TIF contributor Dr. Ebrahim Moosa recently posted on his blog a statement written by Mawlana Ammar Khan Nasir, editor of the Urdu monthly journal “al-Sharia,” regarding the current Pakistani blasphemy charge against Rimsha Mosin, an underage Christian girl. Nasir discusses the different issues of this case as well as blasphemy laws:
In my opinion, it is a basic logical demand of Islam, democracy as well as common sense that laws deter insults to prophecy or the Qur’an in a Muslim state. Yet, such laws should be implemented against those accused who are truly deserving of punishment. But, an even more important demand of Islam as well as a basic rule of ethics requires that laws be implemented in a just, non-partisan manner following legal procedures. No element of religious coercion, sectarian pressure or attempts to unjustly make minority groups insecure and vulnerable should be confused with the implementation of the law. Unfortunately, in our country (Pakistan), religious and social attitudes and ethical practices are flouted when implementing the law.
I say this with a sense of grave responsibility since the factors mentioned above are the motives and trigger behind the disproportionate number of legal cases of this nature. According to one newspaper report, more than half of the approximately three hundred and fifty people against whom legal proceedings for blasphemy law were initiated were Muslim.
Is it conceivable that a mentally sound Muslim who abides by Islam can ever commit such a crime? Individuals belonging to one sect often level charges against a person belonging to a rival sect when the latter had criticized a specific belief of the former.
Read the full statement here.