Pakistan Sentences Christian Man To Life Imprisonment For "Blasphemy"

Saturday, February 27, 2010 | Tag Cloud

 

By  Worthy News Asia Service

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (Worthy News)-- A Christian man remained behind bars Saturday, February 27, after a Pakistani court sentenced him to life imprisonment for making "blasphemous" remarks about the Koran and Islam's prophet Mohammad.

Qamar David was arrested in 2006 for allegedly spreading blasphemous messages using his cell phone, charges he strongly denied.

Khalid Gill, a regional leader of rights group All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), said David was eventually moved to Karachi Prison in Pakistan's Punjab province.

David, who also received a penalty of 101,000 Pakistani Rupees ($1187), is the second known Christian to receive a life sentence for blasphemy in the last two months.

On January 11, another Pakistani court sentenced Imran Masih to life imprisonment after his Muslim neighbor "falsely" accused him of deliberately burning the Koran, deemed a holy book by Muslims, Christian trial observers said.

CHRISTIAN COUPLE

David's punishment, which was handed out Thursday, February 25, came shortly after a Christian couple received 25 years imprisonment in Punjab province for touching the Koran with "unwashed hands", rights investigators confirmed.

"Ruqqiya Bibi and Munir Masih were accused of defiling the Koran" in December 2008, said the Centre for Legal Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) in a statement.

They were released on bail in January 2009 but subsequently re-arrested when the judge ruled against them, CLAAS said. An appeal to have the sentence overturned was reportedly being planned.

Desecrating the Koran and blaspheming the name of Mohammad is punishable by life imprisonment or even the death under Pakistan's controversial blasphemy legislation. 

Last week, an official said the Pakistani government plans to change its controversial blasphemy law to check its misuse by extremist groups.

"CONSULTATIVE MEETINGS"

"We are holding consultative meetings with representatives of minorities and political parties, as well as with Muslim clerics," Minister for Religious Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti said in published remarks.

Liberal and secular groups have called for the repeal of the blasphemy law altogether, which they say discriminates against religious minorities.

"Muslims in Pakistan use the blasphemy law to persecute Christians and other religious minorities," said International Christian Concern (ICC), a Washington-based Christian advocacy group.

Blasphemy accusations have also led to violence, often inciting Muslims to riot against Christians, ICC and other groups said.

In one of the bloodiest incidents last year, a Muslim mob reportedly killed at least 11 Christians in the town of Gojra following allegation that Christians had desecrated the Koran. They earlier burned down two churches and about 80 Christian homes in the Pakistani village of Korian, rights investigators said. 

ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa and South Asia, Jonathan Racho, said Pakistan’s blasphemy law has been used "for persecuting Christians." He said ICC has urged Pakistani officials "to release David" and other Christians and "change the law that is being abused by Muslims to oppose Christians."

Yet, overturning the law remains sensitive in this predominantly Muslim nation. The U.S.-allied government of President Asif Ali Zardari, which is fighting an Islamist insurgency, says it plans to "reform" the law instead, Reuters news agency reported. (With reporting by Worthy News' Stefan J. Bos).

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2 thoughts on “Pakistan Sentences Christian Man To Life Imprisonment For "Blasphemy"

  1. Praying!

    "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Acts 2:21

    Save Now LORD!

    In The Name Of Jesus

    Amen!

  2. Amen! Lord this is the season, and we cry out to you that those who are your servants be anointed with the anointing of the Holy Spirit that breaks all yokes of the enemy (lies, deceipts, manipulation, control) and provides through the Blood of the Lamb a way out of no way for your servants. We forgive those who have lied and been manipulated by the dictates of satan and all those under the control of the enemy of our souls. Jesus, set them free - Our Heavenly Father, set all those captive free - for it is written in your word Isaiah 49:24-26

    " Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the captives of the righteous be delivered? But thus says the LORD: even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible be delivered - For I will contend with him who contends wity you, and I will save your children - I will fee those who oppress you with their own flesh, and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine. All flesh shall know, that I, the LORD, am your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."

    Now is the season, O Lord God, for your deliverance of those who have called on your name, and cried out to you, and been obedient - refresh them Lord God, and deliver them in the fullness of your time - now, in Jesus' Name, the name at which every knee must bow and every tonque confess that Jesus is Lord. All those who have been maniuplated to choose unwisely and are captive of the enemy of their and our souls, all are now under the anointed guiding of the Holy Spirit - and will obey the Lord God Almighty to release all legal captives and stay far away from them and their families, in Jesus Name I pray and agree with the Living Word of God! Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen.

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