Blasphemy is an imaginary crime. A supposed slight against a supposed supreme being who nobody has ever seen before.
Every religion at one point in time or another has employed strict blasphemy laws, since it is one of the surest ways of of keeping people docile and in line, and historically, religion has always been about a power – keeping the powerful in power and the masses in their place.
Even worse, the supposed holy books written (by powerful men, of course) also endorse this position, and since people have been browbeaten into thinking the holy books are, well, ‘holy’, they meekly accept such laws when prescribed for them. And again, this cuts across religions.
Usually, when you are in your culture with your blasphemy laws (or several other laws based on religion) that you agree with, you might not realise how dangerous such laws are. Until you run smack dab into someone else’s blasphemy laws, that is.
Which is why equality, and tolerance, is the way forward for the entire human race. But for some reason (holy books), the religious try to moderate everyone else’s lives based on what they believe, instead of letting everyone be and let be.
Adhering to millenia old scriptures in the modern day is not a winning formula, and if it is true for Islam it should be true for Christianity as well, even if Christianity has been largely neutered by secularism.
A Christian man in Pakistan is reportedly on the run as he’s wanted by police for blasphemy, a ‘crime’ that carries the death penalty in the Muslim majority nation.
Nadeem Masihm reportedly shared a poem to friends on WhatsApp which apparently insulted the ‘holy’ prophet Muhammad and other revered followers of Islam.
He was thus reported to the authorities by a Muslim friend, leading to Nadeem going on the run to escape arrest. A manhunt is currently under way for him, with his entire family detained by authorities.
The Independent reports…
A Christian man is on the run in Pakistan after he was charged with blasphemy after a Muslim friend accused him of insulting Islam in a poem.
Nadeem Masihm is alleged to have sent a poem to his friend on WhatsApp that was derogatory about the Prophet Muhammad and other Islamic holy figures.
“Police have registered a case on blasphemy charges against Nadeem James and are searching for him as he has fled his home,” a local law enforcement official told AFP.
Another police official said Mr James’ relatives had been taken into “protective custody,” while security had been increased in Christian neighbourhoods in the town of Sara-e-Alamghir, in Punjab province, because of local tension concerning the complaint.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard such a load of bollocks in my life. A man is on the run for writing a poem, his entire family has been detained, presumably to save them from violent attacks from a fired up Islamic populace.
Yet this is exactly what happens when fundamentalism – the pernicious belief that holy texts should be read literally and that everyone, adherent or not, must live by them – is left to fester. The problems in (much 0f) the Muslim world at the moment boil down to the fact that there is too much fundamentalism and not enough liberalism. When the fundamentalists run a country and try to get everyone to follow their holy dictates, things like this happen. That’s the entire point of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
I sympathise with the plight of this gentleman, I really do, but even as we criticise Pakistan for its draconian laws, we have to remember that we are as guilty as them in many other aspects as well, in our will to get everyone to follow the dictates of our religion. So if your religion tells you to marry women, or go to church on Sundays, you cannot begrudge someone who decides to do neither. And you certainly shouldn’t seek to make laws to criminalise the different choices of others based on the whims of your never before seen deity.