, 2012 12:42pm
Thanks for enlightening me El Cid. And I am thankful this so-called "deen" of yours in not covering any aspect of my life or society. By the way I am sure you are living in a secular country and wouldnt want to live under a Taliban-like rule.
Samresh
Aug 30, 2012 12:49pm
Imagine - an uproar over a book which almost half the country cant read being illiterate.
somyali
Sep 03, 2012 02:31pm
Excellent article and agree with your comment 100 percent! Rimsha has been through unimaginable abuse. Justice must be served to this child and her family.
Bobs
Sep 03, 2012 12:32am
why not death penality for Imam who is actually expert of religious things...he should be hanged thrice for tearing up quran pages( blasphemy),consipiracy to murder a 11 year old child( what can be more heinous crime than this..imagine a 11 year old)..displacing christians families creating communal tension..and the mental trauma,terror caused to whole minority society..his crime list is endless..and people were asking death penality for totally innocent child..why they are not protesting against imam..why i dont see any demonstration around mosque by the same neighbourhood people..that makes me believe they all wanted the same thing..throw out christian community from their neighbour and grab their lands..they all should be punished if there is any law and justice in pakistan..please tell me if I am wrong