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Pakistani President comes out against the misuse of the blasphemy law

ICC Note

President of Pakistan admitted that Islamic extremists are misusing the country’s blasphemy laws. Several Christians have been killed due to the blasphemy laws.

By Fareed Khan

09/22/2009 Pakistan (AsiaNews)-Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said that his government would ensure that the blasphemy law is not misused by anyone. He made the important statement last Saturday, after a series of very serious episodes of religious intolerance and persecution and after a number of prominent political leaders asked for changes to the law. Eventually, these were met with protests by Islamic extremists.

Mr Zardari discussed the issue in London , where he met Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and acknowledged that extremists were misusing the law.

The law punishes any offense against religion and anyone trying to convert others. Muslim extremists, often with the complicity of police and local authorities, have used it to persecute and jail non-Muslims, especially Christians, and moderate Muslims.

At least 33 people accused of proselytising have been massacred by enraged mobs or killed by individual fanatics.

In an editorial article, the Daily Times wrote on 17 September that “Christians killed in the name of Islam never get justice. The only way an accused can be saved is to bundle him out of the country after releasing him on bail.”

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