Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is facing a possible death sentence in Pakistan for hosting the “Draw Muhammad” day contest. Pakistani police have opened an investigation under a section of the penal code that carries the death sentence for blasphemy against the “prophet” Mohammed. Tragically, President Barack Obama can be cited by the Pakistanis as supporting such blasphemy laws — and their enforcement.
On May 19, Pakistani officials blocked access to Facebook and only lifted the ban on May 31 when Facebook removed the page in Pakistan and other countries.
Lawyer Muhammad Azhar Siddique filed an application for a First Information Report (FIR), under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code. Here is the code provision:
Use of derogatory remark etc, in respect of the Holy Prophet, whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable for fine.
We have previously discussed the Obama Administration appeasing Muslim allies by dropping the long opposition of the United States to an international blasphemy law. As noted in this earlier column, the Administration agreed to the concept of punishing those who insult religion. Western nations have been enforcing such principles with alarming regularly under discrimination, defamation, hate speech, and blasphemy laws. For earlier such example, click here, here, here, here, and here.
Siddique said he expects the police to contact Interpol about making arrangements for the arrest of Facebook’s owners.
An earlier death threat against the creators of South Park led the executives at Comedy Central to cave into demands and censor the show.
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