Pakistan: Muslim Parties Insist on Death For Blasphemers
“People will not allow the government to amend blasphemy law at any cost,”
By Aftab Alexandr Mughal
12/14/2010 Pakistan (ener pub)-During a December 12 press conference, Pakistan's major Islamic parties announced the launch of a campaign to uphold the sanctity of Prophet Muhammad against the proposed amendment in the blasphemy laws. During a meeting, they formed an alliance and a seven-member committee was also constituted to chalk out a strategy for holding meetings, processions, wheel-jam strikes and a sit-in outside parliament.
The meeting was convened by the Markazi Jamaat Ahle Sunnat in Rawalpindi, twin city of Pakistan’s capital Islamabad. Leaders of major Islamic political parties including Jamaat-e-Islami, Jammiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F, part of coalition government in the centre), and other religious leaders participated in the meeting.
Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws once again came under discussion after the death sentence of an illiterate Christian woman, Aasia Noreen. She was sentenced to death on November 8, 2010. A Christian federal minister said that the blasphemy laws should be amended. Since these laws introduction, Christian and human rights organisation have been demanding for the repeal of the blasphemy laws which have been used against Christian and other religious minorities to persecute and intimidate them.
“People will not allow the government to amend blasphemy law at any cost,” said Maulana Fazlur Rehman, leader of JUI-F. He said international powers always tried to divide the Mulsim Ummah, but all the sects of Islam were united for the dignity of the Holy Prophet.
Moreover, in many cities Islamic parties organised rallies against attempts to amend the blasphemy law and likely extradition of Aasia Noreen. Jamaatul Dawa, a charity run by Lashka-e-Tayyba (a terrorist organisation banned in Pakistan) also organised a rally in Lahore while the Punjab government of Pakistan Muslim League-N, a right wing party, did not take any notice of the rally.