A Christian rights body has filed an application for registration of a blasphemy case against the central leader of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Mirza Masroor Ahmad for allegedly uttering ‘blasphemous’ remarks against Christ.
The controversial blasphemy law of Pakistan is often used to settle personal scores, particularly against members of religious minorities but this is a unique case where both persecuted minorities are face to face.
An officer of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Lahore confirmed to Religion Observer they have received an application and would proceed according to the required provisions of the law.
This case, even if it is registered, would have no consequences on Masroor Ahmad as he, like his predecessors, has settled in the UK since his 2003 election as the head of the Jamaat.
Aslam Parvaiz Sahotra, the complainant, in his application stated that he is the leader of Lahore-based Christian human rights body Masiha Millat Party. He said on his Facebook account he found a video recording of Mirza Msroor uttering derogatory remarks against Jesus Christ and challenging the Christian’s central ideology of the second coming of Christ.
He said by doing it, the accused had committed blasphemy and hurt the religious sentiments of Christians and Muslims alike. He said Masroor and all of his followers involved in recording and widely circulating his video recording in Pakistan should be booked under the blasphemy law and exemplary punishment should be given to them. As supporting evidence, Sahotra has handed over the FIA officials a copy of that video recording along with the application.
As Pakistani society is turning more conservative because of religious populist politics, the hardline version of religion is claiming more space in public life. A few days ago the parliament of Pakistan made the blasphemy law more stricter.
The former government of Punjab Salman Taseer and former federal minister Shehbaz Bhatti were assassinated on allegations of blasphemy. Former prime ministers Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif were attacked on the basis of the same reasons. Some of the politicians raise allegations of blasphemy against each other to get rid of each other by instigating vigilantes.