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Islam and Sectarianism ( 31 Jul 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Blasphemy: A ‘User-Friendly Tool’


By Dilnawaz Qamar

 July 31, 2013

I have seen pictures where the cross (the sign of Ibn-e-Maryam, Rasul Allah, Abdullah and Masih in the words of the Quran) was thrown on the ground and desecrated. Isn’t that blasphemous?

Since 1947 there has been a series of wounds to the ‘Land of the Pure’. History is long and there is hardly any person who is unaware of it. To make the long history short, 2012 ended after driving some Hindus out of Pakistan. And 2013 started with brutal killings of our Shia brethren.

The wound was not yet healed when Badami Bagh Christians were victimised in another act of sheer brutality in the name of religion. The issue popped up, tension was built between the two communities, protests occurred, political parties played their role, keeping into account the forthcoming elections, and then the story came to an end. Recently, Sajjad Masih, a 29-year-old Christian has been sentenced to life in prison over blasphemy accusations without any potential evidence. Masih was first blamed for stealing his ex-fiancé’s mobile phone and prosecutors initially claimed that he was to be punished under the Telegraph Act Section 25 B. It seems that this did not suffice. He was to be charged with blasphemy, the ‘user-friendly, commonly used tool’. The prosecutors eventually accused him of blasphemy.

Many such stories have been buried alive without any head or tail. To date, over 1,274 people have been the victim of this user-friendly tool. Whether it be case of Sajjad Masih, the Gojra incident or blaming Rimsha Masih for blasphemy, the persecution of minorities through killings or the assassination of Salmaan Taseer, burning houses of Christians or raping women of other religions, destroying properties of harmless communities or forcing them to accept Islam, I always wonder why we want to become gods and not let God be God.

Those believing in the oneness of God cannot even see how the Creator tolerates human beings. God bestows His blessings on everyone without any discrimination. Not to speak of those who believe in Him, rather He also blesses those who do not believe in Him. I have seen businesses of atheists flourishing, enjoying their lives on this earth while negating His existence. God does not kill those who have blasphemous thoughts. He lets those live who negate His existence. But when it comes to human beings, we want to have all the authority and we want to do all the works that God has not assigned us to do. It seems as if the ones who want to take control of everything have an eager desire to be omnipotent. Instead of leaving matters in His hands, we become the sole proprietors of religion.

The easiest way to maltreat minorities is simply to point a finger at a person with the accusation of ‘blasphemy’. A so-called jihad begins this way and then in the wink of an eye, everyone gets license to act brutally. This is how we please our Creator in Pakistan.

The owners of religion do not know that when they are involved in such outrageous acts they are actually withdrawing from religion. Faith in Islam is not complete without the belief in previous Messengers. Muslims believe that Jesus was one of the mightiest Messengers of God. Christ is spoken of as the ‘Word of God’, ‘Spirit of God’ and as a ‘Sign of God’. But ironically when someone is charged with blasphemy, I have seen pictures where the cross (the sign of Ibn-e-Maryam, Rasul Allah, Abdullah and Masih in the words of the Quran) was thrown on the ground and desecrated. Isn’t that blasphemous? Not to speak of Christianity, it is against Islam to blaspheme a Messenger who has a high status in the Quran. Why does religion become a tool of massive destruction? When Christians are persecuted the way they are, the blasphemers blaspheme a Messenger who is known as the Spirit of God.

As said before, the case of Sajjad Masih will be buried in a few days. Religious leaders will deliver emotional speeches, enthusiastic talk shows will have debates on different channels, but nothing will happen. Why don’t religious leaders, intellectuals and scholars engage themselves in improving the conditions when there is calm and peace? Why do leaders show their faces only when there are such incidents? This is the time when religious leaders from different ethical groups should step forward and propose solutions for the increasing extremism and intolerance in religion.