Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Court barred President from Pardoning Asia Bibi; Is this the case of few people misunderstanding Islam?

Latest news in the tragedy of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, mother of five children, in Pakistan who was sentenced to death on charges of insulting Islam, is that a Court has barred President pardoning her i.e. death sentence given earlier by a lower court stands and the whole case is still sub-judice. All this takes place after protests and criticism from human rights activists in Pakistan and from the world against this blasphemy law. To be fair, she still has chance because court can still overrule the earlier verdict.

While court has denied the president right to pardon, well, lets read it from the report:
A Pakistani court has barred President Asif Ali Zardari from pardoning a Christian woman sentenced to death on charges of insulting Islam, in a case that has prompted criticism over the country's blasphemy law.
The Lahore high court today barred Zardari from pardoning Bibi in a petition filed by Shahid Iqbal, a Pakistani citizen. Iqbal's lawyer Allah Bux Laghari told Reuters a pardon was illegal as the court was already hearing an appeal against her sentence.
"We believe it is the court's duty to evaluate the evidence against her, not individuals, and if she is found innocent, she should be freed," he said .....
......A government minister said last week that an initial inquiry into the case of the Christian mother said she had not committed blasphemy but was falsely accused after a quarrel.
Blasphemy convictions are common although the death sentence has never been carried out. Most convictions are thrown out on appeal, but angry mobs have killed many people accused of blasphemy.
 Well it looks like petitioner is conscious of legal proceedings but not much concerned about the law of blasphemy. But whatever it is, he is with in his constitutionally given rights. But last paragraph in the report  is the one that really matters; no matter whatever be the verdict from court, her life is in danger in one way or other (Read from here and here). Apart from these legal matters, what has happened to slogans like Islam is a religion of peace or Islam teaches tolerance or Islam stands for justice?

And going further, going by the statements from people like US President Obama who said, "Islam, in the hands of few extremists, is being misunderstood.", how does one view such laws like Pakistan's blasphemy law, which is completely derived from Koran and deeds of Mohammad, enshrined in Sharia law itself? Is Pakistan's constitution written by few extremists? Is it written by people who have no understanding of Islam? Of-course he is not alone in having such views on Islam; world is full of such witless politicians.

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