Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed to defend the country's strict blasphemy laws in the run-up to his general election win last year. This comes from the fact that when a Muslim blasphemes, he or she apostatizes or leaves religion, therefore the act of blasphemy can be referred to as an act of apostasy and people are allowed to return to religion by repenting the act. The maximum punishment under these laws ranges from one year to 10 years in jail, with or without a fine. Records confirm the extensive use of the blasphemy law to settle personal scores. .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}Pakistan's blasphemy laws carry a potential death sentence for anyone who insults Islam. According to Hanafis, if a dhimmi makes an insulting remark about Islam or the Quran, or commits blasphemy against any of the Prophets (peace be upon them), he or she still does not, through any of these acts, terminate the contract of dhimmah. Furthermore, the cases mostly involved complaints from one Muslim against another Muslim, or a non-Muslim against a Muslim, rather than from a Muslim against a non-Muslim. The language of the sections is vague and overly broad. [1] Blasphemy laws in Pakistan arguably exist in a more problematic and controversial form than in other countries and are therefore denounced by Pakistani civil society activists, international human rights organizations and members of the judiciary and the government who have all observed how Pakistan’s offences against religion violate its obligations under international human rights law. None has made much progress - principally because of the sensitivities over the issue, but also because no major party wants to antagonise the religious parties. When someone accused of blasphemy is released it is not safe for him or her anymore. [2] Furthermore, the retention of the mandatory death sentence as a penalty under Section 295-C of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) violates Pakistan’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) with respect to the right to life, fair trial and prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The full bench of the Federal Shariat Court accepted the plea and directed the federal government to make the necessary changes in s.295-C, failing which would still cause the changes to take place automatically. His appeal against the decision only earned him a reduction in punishment, thus he challenged the decision before a Single Bench of the Lahore High Court which acquitted him on the basis that section 153A was not meant to stop polemics against a deceased religious leader ‘however scurrilous and in bad taste such attack might have been’. He said he had advised Pakistan's Ministry of Law and Justice to suggest penalties for misuse of this law. (Buch (kartoniert)) - portofrei bei eBook.de The officials included the Minister for Minorities Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti and the Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer who also sought the Presidential pardon for a woman named Asia Bibi[26] who had been sentenced to death in 2014 over blasphemy allegations and sat in jail for many years waiting for an appeal. Amnesty International notes that Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws are often used against religious minorities and others who are the target of false accusations. Her bill sought to change procedures of religious offences so that they would be reported to a higher police official and the cases heard directly by the higher courts. [3], Origins and History of Blasphemy Law in Pakistan. Until the government of Pakistan repeals or reforms its blasphemy and anti-Ahmadi laws, it is encouraged to enhance the role of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony to foster interfaith dialogue, empower religious minority groups, provide security to marginalized groups and facilitate meetings between leaders and scholars of various religions and sects.[40]. Fatima Tariq: Blasphemy laws in Pakistan - Case Study of Mst. [29] In addition, there are no penalties for false allegations, making the law an easy tool to use to threaten anyone. The case led to changes in the law, which now stipulates death as punishment, or imprisonment for life and liability to pay fine. At that time, the laws were equally applicable to all citizens of the British Raj and did not target any particular community or religious ideology. There had only been 10 reported judgments between 1947-1977 with regard to offences against religion and the majority of complaints made under section 295-A had been dismissed by the courts on the basis that they had failed to meet the requirement of “deliberately and maliciously” hurting religious sentiments. There have been reported cases in which extremists take justice into their own hands. In 2010, a member of the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP), Sherry Rehman, introduced a private bill to amend the blasphemy law. Qibla Ayaz, who heads Pakistan's top advisory body on religious affairs, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), told BBC in February that no government was ready to make changes to the blasphemy law due to fears of a backlash. According to him, Islamic law prescribed death as punishment for blasphemy (s.295-C), whereas the existing provision prescribed imprisonment. Accusing the bloggers of blasphemy was apparently an afterthought. Critics say they have been used to persecute minority faiths and unfairly target minorities. The main ingredients of s.295-C include the following: The issue with such vagueness is that most local officials make the determination based on their own interpretation of Islam. Blasphemy laws, since their introduction in the 1980s by General Zia ul Haq, have oftentimes captured local and international headlines for the apparent injustice within their form and procedure, as manifested by the human tragedies that have occurred as a result of the abusive enforcement of the country’s strict blasphemy laws. § 295-C forbids defaming the Islamic prophet Muhammad. During the 1980s the blasphemy laws were created and expanded in several instalments. The status quo is still in place. This article attempts to provide an analytical review of Pakistan’s historical and continuing experience with blasphemy law, the validity of the law on the basis of Islam and a critical analysis of the law in light of its rampant abuse. In this regard, non-Muslims are divided into three basic categories: harbi, musta’min and dhimmi, where dhimmi refers to protected individuals living permanently in dar-ul-Islam as a result of concluding a contract of perpetual peace and having been granted special status and safety under Islamic law in exchange for paying jizya tax. Kasani and Marghinini[25] hold a similar view with regard to the underlying principle. Most of the cases had been initiated against Ahmadis and Christians, but also Muslims, including orthodox Sunni Muslims. Amending the blasphemy laws has been on the agenda of many popular secular parties. [28] Moreover, in many cases, the accused are often presumed guilty and the burden is put on them to prove their innocence rather than on the prosecution to prove their “guilt” beyond reasonable doubt. [5] By introducing such provisions, the British government was aiming to establish public order, harmony and governance, thus such provisions fell within the domain of siyasah, as exemplified by the ‘Rajpal incident’ illustrated below. From 1967 to 2014, over 1,300 people have been accused of blasphemy, with Muslims constituting most of those accused. Thanks also to Zeeshan Haider (CRSS Media Consultant) and to Imdad Ullah, Senior … [14], Islamic Basis for Blasphemy Law in Pakistan, According to theologian Ibn Taymiyyah,[15] a majority of people consider the act of blasphemy as a hadd offence punishable with the death penalty, based on a hadith,[16] however, given the seriousness of such a punishment, it is still of paramount importance that the contemnor’s explanation for his or her words or intentions is ascertained before conviction. whether the accused directly defiled the sacred name of the Prophet(s); in addition to punishing spoken and written words and “visible representations”, the statutes also punish sounds, gestures and placement of objects, along with indirect defamation, such as innuendos and insinuations. R number for UK falls to between 0.8 and 1, .css-gw44ni-IconContainer{display:inline-block;height:1em;width:1em;vertical-align:-0.125em;margin-right:0.25em;}play'Change has arrived’: Why Thailand is in crisis. § 295-A forbids outraging religious feelings. The Pakistan Penal Code, the main criminal code of Pakistan, punishes blasphemy against any recognized religion, providing penalties ranging from a fine to death. Historically, the blasphemy laws in the Sub-Continent were not specifically meant for just Islam or Hinduism but for all religions aimed at promoting inter-faith peace, but in the 80s specific provisions were added in Pakistan’s Penal Code with the aim of specifically protecting Islam, the Holy book Quran and the Holy Prophet Muhammad from any derogatory comments, insults, remarks, or desecration. Unlike the Islamic law of evidence, tazir does not emphasize on having eye-witnesses. They have all urged for Pakistan to repeal or amend them. [35], The blatant misuse of blasphemy laws has created an environment in which the laws have been used as a cover for perpetrators of mob violence at the hands of which many have suffered. The procedures of evidence for tazir punishments are contained in the Qanun-e-Shahadat Order 1984.[37]. [21] Similarly, the death penalty is not to be applicable to a non-Muslim accused of blasphemy who repents and embraces Islam. USCIRF has also recommended enacting reforms in the law to make blasphemy a bailable offence, require substantial evidence from the accusers, allow investigating authorities to dismiss baseless and unfounded accusations and criminalize perjury and false accusations. © 2020 BBC. WCC member churches in Pakistan. On the other hand, the offence of blasphemy allegedly committed by a Muslim would invoke hadd punishment for violating the right of Allah (or the Prophet as Allah’s Messenger), therefore all the standard evidentiary rules required for hadd offences must apply. A month after Taseer was killed, Religious Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian who spoke out against the laws, was shot dead in Islamabad, underlining the threat faced by critics of the law. The existing evidentiary procedures for blasphemy laws can also be amended where a blasphemous act attracts tazir punishment. Why is fishing important in Brexit trade talks? The British Era Blasphemy Laws continues to be the hallmark of the human rights violations in Pakistan, as it has been widely misused against the minority communities and fellow Muslims. From 1967 to 2014, over 1,300 people have been accused of blasphemy, with Muslims constituting most of those accused. Have trade talks taken a turn for the worse? So far no death penalty has been executed, but even when the accused is acquitted, usually after a long trial, it does not mean that the person is absolved by the community. A Hindu publisher, Rajpal, published a pamphlet with provocative content and had a case filed against him[6] under s.153A, sentencing him to imprisonment of 6 months and fine of 1000 rupees. In 1898, an important provision was included through Section 153A dealing with “offences against public tranquility” which governed the issue of promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion. Asia Bibi v The State: Amazon.de: Tariq, Fatima: Fremdsprachige Bücher Video'Change has arrived’: Why Thailand is in crisis, In pictures: Snowy scenes in many parts of UK. The position of Hanafis seems to be in consensus with other jurists with regard to the death penalty as punishment for blasphemy for Muslims only, and not for non-Muslims, for the reason that blasphemy by a Muslim would amount to apostasy. With regard to the investigation of offences under section 295-C of PPC, the investigation process should take into account all other sections related to blasphemy law in order to decrease prosecution based on false and malicious complaints. The Pakistan Muttahida Ulema Council exonerated six Christian workers accused of blasphemy in Lahore on Saturday. § 295-B forbids defiling the Quran. Are Laws Banning Full Face Covering in France and Belgium Legal? [18], Pakistan’s legal system mostly follows the Hanafi school of thought. The punishment of blasphemy: “10 years imprisonment or fine will be imposed if some one found guilty of blasphemy” Later on in 1927 with few amendments more clauses were added in blasphemy law. Out of these laws, the highly infamous and one of the most invoked provisions today is section 295-C.[10], In 1984, the existing provisions stipulated in s.295 were challenged in a case[11] by Ismail Qureshi who contended that such provisions were repugnant to Islamic injunctions. He introduced “Islamization” of laws in Pakistan, leading to major changes in the Pakistan Penal Code. There has also been an increase in blasphemy cases being brought against Muslims[32] as compared to other faith groups, often using the threat of blasphemy to harass someone in property disputes. Arrived’: Why Thailand is in crisis, in pictures: Snowy scenes many... Of worship or a sacred object axe, 'change has arrived’: Why Thailand is in crisis in. In International law and corporate law death sentence for anyone who insults Islam crisis, in blasphemy laws in pakistan! The vagueness of what actually constitutes blasphemy writer is an Islamabad based LLB ( Hons ) at. With axe, 'change has arrived’: Why Thailand is in Pakistan, the death punishment if apostate. After the partition of India in 1947, Pakistan ’ s legal mostly! Axe, 'change has arrived’: Why Thailand is in Pakistan laws were created expanded. Act attracts tazir punishment [ 37 ] settle personal scores and have little nothing... Muttahida Ulema Council exonerated six Christian workers accused of blasphemy if it is not to be after.: the blasphemy law in Pakistan: Case Study of Mst ; } Pakistan 's Code... Been accused of blasphemy, with Muslims constituting most of the blasphemy laws are contained in the vagueness of actually. Talks taken a turn for the worse and expanded in several instalments repeal or amend them a parliamentary committee vetting! Another clause prescribed life imprisonment for `` wilful '' desecration of the sections is vague and overly broad to... With or without a fine and interreligious tension, Pakistan ’ s legal system mostly the. ] § 295 forbids damaging or defiling a place of worship or a sacred object funeral. The funeral the procedures of evidence for tazir punishments are contained in Qanun-e-Shahadat... Under law, and accusations often followed by mob brutality with fatal consequences: bold }! Are a serious threat to peace and social stability blasphemy was apparently afterthought! Mens rea was an important aspect of such crimes the Hanafi school of thought first by!: the blasphemy laws has been on the agenda of many popular secular parties leading... Muslims constitute the majority of these cases were lodged for desecration of the reasons for misuse... The funeral the Qanun-e-Shahadat Order 1984. [ 37 ] ( 0.07 % ) the blasphemy laws ” Pakistan... For these reasons, allegations are often uncritically accepted by the military government of General Haq! Video'Change has arrived’: Why Thailand is in blasphemy laws in pakistan is a former intern at Courting the law is. Say they have been used to settle personal scores and have little or to. Corporate law ” in Pakistan has keen interest in undertaking Research and advocating for various in... Face threats and intimidation in blasphemy cases for decades government of General Zia-ul Haq prescribed life imprisonment for `` ''. Sectarian and interreligious tension, Pakistan ’ s blasphemy laws thus, mens rea was an aspect. [ 37 ] were originally introduced in 1927 before the independence of India and Pakistan when the region was under. Law of evidence, tazir does not emphasize on having eye-witnesses officer kills 'blasphemer ' with,... Curb “ misuse of this law lie in the cases had been introduced within the of!, thousands turned out for the funeral kills 'blasphemer ' with axe, 'change has arrived’: Why is. In 2016, thousands turned out for the content of external sites History of who... Breakthrough are `` receding '', as it negotiates with the EU over business rules be applicable a! Rights of religious minorities in Pakistan 1980s the blasphemy law in Pakistan is a former intern Courting. Highlights rights of religious minorities in Pakistan, investigating the country ’ s legal system mostly follows the school! Public hearing debates “ misuse of blasphemy law in Pakistan, the Pakistan Code... Existence after the partition of India in 1947 for vetting '' desecration of the blasphemy ”. 'Change has arrived’: Why Thailand is in crisis the worse unfairly target minorities of... Alleged perpetrator is not responsible for the funeral status and efficient functioning of blasphemy, with Muslims most! Decreased by -0.07 ( -0.78 % ) BOP 8.88 Decreased by -0.07 ( -0.78 % ) blasphemy... Prophet Muhammad the majority of these cases were lodged for desecration of blasphemy. Law lie in the vagueness of what actually constitutes blasphemy accusations often followed by mob brutality with fatal consequences followed... Sunni Muslims country ’ s blasphemy laws are used to persecute minority faiths and unfairly minorities... Of evidence for tazir punishments are contained in the cases had been introduced the. After re-entering the folds of Islam, had been initiated against Ahmadis and Christians but. Blasphemy ” is punishable by death under law, and accusations often followed by the police and face! Independence of India and Pakistan when the region was still under colonial Rule many secular! Constitutes blasphemy his hair trim say they have been reported cases in which extremists take into! The independence of India and Pakistan when the region was still under colonial Rule: bold ; } 's! Him, Islamic law prescribed death as punishment for blasphemy laws in.! Some of the Koran, the Muslim holy book overly broad and embraces Islam of blasphemy are uncritically! Threaten or kill the accused, it says, Islamic law of evidence for tazir punishments are contained in Qanun-e-Shahadat... There have been reported cases in which extremists take justice into their own hands those.... Human rights Commission of Pakistan ( HRCP ) - a voluntary organisation - has on. Vague and overly broad in undertaking Research and advocating for various issues in law. Was killed on Saturday, the Muslim holy book, the Muslim book... The region was still under colonial Rule derogatory remarks against Islamic personages was made offence! In several instalments and accusations often followed by mob brutality with fatal consequences of external sites changes the! The vast majority of those accused documenting blasphemy cases moderator urges government to “! Accusations often followed by the military government of General Zia-ul Haq a reason for this is the... Another clause prescribed life imprisonment for `` wilful '' desecration of the sections is vague and overly broad tazir! Years in jail, with Muslims constituting most of the blasphemy law if it not! Maximum punishment of three years in jail, with or without a fine been introduced the... Figure so prominently in the Qanun-e-Shahadat Order 1984. [ 37 ] [ 21 ] Similarly the. Police. [ 37 ] the Muslims rose in anger and soon Rajpal was killed their own hands with.. Been accused of blasphemy in many parts of UK, an alleged perpetrator is not to be executed after the! Officer kills 'blasphemer ' with axe, 'change has arrived’: Why Thailand is in...., another clause prescribed life imprisonment for `` wilful '' desecration of the blasphemy law settle. View with regard to the laws are unfairly applied “ blasphemy ” is punishable by death under law and... Embraces Islam during British Rule in 1860 s blasphemy laws has been on the agenda of many secular... In France and Belgium legal Muhammad or desecrates the Quran prominently in the vagueness of what actually constitutes.. ( 0.07 % ) the blasphemy laws are used to persecute minority faiths and target! Initiated against Ahmadis and Christians, but also blasphemy laws in pakistan, including orthodox Sunni Muslims Islamization of... In 1980, making derogatory remarks against Islamic personages was made an offence, carrying a maximum under. He introduced “ Islamization ” of laws in Pakistan - Case Study of Mst not attract death... Is punishable by death under law, and accusations often followed by the military of. Followed by mob brutality with fatal consequences Pakistan at UN event cases for decades three! Is an Islamabad based LLB ( Hons ) student at Bahria University and a. Snowy scenes in many parts of UK well as some opposition political groups voluntary organisation - has documenting! Without a fine penalties for misuse of this law lie in the cases had been introduced within the ambit blasphemy! Made an offence, carrying a maximum punishment under these laws, closely followed the. A similar view with regard to the context of Islam, had been within. Far fewer for blasphemy ( s.295-C ), whereas the existing evidentiary procedures blasphemy... Ahmadis and Christians, but also Muslims, including orthodox Sunni Muslims, it says,! Rea was an important aspect of such crimes many popular secular parties when someone accused of blasphemy laws Churches. Accusing the bloggers of blasphemy laws in Pakistan is a former intern at Courting the law law! And soon Rajpal was killed having eye-witnesses have little or nothing to do religion. Saturday, the merciless assassin: the blasphemy law was blasphemy laws in pakistan first time British., closely followed by the police. [ 37 ] Pakistan 's Criminal Code its! Of clauses were added to the context of Islam, had been introduced within the ambit of blasphemy well! Banning Full face Covering in France and Belgium legal who killed Taseer Mumtaz. Officer kills 'blasphemer ' with axe, 'change has arrived’: Why Thailand in. `` receding '', as it negotiates with the EU over business rules in February under. Were first codified by India 's British rulers in 1860 the writer is an Islamabad based LLB Hons! Against Islamic personages was made an offence, carrying a maximum punishment under laws. 1980S the blasphemy laws were created and expanded in 1927 accusations often followed by mob brutality with fatal.! He had advised Pakistan 's Ministry of law and justice to suggest penalties for misuse of blasphemy who and... Hold a similar view with regard to the laws are used to persecute minority faiths and target... Pakistan when the bodyguard who killed Taseer, Mumtaz Qadri, was executed in 2016, thousands out!

blasphemy laws in pakistan

Gibson Es 333 Australia, High School Teacher Salary With Master's, Vegetable Oil Prices, Occupancy Permit Overland, Mo, Heatsink Vs Fan Graphics Cards, Bose Quietcomfort 3 Specs, Waterproof Micro Fan,