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Mar 31 2014

Pakistani Christian Gets Death Penalty for Blasphemy

In yet another example of astonishing barbarism and totalitarianism, a Christian in Pakistan has been sentenced to death for blasphemy for comments he allegedly made to a Muslim friend during an argument. The case already saw violent attacks on the Christian community in that country by mobs of barbarians.

A Pakistani Christian man has been sentenced to death for blasphemy, in a case which sparked fierce rioting in the eastern city of Lahore last March.

Sawan Masih was convicted of using derogatory remarks against the Prophet Mohammed in a row with a Muslim friend.

Hundreds of Muslims attacked the city’s Christian Joseph colony, torching homes, when the allegations surfaced…

Sawan Masih’s lawyer said a judge announced the verdict during a hearing at the jail where the trial has been held, amid fears for his client’s safety if he attended court.

The 26-year-old Masih, who is a father of three, has consistently maintained his innocence during the year-long trial.

He argues the real reason for the blasphemy allegation was a property dispute between him and his friend.

That’s how many blasphemy cases come about. If someone gets into a dispute with another person, accusing them of blasphemy is a good way of inflicting pain on them.

12 comments

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  1. 1
    John Pieret

    I’m not sure why they are referring to the other man as Masih’s “friend.”

  2. 2
    richardelguru

    John, maybe they mistyped ‘fiend’

  3. 3
    janiceintoronto

    If someone gets into a dispute with another person, accusing them of blasphemy is a good way of killing them.

    There, fixed it.

  4. 4
    Sastra

    Although many blasphemy cases are no doubt instigated for other reasons, I’m loath to use this defense AS a defense (not that I think Ed was doing this.) The implication is that if the Christian really HAD made derogatory remarks about Mohammed, then the penalty would be okay.

    The idea that insults or slights against one’s religion must be swiftly dealt with and revenge taken fits inside a larger idea: Honor as the highest virtue and an actual “thing” which can be damaged by lack of respect. When deep piety combines with an honor culture — watch out. Actual physical harm is seen as less significant than any harm done to the inflated Ideals of purity, reputation, and authority.

    In modern cultures influenced by the Enlightenment, the ability to tolerate insults to “honor” is often seen as a measure of maturity and self-control. It’s admired, you’ve risen above such attacks and retained respect in doing so. In honor cultures, however, tolerating an insult is cowardice. Instead, the noble person of honor lashes out violently with a devastating retribution for what is worse than a physical wound, a wound to family or tribal pride. An attack on the King or God demands an even higher penalty.

    Modern day Christians have become much more tolerant of blasphemy in society, but many of them will still make an honor culture argument for why it merits eternal damnation.

  5. 5
    criticaldragon1177

    Ed Brayton

    Speaking of blasphemy, Tristan Emmanuel on Matt Barber’s wants the equivalent of a modern day inquisition to go after Bill Maher.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/bill-maher-should-be-publicly-whipped-his-blasphemy

  6. 6
    OldEd

    So? Perhaps you need more evidence that Islam is a barbaric cult?

  7. 7
    Gregory in Seattle

    Would it be wrong to point this story out to frothing-at-the-mouth Talibangelicals when they screech that not being allowed to indoctrinate children in public schools and having to abide by anti-discrimination laws is persecution? To show them what REAL persecution looks like?

  8. 8
    criticaldragon1177

    #6 OldEd

    “So? Perhaps you need more evidence that Islam is a barbaric cult?”

    All religious have intolerant bigots within them. Not every single Muslim supports these barbaric blasphemy laws, or any blasphemy laws for that matter, any more than every single Christian supports the religious right in America.

  9. 9
    criticaldragon1177

    #7 Gregory in Seattle

    “Would it be wrong to point this story out to frothing-at-the-mouth Talibangelicals when they screech that not being allowed to indoctrinate children in public schools and having to abide by anti-discrimination laws is persecution? To show them what REAL persecution looks like?”

    No, except that I’d be afraid that instead of seeing your point, they might just blame this on the fact that its a Muslim country, and than explain why their intolerance is actually tolerance. Basically, totally missing your point.

  10. 10
    Chiroptera

    OldEd, #6: So? Perhaps you need more evidence that Islam is a barbaric cult?

    I dunno. Is it? Is Islam any more a barbaric cult than, say, Christianity?

    Maybe it is. But I don’t see that as the more important question. The more important question is: My Muslim friends, my Muslim neighbors, and my fellow citizens who happen to be Muslim: what kind of people are they? Are they people I can trust and respect? That can only be determined by looking at them as individuals and judging each one by his or her words or actions. I certainly can’t reach a conclusion about them by looking at what other people are doing halfway around the world.

  11. 11
    criticaldragon1177

    #10 Chiroptera

    Good response.

  12. 12
    criticaldragon1177

    Ed Brayton,

    I really hope someone is able to stop Sawan Masih from being put to death. The world shouldn’t tolerate stuff like this. Its so sad that it does.

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