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Pakistan lawyer campaigns to have ‘blasphemers’ executed

Pakistan lawyer campaigns to have ‘blasphemers’ executed

On Saturday BBC Radio 4 broadcast a chilling programme called ‘Blasphemy and and the Governor of Punjab’. In the course of the reconstruction of events that led to the slaying in Pakistan of Salman Taseer, it was revealed that:

The Interior Minister even gave an impromptu press conference announcing that he too would kill any blasphemer ‘with his own hands’.

According the programme, which you can still hear online, a senior security chief echoed the Minister’s statement.

The programme also highlighted the efforts made by lawyer  Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry, above, to have a murder charge dropped against Taseer’s assassin, Mumtaz Qadri, on the grounds that he merely did “what any good Muslim would do to a blasphemer”.

Salman Taseer

Salman Taseer

Qadri, who was one of Taseer’s bodyguards, subsequently became a hero among millions of Muslims in both Pakistan and abroad, and, in the face of death threats the judge who handed down the sentence, Pervez Ali Shah, was sent to Saudi Arabia in 2011 for his own safety.

Qadri was hanged for the murder last month.

Taseer was slain by Qadri for his efforts to free an illiterate Christian woman, Asia Bibi, who had been sentenced to death for blasphemy and is still awaiting execution.

Taseer’s funeral, boycotted by his political colleagues, was delayed because no imam was prepared to conduct a burial service. But Qadri funeral was attended by thousands.

3000

According to this report, much of the pressure to promote and prosecute blasphemy cases has come from “a surprising source” – Pakistan’s legal profession.

A group of highly educated lawyers known as “The Movement for the Finality of the Prophethood” has devoted itself to ensuring that as many cases as possible reach court and result in a guilty verdict.

The organisation claims to have 700 members in the province of Punjab alone, where hundreds of cases have been filed in recent years.

Lawyers from the group offer their services for free, and often pack courtrooms with clerics and supporters to ensure a guilty verdict. And rather than relying on arguments about evidence, the lawyers will frame the case as decision where the honor of Islam is at stake.

Said Mobeen Azhar, a BBC correspondent:

Since this particular group of lawyers got together, what we’ve seen is a mob mentality. You’ll often see court rooms filled with people who really want a conviction. It’s like theatre — you’ll hear jeering, you’ll hear threats. People get very, very emotional.

The group is led by Chaudhry, who has made his name prosecuting blasphemy cases and defending people who have murdered alleged blasphemers. According to Azhar, meeting Chaudhry is a memorable experience.

You walk into his plush office, and he’s quite presidential. He’s always got a cigar in his hand. He’s very polite, offers you tea and biscuits. And then you get down to business.

He said to me ‘there is only one punishment for blasphemy, and only one punishment for insulting the Prophet Muhammad, and that is death. There is no alternative’.

Chaudhry’s defence of Qadri was based on the argument that the murder was justified because to question the blasphemy laws is in fact to commit blasphemy. His argument was formally rejected,

According to Azhar, there is little prospect of reform of the blasphemy laws given the current climate.

It will take a very brave set of people to move forward and even get that discussion going. There isn’t a critical mass.

In Pakistan, an accusation of blasphemy can prove fatal. The official legal punishment for defiling the name of the “Prophe”, even indirectly, is “death and nothing else”.

Even when a death sentence isn’t officially carried out, defendants are sometimes murdered or lynched by people who believe they are protecting Islam. Family members frequently have to go into hiding.

15 responses to “Pakistan lawyer campaigns to have ‘blasphemers’ executed”

  1. CoastalMaineBird says:

    A… God is so powerful that he can create planets and flood them with water and cause earthquakes and raise the dead, and so weak that he is injured by cartoons and voices of dissent.

    B… God is a creation of human imaginations.

    Choose wisely…

  2. L.Long says:

    The lawyer is again showing that religious people are basically liars!!! and their ahole gawd has NO power!!!
    I will be glad to answer his dimwit challenge…I will blaspheme in his face!! Now just try to kill me with your own hands!!!! I guarantee you can not do so and would need at least 5 others to help you, you lying sack of BS!

  3. AgentCormac says:

    Bunch of backward, barbaric monsters.

  4. Broga says:

    “He said to me ‘there is only one punishment for blasphemy, and only one punishment for insulting the Prophet Muhammad, and that is death. There is no alternative’.”

    I guess that means all who contribute to this site would be for the chop. The man is, of course, a religious maniac, his brain polluted by superstitions, any decency or tolerance of other opinions impossible for him. In any civilised society he would be constrained, locked away safely, as a disgrace and danger to humanity.

    The violent and the vicious, like this man, thrive in his religious and toxic society. The rational, the humane, the intellectually honest die as he slavers and lusts over their deaths. This is religion, the curse that has fallen on ignorant humans. It is destroying the planet and, its believers doing their best to exterminate the rest of us. In a nuclear age they may well succeed.

  5. Trevor Blake says:

    “What any good Muslim would do to a blasphemer.”

    Fact. Not that killing those accused of saying the wrong magic spells is good. But it’s a fact that all (all) ALL schools of Islamic thought call for the murder of blasphemers. There’s uniform agreement about that – and a few who twist and pervert their religion to peaceful ends.

    Islam is worthy of the most blistering criticism and mockery. But notice I don’t call for even one of them to be killed. The argument by murder is exclusive to the religion of peace in this exchange.

  6. Angela_K says:

    To paraphrase an old saying: truth is the first casualty in a religious law court; evidence, the rights and freedoms of others are anathema to the zealots.

  7. barriejohn says:

    Chaudhry’s defence of Qadri was based on the argument that the murder was justified because to question the blasphemy laws is in fact to commit blasphemy.

    So it was up to his client to execute the man? He’s not fit to practise law – anywhere.

    And in Britain:

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/apr/03/human-rights-lawyer-aamer-anwar-death-threats-scottish-muslims

  8. L.Long says:

    I saw a meme that sums up xtians, jews, ans isLame completely…….
    If these are the religion of peace, then the most extreme of these should be the most peaceful!!! But you can judge their true nature by looking at what the most extreme believers DO!!!! I don’t care what any of them say!! What do they DO!!!!

  9. Sadbrat says:

    Just follow the money … this animal makes loads out of the idiots that support him.

  10. Newspaniard says:

    When are serious efforts going to be made to deport these animals to the countries from which they came? *Sigh* I know, the fat cat “human rights” lawyers will never let that happen without multiple court cases paid for by the UK taxpayer.

  11. barriejohn says:

    Newspaniard: These events are taking place in Pakistan!

  12. H3r3tic says:

    @barriejohn – It’s possible Newspaniard is referring to your link to the case of Aamer Anwar.

  13. 1859 says:

    An apt link barriejohn – thanks. It’s sobering to read that the same legal crap that is happening in the Punjab can and is happening in the UK.
    To ‘campaign or speak out against the blasphemy laws is itself blasphemy’ – only a society with its brains stuck inside its own arse could think like this. Such thinking is tantamount to volunteering for brain damage.

    And as for defiling your fucking prophet get this – I will piss into your prophet’s face – rub my excrement up his nose – I will flush him down the loo with 20 tons of cat shit. He will be flushed out to sea and sink to the bottom of the ocean and become part of the useless slime of history. Oh, and by the by, I would like to do the same with every god on the planet, not just your turbaned gangster.

  14. John says:

    The more one hears stories like these, the more it becomes apparent that Pakistan is just an uncivilized, barbaric mess, which no rational person can want anything to do with. They support vile acts of terrorism – the recent murders of young christian children in a playground being a very obvious example of this.
    Pakistanis in Pakistan are all insane and should be treated as such.
    Their military have supported the Taliban and other terrorists in Afghanistan for decades. They are a real and present danger towards India, especially as they possess nuclear weapons.
    I believe the day will come when it will be necessary to deal with this horrible nest of vipers – it may be that a joint exercise with the Indian military will be necessary to destroy the present ruling elite in Pakistan.

  15. […] Last month Anwar slammed Habib ur Rehman – one of the most senior figures at the mosque for posting posted messages online praising the  extremist Pakistani murderer Mumtaz Qadri. The killer was executed in February for the assassination of Punjab’s Governor Salman Taseer. […]