You bet it does. But the taqiyya gigolo who penned this piece would have you believe that the enforcers, the Islamic mass-murderers and assassins somehow got their religion wrong. They didn’t. They practice the Islam of Muhammad.
The hanging of Mumtaz Qadri has sparked a fresh debate on blasphemy law in Pakistan. Qadri was executed on 29 February at Adiala jail in Rawalpindi for gunning down Salman Taseer, the former Governor of Punjab.
Qadri was an elite commando, who was deputed as one of Taseer’s bodyguards. He murdered Taseer for the latter’s defence of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death under Pakistan’s blasphemy law.
While secular and liberal voices across the world hailed the sentence; within Pakistan, a different reaction emerged. A large segment of the Pakistani society mourned Qadri’s death as martyrdom. He was accorded the title of ‘ (the lover of the messenger)’ by radical elements and over 1,00,000 people attended his funeral held at Liaquat Bagh on 1 March.
In contrast, the reaction of the Pakistani civil society was largely subdued. Few among the liberals were willing to take a stand on the issue. Political parties chose not to go against the public sentiment for fear of obvious consequences.
The Prophet says in the Quran that only God (Allah) has the right to punish those who insult him
Did he? But for Muhammad allah was nothing but a fig leaf. He punished all those who mocked him with death. Wanna see the list?
It is a great irony that nobody came forward to speak the truth in a Muslim-dominated country. Only a few could muster courage to call Qadri a criminal and denounce his action.
This is despite the fact that courts clearly viewed Qadri’s act as a crime. It is a ray of hope for Pakistan that its judiciary upheld the spirit of the law and resisted public pressure.
The Real Islam Vs Pseudo Islam
The debate surrounding Salman Taseer’s murder has not died down with Qadri’s execution. We need to ask how a common Pakistani views Mumtaz Qadri? Qadri’s audacity to appoint himself as a religious savior; people pouring the streets in his support; and justification of his crime by religious leaders, are all aspects of the same fundamental question.
There can be no rational argument for eulogising Qadri and defending violence in the name of blasphemy. People worshiping Qadri as hero ignore the basic tenets of Islam.
“I Am A Believer And I Don’t Support Qadri”
Correct me, if I am wrong. Islam prescribes punishment that is proportionate to the gravity of the crime. Whereas, the jurisprudence of ‘life for a life’ might seem logical, Islam also provides scope for clemency, if the afflicted party is ready to forgive.
But, are these basic principles followed in the blasphemy law? How can I be judged guilty, if I have not harmed anybody? Is capital punishment under blasphemy law, not violative of the Islamic ethics of proportionate punishment?
Can anybody prove that such a punishment is mentioned in the Quran? The Hadith records that the Prophet Muhammad had spared the life of a man who insulted him. When followers sought permission to slay the man, the Prophet refused.
“[O Muhammad!] surely, we will suffice you against the scoffers,” the Quran says. [Al-Quran 15.95].
This clearly demonstrates that punishment for blasphemy is not advocated by the holy book. The Prophet says in the Quran that only God has the right to punish those who insult him.
According to Hazrat Abu Hanifa Rah., no non-Muslim citizens of an Islamic state can be killed for blasphemy because he is already the culprit of a bigger crime of practicing idolatry or polytheism.
When the Sharia law does not preach death sentence for a crime as serious as idolatry, how can it do so for blasphemy, which is a relatively lesser misdeed in Islam?
There is usually a stereotypical response to such arguments. Hardliners argue that not everything is mentioned in the Quran. For instance, it does not teach how to offer the namaz. But, that hardly justifies killing a person for blasphemy. Would they murder a person who does not know the right way to offer the namaz? If not, then what validates death sentence for blasphemy, since Islamic texts have not directly addressed the issue?
Taking the life of another human being despite these facts is denying the word of the Quran. This is also blasphemy. Would the supporters of Qadri be able to punish themselves accordingly?
Capital punishment under blasphemy law are violative of the Islamic ethics of proportionate punishment
I would like to reiterate that my arguments are open to scrutiny. But, they must be contested with authentic proof. Has our Prophet ever ordered the killing of those who mocked him or god? I could not find a single such example in the history of Islam. Therefore, I feel that supporters of death punishment for blasphemy do not heed the teachings of the Prophet.
This entire episode is not out of context of India. The Indian Muslim society is also infected with bigotry. We saw what happened after Kamlesh Tiwari posted objectionable comments on social media. There was violence amid a clamour for death to Tiwari. A large number of Muslims came out on the streets in over two dozen districts of Uttar Pradesh. Although, Tiwari has been jailed and the law is taking its course, the demand for his hanging has not subsided within Muslims.
This shows that the majority of Muslims are intolerant towards blasphemy. This sentiment was evident during worldwide agitation against Salman Rushdie’s book . A fatwa issued for Rushdie’s murder only added to his popularity. He became the face of the perceived Muslim intolerance in the western media. Rushdie’s opposition only deepened misapprehensions regarding Islam. The whole community of Muslims paid for the whim of a few of its leaders.
Ten Key Points on Islamic Blasphemy Law
What follows are ten key points on the doctrinal origins and practical implications of this global campaign:
1) According to the Sunna (the traditions of Muhammad and the early Muslim community), by using foul language against the Muslim prophet Muhammad, Allah, or Islam, the non-Muslim transgressors put themselves on a war footing against Muslims, and their lives became licit (such as the poet Kaab b. al-Ashraf, who composed poems denigrating Muhammad, and was assassinated). [see 1.1, 1.2, 1.3]
2) This “offense” was then constructed and legitimated by Muslim jurists when Islam was politically, militarily and economically dominant, so that it was expected that the non-Muslims under Islamic rule would not denigrate the religion of Islam, nor cast aspersions on its major figures or institutions. [see 2.1, 2.2, 2.3]
3) The jurists saw any such denigration as an unacceptable hostile act, punishable by death, automatically, as per three of the main Sunni schools of Islamic Law (Maliki, Shafii, Hanbali), and the major Shiite schools. According to the fourth major school of Sunni Islamic law, the Hanafi, the punishment of a non-Muslim guilty of blasphemy is left to the discretion of a Muslim judge. The death penalty was in fact most often applied by the Hanafis. (see 3.1, 3.2) Qadi Iyad (d. 1149), the great Almoravid jurist, captured the doctrine’s animating Muslim supremacism in his seminal Ash-Shifa, which includes one of the most authoritative analyses of Islamic blasphemy law’s treatment of non-Muslims, ever written: “Once Islam was firmly established and Allah had given it victory over all other religions, any such detractor that the Muslims had power over and whose affair is well-known, was put to death.”
4) On February 19, 1989, Iranian theocrat Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa condemning author Salman Rushdie to death (along with those involved in the publication of Rushdie’s book, The Satanic Verses), while promising eternal salvation to any Muslim “martyred” in this cause. As noted by Muhammad Hashim Kamali, who, since 1985, has taught Sharia and jurisprudence, as a professor of law at the International Islamic University of Malaysia, in his authoritative Freedom of Expression in Islam: “…no serious Muslim commentator has challenged the basic validity of the Ayatollah’s fatwa. Adjudication was generally viewed to be necessary if only to find out if Rushdie was willing to repent.” The fatwa wrought targeted murders in Europe and Japan, and a mass killing in Turkey.
5) This orthodox Islamic doctrine-incorporated, for example, into the “modern” Pakistani legal code (295C: “Use of derogatory remarks, etc; in respect of the Holy Prophet. Whoever by words, either spoken or written or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”) has wreaked havoc, in our era, particularly among Pakistan’s small Christian minority community.
6) “Rising Restrictions on Religion,” a report by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life issued August 9, 2011 found that application of the Sharia at present resulted in a disproportionate number of Muslim countries, twenty-one — registering the highest (i.e., worst) persecution scores on their scale. Furthermore, the Pew investigators observed, “Eight-in-ten countries in the Middle East-North Africa region have laws against blasphemy, apostasy or defamation of religion, the highest share of any region. These penalties are enforced in 60% of the countries in the region.”
7) An Egyptian state security court, on November 28, 2012, issued a verdict, which sentenced to death seven expatriate Coptic Egyptians, as well as American pastor Terry Jones, for “blaspheming” Islam. Egyptian Judge Saif al Nasr Soliman stated plainly when the ruling was issued, “The accused persons were convicted of insulting the Islamic religion through participating in producing and offering a movie that insults Islam and its prophet.”
8) Egypt’s extra-territorial application of the Sharia reflects a larger global campaign by the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (subsequently renamed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [OIC]). As the largest voting bloc in the UN, which represents mainstream, institutional Islam, and all the major Muslim countries, in addition to the Palestinian Authority — the OIC has lobbied continuously over the past two decades for a UN resolution insisting countries criminalize what it calls “defamation of religion.” Now the OIC, consistent with its Sharia-based “human rights” paradigm, the 1990 Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, which rejects freedom of conscience and speech as defined (and upheld) in the U.S. Bill of Rights, and the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is calling for a specific ban on speech allegedly impugning the character of Islam’s prophet, which the OIC terms “hate speech.”
9) The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA), is well-accepted by the mainstream American Muslim community. The Islamic scholars affiliated with this group have attained influential positions in universities, Islamic centers, and mosques throughout the United States, and train American imams. Should the mainstream AMJA accomplish its goal of implementing Sharia in North America, the organization has already issued a ruling which sanctions the killing of non-Muslim “blasphemers“, courtesy of AMJA Secretary General Salah al-Sawy: (Dr. Salah Al-Sawy, 1/21/2009)-[F]or those scholars who say that repentance of a person who insults Allah or His Messenger shall not accepted, [they] mean that repentance does not lift up the set punishment for cursing and insulting the Prophet, i.e., execution. Because the Prophet is the one who was actually wronged and insulted and he is no longer alive, therefore, he is not alive to practice his right to forgive him [the blasphemer] for what he did. Also, no Muslim is ever is entitled or authorized to forgive on the Prophet’s behalf.
10) Blasphemy committed by a Muslim is considered apostasy (see here, here, and here) from the Muslim creed, and therefore has been a so-called hadd offense (requiring severe, mandatory punishment), with a requisite death sentence since the advent of Islam. AMJA senior Fatwa Committee member Hatem al-Haj reaffirmed this classical, mainstream Islamic viewpoint for American Muslims in 2006: (Dr. Hatem al-Haj, 4/17/2006) — As for the Sharia ruling, it is the punish¬ment of killing for the man with the grand Four Fiqh Sharia scholars, and the same with the woman with the major Shari’ah scholars, and she is jailed with Al-Hanafiyyah scholars, as the prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, said: “Whoever a Muslim changes his/her religion, kill him/her,” and his saying: “A Muslim’s blood, who testifies that there is no god except Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah, is not made permissible except by three reasons: the life for the life; the married adulterer and the that who abandons his/her religion.” Mirroring a shared communal understanding of their clerical leadership with regard to “blasphemy/apostasy,” the results of polling data collected by Wenzel Strategies during October 22 to 26, 2012, from 600 U.S. Muslims, indicate widespread support among American votaries of Islam for this fundamental rejection of the basic freedoms of expression and conscience, as guaranteed under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. When asked, “Do you believe that criticism of Islam or Muhammad should be permitted under the Constitution’s First Amendment?, 58% replied “no,” 45% of respondents agreed “…that those who criticize or parody Islam in the U.S. should face criminal charges,” and fully 12% of this Muslim sample even admitted they believed in application of the draconian, Sharia-based punishment for the non-existent crime of “blasphemy” in the U.S. code, answering affirmatively, “…that Americans who criticize or parody Islam should be put to death.”