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    Blasphemy law

    • Blasphemy law

      This is with reference to Mohammad Ismail Qureshi's letter "Blasphemy law" (Nov 12). The Constitution of Pakistan specifies the Quran and Sunnah to be the two equally valid sources of Islam. Sunnah according to the Ulema is what is embodied in the six books of Ahadith called 'The Correct Six'.

      Blasphemy is defined in section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code in the following words: "Use of derogatory remarks, etc in respect of the holy Prophet (PBUH) by word, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by importation, innuendo or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiling the sacred name of the holy Prophet (PBUH) and shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life, and shall be liable to fine...."

      This concept of blasphemy and the prescribed punishment are both contradictory to the Quran and the holy Prophet's conduct. No doubt this law is being used as vengeance. The Quran prescribes restraint, and distancing from the blasphemous persons or situations. The emphasis is on restraint and forgiveness. A study of the following verses should bear this out:

      "When ye hear the signs of Allah held in defiance and ridicule, ye are not to sit with them unless they turn to a different theme," (Quran 4:140).

      "And when they hear vain talk, they turn away therefrom and say: 'to us our deeds and to you yours; peace be to you.' (Quran 28:55).

      "Hold to forgiveness, command what is right; but turn away from the ignorant." (Quran 7:199).

      "Have patience with what they say, and leave them with noble (dignity)." (Quran 73:10).

      "And the servants of Allah ... are those who walked on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say 'Peace'" (Quran 25:63).

      "Allah is with those who restrain themselves." (Quran 16:128).

      "... But they uttered blasphemy ... if they repent, it will be best for them, but if they turn back, Allah will punish them." (Quran 9:47).

      In the presence of so many verses of the Quran ordering Muslims to restrain and forgive, the supporters of the blasphemy law provide one or two weak traditions whose narrators are even considered not up to standard by the scholars. And such traditions are not even remotely present in the "the correct six" books of traditions.

      In short, nowhere in the Quran and Sunnah, and even in Islamic history, has blasphemy law or any such law or punishment been defined. These are foreign concepts for Islam and should be abrogated as soon as possible.

      MASOOD NASIR
      Lahore


      Reference: Dawn News Group


    #2
    Sounds like something from a law book from the medieval times. infact it is a 7th century law. One day our thoughts and our laws, hence our society, will evolve to understand concepts such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of expression for all citizens.

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      #3
      While i'm certainly not for irresponsible free speech, I'm VERY pro open ideas and free thinking.

      Pakistan is a tough nut to crack.. Years of tradition has literally eroded all religious knowledge and instilled tradition, customs, rituals and superstitions embedded deep in the roots of general belief.

      It's strange when you challenge these dogmas or invite people to think rationally, you're met with a belligerent "we've seen our forefathers practice this, should we now abandon it because you say so?" .. sounds familiar?

      I sure hope our young and old alike study their religion more critically than they do today. Once they start questioning and reasoning, this religion is strong enough to withstand the scrutiny.
      JaddoN kaddya jaloos ghareeba tay shehr ich choatalee lug gayee

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