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Dec-09-2012 20:45printcomments

Blasphemy Law in the Context of Christian Theology

The blasphemy laws in The constitution of Pakistan

Pakistan blasphemy laws
tribune.com.pk

(KARACHI) - Several sections of Pakistan's Criminal Code comprise its blasphemy Laws. [3] § 295-A forbids outraging religious feelings. § 295-B forbids defiling the Quran. § 295-C forbids defaming the Islamic prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Except for § 295-C, the provisions of § 295 require that an offence be a consequence of the accused's intent. Defiling the Quran merits imprisonment for life. Defaming Muhammad (PBUH) merits death with or without a fine. (See below Sharia.) If a charge is laid under § 295-C, the trial must take place in a Court of Session with a Muslim judge presiding. [4 ] § 298 states:

Whoever, with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utters any word or makes any sound in the hearing of that person or makes any gesture in the sight of that person or places any object in the sight of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

The blasphemy laws in The constitution of Pakistan

§ 298-A prohibits the use of any derogatory remark or representation in respect of Muslim holy personages. § 298-B and § 298-C prohibit the Ahmadiyya from behaving as Muslims behave, calling themselves Muslims, proselytising, or "in any manner whatsoever" outraging the religious feelings of Muslims. Violation of any part of § 298 makes the violator liable to imprisonment for up to three years and liable also to a fine.

Between 1986 and 2007, Pakistani authorities charged 647 people with blasphemy offences.[[5] Fifty percent of these were non-Muslims, who represent only 3% of the national population.[5] No judicial execution for blasphemy has ever occurred in Pakistan,[6][7] but 20 of those charged were murdered.[5] By 2010, the total number of people charged under these laws had grown to about 1274.[8]

The only law that may be useful in countering misuse of the Blasphemy law is PPC 153 A (a), whoever “by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representations or otherwise, promotes or incites, or attempts to promote or incite, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities” shall be fined and punished with imprisonment for a term that may extend to five years.

On 12 January 2011, Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousuf Raza Gilani once again said that there would be no amendments to the blasphemy law.[9]

The blasphemy laws & The Federal Sharia Court (FSC)

The Federal Shariat Court(FSC) is a religious body which rules on whether any particular law is repugnant to the injunctions of Islam. If a law is repugnant to Islam, "the President in the case of a law with respect to a matter in the Federal Legislative List or the Concurrent Legislative List, or the Governor in the case of a law with respect to a matter not enumerated in either of those Lists, shall take steps to amend the law so as to bring such law or provision into conformity with the Injunctions of Islam" (Constitution, Article 203D). In October 1990, the FSC ruled that § 295-C was repugnant to Islam by permitting life imprisonment as an alternative to a death sentence. The Court said "the penalty for contempt of the Holy Prophet ... is death." [10] [11] The FSC ruled that, if the President did not take action to amend the law before 30 April 1991, then § 295-C would stand amended by its ruling.

Promptly after the FSC's ruling in 1990, Bishop Dani L. Tasleem filed an appeal in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, which has the power to overrule the FSC. In April 2009, the Shariat Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court considered the appeal. Deputy Attorney-General Agha Tariq Mehmood, who represented the federal government, said that the Shariat Appellate Bench dismissed the appeal because the appellant did not pursue it. The appellant did not present any argument on the appeal because the appellant, according to reports, was no longer alive. Consequently, it appears to be the law in Pakistan that persons convicted under § 295-C must be sentenced to death with or without a fine.[12]

Blasphemy law in the context of CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY

Christian theology condemns blasphemy. It is spoken of in Mark 3:29, where blaspheming the Holy Spirit is spoken of as unforgivable. In 2 Kings 18, the Rabshakeh gave the word from the king of Assyria, dissuading trust in the Lord, asserting that God is no more able to deliver than all the gods of the land. In Matthew 9:2, Jesus spoke the words "Your sins are forgiven you"; He was accused of blasphemy, since only God can forgive sins, although Christians believe that Jesus is God and hence entitled to do so.

Blasphemy has been condemned as a serious, or even the most serious, sin by the major creeds and Church theologians.

Thomas Aquinas says that “[if] we compare murder and blasphemy as regards the objects of those sins, it is clear that blasphemy, which is a sin committed directly against God, is more grave than murder, which is a sin against one's neighbor. On the other hand, if we compare them in respect of the harm wrought by them, murder is the graver sin, for murder does more harm to one's neighbor, than blasphemy does to God.”[11]. In the Bible several other references are there, those help us to know that it is clear that blasphemy, which is a sin committed directly against God, so it is very much clear that blasphemy does not have any thing with ANY human being, whether He is Jesus Christ or Muhammad (PBUH).

For ready reference of our participants, some more references from the Bible are being mentioned here.

Blasphemers must be stoned to death. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying ... he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him. Leviticus 24:13-16

And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven. Luke 12:10

Teach the young women to be ... obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Titus 2:4-5

Someday there will be a beast that comes out of the sea that has seven heads with a blasphemous name (Jesus Fucker) written on each head. I stood ... saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. Revelation 13:1

Many other reference may be quoted to prove that Bible based Christian Theology is very much clear about Blasphemy Law that is about Holy Spirit and The Lord Almighty God only.

Vigilantism of The blasphemy laws in Pakistan

Those who are accused of blasphemy may be subject to harassment, threats, and attacks. Police, lawyers, and judges may also be subject to harassment, threats, and attacks when blasphemy is an issue. [13][14]. Those accused of blasphemy are subject to immediate incarceration, and most accused are denied bail to forestall mob violence. [11][13]

It is common for those accused of blasphemy to be put in solitary confinement for their protection from other inmates and guards. Like those who have served a sentence for blasphemy, those who are acquitted of blasphemy usually go into hiding or leave Pakistan.

In the above mention circumstances, following facts are not beyond  thoughts.

Adam and Eve sans fig leaves, Lot getting drunk, Jesus stopping a stoning . . . This is all too much for Muslims represented in Pakistan's parliament by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party. They view Bible stories such as these to be "pornographic" slurs against the biblical figures whom they claim as their holy prophets. They are now demanding that the country ban the Bible because of such "blasphemy" and exact a "punishment." There seems no limit to what could be considered an offense against Islam under Pakistan's notorious blasphemy laws.

At a press conference on May 30 in Lahore, party leader Maulana Abdul Rauf Farooqi informally petitioned the Supreme Court, complaining that the Bible includes stories about some of the biblical prophets that include "a variety of moral crimes, which undermine the sanctity of the holy figures." A newspaper reports: "Farooqi cited a number of [supposedly pornographic] scriptures from the Bible, saying such 'insertions' strongly offend the Muslims, who hold all prophets and holy books in high esteem, as part of religious belief and never even think of committing any blasphemy against them."

The verses in question are: Genesis 19:33--36, 29: 23, 32--35, 38:18 Exodus 32:2—6  1 Kings 13:2—29 2 Samuel 11:2--27, 13:1—22 Matthew 1:13, 16:23, 26:14—47

As in many of Pakistan's blasphemy cases, political motives seem to be at the root of the complaint. Farooqi cited Pastor Terry Jones and said the party would not burn the Bible, as Jones has done with the Quran, but would formally lodge a petition if the high court failed to act on its own motion to ban the Bible. There would not be a clash between the two religions, Farooqi ominously promised, as long as the courts are functioning. Pakistan's Islamists are also agitated by the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by American troops in that country.

Christians and other religious minorities have been disproportionately prosecuted under these laws, which can carry the death penalty. Local Christians, estimated at 3 million, fear the call for a Bible ban is a sign of a trend of deepening persecution against them.

The definition of blasphemy under Pakistan's laws is vague and can include offenses that are committed "by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly." In Pakistan, blasphemy charges have been brought against Muslims as well -- in one recent case, for tearing off a page of a wall calendar that had a koranic verse written on it, and in another, for throwing away the business card of a person named "Mohammad (PBUH)." Attempts to repeal Pakistan's blasphemy laws have so far failed as extremists have become emboldened under them. Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer and federal minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti were murdered earlier this year for their opposition to the blasphemy laws.

Pakistan's governments have long advocated a universal blasphemy law. Every year for over a decade, the nation introduced a resolution in the UN's Human Rights Council and its predecessor body, calling for a worldwide ban against "defamation" of Islam. The resolution has routinely passed, but support decreased over time, and it was not introduced at the last session in March.

By having all these proclamation of the blasphemy Laws by the Pakistan Government officials vigilantism seems to be a funny joke???????

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