Being gay in Pakistan: Where anti-gay serial killers are applauded

LAHORE, Pakistan — Sitting at a coffee shop in a posh Lahore neighborhood, two young men hold a heated debate over the serial killer caught killing gay men in their city last month.

“Gay rights are human rights,” says one, arguing that gays have the right to live openly here. This is Pakistan, the other countered. “It is best to let these things stay unsaid, and underground – it's not okay in this society.” It’s a debate so fundamental that it might, at this point, sound hackneyed to a Western audience — yet in Pakistan it’s rare to hear such openness even in a private discussion. 

In late April, a young man named Muhammed Ejaz confessed to killing three gay men over the past two months because he wanted to send a warning about the “evils” of homosexuality.

The 28-year-old paramedic from Lahore said he had lured his victims through a gay social networking site manjam.com and killed them following a sexual encounter in their own homes.

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Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali: Secularism results in totalitarianism wherever it is tried

Got to Have Faith:  Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali on Civilization’s Faith Foundation

By Andrew E. Harrod

“Secularism results in totalitarianism…wherever it is tried” leaving “no other answer” for free societies outside of religion, Church of England Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali stated recently at Georgetown University.  Faced with this need for faith, the Pakistan native Nazir-Ali offered illuminating comments on right religion on the basis of his mixed Muslim-Christian familial background and theological studies.

Nazir-Ali addressed “Christian-Muslim Relations:  Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” on April 29, 2014, at Georgetown’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU).  While recognizing the “personal dimension of the spiritual,” Nazir-Ali focused his comments on religion’s social aspects as a “force that binds people together.”  Thereby Nazir-Ali posed the question of whether free societies can “legitimize everything,” with welfare systems marginalizing religion.

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Blasphemy case against national magazine in Kashmir

Court issues warrants against 2 more columnists

SRINAGAR, May 9: A city court has issued warrants against two more columnists associated with the editorial board of a weekly magazine published from New Delhi for publication of pictures of Holy Mecca on a pack of cards.

According to a prosecution officer, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Srinagar has issued the warrants and asked the police to execute the same without any fail.

On April 29, the same court had asked the SSP Srinagar to execute warrants against the editorial board of the magazine.

Earlier, the police station Maisuma had filed an application before the court seeking issuance of warrants against the accused editors for ‘not cooperating’ with the police in its investigations.

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Pakistan 'blasphemy lawyer' shot dead in Multan office

Gunmen in the Pakistani city of Multan have shot dead a lawyer defending a university lecturer accused of blasphemy, police and officials say.

Police said that Rashid Rehman was sitting in his office when he was shot. Two of his assistants were injured.

Allegations of blasphemy against Islam are taken very seriously in Pakistan.

Critics argue that blasphemy laws are frequently misused to settle personal scores and that members of minority groups are often unfairly targeted.

Senior police official Zulfiqar Ali told AFP news agency that Mr Rehman died amid "indiscriminate firing" in his office on Wednesday evening.

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Buddhist monks in court for blasphemy

COLOMBO: Four of Sri Lanka’s most senior hardline Buddhist monks appeared in court Monday accused of making uncharitable remarks on the Holy Qur’an, in the first such case following a spate of religious hate attacks.

Police accused the monks, from the nationalist Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), or Buddhist Force, of making disparaging remarks against the Islamic holy book after bursting into a meeting of religious leaders last month. At the meeting, the monks also intimidated a moderate colleague who was promoting religious tolerance on the Buddhist-majority island, police said.

“The four priests along with two laymen were summoned by court today and granted bail in the sum of 100,000 rupees ($770) each,” police spokesman Ajith Rohana told AFP.

“The magistrate warned them not to indulge in such activities. We will file formal charges when the case is called again next month.”

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