The recent joint letter proposed by the All Faiths Network and signed by 27 participants to our Roundtable (13 organizations and 14 individuals) about blasphemy laws in Pakistan and sent to Pakistan Prime Minister, which can be read here:
https://forbroundtable.org/post/re-pakistan-s-blasphemy-laws, has received media coverage in the newspaper New Europe.
You can read the article by Elena Pavlovska on New Europe’s website here:
The article reads:
The Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) Roundtable Brussels-EU, a civil society initiative who gathers regularly to exchange ideas with the EU institutions to discuss the religious freedoms, sent a letter to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on 23 July expressing their grave concern about the South Asian country’s blasphemy laws which impose strict punishments on those who desecrate the Quran or who defame or insult the Muslim Prophet Mohammad.
Around 98% of Pakistan’s 218 million people are members of the official state religion, Islam, making it the second-most populous Muslim country in the world. Although the government has never executed a person under the laws, public accusations, alone, have inspired numerous acts of reprisal violence against those who have been mentioned as potential blasphemers.
In the FoRB Roundtable’s letter to Khan, which was signed by multiple organisations and individuals, the organisation demanded that increased efforts be made to improve inter-religious cooperation in Pakistan and to provide citizens who are not Muslims with guarantees that their rights will be protected by the courts and that they will no longer subject to reprisals by certain sectors of society or from members of the country’s law enforcement agencies.
“It is our view that blasphemy laws – including both their clauses and references – should be repealed and replaced by laws that call for respecting all religions and place proportionate legal penalties on hate speech or any intent to cause physical harm or commit acts of violence against an individual based on a disagreement with another’s belief,” the FoRB Roundtable’s letter reads… Read more