Sunday, February 14, 2010

Muslim mob beats a Christian to death

Feel the love.  A Muslim mob beats a Christian to death for "blasphemy".  


Blasphemy allegations Dawn Editorial
Sunday, 14 Feb, 2010

As the residents of a village near Kasur have demonstrated — with fatal consequences — there is little that is as explosive as anger ignited by religious passions.

In yet another incident of a frenzied mob out to punish alleged blasphemy, a young man was beaten to death after his father reportedly claimed that he was the last prophet of Islam. The alleged blasphemer — an illiterate brick-kiln worker-turned-faith healer — is in police custody and other members of his family are in hiding. Their lives may still be in danger as reports from the area suggest that public anger has not subsided.

The incident is part of an established pattern. Propelled and led by religious leaders, an angry mob takes the law into its own hands to punish alleged blasphemers. The authorities almost always fail to defuse the situation. The Gojra incident in August 2009, where allegations of blasphemy led to deaths and large-scale arson, is one example.

In its attempts to ‘Islamise’ society over the years, especially during the Zia era, the state has come to a point where it is not able to rein in the obscurantist forces of its own creation. It has lost its authority to challenge the semi-literate maulvis who do more harm than good.

Few things have fed such forces more than the blasphemy laws. Since the mid-1980s when these laws were introduced, blasphemy cases have grown exponentially. Many alleged blasphemers have died, mostly at the hands of mobs, much before their case was heard or decided.

These laws have been used as weapons for personal, political, social and economic victimisation. What else can justify the registration of a blasphemy case against the country’s foremost development practitioner Dr Akhtar Hameed Khan?

Efforts must be made towards the repeal of the blasphemy laws if the state is serious about dousing religious anger before it is consumed by it.