Pakistan police on Thursday arrested a religious teacher and his student on blasphemy charges. According to FIR, the complainant, Muhammad Imtiaz, of Marali Ottar village, Kot Radha Kishan, alleged he saw a local teenager burning some torn pages of the Holy Quran in a street.
The police have entered a case under Section 295-B of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) against both the suspects.
A few days ago, a video of erstwhile pop icon and widely heard Islamic evangelist, Junaid Jamshed went viral on the Internet, in which his remarks were perceived as blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his wife, Ayesha (RA). He has been charged under the Blasphemy Law, clause 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code.[caption id="attachment_22023" align="aligncenter" width="800"] People ptotesting against a strict blasphemy law. REUTERS[/caption]
The most notorious cases involving Pakistan’s blasphemy laws will be heard by the country’s supreme court on Thursday in a legal showdown that lawyers hope will spare the life of a poor Christian woman and curb future convictions.
Asia Bibi was sentenced to death in 2010 for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) following a bad-tempered argument with Muslim women in Itanwali, the small village in Punjab where she used to live.
The credibility of this assertion is built on an apparently universal consensus (ijma) on the subject across all four Sunni schools of thought. By maintaining this front of scholarly consensus, the religious leadership disallows any concept of an alternative position.
This idea of a unanimous scholarly endorsement of an unwaivable death penalty for blasphemy has been relentlessly repeated in the Federal Sharia Court Judgment on the blasphemy law in the ‘90s, in the Parliament, in the popular print and oral narrative on television channels, and has seeped deeply into the consciousness of the Pakistani population.
In the collective imagination of mainstream Pakistan, blasphemy is not a pardonable offence and anyone who believes otherwise is also committing blasphemy, and must similarly pay with their life.
Asia Bibi blasphemy appeal hearing adjourned, no new date set for appeal. https://t.co/UxfPI2TqQR— End Blasphemy Laws (@EndBlasphemyLaw) October 13, 2016
Urgent action: Pakistan.Muhammad Ishaq sentenced to death for blasphemy http://t.co/NFeYDfAq PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 22 MARCH 2012 Pls RT — FreeAsiaBiBi (@FreeAsiaBiBi) February 17, 2012
Advocate Ismaeel Qureshi, the architect of the blasphemy law, apparently did not get the memo.
In his best-selling book on blasphemy and his petition, Qureshi apparently built his case of an irrevocable death penalty, with no scope for pardon on the works of leading Hanafi authorities, and ironically, Imam Ibn Abidin himself.
In an a case of history repeating itself, he followed in Al-Bazzazzi’s footsteps in erroneously subverting the position of Imam Ibn Abidin.
At one point, in Fatawa e Shami, Ibn Abidin takes Bazzazzi’s claim – ‘the punishment for blasphemy is death, it is unpardonable and anyone who disagrees is also guilty of blasphemy’ – dissects it and goes on to criticise it for the next six pages.
Advocate Ismaeel Qureshi, grasping the first thing he saw, slaps Imam Ibn Abidin’s name on to the very position that Abidin so passionately refuted right after quoting the original problematic claim.
Pakistani police investigate preacher Junaid Jamshed over blasphemy claims https://t.co/T3rQApx4Z3— Younus AlGohar (@younusalgohar) April 4, 2016
In memory of #NahedHattar, at UN #HRC33 the @IHEU calls for abolition of anti-#blasphemy laws. https://t.co/RjvJAhf9IM#blasphemyday pic.twitter.com/xALYaXzB0e — End Blasphemy Laws (@EndBlasphemyLaw) September 30, 2016