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  • » 05/24/2006, 00.00

    PAKISTAN

    Minorities against the blasphemous and satanic Da Vinci Code

    Qaiser Felix

    The Pakistani government should treat the movie the way it treated the Muhammad cartoons: totally ban it for it insults Christians' belief in the divinity of Christ, the truthfulness of sacred scriptures, and the core values of Christianity.

    Islamabad (AsiaNews) – Pakistan's religious minorities "strongly condemn the blasphemous and satanic Da Vinci Code" and call on the government to issue an "immediate ban on the movie and boycott it," said today Shahbaz Bhatti, chairman of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), during a press conference in the capital.

    For Mr Bhatti, "Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code attacks our belief in the divinity of Christ, the truthfulness of sacred scriptures, the integrity of the Holy Catholic Church and the core values of Christianity".

    He told AsiaNews that should the movie be released "there would a nation-wide protest against its screening."
    He insisted that the movie was" full of lies, offences, historical and theological errors regarding Jesus, the Gospel and the Church. It is based on false, baseless, unrealistic and shameful information."

    "The blasphemous movie has hurt the religious sentiments of Christians throughout the world," he said. "We will not allow anyone to disgrace and insult our Lord Jesus [. . .] under the guise of freedom of expression."

    Mr Bhatti also asked the Secretary General of United Nations to condemn this act of blasphemy and stop those who, in the name of freedom of speech, "play with the religious sentiments of the people, insulting their sacred and religious beliefs".

    "The [Pakistani] government should officially condemn the blasphemous film and [. . .] prohibit cable operators, TV channels and internet sites from showing it, the way the publication of the sacrilegious [Muhammad] cartoons was banned."

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    See also

    13/10/2008 PAKISTAN
    A Christian man and his daughter arrested, almost lynched for blasphemy
    Rumours spread in a village near Faisalabad that a Christian girl ripped some pages from the Qur’an. But more than one version of the facts is making the rounds of the village. Anti-Christian intolerance is growing in the country and a Pakistani lawmaker says the “accusations are a fabrication” to persecute Christians.

    26/01/2007 PAKISTAN
    Another Christian imprisoned for “blasphemy”
    Following an altercation, a man who owed money to a Christian woman accuses her of insulting the prophet Muhammad, an offence that also carries the death penalty. She was taken into custody by the police. Minority rights group blames Islamic extremists for using the law to strike at religious minorities or anyone who dare oppose them.

    20/05/2008 PAKISTAN
    New “blasphemy” case, Catholic lawmaker against government
    Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic member of Pakistan’s National Assembly and chairman of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, calls on the government to change the infamous blasphemy law and free Christians jailed on blasphemy charges without evidence. The case of Dr Sardar is particularly serious; he could be hanged because someone wanted to settle a personal score.

    06/02/2009 PAKISTAN
    Minorities minister in favour of UN commission on Bhutto’s assassination
    Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic, says the country is duty-bound to find organisers and perpetrators of the assassination of the former Pakistani prime minister. UN commission will have three members. Last year the Pakistan People’s Party rejected the conclusions reached by a team of experts sent by Scotland Yard.

    10/08/2005 PAKISTAN
    Christian charged with blasphemy released
    Despite his newly found freedom, Yousaf Masih's life is still at risk. He is in hiding to avoid Islamists' threats. Islamic political parties still call for his death, whilst minority rights activists announce a national campaign against the Blasphemy Law.



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