Blasphemy case against Younis Masih: Extremists demand immediate hanging of blasphemer
By Ali Waqar
LAHORE: Difa-e-Islam Mahaz (Front for Islam’s defence), an alliance of 22 Sunni religious organisations, demanded that alleged blasphemer Younis Masih be given the death sentence.
Dozens of Mahaz activists and Kainchi Amer Sidhu residents staged a peaceful demonstration outside the Lahore Press Club on Monday and displayed placards with slogans ‘Hang the blasphemer’, ‘Blasphemer of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) must be hanged immediately’ and ‘We are ready to sacrifice everything for the defence and protection of the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) dignity’.
Mahaz speakers opposed the recent amendment made in the Criminal Procedural Code of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) that a superintendent of police must investigate the blasphemy case before lodging the first information report. They declared the amendment “anti-Islamic” and demanded the restoration of the original procedure for registering blasphemy cases.
“The Mahaz is not against the Christian community but want to punish the culprit. We are also ready to lodge a blasphemy case against any Muslim who commits blasphemy against Christ or his mother Mariam (AS),” said Mahaz speaker Irfan Shah.
They said that they would continue their struggle till Masih was sentenced to death.
Recently, the Waheed Park community in the Kainchi Amer Sidhu approached religious organisations Tehrik-e-Khatame-Nabbowat and Difa-e-Islam Mahaz, to press the government to sentence the alleged blasphemer.
Factory Area police registered a blasphemy case under Section 295 C of the PPC against Younis Masih (40), a resident of Kainchi Amer Sidhu, on September 10 after he allegedly made derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) at a qawali.
According to witnesses, Christians and Muslims beat up Masih after the qawali because he refused to take back his words. Masih was sent to jail on September 11.
Meanwhile, Punjab Minority Affairs Minister Joyce Rufin said the conduct of the offender was deplorable.
“Any person who intentionally disrupts the atmosphere of peace and harmony between Muslims and Christians, needs to be punished by the law,” Rufin said in a statement on Monday. Rufin directed authorities concerned to investigate the matter fairly.