» 01/13/2011, 00.00
Pakistani Muslims with the Pope for religious freedom and repeal of blasphemy law
Imams and scholars against the norm, which is used only "to settle personal disputes." To stop extremism a well-functioning justice system and the secular state is required. The memory of Salman Taseer, who died because he wanted to "help a Christian woman."
Lahore (AsiaNews) - Respect for the words of Benedict XVI, appreciation for his call to repeal the blasphemy law - used to "settle personal disputes" - and defence for the Christian minority, a victim of violence and abuse. Religious leaders and Islamic scholars in Pakistan - along with human rights activists and members of civil society - have distanced themselves from fundamentalist threats against the pope, and expressed their appreciation of his campaign for "full religious freedom." The central question, they explainto AsiaNews, revolves around the secular state and the functioning of the judicial system, which must enforce the law and stop the extremists.
Along with human rights activists and members of civil society, Mullah Mehfuz Ahmed, head of the Islamic Council in Islamabad, has also welcomed the words of Benedict XVI. "It is time to take on firm positions and promote religious freedom – he stated clearly -. I also support the pope's words for the repeal of the blasphemy law, because it is only used to settle personal disputes”.
Mullah Mushararf Husain, an expert on Islamic law and the imam of the Jamia mosque in Rawalpindi, shows "respect for the words of Benedict XVI" and appreciates "his efforts over the blasphemy law." He also recalls the love of Salman Taseer for the Prophet Muhammad and said: "His only sin” was to help a Christian woman, convicted of blasphemy. " The imam adds that "it is time for the major parties to join efforts to eradicate fundamentalist mentality," a necessary step to "save the country" from the brink.
Muhammad Asad Shafique, head of the department of Islamic studies at Quaid-e-Azam University, told AsiaNews that "the pope's statement comes at a crucial moment" because the government "has prostrated to pressure from Islamic groups." The scholar points out that the Qadri trial - the murderer of the Punjab Governor - is "a test case for the justice system" because first of all judges must determine "whether Salman Taseer has committed the crime of blasphemy." In his view, the decision on the case will affect "the interpretation of the law."
The Muslim scholar Ali Waqas Wasti recalls the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and comments: "If he were alive today, he would not survive very long," because he would be killed "by extremists on false charges of blasphemy." He explains that fundamentalists consider the pope’s words "offensive", they "do not read between the lines," he also recalls that "there are courts that must decide who to punish or release" and critics of the law " are not blasphemers".
Mgr Saldanha Pakistani Christians oppressed by violence rediscover God
Their situation is difficult and burdensome, many belong to lower social classes, hold menial jobs and are marginalized. Often relations with Muslims are of the "servant and master" nature. Archbishop Emeritus of Lahore: sense of anxiety and fear, but the Church is a source of consolation. "
Rawalpindi: Police stop mass in front of Gordon College chapel
Local authorities apply law 144 / c, which bans any gathering of more than two individuals. The Christians had organized the mass to protest against the illegal occupation of the Protestant chapel since October 19 by a group of Islamic extremists .
Sindh, four Christians arrested for "distributing religious materials"
A man and three women were arrested while handing out Christian pamphlets near the Mirpur Khas station. Reported by a local Muslim leader, they were arrested and transferred to prison amid tight security. Serious risk of attacks by extremists. Priest in Karachi: "They were unwise, but there is a pervading lack of religious freedom."
10/10/2011 PAKISTAN - ISLAM
Pakistan “legalises” persecution through blasphemy laws
Until 1986, only seven people charged with desecrating the Koran or reviling the name of Mohammed. Since the introduction of black law over 4 thousand cases reported, mostly in the last five years. The protest of Christians and members of civil society. The law "protects killers" and those who "incite violence on the streets."
26/04/2016 19:03:00 PAKISTAN
Ahmadis increasingly victims of human rights violations in Pakistan
According to the annual report on persecution against the group, 248 Ahmadis were murdered last year, with another 323 victims of attempted murder. Scores of their places of worship have either been seized or illegally disposed. Many of their tombs have been desecrated. Since 1974, Ahmadis have been treated as “non-Muslims” and a government ordinance bans them from using Islamic greetings and prayers, or to refer to their places of worship as mosques.
VATICAN - USA
Pope to Trump: America’s greatness is measured by its attention to the poor
Pope Francis exalts the "rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people” and the nation’s “commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide ". Concerns " for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door ". The oath Trump preceded by various prayers of Catholic, Protestant, Jewish Representatives. The slogan "America first" will guide political choices. String criticism of the establishment. China’s caution and the enthusiasm of the president of Taiwan.
CHINA - UNITED STATES
The Trump era begins: The China-US relationship and the risk of war
As the inauguration ceremony of the Trump presidency approaches, the Propaganda Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party has banned all journalists from “unauthorized criticism" of Trump’ words and deeds. According to the great dissident Wei Jingsheng there is a chance that Trump will force China into fair trade deals, possibly leading to political and legal reforms. A trade war is an option.
20/01/2017 CHINA - UNITED STATES
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.