LAHORE: We know death is a risk that comes with the playing role of the Christian Faith campaigner but we will not shirk from criticising the Islamic blasphemy laws and calling injustice what it is.
Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill is a Prominent Pakistani Missionary activist who launched an international campaign to raise awareness about the misused and targeted used of Islamic blasphemy laws against Christians.His goal is to have blasphemy laws repeal in his home country because they have caused too much violence and discrimination against religious minorities and particularly Christian and created fear of insecurity and made them unsafe in Pakistan.
ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS LAWS AND ISLAMIC BLASPHEMY LAWS SHOULD NOT BE APPLICABLE ON CHRISTIAN INCLUDING OTHER NON-MUSLIMS SAID ADVOCATE SARDAR MUSHTAQ GILL NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF LEAD AND PUNJAB PRESIDENT PCC.
Pakistan’s blasphemy law
Pakistan’s section 295-A reads: “Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of the citizens of Pakistan, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations insults the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both.”
ONLY THIS SECTION SHOULD BE APPLICABLE FOR ALL RELIGIONS IN PAKISTAN BECAUSE THIS LAW IS SECULAR AND APPLIES TO ALL FAITHS.
In 1982, President Ziaul Haq introduced an ordinance that added a section to this law. Section 295-B reads: Defiling, etc., of Holy Qur’an:“Whoever wilfully defiles, damages or desecrates a copy of the Holy Qur’an or of an extract therefrom or uses it in any derogatory manner or for any unlawful purpose shall be punishable with imprisonment for life.”
Under prime minister Muhammad Khan Joneejo, another addition to the blasphemy law was legislated in 1986. Section 295-C reads: Use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet: Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”
It is too tough to see what new elements this added which was not covered by 295-A,except that it is specifically a law that protects Islamic faith and sensibility,by increasing the punishment which is life imprisonment and death.
These words “ETC” included in this law just to discourage those who possess faith other than Islamic faith.The person who has no faith in Islamic Prophet Muhammad and in his Book Quran,is considered blasphemer.So all Christians and other Non-Muslim are blasphemers in the eyes of laws and Muslims.These are the reasons we say “Save Christians and Pakistan from the blasphemy law”,”Christians are not safe in Pakistan”,Islamic blasphemy laws and religious discrimination,an attack on Christian’s future”,”Blasphemy legislation strikes minorities and Islamises the country, Pakistan”,
ONE LAW AND TWO DIFFERENT WAYS TO INVESTIGATE AND TO TRY IN COURT,IF THE ACCUSED IS MUSLIM AND IF THE ACCUSED IS CHRISTIAN OR ANY OTHER NON-MUSLIM
This is the copy of one of blasphemy case in which some pages of Quran burnt by Muslims occurred in Phool Nagar (Bhai Pheru) on dated 13 August ,2013.Translation: Investigation report and Agreement.
Subject:Incident of Defiling Quranic pages by burning the accused are Students and management of Madrasa Talimate Ale Muhammad(Ahle-Tashi) situated at Sher Pur Road Phool Nagar,Tehsil Pattoki District Kasur,Punjab ,Pakistan.Dated Tuesday,13 Agust,2013 at about 12:30 Afternoon.
1.The following names of the persons in front of them incident occurred or the persons who have information regarding this blasphemy issue.
i.Abbas Ali Dogar ii.Dr.Rehmat Ali iii.Abid Ali iv.Naeem Waheed alias Robi v.Faham Ijaz alias Humayion vi.Mulana Akhtar Ali vii.Ansar Abbas (Child 9-8 years old) viii.Haji Muhammad Hussain Moman ix.Syed Fida Hussain Shaw x.Syed Naqi Bukhari Alias Baghay Shaw xi.Baba Amanat Ali (cook).
2.The following are the contents of blasphemy case occurrence.
According to the above said date and time,the atmosphere of the city became sad and violent when this was came to know that there was happened an incident of blasphemy in the Madras of above said name from the sect of Ahl-e-Tashi where some pages of Quran were burnt,which came to know by finding some of half burnt Quranic Pages.
3.The case was very sensitive nature and charged mob of Muslim wished to protest,and which might be dangerous but from Management some responsible persons such as DSP(Deputy Superintendent Police) and local Station House Officer (SHO) with a large number of police men were in struggle to control over charged mob.On this situation,there was formed a committee consisting of Ulmas of all school of thoughts and some respectable persons on the wish and will of High Police Officials and charged mob which on the basis of evidences would show the exact and true matter to public at large.
These are the following names of investigation committee
1.Mufti Muhammad Zia Ul Husnain Nazam Ala Jamia Ahyia Ul alom Trust.2.Mufti Abdul Aziz Farooqi Nazam Ala Jamia Muzahar Ul Alom Almadina.3.Alama Muhammad Jamil Saeedi Khateeb Jamia Masjid Usmania Razvia.4.Mulana Muhammad Mohsin Khalid Khateeb Jamia Masjid Muhammadi Ahl-e-Hadees.5.Mr.Munir Ahmad Zia Ahdedar Markazi Jamayat Ah-e-Hadees.6.Dr.Rana Jafar Ali.7.Sufi Muhammad Ayub Naqeebi Chairman Masahliat Committee.8.Syed Nataq Hussain Bukhari,Bukhari Medical Store.9.Kari Akram Raza Haidree Assistant Madras Talemat-e-Ale Muhammad.10.Syed Muhammad Mutqi Jafari Member District Aman Committee.
4.The first meeting was held on Wednesday 14 August 2013 at about 10:00 AM at Jamia Ahyia Ul alom Trust.In the presence of members,the persons who were the witnesses of the blasphemy incident were asked,and they were asked by questions and answers methods.The blasphemy matter was resolved on the basis of harmony and statements recorded and signed by members of committee which is attached here with.
5.This is proved from the statements of witnesses persons that the blasphemy incident is true and some saved half burnt Quranic Pages were checked which was verified by above said persons that these Quranic Pages were those which were collected from the place of occurrence.It was also proved that the person who told these persons about the incident his name was Fahim Ijaz alias Humayion who verified the truth about blasphemy incident,but the page which was shown to these persons,he told that he had mixed in running water near Madiana CNG.
6.The meetings of members of investigation committee were held many times so the final and last meeting was held on 16 August,2013 in which the statements of witnesses and eye witnesses persons were recorded in written form,the conclusion of which was following:
So from the circumstances and evidences which was conducted by Ulmas and other respectable persons it could not be proved that the whole Quran was burnt or the pages of Quran burning was done intentionally.In fact ,there was a minor boy 9 or 8 years old Ansar Abbas,who was student of Madrasa,he had burnt some rough papers in which some pages of Quran also were burnt unintentionally and unknowingly or mistakenly which he had collected during cleaning the room which became in the reach of public by flown through air.It was proved that there was not any kind of motivation or assistance from the management of Madrasa but there was indication and hint of irresponsibility and ignorance from the management of Madrasa because the student was not trained and instructed how to dispose off Quranic Pages according to Islamic Sharia.It was on record that from the Ahl-e- Tashi side,there were number of apprehensions to other school of thoughts and sects due to their irresponsible behaviours,those apprehensions should be resolved by acting upon this agreement.
These are the following apprehensions:
1.That to abstain to commit any kind of blasphemy by hint or words towards any prophet particularly Prophet Muhammad(Islam) in any meeting or majlas
2.That to save Quran from defiling etc
3.That to abstain to disgrace Sahaba Karam particularly four Khulfa Rashdin during Muharam Ul Haram and in other meetings.
4.That to abstain to say any disgraceful word against wives of Muhammad particularly in respect of Aysha wife of Muhammad.
5.That to abstain from doing any action by which other school of thought or sect will be hurt.
6.That Government management/Police should provide to Ulma the given rout for Zuljinah and Shibi Tazia etc which is issued by permit so that that should be implemented.
7.Therefore in the light of circumstances and investigation the above said blasphemy incident the Committee is agree to declare that Management of Madrasa and Students of Madrasa should admit their guilt in front of Allah and ask for His forgiveness.And the Ulma committee declares that Public at Large be calmed and coldown and do not disturb public order ,this committe also instruct and reccomend to Police to release the arrested persons.Sinnatures of the Committee Members:
On dated Sunday ,29 May,2005 around about 9 to 10 AM an incident of blasphemy occurred at Muhala Patwarian Wala Kot Radha Kishan Road,Phool Nagar,District Kasur.This is below the copy of decision which was made by Muslim Ulma in which accused was a Muslim Headmaster Ahmad Saeed Minhas.
In the same way as above said blasphemy matter was resolved,this matter also was resolved without registaration of FIR and without creating any sort of violation or damaging public property.
In the eyes of law:To constitute offence u/s 295 C PPC ,number of witnesses were not required and it was not necessary that such abusive language against Prophet of Islam should be made loudly in public or in meeting or some specific place,but statement of single witness that some body had made utterance for the contempt of Prophet of Islam even inside the house was sufficient to award death penalty to such contemnor[2005 YLR 985].
If the accused is Muslim then law says-Material produced by Petitioner before High Court did not divulge the commission of an offence under the law of blasphemy by the Governer of Punjab,who was a Muslim by faith,so the question of registration of a criminal case against him did not arise.[2011PCr.LJ 973]
WHY THESE INVESTIGATION AND COMMITTEE NOT FORMED IN THESE BLASPHEMY CASES OF POOR CHRISTIANS?
Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five, remains in prison after being sentenced to death in November 2010 after other women claimed she made derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammed.
Sawan Masih, a 35-year-old Pakistani street sweeper, who was falsely accused of blasphemy by a close friend. He is now awaiting justice in his release.Many Christians houses were burnt.These are just two examples but there are a number of blasphemy cases in which hastely police investigation was conducted and FIRS were lodged.
We have long been demanding the repeal of these laws, which are used as a tool by extremists and even some more “moderate” Muslims to settle their personal grudges or seize the possessions of Christians. All minorities have been affected but we continue to be the main target. Innocent Christians have been killed in broad daylight,some burnt alive.Churches have been attacked and Christian villages have been burnt to ashes.
It seems that there is no chance that the state will be able to undo the two changes to Pakistan’s blasphemy law.Muslims wish to see Pakistan 100% Muslim Population in Pakistan and wish to make her a castle of Islam where no place for Christians.