Dead skull

When an Insult Leads to a Death Sentence…

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is becoming emotionally fixated on an icon.

That could be a national flag like the US’ Star Spangled Banner, a spiritual symbol like the Christian cross, or a historical figure like Islam’s founder Muhammad.

It’s fine to revere these symbols…as long as you remember that’s all they are. A representation of what you believe in. Distancing yourself emotionally from your icon of choice will give you tremendous power by removing other people’s power over you.

No longer can they insult your deepest beliefs by insulting or defiling your revered symbol. Your beliefs are still intact. No one can touch those. Its detractors are clearly ignorant. You’ll only feel outrage if you doubted those beliefs in the first place.

That’s a message clearly lost on the ultra-religious Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) party.

The hardline Pakistani Islamist group has warned of ‘terrible consequences’ if a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy is granted leniency in her appeal.

The country’s Supreme Court on Monday began hearing an appeal by Asia Bibi, a mother of four, who in 2010 became the first woman to be sentenced to death under Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws. This is due to be her final appeal, media reported.

The court has reserved its judgment and did not specify when it would announce a ruling.

Her case has outraged Christians worldwide and been a source of division within Pakistan, where two politicians who sought to help Bibi were assassinated, including Punjab governor Salman Taseer, who was shot by his own bodyguard.

The TLP party, which makes punishing blasphemy its main campaign rallying cry and lionizes the bodyguard who killed Taseer, warned the court against any ‘concession or softness’ for Bibi.

If there is any attempt to hand her over to a foreign country, there will be terrible consequences,’ TLP said in a statement.

Insulting Islam’s prophet is punishable by death under Pakistani law, and blasphemy accusations stir such emotions that they are almost impossible to defend against.

Dozens have been killed following blasphemy claims, sometimes by mobs of men.

Bibi was sentenced to death for allegedly making derogatory remarks about Islam after neighbours objected to her drinking water from their glass because she was not Muslim.

Bibi has always denied blaspheming and her representatives have claimed she was involved in a dispute with her neighbours and that her accusers had contradicted themselves.

Rights groups say the blasphemy law is increasingly exploited by religious extremists as well as ordinary Pakistanis to settle personal scores.

The law does not define blasphemy and evidence might not be reproduced in court for fear of committing a fresh offence.

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The Australian Tribune with AP

Comments: 1

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  1. Ir would be more correct to call the blasphemy law Islamic. Pakistan has implemented it, but it is Islamic law that they have institutionalised.