Fatwa: “A legal opinion or decree handed down by an Islamic religious leader” So paint it like you want, a Fatwa is a declaration that both explains religious texts and calls for Sharia law to be followed. In this case a Fatwa was issued by several clerics calling for Geo TV to be arrested and tried for Blasphemy. Christians in Pakistan are experiencing tremendous persecution, unable to even speak the name of Christ. They are not allowed freedom to even go into the markets, as they are singled out for attacks simply because they are Christian. In the other case spoken of below, by the Fides Agency, Christians who simply witnessed to others in a train station, and were accused of hurting the feelings of Muslims by doing so, were arrested. Others have had Fatwa’s issued against them calling for their arrest or death. Still others have lost their jobs, and can not survive. Pakistan’s constitution calls for freedom to worship, but the rule of law in Pakistan ignores this and institutes strict Sharia Law. “This penal code mandates life imprisonment for desecrating the Quran, and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for insulting another’s religious beliefs with intent to outrage religious feelings.” The problem is that everyone who simply tells about their faith, simply telling someone about the love of Christ is construed as hurting the feelings of Muslims.
Lahore (Agenzia Fides) – The blasphemy law continues to claim victims in Pakistan. The last cases reported by Fides concern some Christians, Ahmadis, and a popular TV station – “Geo Tv”.
As Fides learns on 17 May a blasphemy case was registered in the village Mirpur Khas (Sindh province) against four Christians: Javed Masih, his wife Nazia, Rose Marry and Cavell David. The Muslim Hafiz Shah Fahad, who denounced them, says that the Christians preached in the train station in Mirpur and, therefore, severely hurt the feelings of Muslims. The police arrested all Christians for questioning.
In another notorious case, the Christian George Masih reports that father Boota Masih’s murderers, who was brutally killed on September 14, 2013 in broad daylight by some Muslims who cut his throat shouting “Allah is great”, boasting of having eliminated “a blasphemous infidel”, are still at large and unpunished. After this incident, explained George “in my family we are more dead than alive: we have lost our jobs and now no one is willing to give us work”.
On May 16, another serious incident involved the community of Ahmadis, considered a “sect” by other Muslims: a teenager killed Khalil Ahmad, a member of the Ahmadi community, denounced for blasphemy, while he was inside a police station in Punjab.
Also the popular Pakistani TV channel “Geo Tv” is accused of blasphemy: Sahibzada Hamid Raza, chairman of the Muslim Forum “Sunni Ittehad Council”, accused the channel of “hurting the religious sentiments of millions of people”. The leader issued a fatwa (Islamic decree) against the TV channel. The complaint is based on the fact that the channel broadcast images of dances with Sufi music which, according to tradition, refers directly to Muhammad and his family. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 19/05/2014)
Pray for the Christians and the Persecuted Church in Pakistan. Speak out, start conversations, help the world to open it’s eyes and act on the Human Rights Abuses in Pakistan.
C.Refsland, VOP Advocate/News Analyst