In the State Department’s annual report on religious freedom, the U.S. accused Pakistan for using blasphemy laws to “restrict religious liberty”. The resurgence of blasphemy laws—which criminalize Christians and sometimes even Muslims for insulting Islam—are spreading like a wild fire throughout the Islamic world and are perhaps the greatest threat against Christianity in the Middle East today. Christians and Muslims are imprisoned in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, and Tunisia for allegedly ‘offending Islam’.
7/31/2012 Pakistan (Daily Times Pakistan) – The United States on Monday took aim at Pakistan for using blasphemy law to “restrict religious liberty”.
In its first report on religious freedoms since the start of the Arab spring uprisings, the US State Department warned, “In times of transition, the situation of religious minorities in these societies comes to the forefront.”
The report also said some countries, such as Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, were using blasphemy laws to “constrain the rights of religious minorities and limit freedom of expression”.
“Some members of society who have long been oppressed seek greater freedom and respect for their rights while others fear change. Those differing aspirations can exacerbate existing tensions,” it warned.
The report which details the situation in 2011 noted that in Egypt, although the Arab country’s interim military leaders had made gestures towards greater inclusiveness, sectarian tensions and violence had increased.
It denounced “both the Egyptian government’s failure to curb rising violence against Coptic Christians and its involvement in violent attacks”.