Tuesday, July 05, 2022
Blog
Feb 6

Written by: Diana West
Sunday, February 06, 2011 9:28 AM 

Photo: Sherry Rahman. Caption: She tried.

---

A very important and related story from Patrick Goodenough at CNSNews.com reporting that Sherry Rahman, the brave lawmaker in Pakistan who introduced an amendment last November against the nation's blasphemy laws, has dropped her campaign.

As for our "pal" and major charity case, Prime Minister Gilani? Goodenough notes that Gilani "assured a gathering of Muslim leaders last month that the government has no plans to change the blasphemy laws. He subsequently disbanded a committee that had been established to determine how to amend the legislation."

So let's send over another load of US aid money. After all, Pakistan has only received $18 billion since 2001.

The CNSNews.com adds further detail to the whole story:

Her effort won the support of PPP colleague Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab province, who called late last year [2] on President Asif Ali Zardari to pardon a Christian woman sentenced to death under the laws for allegedly blaspheming Mohammed.

Islamists then took to the streets [4] to demand that the government not intervene to save Asia Bibi from death row or tamper with the laws. A radical cleric offered a reward to anyone who killed Bibi, and both Taseer and Rehman received death threats.

The controversy deepened in early January when Taseer was assassinated by a member of his security team. Mumtaz Qadri, who shot Taseer repeatedly while shouting “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is greater), said he had acted because of the governor’s opposition to the blasphemy law.

After the assassination some 500 Muslim scholars issued a statement warning clerics not to participate in the slain governor’s funeral in Lahore, Punjab’s capital, or even to voice sympathy about his death.

The scholars also saluted Qadri, giving the assassin the honorary title “Lover of the Prophet, Commander of the Jihad Fighters.”

Lahore-based clergymen declined to take part in memorial services, and police said afterwards that three clerics from elsewhere who did so had received death threats. One went into hiding while the other two were provided with police security.

In the prevailing climate of fear, lawmakers in the federal parliament decided not to offer prayers for Taseer, foregoing a practice customary in Pakistan after a politician dies.

Meanwhile the feting of Qadri continued, his picture featuring prominently at demonstrations in favor of retaining the controversial laws. Hundreds of lawyers offered free representation to the confessed killer, who is in custody awaiting trail.

While the threats of radicals to kill those accused of insulting their religion and prophet came as little surprise in Pakistan, the U.S.-backed government’s capitulation was especially troubling for minority Christians and other critics. 

How about US continued support for said capitulating government? That's especially troubling, too.

Gilani’s Jan. 18 assurance to Muslim leaders that the government would not amend the blasphemy laws came shortly after a Christian woman and her daughter were attacked by a mob in Lahore who accused them of blasphemy. ...

Nice cause-and-effect situation.

Barnabas Fund, a charity working with Christians in Islamic countries, noted that the 500-plus clerics who issued the intimidatory warning after Taseer’s assassination represented the “supposedly moderate” Sunni Barelvi movement, Pakistan’s largest Muslim faction.

“While Barelvis are seen as moderates in the West because of their opposition to al-Qaeda and the Taliban, they are fanatical in their adherence to shari’a and in their defense of the honor of Muhammad,” said the charity’s international director, Patrick Sookhdeo. ...

Key point. Opposition to one faction of jihad or another has nothing to do with opposition to sharia -- which poses the existential, long-term threat. It appears to reflect more regional or even personal loyalties, much as a mafiosi prefers one mob to another.

Monitoring groups say around one thousand people have been charged under the laws since 1986. Although no death sentences have been carried out, hundreds of people are serving prison terms for violating the laws.

While Christians, Hindus and members of the Ahmadi sect of Islam are often targeted, most of those indicted have been Muslims.

A Muslim teenager arrested in Karachi last week faces trial after being accused of writing insulting comments about Mohammed in a school exam; two weeks ago, an imam (prayer leader) and his son were convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Punjab. They were brought to trial after removing a poster from outside their store which reportedly included verses from the Qur’an.

Beyond criminal proceedings, at least 30 people accused of blasphemy have been killed by mobs or individuals, some of them during court appearances or while in police custody, according to figures kept by a Pakistani Catholic organization.

Viewed as a crucial partner in the campaign against extremism in the region, Pakistan is among the world’s leading recipients of U.S. aid, having received some $18 billion since 2001, a sum that includes military reimbursements for its support of counterterrorism efforts.

The Obama administration requested $3.05 billion in fiscal year 2011 in military and economic assistance for Islamabad.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent statutory body that advises the executive and legislative branches, has urged the government since 2002 to designate Pakistan as a “country of particular concern” (CPC) for egregious violations of religious freedom.

Each year the State Department has overruled the recommendation.

But it's not political. The State hack, I mean, flack, I mean spokesman says so:

When the department released its most recent annual religious freedom report last November, its top human rights official, Michael Posner, said officials continued to raise concerns about the blasphemy laws directly with Pakistan’s government,

He denied that Pakistan’s status as an ally was a factor.

“We apply a universal standard to every country, friends and countries that we have difficult relationships with. That doesn’t mean we don’t have security interests or economic interests or other diplomatic interests. But we will raise these issues as we see them,” Posner said. “We’ll call them as we see them.”

Not.

Tags:
Archive
<July 2022>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
262728293012
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31123456
Monthly
July, 2022
June, 2022
May, 2022
April, 2022
March, 2022
February, 2022
January, 2022
December, 2021
November, 2021
October, 2021
September, 2021
August, 2021
July, 2021
June, 2021
May, 2021
April, 2021
March, 2021
February, 2021
January, 2021
December, 2020
November, 2020
October, 2020
September, 2020
August, 2020
July, 2020
June, 2020
May, 2020
April, 2020
March, 2020
February, 2020
January, 2020
December, 2019
November, 2019
October, 2019
September, 2019
August, 2019
July, 2019
June, 2019
May, 2019
April, 2019
March, 2019
February, 2019
January, 2019
December, 2018
November, 2018
October, 2018
September, 2018
August, 2018
July, 2018
June, 2018
May, 2018
April, 2018
March, 2018
February, 2018
January, 2018
December, 2017
November, 2017
October, 2017
September, 2017
August, 2017
July, 2017
June, 2017
May, 2017
April, 2017
March, 2017
February, 2017
January, 2017
December, 2016
November, 2016
October, 2016
September, 2016
August, 2016
July, 2016
June, 2016
May, 2016
April, 2016
March, 2016
February, 2016
January, 2016
December, 2015
November, 2015
October, 2015
September, 2015
August, 2015
July, 2015
June, 2015
May, 2015
April, 2015
March, 2015
February, 2015
January, 2015
December, 2014
November, 2014
October, 2014
September, 2014
August, 2014
July, 2014
June, 2014
May, 2014
April, 2014
March, 2014
February, 2014
January, 2014
December, 2013
November, 2013
October, 2013
September, 2013
August, 2013
July, 2013
June, 2013
May, 2013
April, 2013
March, 2013
February, 2013
January, 2013
December, 2012
November, 2012
October, 2012
September, 2012
August, 2012
July, 2012
June, 2012
May, 2012
April, 2012
March, 2012
February, 2012
January, 2012
December, 2011
November, 2011
October, 2011
September, 2011
August, 2011
July, 2011
June, 2011
May, 2011
April, 2011
March, 2011
February, 2011
January, 2011
December, 2010
November, 2010
October, 2010
September, 2010
August, 2010
July, 2010
June, 2010
May, 2010
April, 2010
March, 2010
February, 2010
January, 2010
December, 2009
November, 2009
October, 2009
September, 2009
August, 2009
July, 2009
June, 2009
May, 2009
April, 2009
March, 2009
February, 2009
January, 2009
December, 2008
November, 2008
October, 2008
September, 2008
August, 2008
July, 2008
June, 2008
May, 2008
April, 2008
March, 2008
February, 2008
January, 2008
December, 2007
November, 2007
October, 2007
September, 2007
August, 2007
Privacy Statement  |  Terms Of Use
Copyright 2012 by Diana West