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Pakistan media mughal booked under blasphemy, terrorist laws

Pakistan police registered a criminal case against against Geo TV owner Mir Shakeel-ur Rehman and Jang media group for showing a programme that allegedly contained blasphemous content, an official said. 

Geo channel on Wednesday staged a mock marriage ceremony of controversial actress Veena Malik as a religious song was played in the background. 

District and sessions judge of Okara in Punjab province yesterday ordered that a case be registered against Geo media group owner Rehman, anchor Shaistan Lodhi, actress Veena, her husband Asad Khatak and others over the programme. 

Police officer Rana Aziz said Veena, her husband Asad and programme hostess Lodhi were also named in the case registered with Margalla police station in the capital Islamabad

"They have been charged under Section 295 A, 295 C and 298 A of Pakistan Penal Code, which deal with insulting the religion, and Section 7 of anti-terrorism act," he said. 

Veena has recently married and the channel was celebrating the event. 

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Govt not proceeding against TV for ‘obvious reasons’

BAHAWALPUR

MNA Jamshed Dasti has said that the nation will not tolerate blasphemy and Pemra should take stern action against the private TV channel for broadcasting sacrilegious content. He warned that if the government did not take action against the TV channel then it would itself responsible for the consequences. Addressing “Meet The Press” programme of Bahawalpur Press Club here on Monday, Dasti demanded the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take notice of the issue immediately. He accused both the PML-N and PPP backing the Geo and Jang group, saying that the government did not willing to take action against the media group.

He pointed out that the district administration and Principal Quaid-e-Azam Medical College should have played their role for the resolution of issues being faced by the doctors, adding that the Punjab Health Minister and the Health secretary for failure to tackle issues of the young doctor.

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Blasphemy, blasphemy everywhere

Sir: Whoever thinks that weaving a web of venom to entrap others will save them from getting poisoned needs to read the writing on the wall. Pakistanis are now entangled in a web of blasphemy wherein this poison is thundering day and night. This venomous disease is now entrapping its makers; no one can forget the unfortunate scenes of the governor of Punjab being shot dead by no one else than his own security guard, and later the same guard being garlanded by the so-called protectors of the law, the lawyers of Rawalpindi. Just recently, a human rights activist and lawyer, Rashid Rehman, who was representing a blasphemy victim in a court of law, was openly threatened by his fellow lawyers in the presence of a presiding judge. Later, Rehman was gunned down in his office. The lawyer who threatened Rehman and the judge who turned a blind eye are very much there in their chambers, doing roaring business.

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Pakistan: Investigate Killing of Rights Lawyer

(New York) – Pakistani authorities should conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into the May 7, 2014 killing of human rights activist and lawyer Rashid Rehman, Human Rights Watch said today. Those responsible should be fully and promptly prosecuted.

Rehman’s killing, an apparent reprisal for his willingness to represent people charged under Pakistan’s blasphemylaw, underscores the urgent need for the government to repeal that law, Human Rights Watch said.

Two unidentified gunmen killed Rehman in his office in Multan, Punjab province. Several weeks earlier, Rehman had been threatened with “dire consequences” for defending Junaid Hafeez, a lecturer at Bahauddin Zakariya University who was facing prosecution under Pakistan’s blasphemy law. Hafeez allegedly disseminated blasphemous statements via his Facebook account, though it is not known what he said, since republishing the statement could lead to blasphemy charges against those who republish it.

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Pakistani police charge 68 lawyers with blasphemy over protest

By: Syed Raza Hassan

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani police have registered a case of blasphemy against 68 lawyers who made a public protest after a police officer detained one of their colleagues, officials said on Tuesday, the latest in a tidal wave of such accusations flooding the country.

Analysts say the surge in accusations is a worrying sign the nuclear-armed nation of 180 million people is becoming less tolerant as militant ideas enter mainstream politics.

The colonial-era law does not define blasphemy, but the charge carries the death penalty. Presenting evidence can be considered a new infringement, so judges are reluctant to hear cases.

Judges who free those accused of blasphemy have been attacked and two politicians who suggested reforming the law were shot dead. Those acquitted have often been lynched.

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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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Muslim mob attacks Hindu housholds, temple in Bangladesh over alleged blasphemy

An around 3,000-strong mob attacked Hindu households and a temple in Bangladesh's Comilla district, media reported on Monday.

The attacks took place on Sunday after rumours were spread over loudspeakers that two youths had defamed Prophet Muhammad, bdnews24.com reported.

Locals and police said teachers and students of eight madrasas in Homna upazila led the assault on Hindus at Baghsitarampur village.

Twenty-eight families have been affected in the attacks.

A mob of nearly 3,000 carried out the attacks and looted belongings of the Hindus, most of whom were poor farmers and fishermen.

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