People accusing others of blasphemy need education: Grand Mosque Imam

Indo Asian News Service

Islamabad, April 17 (IANS) People who are illiterate and falsely accuse others of blasphemy should be educated and strictly dealt with, the Imam of Makkah's Grand Mosque, Shaikh Saleh Bin Muhammad Ibrahim, has said.

The visiting Imam-e-Kaaba told Geo News in an interview aired on Sunday that Islam is a religion of peace, forgiveness and tolerance and that people should be educated about the religion in a peaceful way.

The Grand Mosque prayer leader's statement came days after a mob on April 13 lynched and killed Mashal Khan, a journalism student, in Pakistan's Mardan city for alleged committing blasphemy.

According to the Imam, terrorism and extremism have nothing to do with Islam and it is the Muslim world that is bearing the brunt of extremism.

He said that when it comes to accusing someone of blasphemy, there are two types of people - "those who are illiterate and those who misuse Islam for personal gains".

He said those "whose hearts are plagued with disease misuse Islam intentionally" and that there was no reprieve for such people.

However, the Imam also stated that such people who openly commit blasphemy could not "remain unmonitored".

"We must make stern decisions to protect our faith, principles, sanctity or values."

"Allah has said that he will not reveal his signs to those who act as an authority on the Earth," the Imam said, adding that such people "will never choose to follow the right path even if directed towards it".