Pakistan has terrible blasphemy laws in which a person can get the death sentence for “desecrating the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad, mosques or Islamic beliefs.” Because these are pretty loose definitions, it means that the law can be used to settle personal scores and to target one’s enemies by finding the most trivial issue and making it into a blasphemy charge.
We even had Pakistan’s ambassador to the US being accused of blasphemy because someone took offense at something she supposedly said about Mohammed on a TV program. Her real crime seems to have been to call for changes in the country’s blasphemy laws.
But rather than reform the laws, this report says that the “Council of Islamic Ideology, top body of clerics tasked to ensure compliance of state laws with principles of Islam … has proposed death penalty for people who level false accusation of blasphemy against others”, arguing that misuse of the blasphemy law is itself blasphemy!
While the intention may be to deter false blasphemy charges being levied, raising the stakes in this way does not solve the main problem because blasphemy is still being validated and the death sentence for blasphemy is still on the books. And since the people who bring the blasphemy charges are often religious leaders, I cannot see people accusing them of making false accusations for fear of retaliation.
The whole concept of blasphemy is a medieval one that should have no place in any country in the 21st century.