Wed, 14 Apr 2021

Islamabad [Pakistan], March 6 (ANI): The way Pakistani member of the National Assembly Aamir Liaquat Husain used the image of Hindu deity to mock Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Sharif recently shows that the country's blasphemy law does not protect Hindus in the country.

According to scribe Kunwar Khuldune Shahid's article for The Diplomat, the instances of using the doctored images of Hindu goddesses is the "latest reminder of the Islamist double standard of Pakistan's stance on blasphemy and the correlated bloodthirsty laws.""In Pakistan, lives have been derailed, individuals burned alive, and entire colonies torched over false allegations of blasphemy against Islam. Unlike Husain, who didn't even have to face any criminal inquiry for open sacrilege against Hinduism, those accused of blaspheming against Islam aren't afforded the privilege of a retraction or apology," Shahid wrote in his article.

The scribe further pointed out that at least 75 have been extrajudicially killed, and hundreds imprisoned, over the intangible and victimless "crime" of sacrilege against Islam in Pakistan.

Islamabad has been embroiled in an embarrassing diplomatic brawl with Paris for last six months over the republication of Charlie Hebdo's caricatures on Islam and the anti-separatism bill, culminating last week in the French foreign ministry issuing a reminder to Pakistan that all of France's laws, past and present, are equally applicable to all religions.

"Pakistan's diplomacy currently appears to be orchestrated by radical Islamist groups like the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), which in November had convinced the government to "boycott French products" and "expel the French ambassador" owing to blasphemous caricatures against Islam," Shahid said.

He added that the resistance against the construction of Islamabad's first-ever Hindu temple is rooted in the institutionalized anti-Hindu bigotry in the country, which continues to be preached through school curricula and mosque sermons.

"The large-scale disregard in Pakistan for religious matters outside of those mandated by orthodox Islam can also be witnessed in anti-Christian bigotry, which makes it hard to preach Christianity, or the widespread anti-Semitism, underscoring how Islamist tolerance for "people of the book" also has its prejudicial limits," he stated.

Pakistan, he said, would be among the worst culprits of sacrilege against all beliefs contradicting orthodox Islam, along with its existing status as "a chief denier of religious freedom."Last month, two Christians in Pakistan have been charged with blasphemy for their alleged insulting remarks against Islam's holy book and the Prophet.

Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law carries an automatic death penalty for anyone convicted of insulting God, Islam, or other religious figures.

Many members of the minority communities in Pakistan - the Ahmadis, Hindus, Christians and Sikhs were charged with draconian blasphemy law. Many of them are languishing in jails on the false charges of disrespecting the Quran.

Pakistan has been repeatedly slammed by the international community for not taking stringent measures to protect its minority communities, despite the country's Prime Minister Imran Khan vowing to protect them on numerous occasions. (ANI)

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