Should the blasphemy law in Pakistan be removed?

Should the blasphemy law in Pakistan be removed?

  • Yes. It should be removed

    Votes: 33 47.8%
  • No. It should not be removed, but it should be amended

    Votes: 27 39.1%
  • No. It should not be removed. It is fine as it is

    Votes: 8 11.6%
  • I don't know

    Votes: 1 1.4%

  • Total voters
    69

Wiji

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Mods, I'm requesting for a poll please. I think this is an important issue for obvious reasons.

Feel free to express your honest opinion. PP is a relatively safe place. I am well aware that the PP poll will not be indicative of Pakistanis in general (since this is presumably a literate crowd), but I am still curious nonetheless.

- Yes. It should be removed altogether.
- No. But it should be amended (explain how).
- No. It is fine as it is.
- I don't know.
 
- No. It is fine as it is.
Thanks.

But does it not disturb you that practically all blasphemy cases have seen innocent people tortured, brutalized, and killed in the name of this law? In almost all the cases on record, the 'victims' of the law have been completely innocent. And murderers and thugs have been hailed as heroes by the general public.

If the law is not being implemented properly and has been allowed to be abused for personal reasons (such as to vent personal frustrations, or to fulfill sadistic urges), is it not about time to change the law or remove it altogether?

Laws are meant to protect people, and to protect religion. This law has not done anything to serve either of its intended objectives. In fact, it has only achieved the opposite results. Innocent people (particularly from minority communities) are being persecuted and assassinated, and the religion has been tarnished.

Every law has an objective...a concept referred to as 'Maqasid al Shariah'. I fail to see how this law is serving any of its intended objectives in its current form, and in the current state that the country is.

I look forward to your reply.
 
Can the Mods amend the poll choices? It is not as clear cut as 'Yes' or 'No.'
 
Yes it should be removed.

The blasphemy law can be manipulated for family feuds and score-settling.

Of course any blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is sinful but when the Prophet was stoned in Taif, or when he regularly had litter thrown at him, did he (pbuh) react?

No, infact he prayed for them. Some members of Pakistani society have a very intolerant mindset, the fundamentalist and the religious sections of the community have a big role in Pakistan politics, too big a role and their influence is widespread.

We can fight the Taliban but there is another, deep-rooted enemy within Pakistan too and that is the extremist mullahs.

We have to eradicate the mindset not just the group. This is Zia's legacy.

Also, most of the time in blasphemy cases, vigilante justice is meted out instead of going through the proper legal procedures.

It has to be removed, but also the scourge of fundamentalism must be too.The preaching of hatred and intolerance which is an even bigger threat to Pakistan has to be eradicated.

However, religion is so embodied into our society. We need separation of the state apparatus and religion. Decisions and law-making on the basis of religion can have dangerous consequences.

That is not to say religion is to blame, it is that different people interpret religion in different ways, sometimes their interpretation conflicts with others and in our intolerant society, it can lead to violence and preaching of more hatred. There is already a sectarian problem and an Us vs. Them culture.

There was even a blasphemy case where one person was accused of blasphemy because he was of a different sect and was pulling down a poster; it clearly shows that the blasphemy law is manipulated to settle scores and rivalries.

Our leaders have to act but it seems that they are kowtowing to the vocal minority of the preachers and mullahs instead of the silent majority of Pakistan who, mostly want this draconian law removed but cannot speak out for fear of reprisals.

Unfortunately Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian bravely laid down his life to fight intolerance and extremism.Salman Taseer may have been guilty of political grandstanding but Bhatti was sincere, listening to his interviews he spoke of death threats and how he would keep fighting regardless to remove the blasphemy laws.

Shahbaz Bhatti is a rare breed of Pakistani politician in that he is a genuine person, a true hero in my eyes and I commend him for making such a sacrifice. Sherry Rehman may be next.

I hope now people realise the truth of what these hate-preachers and mullahs are doing, and that is manipulating a young generation into fundamentalism.

What the blasphemy laws does is give a platform, a means for extremists to manipulate the laws for their sick purposes. It has to be removed without a shadow of a doubt.
 
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The implementation of the law needs improvement. There should be equally harsh punishments for those who manipulate the law.
 
what do you want it to say?
- Yes. It should be removed.
- No. It should not be removed, but it should be amended.
- No. It should not be removed. It is fine as it is.
- I don't know.

I think that covers all the choices.
 
- No. It is fine as it is.

it is not fine. its ridiculous. there is a majority who are not left or right,
this poll would only pretend (wrongly) to indicate liberal fascists or extremists.
Pleasae consider more options as suggested by fellow poster.
 
No It is fine as it is.

Pakistan is an Islamic Republic if non muslims are trying to destroy Islam then they should be prepared to be punished.

Liberals would like to see Islam watered down and secularised !!!!!
 
No It is fine as it is.

Pakistan is an Islamic Republic if non muslims are trying to destroy Islam then they should be prepared to be punished.

Liberals would like to see Islam watered down and secularised !!!!!

Muslims themselves are more destructive to islam . we do not need non-muslims . And how is Pakistan Islamic ? The other extreme of liberals you believe are making Pakistan proud and successful ? CLOSET EXTREMIST ALERT !


@thread YES it must be removed . I wish PP becomes so powerful that we are able to change such laws of Pakistan because this government clearly won`t
 
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we already have nutcase Pakistani political websites/blogs. Why do we need such pathetic polls here?
 
It should be removed completely.

Again, it is my opinion:).
 
While I would like for it to be removed completely, I also think realistically this is impossible. At the very least, though, there are definitely improvements that can be made to this law.

Things that should change about the blasphemy law (section 295-C):

1) Under the current law, there is no provision for if someone is falsely accused of blasphemy. Making it a serious offense will make people think twice before accusing someone.

2) There needs to be proof of intent i.e. the person actually wants to blaspheme. And the burden of this proof should be on the person making the accusation. The current language is very ambiguous on this. To account for stupid cases where for example a doctor was recently charged with blasphemy because he threw his business card carrying his name (Mohammed) in the trash.

3) All blasphemy cases should be heard by the Federal Shariat Court. Lower sessions courts should not have the authority to preside over these. Moreover, the policeman in charge of registering the case should at least be a DCO (district level), not your average SHO (station house officer)

These aren't my personal opinions, they are a combination of changes that have been proposed by the Islamic Ideology Council and advocate Ismail Qureshi, the person in charge of introducing the law in question to the Pakistan Penal Code.

Another point I'd like to make is that the stated reason for introducing Section 295-C to the PPC was to counter vigilante justice. Needless to say, this hasn't worked.

Nobody has ever been executed under this law i.e. on court order. However, since this law's introduction, countless people have been killed extra-judicially, in the very manner that this law was intended to prevent.

If the intention is indeed to curb vigilante justice then it's pretty obvious that having a blasphemy law in place makes no difference. Instead people who take the law into their own hands need to be made an example of. The reality is that a great number of people idolize guys like Mumtaz Qadri and don't think they've done anything wrong.
 
Let it stay as it is even though I think it should be tweaked. But Pakistan has far greater worries right now then to worry about this law. Once Pakistan can find a solution to end war in NWFP, show actual respect for Waziristan & Punjab (build infrastructure & show the people that Waziristan is as much part of Pakistan as Sind or Punjab).

Once such problems are ended only then should Pakistan think of opening the debate on this law.

In fact since I am looking to do my MBA in political science, my believe is to turn Waziristan into the Islamic center of Pakistan ala Abu Dhabi but more conservative (build beautiful mosques & respect the values of the people there who are more attached to Islam than other parts of Pakistan). Just like Islamabad is the capital, Karachi the business hub or Lahore the city of life.

Make each major city/province special hence showing its people that without them Pakistan is incomplete. Currently the people of Waziristan/Baluchistan/NWFP are feeling like East Pakistan did before it tore itself away from Pakistan.

* My rant is over!
 
Since there exist no blasphemy laws in Islam, it seems rather contradictory to have them on the statute books of Muslim govts. Surely that, in itself, is a blasphemy - inventing, creating, concocting laws for Islam?

(Blasphemy in Judaism meets with the death penalty: Leviticus 24:10-23 - this law does not apply in Islam, and is never mentioned in the Qur'an)
 
Since there exist no blasphemy laws in Islam, it seems rather contradictory to have them on the statute books of Muslim govts. Surely that, in itself, is a blasphemy - inventing, creating, concocting laws for Islam?

(Blasphemy in Judaism meets with the death penalty: Leviticus 24:10-23 - this law does not apply in Islam, and is never mentioned in the Qur'an)

Ziaic Republic of Pakistan , enough said :asif
 
Let it stay as it is even though I think it should be tweaked. But Pakistan has far greater worries right now then to worry about this law. Once Pakistan can find a solution to end war in NWFP, show actual respect for Waziristan & Punjab (build infrastructure & show the people that Waziristan is as much part of Pakistan as Sind or Punjab).

Once such problems are ended only then should Pakistan think of opening the debate on this law.

In fact since I am looking to do my MBA in political science, my believe is to turn Waziristan into the Islamic center of Pakistan ala Abu Dhabi but more conservative (build beautiful mosques & respect the values of the people there who are more attached to Islam than other parts of Pakistan). Just like Islamabad is the capital, Karachi the business hub or Lahore the city of life.

Make each major city/province special hence showing its people that without them Pakistan is incomplete. Currently the people of Waziristan/Baluchistan/NWFP are feeling like East Pakistan did before it tore itself away from Pakistan.

* My rant is over!

I don't the problem of alienation exists in Waziristan as much as it does in Balochistan.
 
The Blasphemy Law is fine..

The vast majority of the Pakistani Public support the Blasphemy Law
 
It should be amended.

There should be two elements to this offence.

1. Actus reus - A persound should have committed the said offence. intention alone should not be enough.

2. Mens rea - The person should have had the intention to commit the offence.

The second element is where the problem lies. I will give you the recent example of that doctor who threw a business card in the bin and the card had the name 'Muhammad' on it.

In such a situation you cannot say that the doctor intended to insult the Prophet. However, to a reasonable man, it might seem like he did just that.

Therefore, the test for intention should be a subjective test. The court must decide what was the person's intention behind the act.
 
It should be amended.

There should be two elements to this offence.

1. Actus reus - A persound should have committed the said offence. intention alone should not be enough.

2. Mens rea - The person should have had the intention to commit the offence.

The second element is where the problem lies. I will give you the recent example of that doctor who threw a business card in the bin and the card had the name 'Muhammad' on it.

In such a situation you cannot say that the doctor intended to insult the Prophet. However, to a reasonable man, it might seem like he did just that.




Therefore, the test for intention should be a subjective test. The court must decide what was the person's intention behind the act.


And what if muslim says some blasphemous things about another religion(like zaid hamid often does).Is that not considered under blasphemy law?

Pakistan is hypocrite nation
 
And what if muslim says some blasphemous things about another religion(like zaid hamid often does).Is that not considered under blasphemy law?

Pakistan is hypocrite nation

Profound thought

You should post more
 
Well a law like this will always be misused and abused no matter how it is worded . It is for good reason some say "Law is A@@". I can't see a place for this law in a vibrant democracy, yes maybe in theocracy. The only law should be civil law to protect individual's life and property. Moment it starts protecting "sentiments", the law will fail to have its objectivity. Plus, it does not speak highly for the faith of those who need to kill/punish anyone who challenges or abuses the religion. Afterall mighty Allah will pass his verdict at the time of judgement. Human beings are too flawed and vulnerable to sit in judgement.

Btw I am also against sedition law as it exists in India and other countries. I believe every individual should have a right to voice his demands/opinions.
 
Pakistan overturns Christian couple's blasphemy death sentences

A Pakistani court has overturned a death sentence handed down to a Christian couple for blasphemy, citing a lack of evidence.

Shagufta Kausar and her husband Shafqat Emmanuel were convicted in 2014 for insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

But on Thursday, the couple's lawyer Saif ul Malook said the Lahore High Court had acquitted them.

A prosecution lawyer told the Reuters news agency that the latest ruling would be challenged.

Blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan, and though no-one has ever been executed for it, dozens have been killed by mobs after being accused.

"I am very happy that we were able to get the release of this couple who are some of the most helpless people in our society," Mr Malook told the AFP news agency.

He said he expected the pair to be freed next week after the court orders are published.

Human rights groups have welcomed the ruling.

"Today's decision puts an end to the seven-year long ordeal of a couple who should not have been convicted nor faced a death sentence in the first place," Amnesty International's South Asia Deputy Director Dinushika Dissanayake said in a statement.

What were the couple accused of?
The married couple were convicted in 2014 of sending blasphemous text messages insulting the Prophet Muhammad to a local imam from a phone number registered in Ms Kausar's name.

But her brother told the BBC last year that the couple were innocent, and he doubted they were literate enough even to have written the abusive messages.

Ms Kausar worked as a caretaker in a Christian school, whilst her husband is partially paralysed.

Human rights groups say blasphemy allegations are frequently used to settle personal scores or target religious minorities

The couple's lawyer told the BBC last year that in their trial they suggested a Christian neighbour they had argued with might have purchased a SIM card in Shagufta Kausar's name and sent the messages in order to frame them.

In April, the European Parliament passed a motion condemning Pakistan for failing to protect religious minorities, focusing on the case of Ms Kausar and Mr Emmanuel.

Blasphemy convictions are often eventually overturned on appeal in Pakistan. Last year, Asia Bibi left the country after more than a decade in prison, having been acquitted by the Supreme Court. The verdict led to violent protests by hardline religious groups.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-57347604.amp
 
First of all the OP has to decide if he/she has a problem with the law itself or the implementation of it?

I think of the law is correct in the light of Islamic jurisprudence, as a Muslim country, we have an obligation to stick to it. But the implementation of it has to be by the book as well. None of this hearsay, vigilante justice, using law to settle personal scores, subjugation of minorities, and other such nonsense. It should be dealt with as another criminal transgression and due process must be followed.
 
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