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Blasphemy accused sentenced to death

Published Jan 24, 2014 07:02am


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Additional district and sessions judge Naveed Iqbal also imposed a fine of Rs1 million on Mohammad Asghar, a 65-year-old British national.  — File Photo
Additional district and sessions judge Naveed Iqbal also imposed a fine of Rs1 million on Mohammad Asghar, a 65-year-old British national. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: A court in Rawalpindi sentenced a self-proclaimed prophet to death on Thursday after convicting him of blasphemy.

Additional district and sessions judge Naveed Iqbal also imposed a fine of Rs1 million on Mohammad Asghar, a 65-year-old British national.

Asghar was arrested in Sadiqabad in 2010 after he wrote letters to different people, a police officer among them, claiming that he was a prophet. Police booked Asghar under section 295-C of the PPC.

The section reads: “Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”

Public prosecutor Javed Gul produced before the court a copy of letters which Asghar wrote to an SHO of Sadiqabad. Four police officials testified against Asghar.

The prosecution also submitted opinions of handwriting experts testifying that the letters were written by the accused.

In addition to the above-mentioned evidence, the prosecution used Asghar’s confessional statement to support its case.

Initially Sarah Bilal of Lahore appeared as defence counsel but later the government appointed a lawyer for Asghar’s defence after she expressed reluctance in pursuing the case.

The defence lawyer contended that since Asghar was suffering from mental disorder, his case should be treated on humanitarian grounds. The court constituted a medical board to verify the lawyer’s contention.

But the medical board said in its report that Asghar was psychologically stable and did not suffer from any disorder.

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Comments (15) Closed

Addy Jan 24, 2014 08:11am

What a country.

Moby Moby Jan 24, 2014 08:29am

The court committed a grave sin - the Holy Prophet (PBUH) would never tolerate such blatant actions supposedly in His defense - he was the most kind and merciful while we have become jahil animals killing in the name of one who held life sacred.

Razor Jan 24, 2014 09:07am

Now one can understand the psyche of this nation.

wsyed Jan 24, 2014 09:45am

The doctors who examined him need to be examined themselves, a person who claims to be a prophet in this day and age would not be considered sane or normal. Considering the penalty, once again proves that such a person is not aware of consequences. Also, the verdict and the law, could be considered unIslamic because on questions of morality and belief a person is only answerable to Allah on the day of judgment. This man has not inflicted any harm on anybody therefore, he is not answerable to civil authority. He is only answerable to a higher and divine authority. These kind of man made laws are hurting Islam, and creating a narrow minded religion, that Islam is not, and was not. Courts and authorities in so called Muslim countries need to stop playing God, only Allah knows what is in a person's heart, therefore, such laws and rulings are against the name and teachings of Allah and his prophets.

Feroz Jan 24, 2014 10:03am

You want to kill a mentally disturbed man because he thinks he is God ? This is murder by statute, why not kill all the mental patients if it solves all the countries problems ? Can a Government decide to play God ? The country is suffering from mental sickness, should it be put out of its misery too ?

Danon Jan 24, 2014 10:21am

Get out of stone age Pakistan!

Jehan Zeb Mir, MD Jan 24, 2014 10:22am

Assuming he claimed to be a prophet, did government produce any evidence that he was not a prophet? May be his definition of a prophet is different from what the prosecutor believed. I do not know how he would pass a medical board on his claim of a being a prophet without producing any miracles,revelation of a book from Divine or anything of value which would support his delusional belief. Since he was making such a claim in Pakistan which would interpret his letters as blesphemy shows that he is out of touch with reality. May be medical board should be evaluated by another medical board for its own benefit.

When did the government of Pakistan get into business of giving out fatwas? Pakistan must drop anti-blesphemy laws to prevent abuse,injustice of minorities and to save Pakistan from mocking by the rest of the World.

kaiser waziri Jan 24, 2014 11:48am

He was a crook who wanted to cheat people of their money by acting as a prophet. He should have been punished severely but death penalty is a bit harsh for crimes of cheating and thuggery.

sam Jan 24, 2014 12:13pm

The government saved innocent and gullible people from being decieved!

Good job!

Sultan Khan Jan 24, 2014 05:27pm

Firstly his claim that he is a prophet is enough evidence that he is a mad man and as per Islamic Sharia no punishment and no reward in this world is applicable on a mad man. Secondly, the section 295-C of the PPC applies to a person who"defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)". As he has not said anything against the Holy Prophet(PBUH) he has not defiled his sacred name. In reality what to speak of one person even if billions of people claim to be prophets then they cannot defile a name which was not meant to be defiled. 'WA RAFAANA LAKA ZIKRAK"(WE have exalted thy name!)

Masoud Jan 24, 2014 05:33pm

@Jehan Zeb Mir, MD: A medically fit person who claim to be a prophet is a lair of the worst order. Unless he retrieve his stupid claim & truthfully ask Allah for forgiveness, he will be considered responsible for defaming Islam, punishable with prescribed punishment. No other option.

shumail Jan 24, 2014 08:51pm

@Masoud: This person may or may not be medically fit but the doctors, the court, the police and the government are definitely deranged. What a morally corrupt society! It disgusts me.

Mark Jan 25, 2014 07:14am

Great example of Sharia law, baby! Makes me absolutely proud to be living in America - the country with the MOST freedom of political speech and the MOST freedom of religion on the face of planet Earth, bar none!

Imran Jan 26, 2014 10:54am

@Sultan Khan: First, he was not a mad man as cleared by the medical board. Second, do yo think he did not said anything against the Holy Prophet (PBUH)? You know what? You are not a Muslim if you think that Muhammad (PBUH) was not the last Prophet of Allah. So, yes he said something against Islam and tried to nullify the words of Muhammad (PBUH). And third, if one person proclaims himself a prophet in billions, he should be sentenced to death as a perfect example.

khan Jan 27, 2014 04:29am

Can any Muslim in the World can provide any real proof that Mohammad was God's prophet.Did they see him,or they talked (Naoozibillah)to him or God.They heard from their parents.If somebody claims that he is prophet of GOD,and he is living,you can talk to him,and ask that what kind of proof he has.If he does not satisfy you,let him talk.You can believe in somebody,you have not seen,you have not talked.But you will kill that person ,who claims to be a prophet.He is in front of you,you can see him,and talk to him.You can discuss with him.This does not mean that ,I don't believe that Mohammad was a prophet.But ,I don't agree with the idea of killing a stupid person,who is claiming to be a prophet,and bringing down the name of Holy prophet in front of whole world.Everybody knows it that a sensible person will never claim to be a prophet,knowing that he will be killed,if he does it.