Tough day today, I must say. You have Ashcroft’s Seven Deadly Agents roaming the streets of US, you have Abu Hamza in London looking like an evil Captain Hook. And then you have the case of Samuel Masih in Lahore. I found out about it from an editorial in the Daily Times:
Horrific. The charge of blasphemy is brought by gentleman who saw him spit on a mosque’s wall. SPIT!
update: Samuel Masih died from his injuries in the hospital on May 29th, 2004.
Now, the Federal Sharia Court as has only upheld Hadd decisions in 2 cases [theft] which were overruled by the Supreme Court. Hence, it is fairly certain that this case will also get dismissed. But what to say about the attack? A mis-guided sipahi who has been trained at the Pavlovian level to hate Christians, Hindus has no rational ability to judge the veracity or strength of any claim of against The Prophet? He hears only that Tauheen-i Risalat was commited by someone and he reacts as he has been conditioned to: with violence.
And blasphemy is not the only sword of Damocles hanging over the Christian community. In another case, Pastor Samuels and his family has been charged under the Shari’a Law for inciting a Muslim woman to marry a Christian. I am not sure about the details of this case, but it revolves a Muslim woman who began a love affair with this Christian. A no-no. As the injuctions in Shari’a against a Muslim woman marrying a Christian (or other People of the Book) is much more severe compared to the relative laxity in the case of a Muslim man marrying a Christian woman.
And lest we stray into thinking that the persecution is only against Christians and only in Pakistan, this recent case in India of the tribulations of a Hindu woman and a Muslim man should dispel those notions.
Regardless, this HAS to change. Pakistan has to modify it’s school curriculum. It has to change the rhetoric of the Mullah. It has to guarantee equal rights to all citizens. The Hudood Ordinances instituted under Gen. Zia-ul Haq have got to be re-evaluated. I am glad at least one other person thinks so….