On Aug. 17, Religion-fueled violence broke out in Pakistan when two men allegedly disrespected the Quran.

The two men were accused of “desecrating the holy Quran and abusing the Prophet Mohammed,” said CNN. Videos showed smoke pervading the air as Christian churches and houses were destroyed by mobs. People were beaten, crosses were pushed off of roofs and Bibles were burnt. The mob was supposedly made up of primarily people from an Islamist political party called Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), but they denied their involvement.

Blasphemy laws have disappeared in the US because of the First Amendment, the right to exercise religion. However, blasphemy laws play a huge role in Pakistan and are still in place in other Muslim countries such as Iran, Afghanistan, Brunei, etc. Showing acts of disrespect towards set religion, God, doctrines, and writings, could result in a death sentence.

Pakistan and other Muslim countries need to abolish blasphemy laws. This law is outdated as it was written in 1927 under pressure from the Muslim community.  Religion should be something you want to believe in, not something you are forced to believe in. As a human, it is normal to look or hear something and not agree with it. Every human being should be allowed to practice any religion of their choosing.

 It’s absurd to think that a difference in opinion can cost someone their life and livelihood. 

Another issue on hand is that since blasphemy laws still thrive in certain countries, mobs are able to get away with murder. Pakistan and countries alike take pride in protecting their religion and ideas, rather than people. This is an issue because the ideas they protect are not universally held. It’s not ethical to put such a law on something like this when religion does not apply to everyone. 

A previous incident occurred in Pakistan in 2017 where a university student was beaten to death for something he had posted on Facebook according to Asad Hashim, writer for Aljazeera. He had gotten into an argument with some of his peers which led him to post something alleged to be critical of Islam. Before the student could be arrested or tried, his peers took matters into their own hands. Hundreds of students broke down the door of his dorm, stripped him naked, dragged him outside, and beat him in broad daylight.

Blasphemy laws should not be kept in place. This law is only causing damage to people.

“About 1,500 Pakistanis have been charged with blasphemy over the last three decades,” said the Los Angeles Times.

These countries must consider which act causes more harm, murder or blasphemy.


Reilly Sanborn can be contacted

at rsanborn@kscequinox.com

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