Blasphemy laws

Lord Hylton

I wrote to the Foreign Office Minister about the case of Aasia Bibi in Pakistan, asking him to arrange for her appeal against the death sentence for blasphemy to be observed continuously by British and EU diplomats, when it eventually comes to be heard in Pakistan’s Supreme Court.  It is a kind of test case, and may concentrate the minds of their Government on the urgent need to repeal, or seriously amend, the legislation on blasphemy, and generally to protect all minorities.

The Minister replied that the case is closely monitored, and said that the blasphemy laws have been discussed a high level with Pakistan.


4 comments for “Blasphemy laws

  1. MilesJSD
    10/12/2014 at 1:22 pm

    This looks like ‘strangulation by red tape’ –
    where might we see details, such as definitions and scrutinies that have been done, or undertaken ?

  2. 10/12/2014 at 3:39 pm

    Lord Hylton,

    On the one hand national sovereignty is a real value that deserves more attention than it gets in our era. But politics, civilization, leadership and every other obligation falling on Your Lordship and others lies heavily against the Pakistani prosecution.

    1. Under the principles of many UN treaties death penalty and persecution of religious minorities is censured.
    2. The official in charge of the proper administration of religious laws have twice been killed for doing their jobs and their persecutors have not been brought to justice.
    3. Christians cannot turn off their Christianity and knowingly permit things like this to occur in a society where they interact closely with Pakistani interests and not seek remedy for wrongs.
    4. The persecution of Christians in Pakistan is the persecution of a group with rights of precedence and tradition over the Muslim majority.
    5.If Pakistan are to be brigands, murders and pirates then the state should be treated as such.

    One can imagine a close case where blasphemy could be punished by death and none of these issues would be relevant. Liberal societies may find it abhorrent to punish with death one who would enter a Mosque, Cathedral or Synagogue and desecrate it with graffiti although that person were duly tried and convicted. However many honest persons can see the possible right exercise of a sovereign power acting in a way they would not approve but may not oppose.

    But if the Muslims like those in Pakistan have disgraced their own faith by behaving more like a group of Baconeer pirates than people of any real worth then none of the cloak of national sovereignty applies. Tolerance of such behavior is an abomination. The only question is whether Pakistan is the criminal or whether many of its citizens are the criminals. Of course it is wrong for the Taliban or Al Qaeda to murder Christians in Pakistan but this is a different act entirely. One never to be forgotten. Let them cease compounding sin on sin.

    All countries with a substantial history are soaked in wrongful bloodshed. Nonetheless, when it is happening not to oppose it is to condone it. I doubt you would endorse my language and the level of animus it represents but I appreciate your raising awareness of this issue.

    • MilesJSD
      11/12/2014 at 3:32 pm

      I ‘resonate’ to your writing here;

      however, our very own Christian Church of England is blindly hostile to such ‘Lay-Holy-Spiritual’ works, in individual human health and ‘personal-holiness’, as
      “Awareness Through Movement” by Moshe Feldenkrais
      and its two further-constructive works
      “The Busy Person’s Guide To Easier Movement” by Frank Wildman; and
      “Relaxercise” by Bersin, Bersin and Reese.

      They are repeatedly rejected as being “Non Christian”.

      And incidentally, both “Unlocking The Bible” by the Anglican ‘leader’ David Pawson, and
      “Let’s Do Theology” by Hughie Green;
      are likewise studiously avoided and rejected.

      A new discussion group in Plymouth, advertised as
      “Comparative Lifestyles Explorations” has also fallen on stony ground, been gobbled up by “birds’, and even in short order effectively “banned” by the relevant authorities.

      It still frightens me that no public figures, nor people’s-advocates, nor Leaders, have “ever heard of” the Friendly ‘win-win-win’ Method III of Cooperative Problem Solving.

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