Pakistan Atheist & secular groups have become a headache for religious authorities people are posting lot of material about Islam & questioning it. As we know the one who questions & criticises Islam on its basics is considered a blasphemer. I believe that black blasphemy law must be abolished from the constitution because it’s been misused many times & if somebody talks & debate on it is also considered a blasphemer.
In Pakistan nobody is allowed to question the Islamic history. Its considered a sin & Religious authorities know very well that if it is exposed their bread & butter on the name of Allah would stop. Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiquie of Islamabad High Court has remarked that those involved in uploading blasphemous content on social media are terrorist. When women are killed kids are raped in madrasas such people never issue any statement. During that he got into tears. He said If government can’t block such blasphemous pages then Pakistan Tele-Communication authority should be shut down. Then He ordered Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar to appear before the court in person.
He also said that If we need to close the entire social media on this count then we will do so Before we were surviving without it & we can survive in future as well. This judge considers Mumtaz Qadri (the killer of late Salman Taseer) as a hero he also issued a statement against valentine’s Day.
On September 17, 2012, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority blocked youtube in Pakistan because the trailer of Sam Bacile’sInnocence of Muslims was not removed then in January 2016 this ban was lifted.
I think if Government of Pakistan bans social media on religious pressure it would be a attack on freedom of expression.
Pakistan is a country where we can’t openly discuss our societal issues. A Garrison State where nobody is allowed to criticize the state policies & religion. In this case social media is the light of hope which allows people to exchange & debate new ideas & thoughts.
The People who criticize the Islamic jihadi worm they are bullied online even such people are abducted by the state as we know 5 bloggers were abducted in January 2017 then on international pressure they were released one of them is still missing.
Islamic terrorism has become a serious threat to the world. According to a news report by VOA, majority of Islamic terrorist attacks happened in Muslim states. Pakistan is a country which has suffered heavily from terrorism in past few decades. More than 40,000 Pakistanis have been killed in terrorism between 2000 and 2016.
Combating of terrorism necessitates eliminating its root causes because military operation alone will not bring sustainable peace. But the government has started a new war against irreligion in Pakistan because they believe that atheism is far more ‘dangerous’ than terrorism!
The recent crackdown against Pakistani freethinkers began when some religious extremists filed a petition in Islamabad High Court. The petitioners requested the court to take notice of ‘blasphemy’ on social media. Justice Shaukat Aziz, who is a hardline conservative Muslim overreacted to the case. He equated ‘blasphemer’ atheists with terrorists in his remarks. The extremist judge threatened law enforcement agencies and media regulatory authorities to remove what he believes ‘blasphemous’ content from social media or face contempt of court charges.
It is pertinent to mention here that Justice Shaukat Aziz Saddique is the same judge who had put a complete ban on Valentine’s Day celebrations in Pakistan earlier this year. Justice Saddique is a very controversial person. Besides being an extremist Muslim, corruption references have also been filed against him in the same court.
Aftermath of Islamabad High Court ruling on social media blasphemy proved disastrous for Pakistani atheist minority. Hundreds of ‘un-Islamic’ websites were blocked in Pakistan. Several social media pages, groups and accounts of ex Muslim atheists have also been suspended. Pakistani authorities are warning public to refrain from ‘blasphemy’ in cyberspace or they could face death sentence for ‘insulting’ Islam.
I’ve never insulted Prophet Muhammad or Islam on social media. I just criticize my ex religion in a polite way but I’m still receiving abusive and threatening messages. Someone has reported this ‘non blasphemous’ atheist post on my timeline to FIA Cyber Crime Cell for no apparent reason.
Law Enforcement Agencies arrested atheist bloggers for blasphemy. Ayaz Nizami, the vice president of Atheist & Agnostic Alliance Pakistan (AAP) is among those who have been arrested in state’s crackdown against irreligion. Mr. Nizami is an ex Muslim scholar who renounced Islam many years ago. He works for equal human rights and to end controversial laws often used to persecute minorities in Pakistan. He’s never posted any disrespectful remarks about Islam on social media. As a matter of fact, he has been jailed just for organizing Pakistani Atheists. His remarkable research regarding Islam in Urdu language is something Pakistanis couldn’t tolerate because we’re becoming an increasingly intolerant society. Freethinker bloggers like Ayaz Nizami are being trailed in anti-terrorist courts — that’s adding insult to injury!
But what makes us terrorists? We don’t kill people, rape women and children, rob banks or even encourage violence on social media, yet they call us ‘terrorists’. And this is not just the government but common Pakistani Muslims are also going crazy over social media ‘blasphemy’. Soon after the authorities confirmed arresting atheist bloggers, #HangAyazNizami hash tag became the top trend on social media.
Top Hats and Champaign, a famous YouTube channel explains in this video why Pakistanis demand to publicly ‘hang’ Ayaz Nizami just for being an atheist in a ‘Muslim’ state. Where extremists and even so called ‘moderate’ Muslims are demanding death sentence for atheist bloggers, we don’t see any secular human rights activist in Pakistan playing his role to save their lives.
Nobody in my country demands ‘public hanging’ for convicted terrorists, murderers, rapists and pedophiles but they believe that ex Muslim atheists should learn harsh ‘lessons’ for criticizing Islam. Blasphemy law is often used to victimize minorities and influential religious people use it to settle their personal matters. When someone tries to bring reforms in these controversial and inhuman laws, he also becomes the victim of Islamic extremism. This madness should be ended. Atheism is not a crime; there’s no law in Pakistan against renouncing Islam or ‘apostasy’. However, the reality is quite different. We have to live undercover; we can’t publicly renounce Islam. It’s officially forbidden for a Muslim to convert to another religion or become an atheist.
Muslims are allowed to preach Islam and build their mosques in non-Muslim countries of North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. So there’s nothing wrong if we promote our peaceful and modern ideology in Islamic states like Pakistan. International organizations for human rights should take notice of deteriorating human rights situation in Pakistan. Amnesty International is against death penalty for any crime and these innocent bloggers have been accused of something which isn’t even a real crime. Nothing is more important than human rights and free speech is everyone’s basic right in today’s world!