Pakistan Wants to Prevent ‘Misuse’ of Blasphemy Laws

The president of Pakistan met with a delegation from the German parliament recently to talk about increasing trade and investment from that country and tried to whitewash that country’s horrifying record of human rights abuses in punishing “blasphemy.”

President Mamnoon Hussain has said that the government is taking effective measures to prevent misuse of blasphemy law.

The president stated that the blasphemy law in Pakistan applies to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, adding that the law is non-discriminatory in this regard…

The President stated that the Constitution of Pakistan guarantees fundamental rights for all citizens irrespective of religion, race, caste, colour, creed or gender.

The president said that the government has established the National Commission on Human Rights emphasizing that an independent judiciary, free media and a vibrant civil society provide additional safeguards for the protection of human rights.

You’ll pardon me if I don’t take this bullshit seriously. The problem is not “misuse” of blasphemy laws, it’s use of blasphemy laws, full stop. You cannot put people to death for insulting your religion and in the same breath claim to respect human rights. There is no ambiguity on this whatsoever.

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  • John Pieret

    The problem is that there is no “misuse” of the blasphemy laws at all. They are working exactly as designed.

  • anubisprime

    Blame the krauts myself…

    Or indeed any country that wants to do business with Pakistan.

    If the so called free world wants to see a comprehensive end to this sort of barbarity then it is easy…do not negotiate, do not pander to them , do not trade with them…period!

    But the rich like getting richer…ethics, morality, empathy, and decency are alien words made up by haters and the jealous…they do not exist so trade away…and fuck humanity…no profit there!

  • dingojack

    “If the so called free world wants to see a comprehensive end to this sort of barbarity then it is easy…do not negotiate, do not pander to them , do not trade with them…period!”

    What — modelling the unqualified successes we had with Cuba and Iran*?

    Dingo

    ———

    * (Just to mention two)

  • Michael Heath

    Ed writes:

    You’ll pardon me if I don’t take this bullshit seriously. The problem is not “misuse” of blasphemy laws, it’s use of blasphemy laws, full stop. You cannot put people to death for insulting your religion and in the same breath claim to respect human rights. There is no ambiguity on this whatsoever.

    The article Ed cites:

    The President stated that the Constitution of Pakistan guarantees fundamental rights for all citizens irrespective of religion, race, caste, colour, creed or gender.

    I suspect most Americans, including liberals, are unable to make a cogent case why we need to protect offensive/blasphemous speech; not just government protection of speech but in many of our private venues (though certainly not all). I.e., the western world does at best a mediocre job consistently and prevalently providing rhetoric and examples promoting blasphemous/offensive speech.

    A couple of years ago we even encountered some secular conferences prohibiting speech that was religious in nature and offensive. Those leaders were unable to articulate why this was OK, all we got was incoherent babbling and a circling of wagons by some other liberals who also railed on incoherently as if they were tea bagging patriots. They were completely dependent on the same fallacious arguments we get from the loony right.

    This is where I started to take on some organizers: http://goo.gl/Px5EeA; that debate led to other threads where the organizers continued to defend their policy rather than rescinding it. Now I always look at the secular conference speech policies; good news, I no longer see such anti-speech policies. However I have not forgotten the failure in character by the organizers and their supporters given their inability to immediately concede their failure in protecting that which they [falsely] claimed to embrace; in spite of having no coherent defense for the restriction on offensive religious speech.

    Attempting to distinguish the difference between government protecting speech and private organizers avoids the argument and is therefore a mere red herring. In fact I’d argue people who make such arguments have only a poor understanding of the utility of more speech. That goes back to my first point, we in the west continue to be mediocre at setting a good example on the value of protecting offensive, even blasphemous speech – and that failure extends way beyond conservative Christians and infects even many liberals.

    If we want better results in Pakistan and other similar countries, nearly all of us can do a far better job in this realm rather than merely hoping the U.N. and the leaders of some western countries gets through to countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Personally, I’m against Free Speech, long for its abolition, and look forward to the day the State can punish me for saying this.

  • Michael Heath

    anubisprime writes:

    Blame the krauts myself…

    Or indeed any country that wants to do business with Pakistan.

    If the so called free world wants to see a comprehensive end to this sort of barbarity then it is easy…do not negotiate, do not pander to them , do not trade with them…period!

    George Soros wrote a book on foreign policy several years ago. He made this same argument though his approach was far more moderate. Rather than no engagement with tyrannical regimes, Mr. Soros instead argued for a carrot and stick approach that was indexed to criteria. Criteria that was also indexed to a degree of political freedom, the equal protection individual rights, and other liberal ideals.

    To a liberal his argument was mere common sense; it’s obvious simply because to them it’s the moral, right thing to do. I think when you also consider economics and history, Soros’ argument moves far beyond morality and instead is extremely compelling when seeking optimal results regarding wealth creation and in increase in security. Soros’ approach also provides an avenue to punish and reward both enemies and friends, e.g., Syria and Israel.

  • malefue

    Also, krauts? At least call them Piefkes.

    (with love from a half german, half austrian)

  • colnago80

    Re Michael Heath @ #6

    A little hard to reward or punish Syria which no longer exists as a nation.

  • colnago80

    Re anubisprime @ #2

    Well, Churchill used dot refer to them as the Huns. The Huns are either at your feet or at your throat.

  • Trebuchet

    I’ll believe it when I see them put an imam to death for criticizing Judaism.

  • Synfandel

    anubisprime wrote:

    If the so called free world wants to see a comprehensive end to this sort of barbarity then it is easy…do not negotiate, do not pander to them , do not trade with them…period!

    I have to agree with anubisprime. We should not have anything to do with any country that engages in extraordinary rendition, incarceration without charges, torture of prisoners, systematic eavesdropping on its citizens, assassination by drone, and the invasion of another country on fabricated grounds.

  • blf

    Great sky faeries need human-made rules to discourage humans from pointing out great sky faeries don’t exist.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Corrupt politicians find the best way to avoid criticism is to provide a blasphemy law that encourages the hoi-polloi to hunt down infidels at the street level rather than in the corridors of power. Works every time.

  • Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer

    Modusoperandi, #5

    Personally, I’m against Free Speech, long for its abolition, and look forward to the day the State can punish me for saying this.

    Haha!

  • azpaul3

    #11

    We should not have anything to do with any country that engages in extraordinary rendition, incarceration without charges, torture of prisoners, systematic eavesdropping on its citizens, assassination by drone, and the invasion of another country on fabricated grounds.

    So, we should no longer have anything to do with us? Agreed.

  • carpenterman

    Modusoperandi,

    I personally see no reason to wait for the State. I punish myself for the things I say on a regular basis. But perhaps that’s more than you need to know.

    As for President Hussain, you’ve got to love the way he insists Pakistan extends fundamental rights regardless of… caste? The very existence of “caste” means that this is a society not built on rights but on privilege, with those on the top presumed to be there because they’re supposed to be and those below irrevocably inferior. This contradicts the very concept of “fundamental human rights”.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    Well with china offering aid that dwarfs the US contribution, I don’t think the leadership will be particularly repsonsive to business carrots and sticks.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/20/world/asia/chinas-president-heads-to-pakistan-with-billions-in-infrastructure-aid.html

    Plenty of room there to line their pocketss the pockets of their entire families.

  • anubisprime

    I understand the general skepticism in isolating human rights violators like Pakistan or indeed Saudi Arabia.

    It can be said that there are many countries out in the global context that are not pristine in either their ethical or moral behavior towards their own citizen or dealings with neighbors and the wider community.

    And true enough neither America nor the UK for that matter, provide the perfect template in such doings.

    That said what would be the resolution?…does anyone actually want a resolution?

    It cannot be a case of ‘who the fuck are we’ to pontificate on these matters given our own lackadaisical attitude to pesky things like human rights.

    I would suggest that the real problem is in the governments we elect at home, that is how such violations as documented above by other posters occur freely and far to often.

    The threat that UK citizens face at this present time is that the sitting government has vowed to leave the human rights charter in tatters in Europe. by withdrawing support and striking the UK signature from the document.

    That is a policy that, amongst other effects, would effectively remove workers rights completely, some say irrevocably, from UK employment law.

    It means employers can issue every worker a zero hour contract, no holiday pay, no health insurance, no holiday entitlement, and no resort to any worker court that themselves would be done away with.

    Unions will be disbanded and it will be illegal to criticize the government or initiate any activity in direct opposition to government policies.

    They already slipped a bill through Parliament without public oversight. they did it in a quite evening session with few MP’s in town, regarding challenges to governmental shenanigans by charities and organizations for the poor and disabled…it really is a case of ‘shut ya fuckin’ mouth or end up in jail’

    Anyway that seems to be the main agenda behind this draconian and Dickensian pledge.

    That it is being sold to the voting public as a terrorist related move is disingenuous and frankly ludicrous, but if the Tory party are in government after May. it will go ahead.

    Anyway the long and short of this subject is that it would be highly unlikely in the scheme of things that any concerted effort by a global community will ever materialize in sufficient enthusiasm for anything meaningful to be arranged.

    And it would take a global response not just a single country to impose measures in a bid to reform such rogue attitudes and their approach to human rights, especially when one of the major ‘democracies’ on earth, itself imposes such blatantly obscene legislation to ‘control’ its populace.

    Sad and extremely disappointing.

    Besides it is probable that Russia would refuse to cooperate so such measures imposed would be meaningless…Putin would steal the market gratefully.

    malefue @ 7…

    No offense intended , if given, I apologize for the generic use of the term.

  • dingojack

    Anubisprime wrote:

    That is a policy that, amongst other effects, would effectively remove workers rights completely, some say irrevocably, from UK employment law.

    It means employers can issue every worker a zero hour contract, no holiday pay, no health insurance, no holiday entitlement, and no resort to any worker court that themselves would be done away with.

    Unions will be disbanded and it will be illegal to criticize the government or initiate any activity in direct opposition to government policies.” [*]

    Really? This is a foregone conclusion, is it?

    Will this before or after all workers will be locked up in the English version of FEMA camps (Butlin’s?), micro-chipped and sent to the ovens? @@

    Yep, that whole breathless hyperbole thing is really, really aiding your argument.

    Dingo

    ———

    * citations required

  • rietpluim

    “The president stated that the blasphemy law in Pakistan applies to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, adding that the law is non-discriminatory in this regard…” All right, I got my daily WTF. I can go home now.