Do they not Violate the Blasphemy Laws?

By: Dr.Mohammad Ghitreef*

Destroying the places of worship of the “People of
the Book” and burning their holy book is also blasphemy, so will it be
enacted now?

Main Points:

1-Blasphemy laws cover anything from burning the sacred Bible to destroying churches.

2. Those responsible for the false accusations that were announced over loudspeakers and the subsequent gathering of aggressive youngsters who attacked must be brought to justice and punished appropriately.

3. Visits by the prime minister and a judge of the supreme court are appreciated, but the victims demand justice.

What happened in Jaranwala town of Faisalabad, Pakistan, is a clear violation of human rights, minority rights, the law of the land, and an apparent offense against the most discussed blasphemy law.

However, there is no uproar and brouhaha on the part of Muslim religious zealots and ulema on this point!

Christians are regarded as Ahle Kitab(people of the book)according to Quran. Quran even called upon them to a common platform which is the oneness of God common to all three Abrahamic religions; Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.قل

 يا اهل الكتاب تعالو إلى كلمة سواء بيننا وبينكم ان لا نعبد إلاالله ولانشرك به شيئا

Say,’ People of the book, let us come to an agreement: that we shall worship none but God and that we shall associate no partner with him”.Ale Imran verse:64)

Christians believe in one God; they believe in Jesus, who is the most reverend prophet in Quran. They believe in the Holy Bible (the New Testament). Nobody can deny that. The point is that the existing blasphemy law regards anybody who attacks, damages, insults, or defiles any sacred book (Quran, the Bible, the Torah(old testament) or desecrates any prophet. (Jesus, Mohammad or Moses et al.) an offender and committer of a criminal act of blasphemy.

  Now what happened in Jiranwala? An enraged mob led by a hard head semi-illiterate qari and imam of the nearby mosque with the activists of radical TLP swarmed and attacked a Christian locality in the morning hour of 16 August in the aftermath of 14 August celebrations (in Pakistan), setting on fire more than 20 churches, burning 700 houses, and looting them. What did they do wrong? Salim Masih, a fourth-grade government employee, and his 12-year-old son are accused of blasphemy. Ironically, both the boy and his father are illiterate, so who would be such a fool as to put his picture next to the torn-apart pages of the Quran and write his address while insulting the Quran? Will the country’s system, which is constitutionally bound to treat everyone equally, be able to identify the individual who really penned offensive remarks on the Quran’s pages before conspiring to accuse two innocent Christians and incite disturbances in the town?  Clearly, the purpose of the false accusations was to settle a personal score. As is customary in such situations, the cops merely watched. If the cops had been quick and attentive, the tragic incident may have been prevented.

Now some ulema says that what happened is wrong, yet the culprits will be rewarded Godly because their intention was good; protection of the prestige of the prophet! What is the beauty and consistency of their reasoning? Now politicians and ulema are busy condemning this heinous crime with usual ifs and buts.

Law enforcement agencies are busy calming down and normalizing the situation. The government has announced to rebuild of the burned-down churches, but more than 700 victims are left at the mercy of their fate. What about their rehabilitation? Muslim organizations who are well funded by some Gulf entities will do something for them or not? Civil society in the country is so weak, scared, and marginalized.

Surely there will be many arrests, and surely, all the arrested people will be exonerated by the courts on the ground of lack of evidence, etc. People will be back to their routines. And after a while, the same incident will take place in another area, as the record shows. The vicious cycle will go on without any hindrance. Ulema and certain intellectuals claim that these tragedies occur because governments repeatedly fail to prosecute and execute the blasphemers. After a protracted trial, governments and the judiciary are obligated to liberate them since it is impossible to execute someone who was imprisoned on blatantly bogus charges. Because the clerics seize millions of mosques as their fiefdoms or states under the state where their writ is definitive, and the civil government has no say, mullahs supported by the army are in charge of that world. Citing outdated and useless fatwas, they praise the cursed murderers like Alamuddin Mumtaz Qadri and others. Their followers are in millions, and the vast majority of media hosts and Yu tuber liaisons adhere to these clerics who are busy building a mindset among the common masses that, in the case of blasphemy, taking the law in one’s hand and punishing the culprit instantly is not an offense according to shariah rule. When in every village, a bigoted mullah is training innocent small children and taking the oath on the slogan: gustakhe nabi ki aik saza   ser tan se juda ser tan se Juda. How can things be changed?

In the religiously fervent current situations of Pakistan, wherein it is a commonplace fact that an accused of blasphemy is the most hated person, who will be deprived of all human rights, who will not find any legal help, the judge will be scared to conduct a fair and free trial in his case and deliver a just verdict, one who commits such crime must be mad!

The clerics and religious zealots must think about their double standard if they are in their senses and have an iota of conscience and reason. How can they raise a voice of protest on the burning of the Quran in Sweden or elsewhere when they are mobilizing unruly mobs that are setting churches on fire and burning the sacred Bible?

Justice Qazi Faiz Isa, who will be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in less than a month, visited the Christian locality of Jaranwala along with his wife on 20.082023, inspected the damaged houses, and expressed solidarity with the victims. On the occasion, he also took food packets to the homes and people who lost all resources in the tragedy and admitted that this donation is like a drop in the ocean and more needs to be done for the victims.

In fact, he set a very good example, yet the question is why politicians and even the MNA of the area were not able to visit the affected colony and try to heal the wounds of the victims.

We Indian Muslims frequently have real concerns about how unfairly and unjustly our police, national media, and political parties treat the Muslim minority. Muslim nations like Pakistan must consider how ethically they can defend the human rights of Kashmiris or Muslim minorities in India if they fail to care for their own minorities, including Christians, Hindus, and Ahmadis.

Several churches were destroyed in Jaranwala, and during this time, several copies of the Bible were desecrated. If the country’s justice system is the same for everyone, will the police be directed to institute blasphemy cases against all the people involved in this riot? If blasphemy is a crime, then all the rioters of Jaranwala were involved in this crime. Will any leader, scholar, or jurist dare to call insulting the religious sentiments of Christians a violation of the law of blasphemy as they generally do when it comes to  Muslim sentiments and move the system accordingly?

*Research Associate with


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