05/24/2006, 00.00
PAKISTAN
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Minorities against the blasphemous and satanic Da Vinci Code

by 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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