Friday, 19 September 2014

Liberal professor of Islam Gunned down after being accused of "Apostasy" and "Blasphemy"

PAKISTAN:A professor of Islam known for his liberal religious views was gunned down in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area of Karachi Thursday 18 September,2014 after a Madrassah issued a Fatwa (Islamic Decree) relating to alleged blasphemy and apostasy against Dr.Muhammad Shakeel Auj.According to officials it was told that he was accused of "apostasy" and " blasphemy"two years ago.
Dr.Auj had issued controversial fatwas (religious decrees) declaring for example that a Muslim woman could marry a non-Muslim man, and that women need not remove lipstick or nail polish before saying their prayers. Due to such views he was accused of apostasy and blasphemy.

Dr.Auj was fighting a legal case against the originator of a widely-circulated text message that called him an apostate.Colleagues alleged his predecessor was to blame. At the time he opened the case, he told police: “It has endangered my life and on the basis of the propaganda I could be murdered.”

 "I strongly condemns the killing of Dr.Auj and demands the arrest of his killers”,told Advocate Sardar Mushjtaq Gill,Human Rights Defender and Chief of LEAD.He further added that it was sad to know that Dr.Auj showed his fear of killing but even then the Government did not provide him security and has failed to protect peace promoters.

Blasphemy offence is punishable by death under Penal Law, and accusations of blasphemy have inspired a rising tide of vigilante killings in recent years that are seen as a sign of growing intolerance in the country.

Mr.Gill says the laws are frequently abused in pursuit of personal or professional grudges and many accused are languishing in jails in wait of justice.

Asia Bibi death convicted in blasphemy is in wait of justice and she is also languishing in jail since her accusation.Her appeal case is pending in Lahore High Court for decision in which next date of hearing is fixed October 16,2014.

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