Death Sentence for Blasphemy (Pakistan)

A Pakistani judge sentenced a Muslim man to death Wednesday on charges he insulted Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, a court official said.

Falk Sher, a court administrator, said Judge Shoaib Ahmad Roomi also sentenced the man, Shafeeq Latif, to life in prison and fined him $75,000 on a separate charge of desecrating pages of Islam’s holy book, the Quran, in 2006.

Latif was accused of making derogatory remarks about Muhammad.

The trial was held in the eastern city of Sialkot after police arrested him in a nearby village.

Latif’s lawyer was not immediately available for comment, but Sher said the defendant had the right to appeal.

Under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, anyone who insults Muhammad can be punished by death. Scores of people, including Muslims and minority Christians, are facing trial under the laws, which human rights groups have demanded be abolished.

New York-based Human Rights Watch urged the government on Tuesday to abolish the death penalty in a country where nearly a quarter of all inmates are on death row.

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15 child brides used to settle Pakistan feud

It started with a dead dog, escalated into a tit-for-tat tribal war, and has now reached a grotesque climax with the exchange of 15 child brides.

Pakistani human rights activists are outraged at reports that a long-running blood feud in a remote corner of western Baluchistan province has been resolved by the handing over of 15 girls, aged between three and 10, for marriage.

“There has to be action,” said Asma Jahangir, a leading rights campaigner. “These people who force others to sell their daughters must be sent to prison.”

The new government in Islamabad, led by the party of the late Benazir Bhutto, has promised to act. “We will not allow young girls to be traded like this,” said the information minister, Sherry Rehman. “The culprits who tried to do this will be arrested. The orders have been given.”

But Jahangir said those orders had not been acted upon. “There is a dysfunction in the whole system. They are not listening to the government,” she said. “We need to see them being more effective than just rhetoric.”

Vanni, an ancient tribal practice in which feuding clans settle their differences by exchanging women for marriage, is illegal in Pakistan. In 2004 the Sindh high court outlawed all such “parallel justice” systems. But the writ of government is weak in rural areas, and local police often turn a blind eye.

The current controversy started with a row over a dog, said Muhammad Paryal Marri, a researcher in northern Sindh for the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

A dog owned by one tribe, the Chakranis, was shot dead because it strayed too close to a well controlled by their rivals, the Qalandaris. In revenge the Chakranis shot a donkey belonging to the other side. A ferocious bout of tit-for-tat killings ensued in which 19 people, including five women, were killed.

The fighting ended in 2002 when Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti – a rebellious tribal chieftain who was later killed by the Pakistan army – brought the two sides together. Bugti ordered the Chakranis to hand over 15 child brides in compensation; at a jirga, or tribal council. Last Friday they finally agreed to make good on that promise, said Marri.

“They agreed to pay some money and exchange the ladies,” he said.

Such brutal traditions have only come to light for a broader public in the past decade, thanks to activism by human rights groups and publicity from local media.

“Barbarity in the name of tradition,” declared the English-langauge newspaper Dawn earlier this week in a scathing editorial against the “medieval mindset that dominates many sections of our society”.

But, despite previous shows of similar anger, official action has lagged far behind. “The government is unwilling to use its authority to protect women. It will find any excuse,” said Jahangir.

Muhammad: Setting the ultimate pedophile example to be followed today.

An Abhorrent practice.

Boy Killed By Muslim Cleric for Not Memorising Koran (Pakistan)

A student of a religious seminary in Pakistan’s Punjab province has died after he was punished by his teacher, police say.

Atif, seven, was hung upside down from a ceiling fan by Maulvi Ziauddin for not memorising his Koran lessons, his fellow students told the police.

Atif’s condition deteriorated quickly and he died in the teacher’s room. Maulvi Ziauddin has been arrested.

Human rights organisation say Pakistani children are often exposed to abuse.

Arrested

The students told the police in the town of Vehari that Atif was punished on Wednesday by Maulvi Ziauddin who left him hanging from the fan for some time.

The son of a farm labourer, Atif lived in the seminary with about 20 other students, including a cousin.

“When his cousin did not see Atif on Wednesday night or the next morning, he informed the family,” a Vehari police official, Mohammad Afzal, told the BBC.

“Members of the family found Atif’s body in Maulvi Ziauddin’s room, but the cleric himself was missing,” he said.

He was arrested from a nearby village later on Thursday.

The police said they would file formal charges after an autopsy report is issued by the local hospital.

In a report published in January, Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) – an organisation which monitors and compiles cases of child abuse and kidnapping – said children in Pakistan were increasingly exposed to abuse, kidnapping and violence.

The number of reported cases involving children has more than doubled from 617 in 2006 to 1,595 last year, the report said.

It blamed poor law enforcement and old social attitudes towards children’s rights as some of the reasons for the problem.

Muslim Scholar Calls Allah to Kill Rushdie (Pakistan)

A Pakistani TV channel was wrong to broadcast a prayer in which a Muslim scholar called for God to “ruin” Salman Rushdie, Ofcom ruled today. During a live broadcast on Geo TV UK, in Urdu and from Pakistan, scholar Dr. Aamer Liaquat Hussain said: “O God I beg you for the sake of this night; ruin those who have blasphemed against Your beloved Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon Him.

“Ruin them. Ruin Rushdie, I beg you for his death. O God, give him death, O Provider; he has blasphemed your beloved. Oh God, we beg in Your Court for his death.”

Two viewers complained that the statements made on the Shabeqadar programme in October were “offensive”. Under Ofcom’s broadcasting code, offensive statements are allowed but “must be justified by the context”. “Dr. Hussain’s remarks, albeit primarily addressed to a specific audience outside the UK (i.e. Pakistan), and in the context of a prayer, were broadcast without, for example, comment or editorial narrative,” Ofcom found. “We therefore concluded the remarks complained about were not sufficiently justified by context and so were in breach of [Broadcasting Code] Rule 2.3.”

Taliban warns Pak dailies against ‘offensive’ photos of women

A senior Taliban leader in Pakistan has warned local leading dailies against publishing “offensive” pictures of women.

Popular Urdu dailies Aaj Kal and Express are among the newspapers that have been given a two-week deadline to stop publishing “offensive” pictures.

“I warn newspapers which are publishing photos (to stop) and have set a two-week deadline, otherwise we will boycott and take action against these papers,” Maulvi Faqir Muhammad, deputy head of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, was quoted as saying by the Daily Times .

Muhammad, who addressed reporters in Khar, a small town in Bajaur district of FATA region yesterday, also said that his militants would target government employees if the army takes any action.

“We will not retaliate against the army if we come under attack. We will target government employees in response to any army action,” he warned.

However, the Taliban leader did not specify what action he would take against newspapers if they ignore his diktats.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/World/Pakistan/Taliban_warns_Pak_dailies_against_offensive_photos_of_women/rssarticleshow/3004394.cms

Pakistani Motoon poll: 62% say “Kill the Cartoonist and the Editors who published it”

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Worth killing for?

From the Jama’t-ud-Da’wah site in Pakistan comes this poll (thanks to Miss Kelly). There are only 197 respondents as of this writing, but the Tiny Minority of Extremists™ are way out in front:

What should be the response of Muslim Ummah to the blasphemous caricatures published in Denmark?1 Boycott Danish products and Services 23 11.68%

2 Expel Danish ambassadors from Muslim countries 10 5.08%

3 Kill the Cartoonist and the Editors who published it 123 62.44%

4 Ignore this nonsense and keep preaching Islam with peace 41 20.81%

But the Vast Majority of Muslims Who Abhor Violence and Terrorism can still make themselves heard. Come on, guys!

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/020589.php