Sentenced to death: On Pakistan’s minorities

November 20, 2010

aasia bibiEarlier this year I asked someone who had been a senior minister in the government of Pakistan why the country could not change laws which discriminated against minorities. I asked the question because more than 80 people from the minority Ahmadi sect had just been killed in two mosques in Lahore, which at the time served as a wake-up call of the dangers of growing religious intolerance in Pakistan.

His answer was unhesitating. You could not possibly do something like that in Pakistan.

Such is the power of the religious lobbies that no government dares challenge them. Each ”wake-up” call is soon forgotten until another injustice against religious minorities punches its way to the surface.

The latest was the sentencing to death for blasphemy of a Pakistani Christian woman.  According to press reports Aasia Bibi had been working in the fields in Punjab province when she was sent to fetch water. When she returned, some Muslim women refused to drink it, saying it was unclean because it had been carried by a Christian.  As the argument escalated, police became involved and Aasia Bibi was charged with blasphemy for allegedly insulting Islam. After a year in jail, she was convicted and sentenced to become the first woman to be hanged for blasphemy in Pakistan.

Aasia Bibi’s sentence has garnered unusual international attention, with human rights groups like Amnesty International calling for her release and the Pope using his weekly public audience to plead for her life. President Asif Ali Zardari has now stepped in, asking his government to look urgently into the case. Her plight has also prompted a fresh round of calls for a change in the law.

Yet whatever happens in her particular case, it is hard to escape the idea that once the noise dies down, everything will go back to the way it was before.

The blog Changing Up Pakistan complained that Aasia Bibi’s case was not noticed until she was sentenced to death rather than when she was first accused.

“I am not sure what’s worse – that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws [sections 295 and 298 of the Penal Code] are still in effect and arbitrarily used to persecute the country’s minorities, or that Aasia Bibi’s case is only really garnering headlines now, not a year ago, when this case first transpired.”

Human Rights Watch analyst Ali Dayan Hasan argued that the problem with Aasia Bibi’s story was not that it was unusual, but that it was commonplace.

“Aasia Bibi’s case is so unremarkable, so commonplace, so routine in its casually callous violation of basic rights that it did not even register in the public consciousness. And, of course, it is no secret that the belief that Christians, and non-Muslims in general, are ‘unclean’, though not propagated by any known school of Islamic thought, has widespread currency, particularly in Punjab. In all likelihood, the police felt the mob was justified. There is a thin line between faith-based lack of hygiene and blasphemy goes this logic. And it is crossed if you refuse to view your faith as filth,” he wrote in Dawn newspaper.

“But Pakistan’s lower-level judiciary managed through a shockingly bigoted judgment passed on Nov 7 to bring Aasia Bibi’s case to centre stage. In sentencing Aasia Bibi to death under Section 295 C, Judge Naveed Iqbal of the Sheikhupura district and sessions court “totally ruled out” any chance that Aasia was falsely implicated and said there were “no mitigating circumstances”. Apparently, the court thought that it is absolutely fine to argue that Christians are simply unclean and if they respond by accusing the allegers of bigotry, they are guilty of blasphemy.”

There is a long history to this.  Among the litany of recent examples, eight Christians were killed in the town of Gojra in Punjab last year following unsubstantiated allegations that a Christian had desecrated the Koran.  In a barely noticed incident this month, Pakistani police forced an Ahmadi family to exhume the body of a relative because it was buried in a Muslim graveyard.

Sectarian bombings have extended to Shiites and even to the majority community who attend Sufi shrines in Pakistan.

When the Ahmadis were gunned down in their mosques in Lahore, some commenters on this blog compared it to the Kristallnacht, when Jews were targeted in Nazi Germany in 1938.  Others quoted the lines of German Pastor Martin Niemoeller, usually remembered as  “First they came”, about a mindset in 1930s Germany where the majority looked the other way while the Nazis targetted communists, Jews, trade unionists and other pereceived enemies. “Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

It might have been a watershed. It was not.

With the sentencing of Aasia Bibi, the anguish about the treatment of minorities, so alien to the spirit of Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah, has begun again.

Yet that former minister I spoke to earlier this year was probably right.  The government will not, and dares not, repeal the laws which leave Pakistan’s minorities vulnerable.  That can’t happen until the overall environment changes in a way which makes religious tolerance possible. And nobody quite knows how to change that environment in a country which already faces so many problems.

(Reuters photo: Aasia Bibi’s daugthers hold up a photo of their mother/Adrees Latif)

100 comments

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The clean-unclean argument reminds me of caste system in Hinduism. Did not realize that Islam also sanctioned this. Or is this a practice adopted from Hinduism?

Recently saw a program on Sikhs from Afghanistan who had migrated to India. Wonder if India should start accepting Hindu/Sikh refugees from Pakistan in a less daunting manner. Our current rules include living in 1 place for 10 years reporting to police station every fortnight which seems little too much.

Posted by nvrforgetmbai | Report as abusive

Long ago Jinnah said that in the wonderful land of Pakistan, “A Hindu will cease to be a Hindu, a Muslim will cease to be a Muslim. Everyone was free to follow his or her religion and there will be no religious influence in the affairs of the state.”

In today’s Pakistan, Hindus have ceased to be Hindus. They have been driven out or converted to Islam. Those non-Muslims who stayed behind in Pakistan are fools. They should have known what the outcome was going to be over the years. A nation created for Muslims by means of violence was never going to be tolerant of others.

It is shocking to see such blatant official discrimination in Pakistan that goes to the degree of sentencing minorities to death. Even more shocking is to see Pakistanis talking about human rights in India and other countries.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

http://www.dawn.com/2010/11/18/minister- backs-new-probe-in-case-of-arrested-chri stian.html

Minister backs new probe in case of arrested Christian

A proper thorough reinvestigation of the case is ordered by minister of minority affairs. So far no one has ever been actually executed in Pakistan for blashphemy, govt. should commute the verdict if accused is innocent and also provide protection if acquitted.

nvrforgetmbai:
“The clean-unclean argument reminds me of caste system in Hinduism. Did not realize that Islam also sanctioned this.”

-Islam never sanctioned it, there is no question of clean-unclean. Our housemaid is a christian doing the dishes in kitchen and we share the meal with her. At my workplace few office boys doing cleaning/serving tea are christians. Unfortunately uneducated people do not have the awareness. One of my teachers was christian in school, a 1965 war hero flying legendary combat sorties Air Cdre (r) Cecil choudhry is a christian.

Being intl. member (online) of Amnesty Intl and signatory to universal declaration of human rights’
This is an urgent appeal on behalf of Amnesty Intl, please click on link below, find the contact details of relevant authorities (President, Ministry of Justice & Supreme Court) in Islamabad, Pakistan and write them (as described) a letter or drop an email before 29 Dec 2010:

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ ASA33/011/2010/en/7f12b4fa-7db1-4710-a23 b-d8fe1a31919c/asa330112010en.pdf

Let us help a fellow human being seek justice.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

I would request our regular commenters here each one of them to write a letter/email. For your convenience please find below details, in case you have difficulty to access the pdf link:

URGENT ACTION

PAKISTANI CHRISTIAN WOMAN SENTENCED TO DEATH

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in English, Urdu or your own language:

-calling on President Zardari to commute the death sentence use his powers under Article 45 of the Constitution;

-calling for the immediate release of Aasia Bibi, unless she is charged with internationally regognizable offences
and tried in proceedings and under laws that meet international human rights standards;

-calling on the authorities to take immediate measures to guarantee the safety of Aasia Bibi and her family;

-expressing concern that the blasphemy laws are used indiscriminately against religious minorities and Muslims
alike, and urging the government to amend or abolish laws, particularly section 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code which carries the death penalty for anyone found guilty of blasphemy; and

-calling on the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take Suo Moto notice of the case;

-urging the government to fulfil its pledge to review and improve “laws detrimental to religious harmony”,
announced by Prime Minister Giliani in August 2009;

-calling for an immediate moratorium on all executions in the country, in line with the worldwide trends to abolish the death penalty with a view to an eventual abolition of the death penalty.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 29 DECEMBER 2010 TO:

President Zardari
Pakistan Secretariat, Islamabad,
Pakistan
Fax: +92-51-9207458
E-mail: publicmail@president.gov.pk
Salutation: Dear President Zardari

Dr. Zaheeruddin Babar Awan
Federal Minister
Ministry of Law, Justice &
Parliamentary Affairs
Room 305, S-Block,
Pakistan Secretariat, Islamabad,
Pakistan
Fax: +92 51 9202628
E-Mail: minister@molaw.gov.pk
Salutation: Dear Minister

And copies to:
Justice Iftikhar Muhammad
Chaudhry
Chief Justice of Pakistan
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Islamabad, Pakistan
Fax: +92-51-9213452
Salutation: Dear Chief Justice
Chaudhry

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

There was a TIME magazine cover story of many decades ago on results of a hypotheical Nuclear war between the then-major powers. The TIME cover caption read: “Those who survive shall envy the dead…”

In the case of these unlucky women caught up in such societies as now shown up in Pakistan, the question needs to be asked: are they better off facing lesser prison sentences, or is death by hanging a more desireable alternative? Death removes their sufferings in one shot whereas surviving opens them to daily doses of brutal experiences that go to make them die every day in a slow manner.

Posted by chidambaram | Report as abusive

Umair,

If the request for amnesty comes from Indians, it might make it worse for that poor woman. You know how the emotions are. The first reaction will be with an outburst on India’s human rights violations/genocide in Kashmir and a spat to go take care of our own affairs first. I’d request Indians to write in a Western or Chinese sounding name to prevent emotional backlash.

Your appeal is highly commendable.

Kanwaljit P Singh

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

There’s a lot of pressure being put on the Pakistani Govt by various human rights groups & I think the US & UK foreign offices will also get involved (if not already). I think, ultimately the woman in question, will be pardoned.

@Umair: good for you, to support the cause.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Th writing on the wall is loud & clear: There’s no room for minorities in current Pakistan. I’ve been advocating for a while now that countries like India, US, UK, Canada etc. should grant instant amnesty to Pakistani minorities & facilitate their migration because they are in grave danger in the current enviornment in Pakistan.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

With referrence to my comment, here’s an excerpt from a dawn peice by Irfan Hussain:

“In today`s Pakistan, non-Muslims have been assigned a place in society where they can be persecuted with impunity by those above them on the social ladder. People who accuse non-Muslims falsely of blasphemy just to settle a score or grab some property are never prosecuted. Those who murder Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Ahmadis are never sentenced.

Time and again, the state has failed in its duty to protect all of its citizens. Several non-Muslim prisoners, accused of blasphemy, have been murdered while in police custody by fanatics who have then escaped punishment. And if the accused have been pronounced not guilty by the courts, their lives are always at risk when they are released from custody.”

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

[...] stays execution of blasphemy accused Pak-Christian womanSifyInquirer.net -Reuters Blogs (blog) -Christian Broadcasting Networkall 573 news [...]

Umair

Good to see you proactive on the issue!

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

I would have thought that the Chief justice would suspend the judge who applied the law, and order judicial enquiry about the law! The legislators could then review the blesphamy law and other laws, which the zealous military dictators introduced to satisfy the blood thirsty crowd, and rescind the God damn thing. These acts are no different than the Roman times when the crowd were entertained by the gladiators fight to death. For heaven sake we are not living in prehistoric days and sending people to gallows. We are also not living in the USA where a judge gives the sentence of eighty five years to a person after the jury confirms that the guy failed to ignite a bomb.

Education, education and education is the solution, when one accepts God’s commandment, “Though shall not kill!! A death sentence has no place in Islam, and non muslims have a privileage status in Islam.

Is this again the doing of military man who was the great believer of the barbaric medieval punishments to poor souls for petty crimes. This is a total anarchy.

Umair is very kind and his thóughts are noble. I personaly would not hesitate to send the Pakistan Govt. a Curse as well.

And they have the bloody cheek to enter the mosque and pretend that they are praying for God’s mercy, after being devastated by the floods. Has Pakistan not been adequately punished for their crimes against the minority muslim communities.´And who were those elements who entered the so called REd Mosquie by military force, and committed sheer violence in the house of God.

Rex Minor

Ps I shared with GW the vision of peace and now I share the disgust which he stated about this cheap judgement. No sir, I am the witness, this is no Islam if any one dare thinks. Islam is to show solidarity with the weak, pakistan is not the country known for violence against the christians and their worship places.

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@Rex

“No sir, I am the witness, this is no Islam if any one dare thinks. Islam is to show solidarity with the weak, pakistan is not the country known for violence against the christians and their worship places.”

***Defending Islam is fine. I agree with you on that. But you are defending Pakistan, in addition. No sir, you cannot do that. Have you been oblivious to the violence against Christians in the recent past? How about other religious minorities? I hope you do not drag any other country–USA, India or Isreal to justify Pakistan’s case.

Any religion based country ends up bringing bad name to the religion. Country’s policies are based on geopolitical terms and other considerations which many times are at odds with the religious ideology. Religion and state should be separate.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@Rehmat
I have tried with you but failed. You are one of those millions in your part of the world who believe that the western constitutions are not based on religion?
Unfortunately, You have a set of mind which denies the relation of the religion with the mind. The 18th century philosopher Immanuel kant estabished that the human mind is not blank.
.
Let me try again to understand your satatements and also try to explain my views.

Religion and State should be separate; Fine, but while the religion does not need a State, the State without morals can not build a cohesive community/society of its citizens.
The laws of the country must reflect and take into its structures the values of the religion of the people who form its society. For morality requires the belief in the existence of God, freedom and immortality, because without their existance there can be no morality.

I am defending Pakistan and other countries as well(here I am going to drag in USA, India and Israel), but not their Govts. or practices of discrimination. I condemn the military attack on the red mosque in Pakistan and equally condemn the Indain military operations against the sikhs temples, or for that matter Israeli settlers displaying of the Quraan page on an olive tree of a palestinian farmer depicting God’s commandment, with regard to the land for Israelites. The settler ignored the space and the militaries of India and Pakistan ignored the spirtual feelings of the millions and simply embarked on violence.

Both violence and terrorism was initiated by the two Govts. namely Pakistan and India. Never mind if in both cases the Govts. are putting forward the justifications and demonstrting that they had no alternative.
The consequences of the soup that they prepared are now there, violence all around and the methodology of using the military is being perpatuated.

The consequences have nothing to do with the religion or God’s commandments which stand above the humans. Neither India nor Pakistan were created to what they have become.
sorry mate, this larifari about the geopolitical terms and other considerations are a simple myth and simply a diversion. Humanity and human rights are the supreme words and the goals for the modern states. They are reflected in the european constitutions and its govts. are all trying to following it.
No death penalty in Europe; life imprisonment equals more or less twenty years. Umair is requesting a moratorium on all executions, a step in the right direction. Let us hope that the misuse of military against the citizens would also take hold one day in your democracies.

Have a nice day.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

> For morality requires the belief in the existence of God, freedom and immortality, because without their existance there can be no morality.

Sorry, this is incorrect. Atheists can be as moral as anyone else.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

both statements are correct. Innanuel kant was right in 18th century and in my view Ganesh Prasad is correct in the 21st century. More so an Atheist can have better morals than the one who professes to believe in God!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Good work Umair!

Please continue to keep your leaders accountable.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive

Black Death (2010) BRRip + DVDRip…

I think your post is similar and trackback it. Thanks…

hey rex

Your Germany is the third largest contributor to the ISAF in Afghanistan after US and UK. Chew on that for some time and explain which to which “humanness” in German constitution will you link it up to.

The blasphemy laws are based on sharia in Islam. They were not invented by Pakistan governement. IF they were not there in Islam it may not have occured to Pak govt to come up with them.

Posted by kiran123 | Report as abusive

@Rex

Do not get upset about an alternate opinion, deal with it.

Here is the rebuttal.

“You are one of those millions in your part of the world who believe that the western constitutions are not based on religion?”
***Did I say that the western constitutions are not based on religion? NO. Let us discuss the point I REALLY SAID. Extrapolation and assumption from what I said is a waste of time. I am fully aware that the USA does not have the word “secular” in their constitution. Reality on the ground in the USA is that to succeed in politics, one has to have “Christian” label. HOWEVER, USA is not Christian Republic of America. There is a huge difference between an Islamic Republic and the USA. Same is true for European countries. Last I checked German constitution was not for believers only as you once claimed–there are 25% atheists in Germany if you know that.

“Religion and State should be separate; Fine, but while the religion does not need a State, the State without morals can not build a cohesive community/society of its citizens.”

***If you agree with Ganesh that atheists can be moral as well, then State can have a society based on freedom of religion–which means the freedom to practice a religion or NOT practice any. This society will still have the morals you are looking for in a society. Isn’t it? Tell me is Turkey less moral than Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.

“The laws of the country must reflect and take into its structures the values of the religion of the people who form its society. For morality requires the belief in the existence of God, freedom and immortality, because without their existance there can be no morality.”

***Keeping religion an state separate does not make the person not practice a religion. It just means NOW everyone can have morality by their own ways, including the atheists. Constitution based on human values will address all–theists and atheists, but that based on religion would address only some. Latter is the big problem since that is real and the rest theory is “larifari”

I am not addressing other points and I do not disagree with you on many of those.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

[...] this week, there was a story on Reuters about a Christian woman in Pakistan who was put to death because her beliefs didn’t conform with those of the ruling power. It was [...]

@Rehmat
I had a quick read of your comments and I have no disagreement. you are just splitting hairs but the result is in line with my understanding of the western constitutions.

Did I say anything about christian republics of america or europe? I did not. you see I am even following your style of nitpicking. Just a joke!
I do not usualy discuss religion and consider it a private enterprise of every man and woman.
As you know the western constitutions are secular in as much as that the state and the church are now separate entities, with the exception of the anglican church in England, whose head is the Queen who is also the constitutional head of the Govt.
What is in the constitution varies and reflect more or less what weas acceptable by the people and have evolved over time.

The liberals of the western world took the advantage of the secular system of the Govt. and have now and again been introducing legislations introducing secularism in the society. Homosexuality among men and women as well as marriages of the same sex are some of the by-products. Strictly speaking they are not compatible with any of the religions.

I am not a great moralist so do not ask me to compare the standard of morals of Turkey, Saudi arabia and Pakistan? What is the point you are making? What is bothering you? Islam is a way of life and it does not mean that every muslim is a good muslim. We are all sinners!

Have I claimed that the german constitution was for believers only? Not true, what I have said is that the german constitution according to its chancellor reflects the values of christianity and judaism. I bet it also reflects Islamic values as well,

Article 1 of the constitution upholds the dignity of the human and has the protection of the law. None of the western constitutions are for the believers only. Take it easy, I do not always check the spellings but do not make mis-statements. Besides, not all the so called moralists are the believers of the religion, quite the contrary, several cardinals and priests in the catholic church have been abusing young children over the past several decades, while claiming celibacy.

Are you talking about the pluristic safegurds in the constitutions and the exclusion of radical laws to enforce the religion in one form or other? I do not believe that this is the business of the state.

rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@Rex

I am keeping it very simple and addressing one point.

“I am not a great moralist so do not ask me to compare the standard of morals of Turkey, Saudi arabia and Pakistan? What is the point you are making? What is bothering you?”

***Well you started that morality lesson.

I originally made a point that Religion should not play a role in State affairs– the kind it plays in Islamic Republics. My view is that religion should be personal matter, not of the state. You brought the point of the need of religion in state for morality sake. You, Ganesh and I agree that religion is not essential to be a moral person.

YOu also made a point that “The laws of the country must reflect and take into its structures the values of the religion of the people who form its society”. I then gave you example of 3 Muslim majority countries: Turkey, Saudi arabia and Pakistan. Latter two are Islamic Republic, Turkey being a democratic, secular constitutional republic. Does this system not work for Turkey? BTW, Pakistan and Turkey both have 97% Muslim population. So the need of religion for morality in state affairs is also not true as is evident from Turkey’s example.

Perhaps you got to be a religious minority to understand or among 3% minority in Pakistan to know that State and religion should be separate.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@rehmat
“Perhaps you got to be a religious minority to understand or among 3% minority in Pakistan to know that State and religion should be separate”

I understand that your comment is directed to Rex but I would like to say that it is not necessary to be a minority to realise that State and Religion should be seperate. For example in UP state of India it were Hindus (majority) who were suffering because of excessive distinctions by congress governments in favour of muslim community (in name of caring for minority). This eventually led to discontentment in hindus which ultimately was exploited by fundamentalist politicians and Babri masjid incident followed. Therefore majority or minority, one must understand that religions are not absolute final words on morality and State should therefore go beyond religions (or may be even oppposite to religions as well) if need be. And hence SECULARISM. Most people MISINTERPRET secularism as freedom to practice any faith BUT along with this secularism ALSO grants right to NOT practice any faith, if one chooses so, AND at same time asks and makes it a duty of citizens to remain morally healthy towards society, mankind and nature in general. Also secularism means that State will NOT interfere in religious matter and nor will it entertain any policies, requests, pleas, grants, etc that are based on or directed at religions of people.

PS: Turkey was a good example. Don’t know about Pakistan but India can and should learn from Turkey.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@Rehmat
Why do you always play with words. You mix up things unnecessarily. What is your problem?

The state and religion are separate entities.Full stop. Call this separation secular if you will.

It does not matter if Saudi Arabia,Pakistan and even Iran call their republics Islamic republics, or the God’s republics as known in German translation. Turkey has its own problems, too much influence of military which is now in wane, too much discrimination against the minorities, now improving. Why follow other countries and not develope one’s own.
What matters is the kind of Govt. and the laws of the country which the citizens are supposed to follow. 777 has a point not to ignore. Perhaps Pakistan Govt. also needs discrimination in favour of the minorities.

I personaly would not associate the names of a religion with the republics. Have you not heard the latest in the series, the Jewish state!
We are living in a free world, the govts are free to call their republics as they wish and to have laws which people follow.

The underlying factor in my staement on morality was its legitamation came from the religion and not from ancient philosophers such as aristotle or atheists like darwin. Today human rights are on record and universaly accepted. The govts can set aside the religion in a closet and get on with reforms of their institutions, based on historical experiences and the needs of our times. If saudis choose to ride on their camels and the Indians are happy with the splendour of the colonial times and not of the period of enlightening when ancient culture came into contact with the modern one at the time and developed a muticultured society, this is their business.

There are some hitches though which I beg to submit, the laws of a country must not allow the blesphamy against any religion.

Rex Minor

PS Descartes says that all of us are bestowed equally with commonsence by God, since no one person complaints about its inadequecy. I do not agree with his thesis but this a different matter.

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

> the laws of a country must not allow the blesphamy against any religion.

That’s a slippery slope. I guess I’m what the Americans would call a “First Amendment Absolutist”, i.e., someone who believes that the freedom of speech must *never* be interfered with even if people find it absolutely distasteful. You may say the most hurtful things about me, and I may absolutely hate it, but you have the right to do so and I cannot shut you up.

Steven Pinker does a great job of analysing morality into five components. Have a read: http://nyti.ms/dWJ22

The most dramatic is this example:
“Consider this moral dilemma: A runaway trolley is about to kill a schoolteacher. You can divert the trolley onto a sidetrack, but the trolley would trip a switch sending a signal to a class of 6-year-olds, giving them permission to name a teddy bear Muhammad. Is it permissible to pull the lever?”

The answer to that question and the reasoning behind it will give each of us an insight into what constitutes “morality” for us. Do read the full article.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Rex

you asked me to explain my last post and I did. You still have problems. I don’t know why. Drink some cool aid man!

Much of what we say is lost in words. From all you write, I do not think we differ a lot on the issue. your conclusions after writing few paragraphs are not what I would differ with.

An example where I agree with you is:
“Today human rights are on record and universaly accepted. The govts can set aside the religion in a closet and get on with reforms of their institutions, based on historical experiences and the needs of our times.”

Relax!

++++++++++++++++++++

@777
“I understand that your comment is directed to Rex but I would like to say that it is not necessary to be a minority to realise that State and Religion should be seperate.”
***I fully understand these scenarios in India. That would be confusing to Rex.

Hypothetically, would Muslims in India prefer state and religion as separate or prefer Hindu Republic of India. My pick is S & R to be separate.

“Turkey was a good example. Don’t know about Pakistan but India can and should learn from Turkey.”

***With 20% religious minorities in India vs 3% in a smaller Turkey, India’s case is more complex. I would be the first one to admit India has a long way to go.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@Rehmat, 777
My advice to India and Pakistan would be to ask the USA constitution expert Mr Obama to develope the contstitutions for their countries. He could take up the assignment for the days after his retirement fromthe office.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Pressure grows for pardon of Aasia bibi

http://www.dawn.com/2010/11/22/pressure- grows-for-pardon-of-aasia-bibi.html

““According to my own investigation, it was a personal dispute and she did not commit blasphemy,” said Pakistan’s minister for minority affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, who is himself a Christian.”

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

@Rex
“My advice to India and Pakistan would be to ask the USA constitution expert Mr Obama to develope the contstitutions for their countries.”

***INDIAN constitution is unparalleled and PERFECT in the world!!!

For Pakistan, you can ask Taliban input, they know culture too.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

hey rex,

From your writings you appear to have very recently read german constitution – well done. perhaps you need to read Indian constitution too before you shoot your mouth here ? the more you post the more ignorant you seem to appear.

Posted by kiran123 | Report as abusive

[...] article in Reuters bemoans the poor treatment of minorities in Pakistan.  It is a little sad to me how this article [...]

@Rex
“777 has a point not to ignore. Perhaps Pakistan Govt. also needs discrimination in favour of the minorities”

I think you got confused. My point was that any state should NOT create discriminations in favour of minorities because that leads to further disintegration of the country and society. So Pakistan govt needs not have discrimination in favour of minorities instead it should start treating them as mortals equal to majority muslims. All this Kaffir concept is troublesome and creates more and more problems. Its high time that Muslim scholars drop this word from Islamic text.

“My advice to India and Pakistan would be to ask the USA constitution expert Mr Obama to develope the contstitutions for their countries”

You know too little and speak too much. Its not constitution in India, it the the implementation of that constitution that is the problem. Problem is implementing law and order and not the law itself. And if we need advice then we don’t feel ashamed (very unlike you) taking help from Obama. Your hatred for Obama has been quite obvious from your earlier posts. Those who hate cannot have knowledge of truth and morality.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

@777

I was serious and not telling fibs;

. Yes, positive discrimination in favour of minorities by law. I believe that India practices it in some cases,so I understand, and this in my view is a good policy. Full participation of women in employment was achieved in Europe with a fixed quata system.

. Rehmat states one should not call non believers as non believers. Perhaps you tell the scholars how they should address the Kaffirs in modern times, the one who deny the existance of God. I personaly address people with the name that he has given himself.
it would be difficult for the so called muslim scholar to address his audience and use the name non believer. I would call such a scholar a ‘Peasant’. Believe me there are many. And I equaly call Pope, the head of church a ‘peasant’ when, inspite of his vast knowledge of history, theology, philosophy and lnguages, he sometimes puts his foot in the mouth and makes statements which are foreign and leaves a wrong impression. May I propose you do the same.

. I do not hate Obama or any one else for that matter. I have no feelings for imposters and the likes. Again I was serious about my proposal. we have already seen that pakistan constitution is faulty and needs reforms.
I personaly am very keen to learn and of the opinion that when a person looses the ability to learn only then he needs to go into retirement.
Have a nice day.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

PS
Incidently I do not claim to be a moralist.
I have a very limited knowledge and guide may way with common sence, intuition, meditation and mostly from the feelings which comes from the so called stomach. I also do not read a lot of media crap which are full of spins and the propaganda of news papers(NY times, Washington Post and like), Saudi Scholars, BBC,Fox News, CNN and the like. I can name many others. The reason is very simple, theyo are financed and controlled by special interest groups or the Govt.
Now you know my complete background, why I think differently and say things which other simply pick up statements of some very innocent reporter or statements put into the world by Think tank and chattahm house.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Pakistan:

“I have a very limited knowledge”

There is no need for any proof of this. Your words are sufficient to expose this limitation.

“and guide may way with common sence, intuition, meditation”

Basically what you are saying is that you close your eyes and say whatever comes in your imagination.

“and mostly from the feelings which comes from the so called stomach.”

It is called vomit. You may not realize it, but others can see this clearly.

“I also do not read a lot of media crap which are full of spins and the propaganda of news papers”

So why are you here? Reuters is yet another medium run by Western media and has an element of their propaganda as well.

No one is interested in your intuition, meditation and excretion here. Kindly keep it to yourself. If you want to discuss anything with others here, you will have rely on authentic references and logical discourse of one’s analysis. The analysis can be imaginative, but it still has to be logical for others to get some sense out of it. Otherwise you are wasting a lot of space and everyone’s time.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@Rex

“Rehmat states one should not call non believers as non believers. Perhaps you tell the scholars how they should address the Kaffirs in modern times, the one who deny the existance of God. I personaly address people with the name that he has given himself.”

***No, I don;t say that. Atheists would be happy to be called non-believers, so why would I have problem.

What I said was that the word “believer” is not just for Muslims, Jews and Christians, non-Abrahamic religions have their own beliefs so they are believer too.

Do you believe that a person who practices Hinduism can be a believer? I got this idea from one of your posts.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@rex

correction:

From one of your post, it appeared as if a person who practices Hinduism can NOT be a believer.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

I have two problems with the term “non-believer”.

One, it is a meaningless term by itself and needs to be related to a system of belief. Most people today do not believe in Ra, Zeus, Odin or Quetzalcoatl. Even people who believed in one of them did not believe in the others. So anyone can be called a non-believer if we choose an appropriate deity.

So my first objection to the term “non-believer” is that it is arrogant in its implication that it only applies to those who do not believe in the deity the speaker believes in. There nothing special about anyone’s system of belief.

Two, it is being used in a derogatory sense. Most atheists and agnostics are proud of their conscious choice of non-belief, because they have arrived at it after a lot of introspection and philosophy, not because they have lost their moral roots. As one who makes a conscious effort to lead a moral life without necessarily invoking the concept of a higher being, I find it offensive that someone would label me in a derogatory manner with the implication that I cannot be a moral person. Again, the label shows arrogance.

Of course, I am also a believer in many things, free speech being one of them, so people are free to call others non-believers if they wish. However, if they want to avoid causing offence to their fellow human beings, they should avoid the term.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@KPSingh
Here we go again with a language of four years old, stomach equals vomit. You are most probably not exposed to medicine nor have learnt about the several layers of human brain or about the the stomach having an independent brain? Reuters media is not spinning and I have the opportunity to give my opinion to add something for many who follow it or ignore it.
Do you have something to add?

@Rehmat

When a person pronounces that he has no faith in God and is a non-believer. Why should he gets upset if then the people ignore him in religious discuusions and call him a non-believer. People must know themselves who they are and how they want to be addressed in a discussion about the creator of mankind, called God, in aramaesh Allah, the language Jesus(pbuh) spoke, and Jehova and so on.

When a man of jewish descent makes a carricature of Prophet mohammad(pbuh),an act of blasphemy and takes cover of law for freedom of speach and furthermor declares that he is a non-believer and an atheist and that he has always made carricatures of prophets of God, how should we name him?
The one thing I am sure of, I am not going to call him a moralist or even a gentleman! For me he is a zomby!
how should people call him;A jew, an atheist, a non-believer, a Danish cartunist or try to remember his danish name with whch he was born?
I have no problem with atheists and agnostics either, not even with communists and anarchists, as long as they stay within the laws of the land and do not encourage anarchy in the society and prevent others from their faith or incite people to start a war?
The civility has no place for arrogance or degradation. I hate labelling others as I do not want to be labelled or classified with a false and derogatory manner.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

PS
Sorry, I do not know much about hinduism or how they want to be regarded in religion discussions, believers or non believers. Mr prasad reckons that the non-believer shows arrogance and should be related to a system of belief. This is a good question for you to interpret?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

PS
non-believer ‘label’ shows arrogance!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@Rex
“Sorry, I do not know much about hinduism or how they want to be regarded in religion discussions, believers or non believers. Mr prasad reckons that the non-believer shows arrogance and should be related to a system of belief. This is a good question for you to interpret?”

By your words I get the impression that you believe that ‘believer’ is ONLY that who believes in Abrahamic God. If someone does not believe in Abrahamic religions and their God then he/she is considered non-believer. I agree with Prasad that for calling someone a non-beleiver one needs a base first, as belief is a relative concept. One may not believe in Christanity (and its God) but may at same time believe in Hinduism (and its zillion Gods)…what would you call such a person?? Hindus believe, but not in Abrahamic God, so does that make them atheist??

As for blasphemy, why is there concept/word of blasphemy in first place. One hand people say Allah is all powerful and can punish sinful humans. On other hand people take into their own hands to punish the supposed sinful person (although it can never be established whether one is sinful or not). Is Islam so weak that one cartoonist can threaten its existence or are muslims so less trustworthy of Allah’s powers to punish the sinful that they take things in their own hands? When Allah has all the power to punish sinful then why humans become animals and take divine things, of punishing sinful, into their own hands? Why so many fatwas and hatred against the cartoonist? Why is he not a gentleman? Why not freedom of expression (including so called blasphemy)? I support cartoonist painting Prophet as much as MF Hussein painting nude pictures of Hindu goddess. Hindus believe that if a painter paints vulgarity then its his trouble but religion was/is/will NEVER be under threat. Religions are high above such threats. Painter’s karma will follow him and get him punished IF he has done any wrong. Why human interference with divine matters. You speak so much of metaphysics and never apply it to yourself. Easy to preach than to practice.

“Live and let live” — The great message of Jainism and Bhuddhism.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

PS
Jainism and Bhudhism are both absolutely GodLESS religions..so what does followers of Jainism and Bhudhism are in eyes of Abrhamaic worlds — ‘non-believer’??

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

Saw this piece in Dawn:

http://www.dawn.com/2010/11/24/protester s-oppose-pardon-for-asia-bibi.html

So long as there is a public support for conservative laws, not much is going to change. Pakistan is not a secular nation by its definition. It is an Islamic state. Therefore minorities should either get out and move to secular nations or stay put. There is no use sitting in a declared Islamic nation and demanding that freedom of expression be respected. No one will dare say anything against Muhammad or Islam in Saudi Arabia. The same goes for Pakistan. On the other hand, if someone is punished for voicing their opinion in India or any other declared secular nation, then that is worth condemning. Even in secular nations, minorities feel intimidated. When that is the case imagine the state of a country that has declared itself only for people of a certain religious belief.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Rex

I will address the bigger question, I hate to give more importance to that cartoonist than he already got.

“Sorry, I do not know much about hinduism or how they want to be regarded in religion discussions, believers or non believers”

***You do not have to know much about Hinduism or any other religion to make a comment that they could be believer in their own WHATEVER GOD.

Your problem will be solved if you say Hindus, Christians, Jews, Buddhists are “non-Believer in Allah” rather than saying just “non-Believer”

I would not distract you by saying anything else. Let us learn from each other if we want peace around us.

Peace!

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

Singh

I think most nations are not secular as per their constitution but there still can be “religious freedom” meaning freedom to practice a religion or NOT practice any.

India got the word “secular” introduced in the constitution in 70s I think.

I understand what you are saying on religious minorities in Pakistan.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

rehmat: “I think most nations are not secular as per their constitution but there still can be “religious freedom” meaning freedom to practice a religion or NOT practice any.”

It is not so much about religious practice that I am concerned here. I have read the translation of the Quran. It says clearly that in Dar Ul Islam, people of other faiths are to be respected and protected. Of course this applies to the other two Semitic religions.

In Pakistan the issue on this topic is not about religious freedom. It is about a Christian lady who is alleged to have said blasphemous words about prophet Muhammad. I am against making fun out of others’ religious beliefs. I am against those cartoons made on prophet Muhammad by a Dutch cartoonist as well. That is totally disrespectful and an abuse of the freedom of expression. In Pakistan it is clearly declared by their law that if anyone utters or does anything that is blasphemous towards their prophet, it is punishable by death. Therefore those who agree to live in Pakistan and abide by its laws (whatever they might be) have to be careful about what they are doing. Sensitivities are very high in people on certain issues and those sensitivities, however primitive they might appear, must be respected and not trampled upon.

“India got the word “secular” introduced in the constitution in 70s I think.”

Hopefully it becomes real one day.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@”In Pakistan it is clearly declared by their law that if anyone utters or does anything that is blasphemous towards their prophet, it is punishable by death. Therefore those who agree to live in Pakistan and abide by its laws (whatever they might be) have to be careful about what they are doing.” Posted by KPSingh01

The real problem here, is that Pakistan’s blasphemy law is as vague as can be and anybody from the minority community can be easily framed to have violated the law & sent to the gallows. Apparently, there have been many incidents in Pakistan, where people from the minority groups have been set up by someone who wants to settle a score, grab their property or just to eliminate them. In a country like Pakistan, where radicalsim is on the rise & the law & order situation is pretty atrocious, the minorities are nothing but dead meat as they can be easily be targeted by anyone who wants to take advantage of the system.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

@Rehmat
Sorry, I have no problem! You have a problem with the word NON-BELIEVER for those who do not believe in God. I would address them the way they desire but not enter into discusions about one faith or the other.
Your list of non-believers in Allah is also wrong. Do not mix up the languages of people. The Arab christians address their God also with the name ‘Allah’ which is God in aramaesh language, which Jesus or Isa (pbuh)spoke. I am not an expert on religions, nor do I want to be, nor do I want to discuss any further.
Belief is a personal experience and I do not believe this has to be shared with others.
I have a total respect for mankind because according to my belief that they were all created by the God almighty. If I would be an atheist, I would’n care at all for those people who are unfriendly and violent. This is the difference between my belief or those who do not believe in God or Allah or Jehova or whatever people address in their respective languages.
I have my faith and let others have their faiths, these were the words of the Prophet(pbuh).
@KPSingh
People of other religions does not mean the religion of Ibrahim only, it means all faiths and they were many. They all came to Mecca, with their hand made gods in their pockets, one two and many, and then they prayed and worshiped them.

The Ibrahimi religion as it is called was brought to the earth through several God massengers Prophets for the mankind. The semites are jews and arabs. History is our knowledge that the jews refused to accept Jesus(pbuh) as the Prophet of God. And the followers of jesus later called themselves christians and regarded Jesus as the son of God and did not accept Mohammad(pbuh) as the last Prophet of God. Karen Armstrong, a christian theologist and author of the book God, explains her views about God.
With regard to the article, Pakistan needs stability, what we are witnessing is almost anarchy. its constitution is in tatters, there i´s no need to find the culprits or who satrted it. The fact that the Pashtoos are now controlling the security throughout Pakistaan, not in positive sense, is the evidence that the leaders of the country compass is not functioning. One can not hang peoople for blesphamy nor attack worship places and discriminate against miorites, muslims or non muslims. We do not have a minister for minorities but pakistan has one, he needs to be replaced and so should be the suspension of the judge. Let them go back to the school if need be to learn what the law is all about, to protect innocents and not to misinterpret the spirit of the law.
It is about time that the foreigners leave asian continent, otherwise the imperialists and those with the colonial past would start the third ww involving most of the developing states.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Perhaps Indian and Pakistan löeaders should have a dialogue about minorities in their next meeting. No dicussions about the teitories or resources or so called terrorists or radicals, but simply the people of the country with major emphasis on improving the conditions of minorities. People have the first right to life, all other benefits come thereafter. You guys reckon that this could be organised with the help of NGO’s and the UNO if necessary?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Three questions, at three different levels:

1. Was this woman guilty of blasphemy or is this a disguised attempt to settle scores?

2. Should blasphemy be punished by death?

3. Should blasphemy even be considered a crime?

I know where I stand on each of these questions.

1. I don’t have an opinion because I don’t know the facts of the case.

2. I don’t believe in the death penalty in any case since I think it is uncivilised and barbarous. There is therefore no question of death for blasphemy or indeed any other crime.

3. The notion of blasphemy runs counter to the principle of free speech. Therefore it should not be considered a crime.

These views are widely prevalent in Western countries and indeed in all secular democracies. But from the reports of grassroots opposition to a pardon for the accused woman, it appears that many ordinary Pakistanis have dramatically different answers to all three of these questions.

It appears to me that Pakistan keeps finding new ways to discredit itself in the eyes of the world.

Regards,
Ganesh

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

I must add that I fully support the efforts of Umair in petitioning the President, etc. I only wish Pakistanis like him had more influence on the country’s laws. An entire nation is being held hostage by the more uncivilised kind.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

Rex

Let me remind you that the main point here was who is a “believer”.

Also let me remind you that when “777″ (a Hindu) told you (some time ago) that he has read Koran too, you tell him that then he is also a “believer”. Therefore, at that time you have interpreted that “Hindu” is a “non-believer”. In last few posts you are shifting your stand to “Sorry, I do not know much about hinduism or how they want to be regarded in religion discussions, believers or non believer”. Have the courage to discuss, understand and make changes to your position.

“Your list of non-believers in Allah is also wrong. Do not mix up the languages of people.”

***My list of non-believers included “Hindus, Christians, Jews, Buddhists”. What does language got to do with any of this? Nada

“The Arab christians address their God also with the name ‘Allah’ which is God in aramaesh language, which Jesus or Isa (pbuh)spoke.”
***Duh I know the origin of the word “Allah”. How about
the remaining (2.1 billion total Christians on planet minus those living in the middle east) Christians?

You are a person who reads GOD’s words in Koran and does not use your GOD-given brain in discussions. You tell Indians are slaves with their unreformed ways from colonial era. You, yourself are so pre-conditioned and blind that you have lost the ability to have independent thinking on a topic. You are a classic example of a “peasant” (using your language). I am being charitable when I say it. Looking for peace? Keep looking. YOU NEED TO REFORM YOUR THINKING.

“”I am not an expert on religions, nor do I want to be, nor do I want to discuss any further.”
***Really? Nor Am I an expert and I do not have to know this much.

If you know nothing about other religions nor do you want to listen to others, stop commenting on religion-based issues.

I am tired of you.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@KPSingh

“In Pakistan the issue on this topic is not about religious freedom. It is about a Christian lady who is alleged to have said blasphemous words about prophet Muhammad.”

***The root cause is lack of religious freedom. Blasphemy can be against any religion. Religious freedom coupled with laws that would ensure punishment of hate speech or insulting the religious beliefs of a citizen of ANY religion with malicious intention would do the trick. That would cover all religions. That is asking a lot from a nation is based on religion. Same is true for all other Islamic nations. Bangladesh is an exception—Islamic, secular nation but blasphemy is more general in nature than for Islam (ground reality could be different).

“It is not so much about religious practice that I am concerned here. I have read the translation of the Quran. It says clearly that in Dar Ul Islam, people of other faiths are to be respected and protected. Of course this applies to the other two Semitic religions.”

***You are right. Pakistan is Darul-Islam and one expects the safety of the non-Muslims. Blasphemy laws are very harsh there for now. In India, back in Mughal era, Akbar made sure that happens to non-Muslims. He even took a step to start another religion by combining Hinduism/Islam–”Din-e-Ilahi”

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@Rehmat you do’nt even take ‘No’ for an answer.
I do not want to belittle your opinion or the knowledge which supports it.
I do not, however, think that you should be speaking on behalf of others.
I am not allocating labels of believer or non-believers to any one. If you or any other one says that he is a believer of one God and wants to be addressed as a believer, then I am obliged to address him as such. Does this satisfy you.
I usualy do not have patience with people who do not follow my thinking and keep on creating unnecessary scenarios and cynical or rude questions.
The source of the Ibramim religions is the middle east, and not the rest of the world who speak various languages. People go to the source to learn, Sir!

Rex Minor
PS
Be careful next time, either you ask or tell!
Not both in one statement.

And I say to hell with

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

PS
And I say to hell with was inadvertently left. I shall say it anyway , to hell with those who have misused and misinterpretted the three religions in their native languages.
Blesphamy was punishable in all religions in primitive times. To have this in Pakistan or any other country is a misplaced and not in line with our times. There are other laws in most countries which regulate the behaviour of their citizens.
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Rex

“I usualy do not have patience with people who do not follow my thinking”

***so what are you doing here?

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

rehmat,

I agree with your points. However, if a country makes something into a law, then its citizens have to obey it. The law might be draconian and backward, but it is a law. In Malaysia and Singapore, possession of narcotic material is punishable by death. They say it very clearly there. Someone from Netherlands cannot call it draconian and protest it while staying there. The laws are different in the two states. Prostitution is legal in some places. If someone does not find it wrong, he can get into trouble in some other place where it is illegal. Blasphemy laws are similar in nature. Polygamy is all right in many Islamic countries. In the Western nations one can go to jail for that. Someone from Afghanistan cannot demand visa for all his four wives in the US because the laws are different. If he gets put in jail for that in the US, there is nothing one can do about it. The best course for him would be not to enter the country where laws do not suit his sanctioned practices. From this stand point, I do not find anything wrong with Pakistan’s blasphemy law. If I go there, I will not say anything against Muhammad or Islam because the law will punish me for it. In India, cow slaughter is in general a social taboo for the majority. Most people honor that. I am glad it has not been made into a strict law. Otherwise pandemonium will result. The country itself can split apart for a holy cow. Citizens can protest a law that becomes effective if they find it unreasonable. Muslims in India protested the alimony issues arose during Shao Bano case. But if it becomes a law, they cannot disobey it. It is up to the Pakistanis to change the law if they find it too harsh.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@rehmat
“laws that would ensure punishment of hate speech or insulting the religious beliefs of a citizen of ANY religion with malicious intention would do the trick”

I would disagree on this. Suppose we have such laws in India and then people like SIMI and VHP goons will virtually have a naked sword in their hands to kill anyone in name of religion. Think a zillion times before proposing what you are proposing. Anyone says “Rama is bad” (for people not aware of hinduism, Rama is the God King of hindus) and he is put behind bars??? Is that what you want?? I certainly do NOT. People of land have to mature enough to accept freedom of speech. Or for metaphysics theorists I’d say that let God punish people who commit so called blasphemy and let us humans just ignore such persons. IF someone calls God or Prophets with bad names and IF that is unethical then let rest all believe in powers of God to punish the guilty, since God is a party in the case after all :) I agree with KP that country could split apart for a holy cow. Lets not take India down to level of Pakistan. Despite being a Hindu I fully support a respectable life for MF Hussein inside India even if he painted nude paintings of Hindu Goddess’. IF he has done harm to God then let God deal with it, none of human’s business in it. (of course this metaphysics theory is for people with less knowledge of laws and their implications in India :))

@Rex
Seems you forgot to take your medicines. You kept on chest thumping pashtoon invincibility and holiness like anything in most sophisticated English and now when Rehmat is challenging your stand in equal sophistication of language then you are feeling the heat (in part may be because his name reflects him being a muslim and a muslim supporting/defending/upholding India, a SUPPOSED/ASSUMED Hindu (kaafir, non-believer, etc, etc) land, is not going well with you). So please take your pills and go to sleep.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

Rex Minor is sometimes exasperating but I think he is sincere at some level, otherwise he wouldn’t keep coming back and engaging with people who don’t have very nice things to say about him.

His thought processes are quite different to those most of us may be used to, which is frustrating, but I don’t think he’s a phony.

I believe Umair is also a fundamentally decent person, so although we have had many disagreements, I think we should continue to engage patiently. We may not achieve breakthroughs in a day, but over time, we may arrive at some understanding. I must say I have gained some sympathy for the Pakistani viewpoint through interactions on this blog although I still believe that they should pluck up the courage to grasp peace rather than be trapped in old ways of thinking.

Regards,
Ganesh Prasad

Posted by prasadgc | Report as abusive

@KPSingh

“But if it becomes a law, they cannot disobey it. It is up to the Pakistanis to change the law if they find it too harsh.”
***Of course, blasphemy law is Pakistan’s internal matter. Outsiders can just wonder at it. It is not easy to undo this law which is not surprising. This will not even become an issue considering the vote bank size of religious minorities. People like Umair may help but there needs to be someone at the top.

Sherry Rehman wrote a good article. Read the comments too.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/80759/stand- up-against-the-blasphemy-laws/

She says
“Our society is intolerant enough without legal sanction for witch-hunts. This is the time to push for repeal of the blasphemy law in the legislature. If that does not work, just like the Hudood repeal bills did not when we moved them, we need to build positions and craft laws that amend these laws so they become toothless, much like we campaigned to get the Women’s Bill passed in parliament. A PPP government is our best chance of getting some traction on such change. As activists, we should attempt to build mainstream consensus against these laws and create new ones that penalise those that incite violence with malicious intent.”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++

@777

“Suppose we have such laws in India and then people like SIMI and VHP goons will virtually have a naked sword in their hands to kill anyone in name of religion. Think a zillion times before proposing what you are proposing”

:-) I am not proposing some blasphemy laws in India similar to Pakistan. That was meant for Pakistan and even by that I did not mean to say that people from all religions float around in streets with swords in hands.

India’s is a different case altogether. Religious minorities are not that small in number or weak in their own pockets in India.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@Ganesh
Problem with Rex is that he himself claims he knows little about India and then makes lengthy speeches on what India should/should not do. Over the period of time his statements have become grossly inconsistent and that gives an impression of lying. Anyone who is lying will become inconsistent over a period of time and that is what is happening with Rex. What would you call a guy who says, “I usualy do not have patience with people who do not follow my thinking”?

Umair is a nice guy. He is decent and consistent in his outlook and a guy who can be future for Pakistan. I applaud in all sincerity his efforts for President’s pardon for woman in case. Sometimes he gets crazy fits of typical hindustan-kashmir-pakistan angle but normally he is good to interact with. But yes his worship of PA is quite amazing even in face of truth being otherwise. Lets hope things change with time and PA itself improves. Good thing is that he also supports making LOC as border and sign peace deal with India and move on. Solve small issues first build trust and then finally take up Kashmir. So there is ray of hope in Pakistan.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@rehmat
“India’s is a different case altogether. Religious minorities are not that small in number or weak in their own pockets in India”

Leave aside majority-minority angle. I did not even think on that. I am saying if we have blasphemy laws in India then those VHP goons will go on killing fellow hindus in name of defaming religions. Same goes for SIMI. Personal scores will be settled in name of blasphemy as can be the current case of woman in Pakistan. Laws condemning blasphemy should NEVER exist because there are far more negatives of those than positives. Freedom of speech and tolerance of religion is the need of the hour.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@Rehmat
Hoping that perhaps on reflection the guy would take note and expand his knowledge, or just ignore it and move on. If you are unable to comprehend what I am stating then do not question for question sake and when I reply, then do not come with your note saying ‘ I Know’. All of us have a variable level of knowledge and the purpose of exchange is to improve one’s knowledge and try just try to understand others viewpoint, and not to attack the credibility or the dignity of the other.

Article 1 of the german constitution; The dignity of a human is inviolable. And this is my credo and I try to live upto it in as much as I can.
When I mentioned that both India and Pakistan educational reforms and military reforms, it was not on account of arrogance but humility.
Your countries need more than the Europeans, who are equally reforming their education systems.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

This Articles LIES about no school of Islamic thought declares infidels and kaffirs unclean. The Holy Books of Islam make the call for the annihilation of Jews and infidels too clear:

“Allah has purchased the believers, their lives and their goods. For them (in return) is the Garden (of Paradise). They fight in Allah’s Cause, and they kill and are killed; they kill and are killed.”
Qur’an:9:111

“So FIGHT them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief [non-Muslims]) and all submit to the religion of Allah alone (in the whole world).”
Qur’an:8:39

“Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the protective tax in submission.”
Qur’an:9:29

“We carried Ka’b's head and brought it to Muhammad during the night. We saluted him as he stood praying and told him that we had slain Allah’s enemy. When he came out to us we threw Ashraf’s head at his feet. Muhammad praised Allah that the poet had been assassinated and complimented us on the good work we had done in Allah’s Cause. Our attack upon Allah’s enemy cast terror among the Jews, and there was no Jew in Medina who did not fear for his life.’”
Tabari VII:97
Ishaq:368

“He said, ‘Fight them so that there is no more rebellion, and religion, all of it, is for Allah only. Allah must have no rivals.’”
Ishaq:324

“So, when you clash with the unbelieving Infidels in battle (fighting Jihad in Allah’s Cause), smite their necks until you overpower them, killing and wounding many of them. At length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind them firmly, making (them) captives. Thereafter either generosity or ransom (them based upon what benefits Islam) until the war lays down its burdens. Thus are you commanded by Allah to continue carrying out Jihad against the unbelieving infidels until they submit to Islam.”
Qur’an:47:4

“Among the Believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah and have gone out for Jihad (holy fighting). Some have completed their vow to extreme and have been martyred fighting and dying in His Cause, and some are waiting, prepared for death in battle.”
Qur’an:33:22

“Just issue orders to kill every Jew in the country.”
Bukhari:V1B1N6

“Muhammad ordered six men and four women to be assassinated.”
Tabari VIII:181

“The Messenger commanded that furrows should be dug in the ground for the Qurayza. Then he sat down. Ali and Zubayr began cutting off their heads in his presence.”
Tabari VIII:40

“The morning after the murder of Ashraf, the Prophet declared, ‘Kill any Jew who falls under your power.’”
Tabari VII:97

“And kill them wherever you find and catch them. Drive them out from where they have turned you out; for Al-Fitnah (polytheism, disbelief, oppression) is worse than slaughter.”
Qur’an 2:191

“Killing disbelievers is a small matter to us.”
Tabari IX:69

“The battle cry of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah that night was: ‘Kill! Kill! Kill!’”
Tabari VIII:141

“I heard Muhammad say: ‘I would not stay behind when a raid for Jihad was being mobilized unless it was going to be too hard on the believers. I love that I should be killed in Allah’s Cause; then I should be brought back to life and be killed again.’”
Muslim:C28B20N4631

“Our onslaught will not be a weak faltering affair. We shall FIGHT as long as we live. We will FIGHT until you turn to Islam, humbly seeking refuge. We will FIGHT not caring whom we meet. We will FIGHT whether we destroy ancient holdings or newly gotten gains. We have mutilated every opponent. We have driven them violently before us at the command of Allah and Islam. We will FIGHT until our religion is established. And we will plunder them, for they must suffer disgrace.”
Ishaq:587

“Fight them and Allah will punish them by your hands, lay them low, and cover them with shame. He will help you over them.”
Qur’an:9:14

A more complete list is found at:

GentleIslam . com

Posted by IslamMeansDeath | Report as abusive

Nations need to evolve with time. And such evolution depends upon stable conditions. And stable conditions depend upon size, maturity of the people and wisdom of the rulers.

In the case of India, its vast size, diversity have turned into an advantage. There can be no uniformity in any mass movements based on ethnicity, race, religion, language etc. The underlying passive culture has given room for democracy to take root and evolve in its own unique way. Dedicated leaders contributed to infrastructure building. In all, India has done reasonably well against the odds.

In the case of Pakistan, it has every potential to develop into an advanced nation. It is diverse, but not as diverse as India. It is smaller in size and that could have helped spread progress around much more uniformly and rapidly. Pakistan had everything in its favor. The US was on its side. Any country that the US befriended began to reap wealth – South Korea, Japan, Germany, South East Asian countries like Malaysia, even Communist China and now India. Pakistan, like Israel became a very close strategic ally of the US.

When looking at these two countries that came into being within a span of 24 hours of each other in 1947, it looks very paradoxical to me about the directions in which they went. Between India and Pakistan, if any one were to look at the advantages and disadvantages, I would stake my bet that it was India that would have gone down the drain much faster and splintered up into utter chaos. But we find Pakistan instead in the middle of the storm.

Poor choices and preferences have led Pakistan to where it is today. Short sighted leaders destroyed the potential in the country. Now we are talking about religious minorities, blasphemy etc. These are clearly signs of backwardness. When things drift in the backward direction, primitive mindset sets in and people are controlled by ultra conservative minded people. It is really unfortunate.

The only way out of all this is continued progress in all aspects – economy, literature, industry and manufacturing, agriculture etc. India too has primitive mindsets and backward people in pockets. But their overall influence is very limited. We do have “witch” burning by mobs, riots, bride burning, infanticide, honor killing etc in pockets. Most of these are centered around one of the most backward parts of the country. But progress is reaching into those areas. In Bihar, the public gave a massive mandate to the incumbent Chief Minister because he has worked on laying the foundations for progress. Progress is the only way out of all this.

I’d suggest that Pakistanis take a look at what is happening in India, its positive aspects and focus on those to bring up their own country. Everything associated with India need not be evil or something to be abhorred. India has demonstrated that it is possible to stay put with the efforts and if given time progress will sprout. Instead of giving credit for India’s accomplishments, many Pakistanis try to pick on its negative aspects and console themselves. That will not get them anywhere. India has a lot to offer. Hopefully mature Pakistanis will pick them and try to emulate what India has done. If that really happens, we will not be discussing these topics.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

Pakistan: “The dignity of a human is inviolable. And this is my credo and I try to live upto it in as much as I can.
When I mentioned that both India and Pakistan educational reforms and military reforms, it was not on account of arrogance but humility.
Your countries need more than the Europeans, who are equally reforming their education systems.”

This is coming from a guy who worships primitive tribal people calling themselves as Pashtuns. There are no laws there and gun toting groups fight each other like the McCoys and spend their remaining time fighting others.

Rex,

Do you even try to make any sense? Why are you preaching to India about what it must do when you are idolizing a primitive minded tribe in Afghanistan that relies on might is right principles? India has done very well over the past 60 years. Compared to many countries, including the Germany that you claim to be living in, India has high ideals and has contributed tremendously to the world’s values.

Ahimsa came from India. I am sure you have no idea what that means. India is where it is because of its underlying values that have not disappeared over eons despite all the wars and social issues that have spread across its surface. India is the land where great masters came into being and spread the messages of peace and tolerance in all directions – Buddha, Guru Nanak and many more not so famous ones. It is their teachings that have kept the place serene even today. India is the only country that could produce a Gandhi. He became an inspiration to many others like ML King and Mandela.

The last thing I need is an advice from someone who worships war mongering and primitive minded tribesmen, while sitting in Germany that saw the worst crime against humanity not long ago and signs in the name of Pakistan while claiming not to be one. You are making very contradictory statements without thinking much. You must not insult others’ intelligence while preaching out loud. Others can think and analyze for themselves. First tell your dear brothers in Pashtun land to come to modern world. Then you start preaching to others.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

The people of Pakistan have driven out or converted almost all that are left. Millions were displaced, slaughtered or converted in the forming of Pakistan. The strict fundamentalist Pashtun’s will bomb barber shops and throw acid in schoolgirl faces, the Balosch will bury you alive if against an arranged marriage. Women are jailed for getting raped. The Shia are now in the Sunni fundamentalist sights and they control most of Pakistan’s economy while only 20% of the population. The Wahabi style maddrassahs paid for by the Saudi’s produce graduates with no job skills beyond martyr and ideologue. The Quetta Shura gives ISI free freedom fighters for Kashmir as well as not attacking Pakistan forces, the west was purged because of no agreement and the Swat Valley too much of the vacation economy. India is 6 times the population and at least twice the economy so any military action should be won handily by India even with the nuke threat. Kashmir should become a country and the trading point between India/Pakistan with an international peacekeeping force guarding the borders.

Posted by JamesChirico | Report as abusive

“India is 6 times the population and at least twice the economy Posted” by JamesChirico

Actually, India’s economy is app. 9 times that of Pakistan’s.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

@777
“I am saying if we have blasphemy laws in India then those VHP goons will go on killing fellow hindus in name of defaming religions. Same goes for SIMI. Personal scores will be settled in name of blasphemy as can be the current case of woman in Pakistan.”
***As I said, I am not recommending any blasphemy law in India. So I do not disagree with the VHP/SIMI scenario you presented for India. India’s system is constitutionally different and even if let us say it is not secular in reality, majority Hindu religion does not have the concept of blasphemy. Constitutionally, in India no one can give a hate speech but everyone has freedom of expression. There is a gray area of freedom of expression and hate speech. My person opinion is that one should have freedom of expression but be responsible to understand his/her limits. Hate speech is out of that zone. People from different religions have the ability to take law in their hands (and the state cannot prevent them if you look at the reality), if the state does not have laws to address it. Speech with malicious intent can incite violence and so can hurting someone’s belief. Varun Gandhi was arrested for comparing a Muslim politician with Osama Bind Laden.

USA is different case. IN USA, Varun Gandhi would have been just fine. Had Danish cartoonist been an Indian, he would have been in jail rightaway—freedom of expression or not. To me that makes perfect sense. It makes non-sense to me that Obama is helpless against a Christian priest who openly says he is going to tear Koran and then obliges the state by not doing so. What bull crap!

Leave aside majority-minority angle. I did not even think on that.”
***Allow me to split hair a bit. When you say VHP and SIMI would kill people of opposite religion IF there was blasphemy law, you take into account that minority Muslim and majority Hindu (broadly) or anyone on their behalf are strong enough to do that. Sikhs are 1-2% of Indian population but ~60% in Punjab. So in their own pockets Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs (majority or minority) all have the real capability to pull out swords and kill the other one. That was my point of majority/minority angle and the reason why India’s case is different and law has to step in before people take law in their hand. India has that provision (it is not labeled blasphemy). I am for religious freedom and freedom of expression if you have noticed by now. I am not for freedom of expression that encroaches other person;s zone. Freedom of expression comes with a responsibility and if the person is not responsible, it is the responsibility of the state to have mechanisms to see to it.

Switching to Islamic countries, they are far behind than other countries with respect to religious freedom and freedom of expression. Blasphemy law in Pakistan is not so easy to take away. No one will bell this cat (vote bank and fear of bullet). Same is true for Indian Reservation system (vote bank). I like Sheery Rehman’s formula for Pakistanis to be persistent to repeal that law and make blasphemy law “toothless” and formula to be persistent and make it “toothless”. Other countries like Bangladesh have blasphemy laws which are not in favor of one religion. I do not see any visible report that it is not workable.

There is no one fit for all countries. Each country has to see the best way issues can be addressed taking into account their own population.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

Rex
“Article 1 of the german constitution; The dignity of a human is inviolable. And this is my credo and I try to live upto it in as much as I can.”

Here are few drops from the preamble of Indian Constitution:

“”WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
# LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
# FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;

Let us move on,
Rehmat

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@KPSingh
Good write on India, but I thought you were anxious about the laws to protect the minorities; you also left out that we are now in the century of knowledgable societies and are using the MND to learn about the dark matters. The knowledge which is exchanged between the individuals and coollectively has its own dynamics and it would not be long in the future that an individual sitting in a desert could make the nuclear weapons of a country non-functionable.

Fear is the one factor you did not ignore, the only hinderence in the human progress. Your fear from the primitive tribesmen(as you call them), the american fears from the economy down trend, effects of the possible cyber attack from the potential enemy and from the little rogue states such as Iran and north korea. Fear could restrict your progress.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

PS
Try to overcome the fear at least in your post. Your writing on india is good, no jokes!
Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Pakistan: “Your fear from the primitive tribesmen(as you call them), the american fears from the economy down trend, effects of the possible cyber attack from the potential enemy and from the little rogue states such as Iran and north korea. Fear could restrict your progress.”

Who is fearing whom? Calling a group primitive minded tribe does not equate to fear. I was pointing at your hypocrisy and you have quietly slipped out of it and now have tangentially pulled the argument in a different direction. You have not answered my question – why is it all right for you to support a lawless bunch of tribes with pride, while you advocate better education to Indians?

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@Rehmat
Indian constitution is the legnthiest in the world. Article 1 deals with the territories!
If the citizens are satisfied with the constitution and their rights are protected by the preamble then that should be more than good enough for the observer.
Again, I had no intention to imply that the German constitution is better than others in the world. I am comfortable with it since the dignity of the individuals were trampled with during the Hitler period. One people, one kingdom and one leader was the slogan during the third reich. KP Singh did a good write on India. Let us move on.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@KPSingh
Very simple because they are not lawless bunch of tribes! And I am not used to calling people ignorants who have a very limited or nil knowledge about crtain things. Because it is rude to call names to people that you have not met and not familiar with.
Try and tell the former USA ambassador to the UNO your views about the primitive lawless tribesmen and he is probably going to punch you in the nose!!
There are red lines and you seem to be crossing them at will and without any necessity. I know that the moderator is very liberal on this blog, some other blogs would definitely bar you for a certain period. The Pashtoons are very polite and civil with each other. Any one not following this culture risks to be shot by the other. No brawls or exchange of abuses and intervention of the State takes place. You do not commit a crime against the state if you shoot down another person. In the remote parts of the Pashtoon territory there are sikhs and hindu communities who have lived there in peace for centuries, Comprando?
The city of kabul was safer than the city of New York and Detroit until the yanks arrived and destabilised it. It is free for all now.

Now having said all that if you have some personal experience then please share it with us, otherwise move on.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

[...] death sentence issued against a Christian, but what was happening before that sentence.Sentenced to death: On Pakistan’s minorities – How does Saudi Arabia trying to improve its image during the Hajj. Saudi Arabia less rigid [...]

Pakistan: “The Pashtoons are very polite and civil with each other.”

The region where most Pashtun tribes live is called a “lawless” land. Government writ does not run there. When there is no national control or civil laws in place, it is a backward region in today’s definition. And the tribes are famous for fighting each other during peace times and fighting others during war times. And I guess Taliban are very polite and civil. I know you also support them. The rest of the world is more used to seeing them follow some utterly archaic practices. If you want me to believe what you say, I need to see it for real. All the information available seem to point otherwise. You are the one chest thumping about them taking on the world’s super powers. if they are gentle and civil they will not be doing that. If you really want to see gentle and civil people, you must see the Tibetan exiles or people in Bali, Indonesia. They do not take to arms no matter what. Those who live by the sword can never be civil or nice people.

“Any one not following this culture risks to be shot by the other.”

That is not the sign of a gentle and civil culture. The one with more guns gets to dominate the others. The Mehsuds, the Afridis, the Orakzais and many other tribes have vengeance and enmity spanning over generations. It is just that the war with the Soviets and now the war on terror has put them on the same side. They must thank their enemies for providing that amity between them.

“No brawls or exchange of abuses and intervention of the State takes place. You do not commit a crime against the state if you shoot down another person.”

And sometimes you shoot down a person even if he has committed a crime. In a lawless land, whatever the chief feels gets done. And that is not the way to live. These kinds of structures are not civil and barbaric in nature. It is time these people are brought to the modern world.

It is interesting that you talk about human values, quote the German constitution on one hand and then turn around and take pride in the gun culture of these primitive tribes. You need to take one side or the other. You cannot be holding on to both values. You are giving the impression that gun culture is for you against others and civil liberties and humans rights are for others against you.

“In the remote parts of the Pashtoon territory there are sikhs and hindu communities who have lived there in peace for centuries, Comprando?”

Do you ever read newspapers? Sikhs have been driven out of Afghanistan. There are horror stories of the Taliban telling the Sikhs to wear marks and their shops and housings were marked as well, much like what the Jews were subjected to under the Nazis in your Germany.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/ 2009/jul/13/pakistan-sikh-refugees-talib an#/?picture=350214247&index=9

http://news.oneindia.in/2010/02/24/sikhr efugees-demand-indiancitizenship.html

http://www.sikhreview.org/december2001/t error.htm

“The city of kabul was safer than the city of New York and Detroit until the yanks arrived and destabilised it. It is free for all now.”

What a distortion of facts! Is this why you prefer to follow feelings from your stomach? Kabul was razed down by your Hekmatyars, Haqqanis, Tajiks and other barbarians during the 1990s until Pakistan created a united Taliban to replace the chaos with unified misery. The yanks came much after that. I don’t know how many are like you. If you, who claims to be living in Germany can have such myopic view of the world, I wonder how the views of those living in the wonderlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan might be!

Today is the second year anniversary of Mumbai attacks. Let us all pray for those innocent victims!

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

@rehmat
“Had Danish cartoonist been an Indian, he would have been in jail rightaway—freedom of expression or not. To me that makes perfect sense.”

So do you support kicking MF Hussein’s b*tt for painting nude pics of hindu godess’?? I do not. Lets agree to disagree on this. As you have rightly noted that blasphemy is not a big issue in hindu society (although politicians try their best to make it an issue) because hindus believe in powers of God to punish the guilty in cases involving God. Humans should only know love and forgiveness.

By and large I agree with you that fundamentally there should be responsible freedom of speech and way of life. But our disagreement is in how to implement this freedom. Lets hope the discussion leads to positive outcome.

@Rex
“Because it is rude to call names to people that you have not met and not familiar with”

When will you start applying this to yourself?

“You do not commit a crime against the state if you shoot down another person”

So now we know why Rulers of Afghanistan (read Taliban) did not punish the criminals (who in your own words were not Taliban) that brought down the Buddha statues. So in face of this revelation how can hindus, sikhs or any other minorities can live peacefully when criminals have an open hand against them, sanctioned by inactivity of the rulers of Afghanistan? You are contradicting yourself. Or are you proposing that one needs a gun to live a life of dignity in Afghanistan and then you call them civilized.

Ganesh, what would you call a person who says one should carry gun get dignity and people without guns do not deserve respect and good life? You would know what such people are called in India.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@777

“So do you support kicking MF Hussein’s b*tt for painting nude pics of hindu godess’?? I do not”

***No I do not support that. That is a blot on Indian democracy. This perhaps is the first and only example of this kind. This is what I have been saying that people should not take law in their hands like it did in MFH’s case. I want law to take care of the charges against him and people wait for the verdict. instead sadly he was pressurized to quit India.

I do not think we disagree on much here.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@777
“So do you support kicking MF Hussein’s b*tt for painting nude pics of hindu godess’?? I do not.”

***Looks like I misunderstood your statement.

I thought you said kikcking his but$ out of the country.
Yes, I do support that law takes care of the charges against him. you might be an exception but most are not like you in any religion and to address their sentiments, law has to step in. I am not for throwing him in jail for 2years it could be heavy fine (the guy is 80plus). But that is an issue for the law expert to deal with.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@KPSingh
sorry, I did not intend to compare the two different worlds either for you or for myself. We have different ways to look at things, let us move on and make our own experiences of the beautiful people of the world. Let us hope that the Pakistan legislators are going to reform their laws specialy for the minorities and allow them to have a peaceful life!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

These people are all nuts and religion is the cause. A sane person with no religious belief would never do such a thing in their right mind. Only an insane person would. As such, since I doubt they’re all insane, it’s more likely that they are brainwashed by religion beyond belief. Sad that people are so foolish.

Posted by somethingtosay | Report as abusive

@777
Let us move on and not criticise each others comments, what is beyond our comprehensions. Any one can legaly carry a gun in the USA and many do. I spent some time in Miami, Florida and probably was one of the few who did not have any arms for protection. And I tell you why, I do not fear my fellow humans, they have always been peaceful towards me. And this is no different than the young man from Berlin shown on the TV, walking on the Pamir mountains highway after crossing over from Afghanistan. He was on his way back to Germany via the central Asia- Russia route.He had already spent some time in India and Pakistan. He showed no fear and was not carrying any weapon either. I bet he could not have identified the talibans on his way, as I cannot.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

People in Pakistan are neither nuts nor is the religion to be blamed for the action of criminals.
Violence has taken the upper hand in that part of the world. State violence agaist the citizens, military and police violence against the civilians, violence of people against each other reflecting different cultures,languages and traditions. And finally violence against christian.

I will put them in one box and call them primitives. Just imagine for one second, a large convoy of trucks loaded with weapons, hombies, armoured cars, food and alkohal, travelling from the sea port across the whole of Pakistan into Afghanistan, and on its way under attack from the resistance groups, criminals and thieves spreading the anarchy all the way. How can one expect to execise law and order in the villages and towns situated across the Highway??

Do the Americans and the Nato cares for the responsibility in destabilising the structure of the country. On the contrary, they are now turning to the Russians for the alternative route for their supplies to afghnistan.
Have we forgotten the recent civiö strifes in kirghistan and the removal of their President, who had allowed the USA the landing rights for supplying their combat troops.

Bottom line, Pakistan leaders must bring order in their country and remove foreign influence.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

PS
Watch the drama which is now being played inthe yellow see? south Korea having military exercises with the Americans, who are quick with their armada! Who is provoking whom?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

[...] See also> Sentenced to death: On Pakistan’s minorities [...]

@Rex
“Let us move on and not criticise each others comments, what is beyond our comprehensions”

Running away as usual?? Yes I am not able to comprehend as WHY the Taliban (pious student body in your words) did not punish the criminals (who is YOUR words were not Taliban) who demolished Budhha statues (And you also had termed the demolition as henious crime)?? Are rulers of Afghanistan not worried about crimes in their state?? Or has any punishment been handed down to criminals?? Help me out of my misery.

“Any one can legaly carry a gun in the USA and many do.”

But in America it is NOT as follows:
“You do not commit a crime against the state if you shoot down another person”

Shooting another person is perfectly illegal in America.

“Pakistan leaders must bring order in their country and remove foreign influence.”

DECODE: All muslims countries should get together and start/support jihad against all kaafirs and establish Allah’s rule all over the world and hence reserve a place for themselves in Allah’s heavens.

Over period of time all lies become inconsistent and exposed and so does yours.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@Rehmat
“you might be an exception but most are not like you in any religion”

Well I’d say you have little idea of Hindu society. The MF Husein case got so much attention because a ‘Muslim’ painted ‘nude’ pics of ‘Hindu Goddess’ and whole case eventually blew out of proportion. Notice the single quotes and I need not say anything more. Hindus call Gods by all bad names themselves but never a hue and cry is made (Lord Krishna is often called a butter ‘thief’). MF Hussein case became a political fodder. Hindus never want a blasphemy law for themselves and nor do they like to live under one. But in a diverse society as in India may be you are right. So legal advice is needed here.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@777
Let us move on, you have a lots of questionsand Rehmat is following the same , line,questions? The answers you must find yourself in spare time critical reading lots of stuff put out for the public. We can only express our views and opinions which might differ. There is no need to get excited or emotional unless some one is rude or trying to deceive. I do not have a perfect or complete knowledge but I still possess the ability to learn. My comments are not necessarily for you guys but also for those who are reading the post but not commenting.
I like your nov 29 post to rehmat giving him a bit of the flavour of the hindu faith. And he was insisting that I should address Hindus as’believers’. How can I call people a believer, if they call their Gods all bad names!.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@777

At this point after the issue has been brought out how many Hindus on the blogs do you see that have an attitude of forgiveness towards MFH. I have read enough blogs and I rarely see a Hindu with the attitude of forgiveness. Let us not take everything back to the whole Hindu society.

“Well I’d say you have little idea of Hindu society.”

***You would be surprised how much I know. Let us leave it at that and I thought we were done after the argument that politicians raked up the issue. Paintings were sitting there for decades if I am not wrong and nothing happened to MFH is a testament that the issue was not as sensitive as it became.

“The MF Husein case got so much attention because a ‘Muslim’ painted ‘nude’ pics of ‘Hindu Goddess’ and whole case eventually blew out of proportion.”
***Isn’t that always the case. There would have not been this much uproar over Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) cartoon’s
if they were drawn by a Muslim.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Rexy boy

why don’t you shut up?

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@777
“Hindus call Gods by all bad names themselves but never a hue and cry is made (Lord Krishna is often called a butter ‘thief’).”

***I think you have lost it in the translation but have misconveyed it to Rex, who is a sucker for negative interpretation. “Thief” was called by his mom with affection and not used in a derogatory sense.

I do not want to play Zakir Naik but without getting into the details (relevance of the entry sake), Krishna is not a GOD per se but a manisfestation of an aspect of GOD. I would say he is more like a prophet (crudely speaking) if I place I compare him to anyone in Islam and in context of the audience of this debate. The difference is that prophet Mohammed (PBUH) was the last prophet, but Krishna is believed to reappear (reincarnation of one from the trinity).

Let me connect Hinduism and Christianity too. In Christianity, God is exists as three persons—trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In Hinduism, Hindu Trinity consists of Brahma, the creator, Vishnu, the preserver and Shiva, the destroyer. Trinity is GOD and is monotheism essentially. Each one from the Trinity is not called GOD as such. Krishna is incarnation of Vishnu and like Vishnu he is also a Lord, NOT GOD. “GOD” is a loosely used terms in Hinduism or mentioned without their correct understanding.

THE word God on so-called Million Gods is a misnomer–one for each person, as it is said. That means the number of GODs would keep on proliferating with the population. It seems superficial and ridiculous but can be explained. It is the manifestation of the same Supreme Being in all humans.

777, correct me if you feel there is a need.

I would leave it to the enlightened to decide who is a “believer” in what.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@Rehmat
Perhaps it would be wise for you not to speak for others or try to convince them that they believe in one god. The divide of humans on caste or social basis is foreign in all Ibrahim religions.

There are theories that even the old Egyption kings believed in one God. Your line on trinity takes you outside the realms of one God and therefore Islam! Good Bye.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

@Rehmat
I don’t give a sh*t to what Rex makes of the discussion between us and I would advise you also to ignore his BS instead of asking him to shut up. Lord Krishna preaches to mankind that a human can control his/her own actions only and NEVER of others. So applying that here, we cannot stop Rex from spitting but we can sure ignore him. :) And he is no one to decide whether you are a true muslim or we are good humans or not.

I agree with your breakup of Hindu God(s) and Lord(s) with small correction.

Brahma is Creator. – Correct

Vishnu is Preserver. – Loosly correct. More accurately he is coordinator who ensures smooth functioning of the system. And for that he sometimes have to destroy as well.

Shiva is destroyer. – Absolutely incorrect. Shiva is basically the ENERGY (Shakti) for all. Shiva is necessary for creation, coordination, preservation and destruction. Both Brahma and Vishnu need energy of Shiva to conduct their task. But in case of destruction it is only Shiva, hence the misconception of destructor.

More or less trinity is assumed to be working in coordination with each other to ensure the functioning of universe.

“It is the manifestation of the same Supreme Being in all humans”

Yes. That’s the summary of Bhagvad Gita. I am not sure if Islam also teaches it. Didn’t find something like that in Koran. Correct me if I am wrong. But Lord Krishna has preached that for all practical purposes, i.e. for all situation where there is self doubt the mankind should assume Krishna (Vishnu) as the ultimate GOD for he is manifested in all that is there in universe. Vishnu manifestation in all is acceptable as he is the one coordinating everything and to coordinate universe he HAS to be omnipresent.

As noted by you correctly that God is a loosely used term in hinduism. And because of this liberal usage of the word God the blasphemy is rarely an issue within hindu society.

“Isn’t that always the case. There would have not been this much uproar over Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) cartoon’s
if they were drawn by a Muslim.”

Please explain the fatwa against Salman Rushidie (and so many other muslims) then. I just don’t understand this fatwa business at all. As a muslim may be you can tell me what it is all about.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@Rex
Rex my boy why are you forcing me to open can of worms? You keep running away from difficult questions and derive utmost negative sense from almost everything that is not Islam. Why don’t you tell me with your super intelligence that why the criminals who brought down Buddha statues were not punished by Taliban??

“How can I call people a believer, if they call their Gods all bad names”

Alright lets play it your way. Islam (or at least Islamic schools) for most part asks humans to be good out of FEAR of Wrath of God. That is if one is not good then one will face wrath of God. On the contrary Hindus believe that humans should be good to acquire LOVE of God. That is humans can become eligible for love of God (whichever God one believes in, and not necessarily Hindu God) only if they are of good conduct. Hindu belief system says that it is never the wrath of God but just a way to ensure smooth functioning of system overall. Both the concepts are more or less very same but just a matter of difference of angle of view. Islamic scholars promote Wrath of God and Hindus promote Love of God. And so lets leave it till the judgement day for the decision of who is ‘believer’ and who is not.

“The divide of humans on caste or social basis is foreign in all Ibrahim religions”

So it is in all other religions. Hindu religion never sanctions discrimination. When Krishna (Vishnu) is manifested in all then how can one be distinguished from other. Your statement just shows your level of ignorance.

“Your line on trinity takes you outside the realms of one God and therefore Islam”

ha ha ha ha ha ha….keep it up Rex boy…keep supplying us with more laughter…I am sure Rehmat would also find it hard to stop laughing on this….Rehmat, you should not ask Rexy to shut up, don’t you like to laugh?

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@777
The concept of Fatwa in Islam makes total sense and is very useful. There are misperceptions about Fatwa based upon mostly well known death fatwas, such as against Salman Rushdie and Tasleema Nasrin. In fact Fatwa is issued on various issues, most of which are on how to live life according to Islamic values. Because Islam is a complete way of life, a Muslim who is in a dilemma about certain issue, can go to a Islamic scholar, who based upon his knowledge would give a fatwa on the subject. It is essentially a question/answer that helps the questioner in making RIGHT decisions according to Islam. Fatwas are just suggestions and therefore non-binding.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@Rehmat
“It is essentially a question/answer that helps the questioner in making RIGHT decisions according to Islam. Fatwas are just suggestions and therefore non-binding.”

You see there are two problems with this:

1. RIGHT decisions ACCORDING to Islam (or any other religion). Keyword is not ‘Right’ but ‘According’. Fundamentals of all religions are same but when it comes to finer details then religions may fall short of the requirements of modern world. Eg- Fatwa saying muslims should not deposit money in banks and should not invest in share markets.

2. Do you really think Fatwas remaining non-binding is possible on ground with people who might not be educated enough to differentiate between politically motivated fatwas (both of us know politically motivated fatwas are truth) and genuine ones? Don’t you think this weakness is being exploited too much to gain political ends? Why can’t Islamic scholars declare what could be the cases and punishments that fatwas could suggest? Why fatwas (suggestions) for Death punishment?? Should capital punishments and of course cases like rape, not be left for modern courts to decide??

Don’t you think Fatwas add complexity to already complex situation of blasphemy? Pakistan is a glaring example of it. I think its time to redefine fatwa in light of modern world requirements so as to achieve greater cohesion, integeratiion and peace. Let me know your thoughts.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@777

Fatwas are not trouble free mechanism. There have been contradictory fatwas. There have been fatwas by Usama bin Laden against Americans, Fatwas by Islamic scholars against terrorism (there is one detailed one from Pakistan; forgot the name now). It depends upon the individual which one to follow.

The problem is that issuing fatwa is a responsible job but has been done non-seriously without deep thought. To do according to Islam is to do the right thing. The keyword in issuing a fatwa is to take into view the
“changing world”. That means that knowing Holy Koran is not enough. Connecting the past with the present is crucial. It is no surprise that not all scholars have similar vision and Muftis NEED to know the changing world. How many do is anybody’s guess. That is why fatwas are issued with a disclaimer “Allah knows the best”.

“Fundamentals of all religions are same but when it comes to finer details then religions may fall short of the requirements of modern world. Eg- Fatwa saying muslims should not deposit money in banks and should not invest in share markets.”
***Interest is haraam in Islam. Islamic banking is the option and increasing number of banks are catering to the needs. The idea is to make money during trade, not money from money or borrow money. It is different and a workable concept. The way money changes hands, it is hard to know who is supporting whom. I am a sinner though!

“Do you really think Fatwas remaining non-binding is possible on ground with people who might not be educated enough to differentiate between politically motivated fatwas (both of us know politically motivated fatwas are truth) and genuine ones? Don’t you think this weakness is being exploited too much to gain political ends?”
***it is possible, people do shopping for fatwa for normal issues and pick on they like! So they are not that dumb. Some issues like blasphemy cases (danish cartoonist) spark responses–fatwa or no fatwa. I find it ridiculous that there have been so many attacks on people around Rushdie that were involved in his publications.

“Why can’t Islamic scholars declare what could be the cases and punishments that fatwas could suggest?”
***Because Islam is complete code of life and nothing is out of its scope. Doing what you suggested is disagreeing with that. It is not easy.

“Why fatwas (suggestions) for Death punishment?? Should capital punishments and of course cases like rape, not be left for modern courts to decide??”
***It is stupid. I am not a big fan of asking for someone;s blood over blasphemy. This is what we have been talking in this particular entry, as you also noted. Death fatwas are rare but they should be stopped totally. Even if Islamic scholars agree over it, UBL will give a death fatwa against Rushdie. It is practically hard to totally stop it.

“Don’t you think Fatwas add complexity to already complex situation of blasphemy? Pakistan is a glaring example of it. I think its time to redefine fatwa in light of modern world requirements so as to achieve greater cohesion, integeratiion and peace. Let me know your thoughts.”
***When you hurt someone’s well founded beliefs there are troubles but death sentence is not the way.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@777

““Don’t you think Fatwas add complexity to already complex situation of blasphemy? Pakistan is a glaring example of it. I think its time to redefine fatwa in light of modern world requirements so as to achieve greater cohesion, integeratiion and peace. Let me know your thoughts.”
***When you hurt someone’s well founded beliefs there are troubles but death sentence is not the way. Mechanisms that prevent irresponsible freedom of expression is a step in this direction. That’s what my stand was on our earlier discussion.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@Rehmat
“Interest is haraam in Islam.”

Picture this. I work hard and earn good money. Now a poor guy who has some brilliant business idea comes to me and asks for some money for help. I say I give you money but what is my benefit in it? The deal finally is that along with paying me back my money the guy gives me a small amount of his profits. Is this haraam as per Islam?? By the way how do Islamic Banks make profits (without profits no Banks can survive)?? And if interest is “Haraam” then banking (business of money, where money is the commodity of trade) itself becomes Haraam even if it is Islamic Banking. I would suggest you to investigate very very deep into Banking and so called Islamic Banking before calling anyone (including yourself) a sinner for taking advantage of banking services.

You see these are the problems created by fatwas. Ancient religions serve only the times they were created so modifications and up gradations are needed from time to time.

As for fatwas for blasphemy we seem to be somewhat on same page (but not completely ofcourse). I suggest people mature enough to not fume over something practically irrelevant and you say law becomes mature enough to not let anyone speak nonsense. But yes we agree that no death sentences for blasphemy :).

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@777

Damn it you are asking too many questions :-) Do not take my sin statement seriously!

“Picture this. I work hard and earn good money. Now a poor guy who has some brilliant business idea comes to me and asks for some money for help. I say I give you money but what is my benefit in it? The deal finally is that along with paying me back my money the guy gives me a small amount of his profits. Is this haraam as per Islam??”
***No, this is not forbidden. This is a joint venture, which is allowed provided the nature of business is permissible. Profit and loss during business is shared.

“By the way how do Islamic Banks make profits (without profits no Banks can survive)?? And if interest is “Haraam” then banking (business of money, where money is the commodity of trade) itself becomes Haraam even if it is Islamic Banking. I would suggest you to investigate very very deep into Banking and so called Islamic Banking before calling anyone (including yourself) a sinner for taking advantage of banking services.”
***I do not have personal experience with this type of banking as I said earlier. I know is from discussions. There are round about ways of moving money without charging interest. Bank charges administration fee, but not interest. Profit sharing is allowed so bank makes profit on capital invested. Bank becomes an investor and shares profits from the business venture that the borrower has invested the money in. Also bank can give interest-free loan, but the customer is free to give some amount (no obligation). There are mutual funds compatible with this system. Etc etc

Few things are clear: no interest charging, investment in permissible businesses, profit is perfectly fine.
Issues raised are if interest is charged in other ways or not.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@Rehmat

“Profit sharing is allowed so bank makes profit on capital invested”

This “profit on capital invested” is what is called INTEREST. I have been a good student of economics along with engineering. As I said before investigate deep into banking and you would know that Islamic banking is no less horrible than other banking systems worldwide.

Anyway seems we are deviating from the topic at hand, so lets end it here.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@777

This “profit on capital invested” is what is called INTEREST
***It is not that simple. Bank is a partner in the business and shares profits/loss. Let us say if 100bucks investment lent to a borrower are put into a businees. Now assume this 100 bucks makes 10bucks profit, it is not interest. It is profit on the sale. This is what is shared. If there is a loss that would be shared too. Interest will be when bank would charge a pre-fixed money on the capital invested money it lent (called interest).

In other transactions, like you said interest might be charged, but that is not obvious. I would be shocked if interest is not being charged but that would take an economist to open it up.

I am not a software engineer nor an economist. I have designed something which I wish you never have to use (cancer drug).

Let us get to the nuke blog now.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

@rehmat
“Now assume this 100 bucks makes 10bucks profit, it is not interest”

How can bank share loss?? Which is the money that bank invests in first place?? As I said investigate deep into banking and you would know and in fact would appreciate that bank (including Islamic Banks) does not share loss. :) Because banks are NOT venture capitalists. What you are talking is of a venture capitalists. Banks do not have money of their own. Try to track incoming and outgoing money of a bank and you would get to truth of it.

So you are a medical scientist, WOW I feel honoured to be in discussion with such a learned person. But I would say instead of justifying Islamic Banking as better compared to other banking systems, you should first get to bottom of banking itself.

Posted by 777xxx777 | Report as abusive

@777

” But I would say instead of justifying Islamic Banking as better compared to other banking systems, you should first get to bottom of banking itself.”

***wait a minute I did not say that Islamic banking is better than the conventional banking.

I was addressing a particular point. There is a lot of sophistry and several models of transactions in Islamic Banking. It needs one separate discussion. At the end of the day, I would be surprised if the “substance” in Islamic banks in an indirect way does not mean, let us say “interest”, in the conventional banking. good idea to get to the basics and see money flow.

Thanks for the complement. We all are learned in our fields.

Posted by rehmat | Report as abusive

[...] had championed the case of Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman who had been sentenced to death under the blasphemy laws, which have been criticised in particular for their misuse against [...]