Books and Documents

Current Affairs (03 Nov 2018 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Don’t Blame Pakistan’s Judges For Relying More On Quran Than Rule Of Law To Acquit Asia Bibi Of Blasphemy Charges

By Avinash Mohananey

2 November, 2018

Don’t blame Pakistan’s judges for relying more on Quran than rule of law to acquit Asia Bibi of blasphemy charges.

It’s appalling that a 21st-century judgment acquitting Christian woman Asia Bibi of blasphemy charges should read like a religious text itself— but that’s exactly how the Supreme Court of Pakistan penned the verdict releasing her, after wrongly imprisoning her for nine and a half years.

The judgment began with “Qalma-e-Shahdat” and ended with the Hadith of the Prophet. To pre-empt criticism from religious groups, Justice Saqib Nisar, reading out the judgment, quoted one verse after another from the Quran praising Prophet Mohammad and agreed that those who dishonour the Prophet should be handed the death penalty.

However, he explained that in this case, several witnesses had contradicted each other and the prosecution case was weak. To reinforce the acquittal of Asia Bibi, he quoted from the Hadith: “Beware! Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, or curtails their rights, or burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet) will complain against the person on the day of judgement”.

Nobody knows why the judges had to rely more on religious texts to protect an innocent Christian minority woman than on the basic tenets of internationally accepted rule of law. But don’t blame Pakistan’s judges for that.

The real blame lies with the rise of the religious Right and the support extended to it by successive governments— civilian or military. The first major success of religious extremists in Pakistan was the declaring of Ahmadis as non-Muslims in 1974, when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was at the helm of affairs. But the rot set in much earlier, when the Pakistan constituent assembly declared the country to be an Islamic Republic despite vehement opposition and boycott of proceedings by minority members in 1949.

The world has been repeatedly told for the last 70 years that Islam is Pakistan’s ideology.

The Asia Bibi case was a huge challenge for the government. On one hand, internationally, Christian groups had been critical for the alleged denial of justice to Asia Bibi. On the other, parties like the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) had vowed to wreak havoc if the judgment was unfavourable. And it did.

Amidst immediate street protests by the TLP after the judgment, the organisation called for bringing down the new Imran Khan government and death to all three judges. “They all three deserve to be killed. Either their security should kill them, their driver kill them, or their cook kill them,” a TLP member said during a protest in Lahore. The TLP also declared Pakistan army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa a non-Muslim worthy of being killed and called upon troops to mutiny against him.

In a televised speech Wednesday night, Prime Minister Imran Khan supported the Supreme Court’s decision and warned TLP not to create disturbances. But Imran Khan is naïve if he thinks that he can threaten these extremist groups into silence through a simple TV broadcast. These groups have tasted power, have access to weapons and have cohabited with the army for its regional ambitions.

The threat can’t just be brushed aside because the TLP has street and muscle power, which can paralyse the functioning of the government and throw normal life in Pakistan out of gear. The appetite of this organisation is only growing. It garnered over 21 lakh votes in the general elections held in 2018. Earlier, in November 2017, it demonstrated its strength and withdrew its sit-in near Islamabad only after law minister Zahid Hamid resigned. Later, its activist shot at interior minister Ahsan Iqbal and injured him.

The fear of reprisals by religious groups is so rampant that after the TLP’s threat to his life, the Chief Justice said on 1 November: “I and our all bench members are lovers of the Prophet and our faith is incomplete without our faith in our Prophet”.

“Many judges recite durood-e-shareef as they sit in their chambers,” Justice Nisar said.

Even Imran Khan had to first establish his religious credentials before warning the TLP in the address. This may not help. Only a secular narrative and approach to all issues of governance can help in controlling the monstrous religious groups in Pakistan today. Rather than succumbing to the demands of the TLP, as the government was compelled to do in November last year, it is time to call its bluff by enforcing rule of law to protect life and property of citizens and government.

Avinash Mohananey is a former intelligence official who has served in the Indian High Commission in Islamabad and in Kashmir.

Source: theprint.in/opinion/pakistans-historic-ruling-on-asia-bibi-blasphemy-case-read-like-a-religious-text-itself/144142/

URL: http://newageislam.com/current-affairs/avinash-mohananey/don’t-blame-pakistan’s-judges-for-relying-more-on-quran-than-rule-of-law-to-acquit-asia-bibi-of-blasphemy-charges/d/116782


  • In my last post I had denounced Hats Off for telling at least seven lies about me. Does he apologize? Of course not. Instead he persists with his litany of lies and smears!

    He expects me to follow his methods of crude  insults and insensitivity to the feelings of others. He thinks he is brave for doing so even if he does so anonymously. He is dumb enough to forget that he is an apostate and I am a Muslim!

    He criticizes the way I have been expressing my opinion but, as I showed yesterday, he has not been reading my comments at all and has shown himself to be totally ignorant of my views!

    He continues his hate war against progressive Muslims because he, just like all Islamophobes, knows that progressive Muslims pose the greatest threat to their ugly  anti-Islam hate propaganda.

    All that Hats Off is doing is  persisting in his perverse determination to befoul this forum.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/5/2018 1:01:36 PM

  • Pakistan blasphemes Islam

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/5/2018 7:19:23 AM

  • you are just a scared, confused would-be-moderate.

    you can never ever speak honestly, forthrightly and conscientiously. you are simply pretending to answer my questions by completely avoiding their most urgent parts. you are afraid of some mad hatter fatwa. you are merely treading on egg shells. not walking tall.

    don't try and lecture me while you are floundering in your verbose, self-congratulatory nonsense which no one takes seriously.

    you have nothing and so you have nothing to say. your fear of talking straight, your capacity to avoid unpleasant realities and your infinite capacity to speak as if you are the only hope of this world simply betray a fearful, confused, shocked child - that is you. grow up. if you can't stand the heat don't get into the kitchen.

    a moderate by definition is constrained to act so as not to offend anyone. even the worst specimens of humanity.

    one who dare not offend can never ever speak honestly. the jihad of the word? an al haq?

    you are playing to the empty gallery of moderates. they have long left the show.

    By hats off! - 11/5/2018 5:54:34 AM

  • Hats Off's latest comment further exposes his dishonesty and mendacity. Let me take his lies one by one.

    I have been posting here for about 10 years but I have rarely mentioned the Prophet.

    I have condemned all blasphemy laws perhaps 50 times and called for their abolition. I have condemned the prosecution and sentencing of Asia Bibi innumerable times, applauded Governor Salman Taseer and condemned his assassin several times.

    I have said more than once that Muslims have become Muhammed worshippers without even knowing it.

    I do say true religions respect each other. That does not mean all mullahs, swamis and priests respect each other. Many of them are as hateful as yourself.

    When you say I should not gloss over the problematic verses, you forget that I have been critical of such verses more than any one in this forum and one of my current battles with Naseer sb. is about this very subject. I have also been very critical of the Old Testament and the Manusmriti.

    When you say, "islamophobia is ineveitable for asia bibi," I have no idea what you mean. You are the Islamophobic. She is the victim of Islamist extremism. You seem to show some semantic confusion.

    Everybody can do more than what he or she is doing but when you say I do not have any conscience you are going overboard with your senseless diatribe.

    It is clear that you have not been reading my comments, do not know my views and have been attacking some stereotype in your sick mind. And why do you lie so much?

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/4/2018 11:46:21 PM

  • there you go again. with your vicious split tongue. condemning the mullahs is your false flag operation.

    you are trying to deflect attention from the enormity of having to "love" some long dead man so much that you are required to lay down your life in defense of this dead man's honor.

    if you are honest you will condemn the sentiment that holds the honor of the prophet above the life and property of any man woman or child. why should a kuffar love your prophet? anyway asia bibi is from among those who have gone astray.

    if you are honest you will say that islam demands that you love the prophet more than you love your own family.

    if you are honest you will say this is equal to human worship.

    if you are honest you will never say religions respect each other.

    if you are honest you will never gloss over the ugly verses, slokas or ayat or what ever nonsense that goes into making religious texts.

    if you are honest you will say that islamophobia is ineveitable for asia bibi.

    if you are honest you will do a lot more but, being entirely totally moderate, maybe your maker has not given you a conscience at all.

    By hats off! - 11/4/2018 5:53:47 PM

  • Hats Off's trying to blame progressive Muslims for the madness in Pakistan is virulent rubbish. Condemning these mullahs is as important as condemning Islamophobes who try to generate hatred for Islam, and especially for progressive Muslims.

    He is again lumping progressive Muslims with fanatic Muslims because it serves the purpose of his unrelenting and fanatical hate war against progressive Muslims. Islamophobes like Hats Off are  being flagrantly dishonest when they say that they do not see any distinction between Islamists and progressive Muslims. 

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/4/2018 1:10:10 PM

  • starting right from the chief justice, the prime minister, the minister of interior, all tv anchors (without exception) are screaming themselves hoarse about how every muslim is willing to lay down his or her life for the "honor" their rasool. this is going on day in day out. try listening to the tv talk shows.

    this mass manic psychosis in pakistan is not because of some hats off. it is because of misguided dishonest moderates such as yourself. while it suits you you will whine "islamophobia". when you are so badly embarrassed about what is going on in the ummah, you will went your impotent anger on hats off. good for you if it helps you deal with your cortisol.

    it is an undisputable article of the iman of every muslim that he puts the honor of the rasool over and above his or her own life and their faith is not complete until he is willing to either die or kill for defending the honor of the prophet.

    whats with your absolute unconscionable lying?

    ask allama khadim rizvi if he is an extremist. or ask him if he is a zealot. his answer will surprise you (if you manage to live long enough after asking him that is).

    during some public function this oh! so moderate chief justice of pakistan sublimated himself in the eyes, ears and nose and throat of allah by saying he cannot even bring himself to utter the word "hinduism". so that is another "moderate" like your esteamed self (watch the spelling).

    so you think asia bibi and her nightmare has nothing whatsoever to do with islam. knowing you, you definitely will.

    so you still would like to ambush all of us by claiming that the unrest in pak has no religious basis. are you kidding?

    so why not claim the same for the beef banning lynchers? for the myanmarese buddhists massacring rohingyas? or those who would want to build a ram temple over babri? perhaps in your dishones, decietful web of moderation all of these also have no religious basis. are you kidding again?

    so apart from your nearly incoherent imprecations on hats off, you are just an ill wind that blows no good. you obfuscate and defend the indefensible and then have the gall to call me vicious.

    nothing can be more vicious than the soft-peddling the atavism of religions - just as you are doing - all the while imagining yourself to be - of all the things - a moderate!

    lying about religious basis of violence and discrimination (just so as to save your burning face) is the most vicious thing to do.

    pointing it out is the least vicious.

    By hats off! - 11/4/2018 1:12:27 AM

  • Same boring and thoughtless comment from Hats Off! The tragedy of Pakistan being in the vicious hold of extremists and zealots is an occasion for him to show his flair for words!

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/4/2018 12:16:15 AM

  • nothing to do with islam. who says that all this nonsense is based on religion?

    the main reason is the disappearence of sparrows from under the eaves. once they comback, everyone will be alright.

    By hats off! - 11/3/2018 6:25:13 PM

Compose Your Comments here:
Email (Not to be published)
Fill the text
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the articles and comments are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect that of NewAgeIslam.com.