Lahore [Pakistan], May 15 (ANI): The incidents of blasphemy allegations continue to persist in Pakistan amid Covid-19 outbreak in the country and rest of the world.
According to Pakistan Today, the most recent accusation has come in Sialkot, where a football maker was accused of blasphemy on owing to a design on the ball, which members of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) deemed insulting to Islam.
"Indeed, the TLP has become a prominent face as far as blasphemy allegations are considered. Over the past three years, they've managed to successfully choke the federal capital Islamabad, and Punjab capital Lahore, over their outraged sentiments. They've even rallied against the Ahmadiyya community and condemned the acquittal of Asia Bibi in 2018", said the daily.
On Friday, the TLP joined hands with the Sunni Tehreek, to protest in numbers in Sialkot, against what they interpret is blasphemy on the part of the football maker. This was in complete defiance of the lockdown imposed nationwide.
Instead of penalising the Islamist hordes for completely discarding social distancing, the local police registered the blasphemy case against the football maker under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Section 295-C mandates death penalty for blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
This took place a little over two weeks after a blasphemy case had been registered against Sindhi singer Zamin Ali in the Kotri town of Jamshoro district. A local shopkeeper Muhammad Ibrahim Mashwani filed the case against Zamin Ali after watching one of his videos on Facebook, with the lyrics of the song outraging Mashwani.
The blasphemy laws have been criticised by global rights groups, including many Muslim activists, maintaining Pakistan's blasphemy laws persecute religious minorities and dissidents.
"Pakistan's government should repeal Sections 295 and 298 of the penal code, which includes the blasphemy law and the law discriminating against the Ahmadiyya religious community. The government should also promptly and appropriately prosecute those responsible for planning and carrying out attacks against religious minorities," says the Human Rights Watch about Pakistan's blasphemy laws.
Critics also argue that Pakistan's blasphemy law mandating death penalty and being specific to only one religion has further emboldened the Islamists. That means that often a blasphemy accusation suffices in pressurising the judiciary to rule in the Islamists favour.
As the world mulls the post-coronavirus changes, rights groups believe that Pakistan would be best advised to undo its succumbing to the Islamists. However, many argue, that it is during the pandemic that Pakistan has showcased an unparalleled level of that capitulation. (ANI)