No announcement yet.

SACRILEGE - Pakistan doctor on trial for blasphemy

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    SACRILEGE - Pakistan doctor on trial for blasphemy

    The blasphemy trial of a medical lecturer accused of making derogatory remarks about the prophet Mohammed is under way in Pakistan.

    The lecturer, Dr Younis Sheikh, was accused by some of his students of saying that the prophet Mohammed was not a Muslim until he was 40 years old, and nor were his parents.

    A blasphemy charge - which carries a death sentence - was registered by a local mullah.

    Dr Sheikh, who has practised in the United Kingdom and Ireland, denies the charge and says his words were misunderstood.

    The charges against him were laid nearly a month ago.

    Facing accuser

    During this latest court hearing, he came face to face with one of his former students, who was a prosecution witness.

    The 18-year-old was among those who signed a petition accusing Dr Sheikh of making blasphemous remarks during a class in October.

    A local mullah filed a criminal complaint based on the boy's accounts and Dr Sheikh has been in prison ever since.

    He says the case was motivated by those who don't like his political views on controversial subjects such as Kashmir.

    Speaking before the court hearing, Dr Sheikh said he couldn't conceive of saying anything blasphemous; he said he had discussed aspects of the prophet Mohammed's life during classes, but that his words had been twisted.

    However, the chief complainant, who took up the case on the students' behalf, said any Muslim would rather shoot himself than make false allegations.

    The prosecuting lawyer said as there was no antagonism between the teacher and his students, there had to be some cause behind the original complaint.

    Human rights criticism

    Human rights groups have called for a change in the blasphemy laws, which stipulate a mandatory death sentence for anyone found guilty, although no one has been executed to date.

    It's estimated that hundreds of people are currently being detained on blasphemy charges, and minority religious groups complain the law is used to persecute them.

    Under the current system, if someone is accused of blasphemy, the police have to make an arrest without investigation.

    Last year, the government tried to introduce a procedural change, which would mean an inquiry would precede any arrest.

    But it stepped back from doing so after pressure from hardline religious groups.

    I think all Pakistanis should be ashamed of that. Its horrible to hear when people can accuse a teacher on that kind of bases. That only shows how low one can go to achieve thier goals.


      Blasphemy is perhaps the most misused and misinterpreted laws in Pakistan, and is often conflagarated because of corrupted thought processes.
      The worst part is, that this is the view that is transferred to the world about what Islam is, whereas its nothing close to reality. Blasphemy is wrong and illegal in Islam, but its imposition has its methods, which have been thoroughly misused and misapplied in Pakistan, not because of the law itself, but because of undue pressure from religious quarters. Such extremism exists everywhere.