Blashpemy, Justice and Islam

The threat hangs over all our heads – not just the non Muslims. All you need to have me killed by an “angry mob” is accuse me of blasphemy. There is no need for any proof, a fair trial or even an actual occurrence that constitutes blasphemy. All you need is;

1. a statement from a local or regional “religious” person that labels my action blasphemous,
2. inciting locals of the area to stage a protest against my alleged act to re affirm their faith, and
3. inducting a few individuals in the crowd who would finish the task.

It does not matter if the person is qualified to give such a grave statement or not. He should have the appearance of a religious person. Being “perceived” as a scholar is just an added qualification. The guy may even be a drunkard boozer. Reality does not matter, what matters is perception. My act does not have to bear any semblance to blasphemy. If perceived as a scholar, he can even tag my criticism of Zia Ul Haq or laws made by him as blasphemy.

In matters of blasphemy an accusation suffices. You are then the prosecution, judge and the executioner. Fair trial is apparently not a requirement anymore. Chant the slogan “this is for Allah, or his Prophet S.A.W” and it will give this farcical act a legitimate face for the simpletons who are often the tools used in such acts that demean both Islam and humanity.

Allah has said in Surah Al-Maidah:

“ He who kills a soul unless it be (in legal punishment) for murder or for causing disorder and corruption on the earth will be as if he had killed all humankind; and he who saves a life will be as if he had saved the lives of all humankind.”

When interpreting laws, courts pay heed to the language used by legislators for it is assumed that the words used have been used for a reason. Surely Allah is the best and wisest of all legislators. Why then did He use the word “person” and not “Muslim”. In Islam the life of a non-Muslim is as sacred as that of a Muslim. Islam bestows the right to life and fair trial on all human beings without any preference to religious inclinations.

The debate pertaining to what legally constitutes blasphemy is a separate issue. Ending someone’s life on a mere accusation cannot be called fair under any law, especially not under laws of Quran. The mere fact that an accused belongs to a non-Muslim community does not justify doing away with principles of due process and equality before law as enshrined in Islamic teachings.

“Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” Surah Al-Mumtahanah. Verse 8.

We, as Muslims, need to visit (I wouldn’t say re-visit as many of us may not have deduced our beliefs but only adopted them as they have been portrayed) our beliefs. We need to ask ourselves if such acts of violence and injustice are a service to Allah or an invitation to His wrath.

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