Pakistani police prevent clerics’ rally against blasphemy

Mar 24, 2017

By KATHY GANNON, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Pakistani police blocked a rally on Friday in Islamabad by clerics seeking to press their calls for the death of social media activists accused of insulting Islam — an offense punishable by death in this Islamic country.

Hundreds of security forces sealed off and surrounded the Red Mosque, long seen as a refuge for Islamic militants in the Pakistani capital, and the home of a religious leader, Maulana Abdul Aziz, preventing his followers from staging the gathering.

The clerics vowed to try again next week, having already launched blasphemy charges in the Islamabad High Court against five bloggers, who were held for nearly three weeks in January.

The bloggers — who went missing but were later returned unhurt to their families — have accused Pakistan’s intelligence agency of orchestrating their disappearance because of their criticism of the military and intelligence agencies.

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2 comments on “Pakistani police prevent clerics’ rally against blasphemy

  • All three were remanded into custody of Pakistan’s anti-terrorism cell
    for seven days while their online activity is investigated, he said.

    I’m a little confused. Is the anti-terrorism aspect of their legal system supposed to support terrorism or condemn it? It reminds me a little of Ray Bradbury’s book Fahrenheit 451, where the firefighter’s job is to burn books.

    Man, Hitchens was right: religion poisons everything.



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  • Vicki #1
    Mar 26, 2017 at 7:36 am

    I’m a little confused.
    Is the anti-terrorism aspect of their legal system supposed to support terrorism or condemn it?

    Blasphemy is illegal due to the political defence of god-delusions, by legislation from god-deluded politicians.

    I think the banning of the march is about the clerics trying to make demands on the courts to influence verdicts, or incite extra judicial killings, so it seems unrelated to any rational approach to the content of the blogs!



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