Apart from animal sacrifices, before Eid, 53 Ahmadi graves in Gujranwala were desecrated, with epitaphs carrying Islamic verses removed. This has become a common feature with the police being party to it. Having declared Ahmadis ‘non-Muslims’
with the Second Amendment in 1974, Pakistan now considers being an Ahmadi such a crime that even
their buried continue to fall prey to vandalism in the garb of blasphemy. Pakistan’s first Nobel Laureate, Dr Abdus Salam’s grave in Rabwah, was defaced on government orders and the word ‘Muslim’ was removed from his epitaph.
Beyond posthumous blasphemy
Last week, a Christian mechanic was handed a death sentence under Section 295-C by a trial court in Lahore. Ashfaq Masih had an argument with a customer in 2017, who was refusing to pay him PKR 40 for a bicycle repair job. He was accused of disrespecting
the prophet Muhammad for allegedly saying that for Christians, Jesus is the final prophet.
It’s a charge he has denied. Maish maintained that the rival shop owner, who was also the complainant, framed him for blasphemy because he wanted to take over his clients.
also the case of blasphemy accusations against a Samsung employee for allegedly putting a WiFi device username that insulted the companion of the prophet. A mob in the mobile market in Karachi vandalised hoardings of Samsung; sectarian group Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat led protests and claimed credit for getting the ‘blasphemer’ arrested.
Samsung, in its public statement, maintained neutrality on all religious matters. However, the incident led to online protests as well, with TikTokers burning Samsung smartphones and even smashing them with a hammer.
There is no end to the demand for blasphemy cases—now
Shia leaders seek a blasphemy case against a Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) leader for allegedly sitting next to the shrine of Bibi Pak Daman while wearing his shoes. This is much like when Tehreek-e-Labbaik supporters wanted Fawad Chaudhry to be booked for
blasphemy for just standing outside Wazir Khan mosque, while the dhamal playing was considered an insult.
Weapons of the devout
History is a lesson no one wants to learn from. From the assassination of the former governor of Punjab Salman Taseer for calling man-made blasphemy laws
“a black law”, to slain minister Shahbaz Bhatti standing up for blasphemy victim Asia Bibi and the shooting by Tehreek-e-Labbaik supporter of a PML-N minister in 2018 over a change in the election oath.