Blasphemy case registered against four family members in Lahore

LAHORE: The Burki police has lodged a blasphemy case against a man and his three sons.

According to the details, a new charge of blasphemy has been lodged against a Muslim woman in Lahore for simply asking to be allowed to remember the death of a Christian neighbour.

The woman had contacted the Imam of the Jamma-e-Masjid Hashmat Ullah, to ask that from the loudspeakers of the mosque the death be announced so that those who wished could attend the funeral.

The imam refused, arguing that the death of a Christian could not be announced in the mosque. This objection led to an argument, in which her husband and three of her children also took part.

Following the episode, Muhammad Mansha Malik, a member of the mosque committee, went to the Burqi police station in Lahore and filed a complaint against the woman and her family.

The charge is precisely that of blasphemy for challenging the authority of the imam and outraging the mosque. According to her, these behaviours would have hurt the feelings of the residents of the area.

After the incident in the mosque, many of the Christians living in the neighbourhood are scared and some have even left their homes in search of a safer place.

Blasphemy accusations in Pakistan

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom wrote in its 2019 report that at least 80 people are imprisoned in Pakistan jails for blasphemy and at least half of them are facing a life or death sentence. According to Al-Jazeera, at least 77 people have been killed in the country over blasphemy accusations since 1990.

Blasphemy cases elicit strong emotion in Pakistan. People often emerge to support men who kill over it. Qibla Ayaz, the chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology, finds that this happens because people do not know the teachings of Islam on the matter. The Council of Islamic Ideology is a constitutional body that advises lawmakers whether a certain law is repugnant to Islam.

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