The history of blasphemy is long and complicated. The law was actually introduced by the British Empire in India and was supported by Muslims through the religious texts afterwards. If we look at the texts, one with great knowledge would see the Islamic arguments are weaker in support of the Blasphemy law. There is nothing in the Quran or the authentic teachings of the Prophet of Islam justifying the killing of people for opposing, criticising, humiliating or showing irreverence towards Islamic holy personages, religious artefacts, customs and beliefs.
The people of South Asia, especially in India and Pakistan, are still very confused how, where and for whom this law should be implemented. Some people apply this law over the people who leave Islam and accept another religion (apostasy); some apply it against those who insult the religion by their actions or words or even mock the Prophet of Islam (blasphemy).
In Pakistan, from the 1990’s until now, more than 90 people have been killed by various traditional means under the false allegation of the blasphemy law.1 One of the victims of blasphemy was a governor of Punjab province Salman Tasir, who was killed by his own bodyguard, Mumtaz Qadri (a religious Brelvi extremist).2 As well as an assassination of Christian minister Shahbaz Bhatti over his open and public criticism on Blasphemy law.3 In prisons, thousands of people await their trials and a few of them got the death penalty but nothing happened so far, and they have been left to their fate.
Mr Noor Dahri is the Founder and Executive Director of ITCT. He has studied Forensics and Criminal Psychology from Oxford and studied Counter Terrorism from the University of Maryland – U.S.A as well as from the International Institute for Counter Terrorism ICT- ISRAEL. He’s the author of “The Hydra of Radicalization: The Scourge of Global Extremism”.