Pakistan currently has a set of laws dealing with the area known as blasphemy. To put it bluntly, you can be executed for saying negative things about religious beliefs. Such laws really are an affront to rational thinking and open debate; to protect such notions with what amounts to state sponsored death threats is truly barbaric. It would be akin to having someone executed for saying they think whale hunting is a good thing; it does not matter if they are right or wrong, they have every right in the world to voice their opinion.
In good news, Pakistan is looking to relax the blasphemy laws a little though the Government denies any plans to remove the death penalty component. That has still angered a few people and it resulted in everyone’s favourite peaceful activity; riots (because everyone knows the best way to get your point across is to go destroy stuff in the street. Great thinking).
By South Asia correspondent Sally Sara
Posted 3 hours 17 minutes ago
Islamists have staged strikes in major cities across Pakistan to protest against possible changes to the nation’s blasphemy laws.
Demonstrators threw rocks at police, who responded with tear gas in the southern city of Karachi.
leaders called for a national shutdown to protest against the possible weakening of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
Shops were closed and roads were blocked in several cities across the country as part of strikes against the possible changes.
The government has denied it plans to scrap the death penalty for those who make offensive remarks about the Prophet Mohammed.
But the introduction of a private member’s bill has drawn an angry reaction from Muslim clerics.
Here is my reaction to said blasphemy laws. Mohammed is no more a holy figure than my worn out sneakers resting under my bed. His teachings range from plain common sense to outright bizarre and certainly immoral in places. He married and had sex with young children which certainly makes him morally dubious from the get-go – and anyone who thinks that anyone who says bad things about him (such as I just did) should be put to death … well, it says a great deal about their particular mindset. A mindset that is, as mentioned, barbaric to say the least. Same goes for any other religious figure for that matter.
No beliefs should be closed to debate, religious or not. All ideas need to be critically examined on a constant basis to ensure their worthiness and accuracy, to make sure they have a place in modern society. Open debate and open forums lead to the refinement and improvement of ideas. That is how humanity has been able to progress so quickly over the past five hundred or so years – a lot of the taboos about debate were dropped and people could actually properly investigate the Universe around them.