Christians protest ‘blasphemous’ remarks
LAHORE: A section of the minority Christian community in Pakistan has denounced comments about Jesus Christ published in a leading Pakistani English-language newspaper (not Daily Times) in a book review on November 21, as blasphemous, derogatory and hurtful to not only Christians but also Muslims. The review was originally published in the British press and then carried by the Pakistani paper.
The minority spokesmen lamented that the state failed to take action against the newspaper for publishing a review of the controversial book “Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown, which carries “derogatory remarks” about Jesus. It claims that the Christ “secretly married and had a son”.
They demanded that the newspaper be closed, for which they threatened protests outside the Lahore Press Club and other important places. “We being Pakistani Christians know that remarks against religions are banned in Pakistan,” they said.
“We never say anything about the West where many infidels write against Jesus and other holy figures,” said Bishop Dr Major (r) Nasir of the Presbyterian Church and Raja Nathaniel Gill of the Pakistan Christian Party at a press conference arranged by the Grand Christian Alliance at Lahore Press Club on Friday evening.
“We contacted the federal ministries of Religious Affairs and Information and Broadcasting but, unfortunately, there was no proper response,” they said, adding that they were shocked to see “derogatory” words reach print without being filtered.
“If any blasphemous comment by Salman Rushdi or Taslima Nasreen had appeared in a Christian-owned publication, Muslims would have burnt the office, murdered the editor and filed a case under Section 295 C,” they said, citing the example of another English language newspaper some years ago.