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This article is the second in a five-part series on the untold story of Pakistan’s blasphemy law. Read the first part here.


Pakistan's blasphemy law continues to sustain popularity and credence, with death being considered not only the most appropriate retribution for offenders, but the only one. This ideology is embraced most wholeheartedly when it comes to non-Muslims charged with blasphemy.

In my previous article when I spoke of the authentic Hanafi position on the permissibility of pardon for all blasphemers (Muslims and non-Muslims), the overwhelming response supported such a pardon for the likes of Junaid Jamshed (a ‘fellow Muslim brother who had offended some by mistake’) but held that the same principle of pardon could not be extended to non-Muslim offenders such as Asia Bibi.

This is largely reflective of the predominant public narrative on blasphemy.

Those who dissent – who speak of pardon and of waiving the death penalty, particularly for non-Muslims – are seen to be speaking from borrowed western ideologies or from a faith deemed too weak to be seen as a credible authority for the public. This has made it convenient for citizens to largely ignore those who plead for clemency, reducing these voices to a small, ineffective and irrelevant force, at best.

There was a time when this was not so – in fact, at one point, the most revered ulema (religious scholars) of South Asia had rallied together to defend the position that non-Muslims could not be awarded the death penalty for blaspheming.

This occurred in the late 19th century, when the South Asian ulema (the overwhelming majority of whom belonged to the Hanafi school of thought) were under ideological attack from the Ahl-e-Hadith.

The Ahl-i-Hadith originated as a movement influenced (and later funded) by the Wahabis of the Arabian Peninsula. This movement challenged the established Hanafi rulings on various issues, including blasphemy, alleging that these were based on opinion (ra`y) and Greek influenced analogy-driven reasoning (Qiyas), rather than on prophetic tradition (Ahadith).

In particular, they took exception to what they perceived as Hanafi lenience towards non-Muslims blasphemers (i.e. not prescribing a fixed death penalty and the provision for pardon) which they viewed as incompatible with Ahadith.

 The exact position of Abu Hanifa (the founder of Hanafi School) that ends up being a source of contention for the Ahl-i-Hadith.
The exact position of Abu Hanifa (the founder of Hanafi School) that ends up being a source of contention for the Ahl-i-Hadith.

These criticisms roused the Hanafi ulema to an impassioned rebuttal.

Many of them targeted the Ahl-e-Hadith from within their own framework, deconstructing several Ahadith that formed the basis of these criticisms.

One such example is a monumental, 21-volume commentary, the I'la al-Sunan (the exaltation of the normative practices [of the Prophet]) by Maulana Zafar Ahmad ‘Uthmani, aiming to demonstrate, against the charges of the Ahl-i-Hadith, that the legal doctrines of the Hanafi school were in fact solidly based in traditions of the Prophet (PBUH).

Despite monolithic individual efforts of such stature, the most profound and relevant in terms of blasphemy, in my view, was Fath Al Mubeen Tanbeeh Al Wahabin (an explicit victory and a warning against the Wahabis).

This contains a fatwa (see below) that clearly states that a non-Muslim blasphemer cannot be killed unless he/she is habitual in the offense.

This last part is an important qualifier because it differentiates single acts of blasphemy from multiple and deliberate attempts, in fact from what is considered politically rebellious blasphemy.

 The monumental fatwa endorsed by 450 scholars that shows that killing is not permissible unless adat (habituality) and kasrat (high frequency) of offenses are established.
The monumental fatwa endorsed by 450 scholars that shows that killing is not permissible unless adat (habituality) and kasrat (high frequency) of offenses are established.

The Ahl-e-Hadith, in challenging the Hanafi position on blasphemy presented a compilation of Ahadith which supposedly showed that blasphemous offenders (including non-Muslims) were in fact killed, and that therefore the Hanafi ruling was erroneous in this regard.

In the rebuttal, the fatwa pointed to an important flaw in the Ahle-Hadith argument — that the Ahadith thus presented all pertained to cases of repeat or habitual offenders.

There is not a single case where a non-Muslim was ever killed for committing a singular offense of blasphemy.

(Further, according to Imam Abu Hanifa, the death penalty is awarded in cases where it is categorised as siyasa (political) punishment, as opposed to sharia (divine) punishment, against elements openly rebelling against the Islamic state, using habitual blasphemy as a tool).

This legal position was approved and signed by no less than 450 of the most prestigious names in the Hanafi ulema, not just from South Asia, but around the world.

It is difficult to come up with a case study of a bigger systematic consensus (ijma) than this one. Hundreds of leading ulema of their time from South Asia have declared that non-Muslims cannot be killed for a single offense for blasphemy and their pardon is acceptable unless it becomes a habitual and high frequency offense.

But to really appreciate the magnitude of this ruling for a country like Pakistan, we must look to some of the key signatories of this stance — one of them being Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi.

Many readers might know that Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi was the founder of the Barelvi school of thought, one of the two predominant Hanafi groups, and the religious orientation to which groups like Sunni Tehreek subscribe. The founder is considered a Pir, Saint and a most revered figure, amongst his followers, and the general populace.

Ironically, four years ago this month, Punjab Governer Salman Taseer was assassinated by Mumtaz Qadri, for pleading for pardon for Asia Bibi.

Mumtaz Qadri, who is a devout Barelvi, would be surprised, I am sure, to learn that the founder and most respected figure of his sect had endorsed pardon for non-Muslim blasphemers, and the view that non-Muslims cannot be killed for a single offense of blasphemy.

Incidentally, the co-founder of the other of the two Hanafi groups (Deoband), Mahmood Hassan Deobandi – also known as the Sheikh al Hind – is also a signatory on the above.

 A partial list of signatories fath al mubeen showing the endorsement of founder of Barelvi and Deobandi thought.
A partial list of signatories fath al mubeen showing the endorsement of founder of Barelvi and Deobandi thought.

Both the founders of Deoband and Barelvi have endorsed the position that a non-Muslim cannot be killed for a single offense of blasphemy and therefore must be pardoned.

It is interesting to note that as per the Hanafi thought, we might be talking about no jail time/punishment for the first offense.

 The Hanafi position clearly stating that first time offenders will only be warned, meaning that may not even be subjected to jail time.
The Hanafi position clearly stating that first time offenders will only be warned, meaning that may not even be subjected to jail time.

Quite apart from this fatwa, there is another key scholar of immediate relevance in the minds and hearts of the nation who has echoed the same position as these revered names.

Maulana Maududi is a household name across the country and is the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami, one of the main religio-political parties in Pakistan.

Readers might be surprised to know that Maulana Maududi has also said that an act of blasphemy does not leave non-Muslims liable to capital punishment by the state.

 The rights of dhimmi (non-Muslims) living in a Muslim state include protection of his life even in instances of blasphemy as per Maulana Maududi.
The rights of dhimmi (non-Muslims) living in a Muslim state include protection of his life even in instances of blasphemy as per Maulana Maududi.

All this nuanced handling of the issue is a far cry from the reality of its application today, where a single unfortunate, ill-informed, ill-judged alleged utterance can lead to a conviction under the law, and the death penalty.

Our law in letter and in its judicial interpretation prescribes a hudd punishment for a single offense of blasphemy.

It makes no distinction between Muslims and non-Muslims, repeat vs single offences, siyasa vs sharia punishment.

It goes against hundreds of top South Asian ulema and it goes against the founders of the predominant religio-political groups in Pakistan.

The idea that the current interpretation of this law is based on a complete consensus in the religious tradition is a myth.

This is especially crucial for those currently charged under the law, held in jail and fighting for their lives, as in the case of Asia bibi.

She is not guilty of multiple offences of blasphemy.

She has begged for pardon multiple times.

According to the rulings of founder of Hanafi School, founder of Deoband thought, founder of Barelvi thought and the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami, Asia Bibi should be given a pardon.

What punishment then, would our clergy, our Mumtaz Qadris, and our vigilante mobs, like to prescribe for their revered religious figures, the founders of their sects and 450 of the most prestigious scholars in South Asia and around the world, for allowing pardon for non-Muslims?

The voices of these scholars are key for the change in narrative around the blasphemy law, opening space for conversation and debate, in building tolerance, in honouring the real voices of those who have dedicated their lives to studying these positions.

Most importantly, referencing these scholars ensures that no grave injustice occurs in the fair name of our Prophet (PBUH) — an act of devotion we sorely need.


Author Image

Arafat Mazhar is the founder of Engage, an institution for research and reform of religious laws in Pakistan.

He can be reached on Facebook or at arafat@engagepakistan.com and tweets @arafatmazhar.


The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


Comments (105) Closed



shadee Jan 04, 2015 12:46pm

Repeal blasphemy law

Samad Chaudhry Jan 04, 2015 01:05pm

Islam is the greatest religion that there is and can not be tarnished by few words from non-believers. Such cruel punishments on hear say should not be carried out. For rape you need four witnesses and here if XYZ has said something according to someone - It is death. Islam is a religion of Love and peace. I am proud to be a Muslim but such punishments mostly on personal vendetta must be discouraged.
Burning of brick maker and his wife was surely not Islamic meted out on the instigation of some illiterate Mullah.

Peaceplease Jan 04, 2015 01:48pm

Good research but bring not in urdu will not be read by majority to get the facts

SK Jan 04, 2015 01:54pm

Thank you Mr. Mazhar for providing a well-referenced article on this sensitive topic - indeed the need of the hour. If I could, I would make this article compulsory reading for all schools and especialy madressahs (making it binding for all 'teachers' and students to read and reflect on it). This should also be made compulsory reading for all parliamentarians / politicians.

Mahmood Chaudhry Jan 04, 2015 02:07pm

Very well researched and written article by Mr Mazhar. I urge the Pakistani government to take a serious note of this flaw in the legislation and establish a new narrative in the public minds. I do not know if government will do something or not but I appreciate Mr Mazhar's effort on clearing our concepts.

Sal Jan 04, 2015 02:11pm

@Samad Chaudhry I would really like your opinion on forensic evidence as opposed to four witnesses in rape cases. Witnesses are fine, but rapes don't really happen in the middle of a fish market.

imtiaz Jan 04, 2015 02:12pm

Why not make a film similar to PK about Blasphemy laws and bring to public domain for discussion?

Simple Simon Jan 04, 2015 02:23pm

@Samad Chaudhry

As a Muslim, you put yourself in a complex when you think yourself as a believer and others as non-believers. There is absolutely no justice or logic in the statement you make. Please come out of your lack of rationale and treat all other faiths equitably.

Masood Khan Jan 04, 2015 02:32pm

Interesting to note that despite Mauluna Maududi' stance on blasphmey, JI was fully on board on the changes made in the constitution in 80s and early 90s.

R.Kannan Jan 04, 2015 02:36pm

It is good to see articles liking this which document the difference between correct interpretation & actual implementation of the law. However, the real issue is why such a law exists ?

Random Passerby Jan 04, 2015 02:56pm

You are doing a huge service to this nation. We now have sufficient material to challenge the blasphemy law in the Federal Shariat Court and in Council of Islamic Ideology.

Riaz Jan 04, 2015 02:59pm

What is the motive behind this article; sectarianism? Religious scholars must, however, come up with consensus on this issue as per the teachings of Islam, irrespective of the public sentiments.

Shyam Jan 04, 2015 03:02pm

Shame on a country that upholds & practices such a hateful, vengeful law that is so medieval and barbaric. Pakistan has truly shown itself to be the among the most barbaric and backward of countries.

zahida Jan 04, 2015 03:04pm

An outstanding effort and thank you to aware at least some of the readers. No doubt the problem is having passion for religion without knowledge.

asmat Jan 04, 2015 03:13pm

So, what do we do with those who made these laws for us? What about those families who paid with the death of their dear ones? We need to bring those law makers to books now and make them answer to the families of these victims.

awinash Jan 04, 2015 03:16pm

Any religion which prescribes death for blasphemy is certainly not a religion of God.

Maqsood Bhai Jan 04, 2015 03:22pm

@R.Kannan Because religion can be a very useful tool of control, remember Zia's era when journalist were flogged as per strict religious lines.

Sohail Jan 04, 2015 03:23pm

If blasphemy law gets repealed what the assurance that people will not be killed in the name of blasphemy.

ala Jan 04, 2015 03:43pm

What a well reasearched article and such a sane author

SMQ Zaman Jan 04, 2015 03:48pm

Absolutely brilliant analysis and providing historical legal evidence, Mr Mazhar, but why is it that the Blasphemy Law in Pakistan (and also incorrectly perceived by other Muslims in India and elsewhere) is defective, perhaps, we have to wait for the next 3 parts to find that out?

Akram Jan 04, 2015 03:56pm

I appreciate the authors attempt to challenge the narrative amongst some of the public in Pakistan, However I take a different view that the law itself is leading to injustice. It is repeatedly used to persecute minorities, and must be abolished. Why on earth did Pakistan waste its parliamentary time on such a ill thought out useless piece of legislation? I mean in the last 67 years how many people have publicly committed blasphemy? Why then waste time on this nonsense? Its because the religious groups are obsessed with this.

Should we not spend our energies instead on the fact that less than half of the women in Pakistan can read and write. Should we not spend energy on exploring for minerals in our country of which Geologists tell us we have vast deposits undiscovered. Pakistan's problems are very much related to its low tax to GDP ratio. These are the things that will provide jobs and develop the country, educate the masses.

following the dictats of uneducated mullahs who have no understanding of the modern world is a recipe to doom.

Awam Jan 04, 2015 04:00pm

Dear Mazhar Sahab. Excellent research and eye opener.

A humble request to you to translate and publish this in a well circulated Urdu Daily Newspaper.

SK Jan 04, 2015 04:25pm

@Riaz Just how twisted a mind must need to be to suspect that this article can fan sectarianism? The article is simply saying that various sects came together to condemn the application of death penalty for blaphemy (as it is unforunately practiced in Pakistan today). It beats me how this can be seen as fanning sectarianism.

Jawad U Rahman Jan 04, 2015 04:42pm

Truly outstanding. We need more people like Mr. Arafat Mazhar to get Pakistan out of the current mess. Hats off to you, sir!

Imran Jan 04, 2015 05:08pm

ASalam o Alaikum! Dear Mr. Arfat,

Can you please provide the detail of ref you quoted in relation yo Imam Ahmad Raza Barelvi Rahimahullah, as the one little you mentioned seems fake and thus doubtful.

WaSalam, Imran

Hammad Hamid Jan 04, 2015 05:17pm

Indeed an eye opener, waiting for the next one in this series.

michael Jan 04, 2015 05:21pm

And u have audacity to criticize hindus opposing some scenes of pk film.....my god

michael Jan 04, 2015 05:23pm

Those who support blasphemy laws havr no right to protest when mosques are attacked in europe usa or australia...respect others or lose respect..u cant have both

Arafat Mazhar Jan 04, 2015 05:27pm

@Imran its fath al mubeen. i can scan the actual pages of the book. The endorsement page is already scanned.

Karachi Wala Jan 04, 2015 05:42pm

A wonderful effort by the author. An effort should be made that the translation reaches to the masses of Pakistan. For those who follow people like Aamir Liaqat need to either read for themselves or it should be read to them on live TV shows.

Ahmad Jan 04, 2015 06:16pm

@Imran Can you also give evidence as to why you think it is fake?

Ashraf Ghuman Jan 04, 2015 06:16pm

Losing ourselves in traditions is what has brought our downfall.

Rani Sharma Jan 04, 2015 06:23pm

@Sohail There is no assurance for anything. Laws against murder do not prevent murder but they do minimize the incidence of murder.

Chaman Jan 04, 2015 06:46pm

Get over such discussions. It is 2015 To believe or not to believe is a personal choice and it is not anybody's business to condemn or punish one or the other. Blashphemy laws are laws have been established in Pakistan more for political reasons than to protect the religion. God does not our protection, we need His blessings and protection. Basic fact of life

nasiroski Jan 04, 2015 07:11pm

Thank you Mr Mazhar, for performing the research and providing irrefutable evidence to prove your point and bring forth the truth.

Dr.Emile Unjom Jan 04, 2015 07:20pm

Thanks for sharing this crucial piece of information for guidance of our judiciary and a changed direction for our society at war with itself to the detriment of minorities. I salute your courage and tireless effort.

Sharjeel Sohail Jan 04, 2015 07:21pm

I say we take charge of the situation. Take the battle to their grounds and defeat them from within their foundations. it is clear that they have been fooling the masses with big words such as hudd and what not. its good that we can call them out on their lies and misrepresentations. if we play this right and strategically - this can be a good year for blasphemy law amendments/Aasia Bibi mercy appeal

Arafat Mazhar Jan 04, 2015 07:22pm

@Imran Dear Mr. Imran, the black and white page is scanned portion of original book on which the endorsement of Imam Ahmed Raza Barelvi can be seen. If you want, i can also scan the original pages of the book where the fatwa is written.

Jhuggiwala Jan 04, 2015 07:24pm

Good, credible research. I believe in what you have written. Somewhere along the road we left the path of rationality and our behaviour, as a nation became irrational. We need to introspect our behaviour and start using our common sense instead of following mullahs blindly.

Hira Sayem Jan 04, 2015 07:30pm

@Sal That particular ruling is not for rape, but consensual sex with someone you're not married to. This clause prevents people from falsely accusing people of adultery, considering the punishment is so harsh. Rape is an act of force and violence. It has no bearing on this law.

Z khan Jan 04, 2015 07:46pm

Why is this even relevant? In a democracy the people make the laws, not mullahs. If we continue to refer to the clergy to make laws we are neither free nor democratic.

Taimur Khan Jan 04, 2015 08:03pm

Very insightful. Based on the highly authentic arguments presented in this article, some civil society activists should file a petition in the Supreme Court to have the blasphemy law amended.

Raj Patel Jan 04, 2015 08:42pm

@imtiaz Nobody including Aamir Khan can dare to bring this issue in Indian subcontinent.

Malik Jan 04, 2015 08:59pm

In the sub continent, the Blasphemy law was created by the British to protect the Muslim minority. Unfortunately, it is now being misused in Pakistan to persecute the minorities.

This has to go to bring peace and harmony amongst different religions. It only fuels the illiterate and uneducated mullahs and their blind followers.

padmakar Jan 04, 2015 09:02pm

Every religion is best....saying that this religion is better than that.....This is the reason of the terrorism that world facing today....I feel sorry for comments of few religious bigots.

Afzal Hussain Jan 04, 2015 09:10pm

Indeed a very well researched and informative article on blasphemy law, it shed light on how ignorant we the Muslims of Pakistan have became by following the illiterate and ignorant mullah of a mosque, and also shame on our religious/political party leaders who hide the truth for the sake of worldly gains.

Muhammad Jan 04, 2015 09:18pm

Thank you for the insightful article. It reaffirms my belief that "one who was sent as a mercy to the worlds( not just Muslims)" would not kill everyone that was disrespectful to him. If we truly love our messenger, we should follow his Path ie his Allah bestowed title of "Mercy to the worlds."

mosawwir Jan 04, 2015 10:31pm

There is no death penalty for blasphemy in Islam. This law is clearly misused against minorities in Pakistan and to appease our mainstream religious parties.

kashif aslam Jan 04, 2015 10:48pm

@Mazhar great work sir...may ALLAH bless you for this great work...:)

Parvez Jan 04, 2015 10:58pm

It is useless to use any logic with bigoted uneducated masses all we can do is to do just pray

Iqbal Bhai Jan 04, 2015 11:00pm

@shadee : Yes. And also repeal all civic and traffic rules. They are also misused. Shadee.... There are hardly 3 cases in which blasphemy law was used. The rest are mob lynching and mob control issues. Do you think the jahil awaam that lynched Shama and her husband even knew about this law? This is purely an administrative issue which the law enforcers can easily do.

Parvez Jan 04, 2015 11:04pm

@Riaz no the motive is to educate uneducated people true meaning and nature of Islam that is merciful for all humans not only for Muslims only

Asghar Siddiqui Jan 04, 2015 11:32pm

Public needs more education and awareness of such knowledge

Food for thought Jan 05, 2015 12:20am

Its a shame that we have to quote and state so many prior events/texts that needs pure common sense and human empathy to refute. There in lies the problem - need to justify something so painfully since common sense is not good enough.

Ram Jan 05, 2015 12:25am

Anyone care to explain why Islam needs to be protected in a country created based on Islam where 98% are muslims, I guess Islam needs to be protected from Pakistanis

Thoroughthinker Jan 05, 2015 12:34am

Junaid Jamshed's careless blasphemous outburst acted as a catalyst for writing these historic facts as examples. When the law becomes dangerous for self, they start looking for the right course.

Zakir Jan 05, 2015 01:46am

Wow ! Being a Pakistani I never knew so much about blasphemy . I truly believe our beautiful Islam has been hijacked by ignorant mullahs. Brave article !!

Samad Chaudhry Jan 05, 2015 01:58am

@Sal Rape is a hideous crime and must be punished Unfortunately Kara Kari in places of Pakistan is simply evil.

Samad Chaudhry Jan 05, 2015 02:00am

@Simple Simon I have not said anyone as non believer My views are simple to curtail the authorities of these Taleban like Mullahs that murdered 150 in Peshawar My wife and I cried in tears at such tragedies that even Lal Masjid mullah did not condemn. Regards

AdHawk Jan 05, 2015 02:24am

Nawaz Sharif is just about to ram the constitutional amendment for military courts through the Parliament. When there's a will there's no stopping them, but they just don't want to touch 295C. Hard saying what's worse, the TTP or the closet Mullahs.

gator Jan 05, 2015 02:42am

its funny

that people think that blasphemy law is wrong while actually its the rule of law that is weak in pakistan

make example of people who misuse blasphemy law and it wont happen make your judiciary transparent and your police honest and it wont happen

S.Malik Jan 05, 2015 03:57am

Very well written article. I hope majority to create culture of tolerance.

SHAN Jan 05, 2015 05:28am

Wonderful article. Please do complete the entire series and translate and circulate in Urdu too!

Repeal the Blasphemy Law! Pardon for Aasia Bibi!

obaid Jan 05, 2015 05:58am

@Akram

So you want mullahs to explore natural resources?

R. Kalita Jan 05, 2015 06:51am

@Samad Chaudhry sahab - Sadly enough there are too may such illiterate mullahs and Muslim literatesare not taking actions against them.

Raz Fedo Jan 05, 2015 06:55am

@Arafat Mazhar Perhaps you can do one or both of these: 1: Use book name, page number(s) etc as a reference to your research. 2: Refer to another site/blog where you have more details, images/scans and evidences. Regards and thanks for the hard work and great insights.

Ashok Jan 05, 2015 07:39am

My teen-aged son who is not a muslim, firmly believes that people of all religions should have exactly equal rights to express themselves on any topic. He further believes punishing someone by death or even imprisonment just for saying something against Islam or any other religion for that matter is absurd and irrational. I am not sure why a complicated study of Islam is needed to come up with laws when even a teenager has the commonsense and rational thought to suggest better laws.

joeytb Jan 05, 2015 08:13am

Thank you for writing on this topic. You are brave soul and we need more people talking and writing about this topic and terrorism.

Masood Khan Jan 05, 2015 08:17am

What a pity when Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was struggling to bring Muslims towards education in subjects wherein world was excelling; Muslim scholars of different sects were discussing how and when a blasphemous person shall be killed!

SK Jan 05, 2015 08:46am

@Chaman - While I agree with your sentiments, I think it is premature to ask us to get over these debates. It may well be 2015, but we, as a nation, need to first enagage in these discussions. As the article reminds us, we have had the debate and did seem to get over this particular issue some time back. Unfortunately, the theatrics orchestrated by the colourful cast of Khomeni, the Russians, Mujhideen, Osama, Bush, CIA, ISI, Taliban, etc. over the past few decades - has totally confused us as a nation. We need to engage in meaningful, level headed, reasonable debates and then hope and pray that we get over the debates to emerge as a nation.

Azmeen Jan 05, 2015 09:41am

Major issue here is widespread misuse of blasphemy law.

honey916@hotmail.com Jan 05, 2015 09:57am

a very well written article which sould be eye opener for many of us.

Krishna Jan 05, 2015 10:34am

@Samad Chaudhry : Nice joke....

Hasan Jan 05, 2015 10:37am

Excellent piece of literature which can Ave lives of many of properly interpreted by our deaf and blinds leaders. hats off to you sir. I tried to Google many times to look for punishment for blasphemy under sharia law but couldn't come across anything as concrete as this. May Allah protect you and your family from the extremists

Fahim Jan 05, 2015 10:39am

Well written again..

doniya Jan 05, 2015 11:11am

I'm ashamed to be Muslim but proud to be Pakistani.

Fazal Karim Jan 05, 2015 11:21am

Unless the fatwa is endorsed by present ulmas, heads of seminaries and Islami Nazaryati council and also publicized for a long time people like Mumtaz Qadri will continue to take law in their own hands.Process should start immediately.

Haider Bilgrami Jan 05, 2015 12:15pm

Have you ever considered looking into what Fiqh Jaffaria has to say about it, surely they cannot be ignored on such important issue.

Kashif Jan 05, 2015 12:23pm

Real issue is not the law but "the uneducated, savage mobs of people" which are being managed and served by most of those in power (both bearded and non-bearded). By looking at the words of blasphemy law (in first article), I doubt if any laws are made out of thoughtful literary debates or research. They only reflect consensus made between various types of oppressors protecting their individual interests.

Yar Nawab Jan 05, 2015 12:35pm

@Shyam take it easy buddy - shame truly gets applicable to Gujrat incident and guess what the one who led the barbaric movement was picked by majority of Indians to be their PM !!!! Right ?

Umaima Jan 05, 2015 03:12pm

All of these articles of the five part series must be translated in Urdu, spread as much as possible, sent to the Federal "Shariah" court and "Islamic" ideological council.

Masood Khan Jan 05, 2015 03:30pm

@AdHawk 295C is such a sacred stone to which our leaders can do only one thing ---- kiss and leave. Whether it's Musharraf or gathering of politicans working out 18th amendment, no one can touch the blasphemy law. Everyone condemns Zia-ul-Haq, but becomes blind, deaf and dumb when it comes to talk about changes he made in the constitution using the name of religion.

Sunil Jan 05, 2015 03:37pm

The midilemen in every religion cause maximum harm to the religion and it's followers everywhere

Ammar Jan 05, 2015 03:45pm

Thank you for your research and writings. I like when people islamic issues with reason instead of emotions. That is why I love the writings of Dr. Johnathan AC Brown (a muslim convert).

Arafat Mazhar Jan 05, 2015 04:04pm

@Haider Bilgrami I haven't yet but I will as part of my doctorate plans

ali Jan 05, 2015 04:29pm

Good research work duly supported with evidence

Syed Hussain Akbari Jan 05, 2015 04:35pm

@Haider Bilgrami I support the view and desire of Mr.Haider Bilgrami. Arafat Mazhar please do look into principles of Fiqh Jaffaria on the subject matter.

Tiger Jan 05, 2015 04:39pm

It is stupid to charge non Muslim under blashphamy because he / she may not even know what it means for Islam and what your scripture and saint has given guideline to people who belive them!! They even may not know what action would mean blsphameous as per Islamic tradition...

I think Qadri and his supporters are having wood under the skull....

n d gaur Jan 05, 2015 05:31pm

@Yar Nawab

Dear Nawab sahib, are you not forgetting the burning of 60 Hindus in a train bogie by a Muslim mob which led to the riots in Gujarat? Or is it that the killing of non-muslims does not matter to you?

Yasir Jan 05, 2015 08:45pm

Outstanding. Salute.

kulwant singh Jan 06, 2015 11:04am

@Samad Chaudhry My dear Brother every one is proud of his religion and all religions spread peace and love but even then there is no peace in most of the Islamic world and I fail to under stand the reasons. May peace and love pervail through out the world.

Syed Hasan Shahid Bukhari Jan 06, 2015 12:01pm

Arafat ... On what Authority do you speak ?

Sharjeel sohail Jan 06, 2015 12:47pm

Kudos to dawn for supporting this work. The bravest newspaper out there

Cynic Jan 06, 2015 04:05pm

@Samad Chaudhry - I have no option to believe you that Islam is the greatest religion and is all about love and peace. But try telling that to the family of Brick maker and other infidels killed in the name of religion.

Valiya Jan 06, 2015 04:06pm

@Z khan The question is not freedom or democracy but who are these clerics (they are working against the real spirit/tenets of the religion) to decide the countries rule/law.

N. Jan 06, 2015 09:44pm

@asmat Indeed ! We must. The families at least must be financially compensated by the state.

My two pence Jan 07, 2015 02:05am

It is sad to see that one needs to quote fatwas in order to defend the rights of minorities. And what about those who want to debate against religious practices and religion itself ? Any religion or faith should be open to debate because there are so many of them and how will one know which to follow or leave if he cannot even criticize or have a debate on faith.

Ali Jan 07, 2015 04:29am

Very nice- thank you

Ali Jan 07, 2015 04:32am

Can someone deliver a copy of his article to Salman Tasir killer please? I would have but i am not in Pakistan

AMRUT Jan 07, 2015 12:21pm

@Akram well said

BNS Feb 20, 2015 06:13am

Please get translated in Urdu and get published in Urdu newspapers, if they have the courage.

Moshithammadh Feb 20, 2015 10:13am

@Malik.....How is it that creating a blasphemy law by British is intended to protect muslim minorities? how does committing a blasphemy does harm to humans(in this case muslims)...if you believe there is god...then you have to leave it up to him to punish anyone who disrespects god..in this modern age, it is puzzling to even think people fall for this narative...religion is between you and your god....no law should cater to a particular religion.

Saad Feb 20, 2015 02:57pm

Mr. Mazhar, I want to commend you on taking up the mantle to write these articles. We cannot possibly overemphasize the importance of our nation's blasphemy laws and our shamefully intolerant treatment of difference.

As another commenter has said, these articles should be required reading for all Pakistanis in Urdu and all the regional languages as well. Keep up the brilliant work!

Saad Feb 20, 2015 04:15pm

Mr. Mazhar, I want to commend you on taking up the mantle to write these articles. We cannot possibly overemphasize the importance of our nation's blasphemy laws and our shamefully intolerant treatment of difference.

As another commenter has said, these articles should be required reading for all Pakistanis in Urdu and all the regional languages as well. Keep up the brilliant work!

Shfqat Gohar Feb 23, 2015 12:23pm

I appreciate the Author's work. Islam means Peace and peace cannot be established in the society without pardon. The life of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) is the best example in front of us. We always listen the stories how the disbelievers treated the prophet (pbuh) and how the prophet pardoned them. Was the lady who used to throw dust on the prophet killed? Was Abdullah bin Ubai, the leader of hypocrates, killed? His blasphemous words are also recorded in the Holy Quran, but the Holy Prophet offered his funeral prayer, despite Hazrat Omer (RA) reminded the prophet about his blasphemous acts. I don't know why our ulema don't ponder over these examples and insist on retribution rather than on pardoning. In fact, they are not doing any service to Islam other than defaming Islam around the globe. They do not think of millions of Muslims living in non-Muslim countries and how they are affected by such laws.