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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 12/15/2010
PAKISTAN
Pakistani President Zardari wants to amend blasphemy law
by Jibran Khan
Controversial blasphemy law continues to cause divisions in Pakistan. Lahore High Court has not yet fixed the date for Asia Bibi’s appeal, who is still in prison. Initiatives to change the law used to oppress minorities. An MP reveals the President’s opinion on the issue.

Lahore (AsiaNews) - The debate on the blasphemy law continues in Pakistan, while waiting for the Lahore High Court to set a date for the appeal in the case of Asia Bibi, a Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy. President Zardari has confided to a member of parliament that he agrees with its amendment. Politicians and civil society condemn the misuse of the blasphemy law and are asking the government to change it. Meanwhile, Asia Bibi’s case has been followed by an incident in Hyderabad, where a Ismaili doctor was wrongly accused, beaten and arrested on a false charge of blasphemy, causing concern and fear.

A press conference was organized at the Karachi Press Club seen by the Association of Sindh Physicians to highlight the case of the Ismaili doctor Naushad Ahmed Valiyani.  He was falsely accused of blasphemy by, Muhammad Faizan a pharmaceuticals salesman. Vailyani threw the man’s business card in the trash, Faizan then accused him of blasphemy against the name of the prophet Muhammad and reported him to police.

The President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari wants the blasphemy law changed, a member of the Sindh Assembly revealed at a press conference. Mr. Pitambar Sewani, speaking at the meeting on "vulnerable communities because of their faith," organized by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said Zardari spoke on the issue during a meeting held at the residence of the prime minister of Sindh. Sewani said he had raised the issue of the blasphemy laws used to oppress minorities. Zardari said he agreed on the revision of the law, if necessary. "The federal government may examine and take the necessary action" Zardari said, quoted by Sewani. Action in this regard should be taken by the Minister of Justice, he added.

Several human rights organizations have demanded that the law be changed, following the case of Asia Bibi. However, Pakistan Law Minister Babar Awan had categorically said in November that no one should think of repealing this law. "In my presence, as the Law Minister, no one should think of finishing this law," he had said.

Politicians and conservative clerics have been at loggerheads over whether Zardari should pardon Asia, who was sentenced to death after a district judge found her guilty of having stated that insects had feasted upon the prophet Muhammad's ear prior to his death and that he married his first wife for wealth, and that the Quran was written by man and not God. Asia denied the accusations, claiming ignorance of Islamic knowledge.

The Christian woman’s fate still hangs in the balance, the AsiaNews campaign to free her continues. So far, some 7200 people have sent an e-mail of support, 1800 others their signatures by mail.

Join us by writing to: salviamoasiabibi@asianews.it.

 


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See also
11/26/2010 PAKISTAN
No immediate pardon for Asia Bibi. Appeal must go before the High Court
by Jibran Khan
12/02/2010 PAKISTAN
Asia Bibi: fears over safety, controversy over stay on pardon
by Jibran Khan
12/28/2010 PAKISTAN
Asia Bibi: Pakistani Christians march against blasphemy law at Christmas
11/25/2010 PAKISTAN
No news about Asia Bibi’s fate as her release might take longer
by Jibran Khan
12/13/2010 PAKISTAN
Pakistan's blasphemy law claims another innocent victim
by Jibran Khan

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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