[Pakistani barbarity in the name of “Islam” rivals the worst of ISIS or Saudi Arabia. True BLASPHEMY is murder, maiming and torture in the name of any cause, even the invisible ones.]
- AFP, Lahore
The 15-year-old cut off his hand in accordance with Pakistan’s notoriously strict blasphemy laws. (Representative PhotoA 15-year-old Pakistani boy cut off his own hand believing he had committed blasphemy, only to be celebrated by his parents and neighbours for the act, police said on Friday.
Local police chief Nausher Ahmed told AFP how an imam told a gathering at a village mosque that those who love the Prophet Mohammad always say their prayers, then asked who among the crowd had stopped praying.
Mohammad Anwar, 15, raised his hand by mistake after apparently mishearing the question.
The crowd swiftly accused him of blasphemy so he went to his house and cut off the hand he had raised, put it on a plate, and presented it to the cleric, the police chief added.
The incident took place at a village in Hujra Shah Muqeem district, some 125 kilometres (77 miles) south of Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, about four days ago, according to the policeman.
Ahmed said that he has seen a video in which the boy is greeted by villagers in the street as his parents proclaim their pride.
No complaint has been made, he said, so no police report has been filed and there will be no investigation.
Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in Pakistan, an Islamic republic of some 200 million, where even unproven allegations frequently stir mob violence and lynchings.
Critics including European governments say the country’s blasphemy laws are often misused to settle personal scores.
The Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Bill 2014, which would have made it more difficult for children to marry, was quickly withdrawn on Thursday by Marvi Menon of the Pakistan Muslim League party.
The decision to pull the plug on the anti-pedophilia bill was triggered by CII speaking out against the idea. The council provides advice for lawmakers on whether the newly proposed laws comply with Sharia laws.
The proposed legislation was shut down in its infancy on “purely religious grounds,” The Express Tribune reported.
CII Chairman Mohammad Khan Sheerani said the proposed law contradicted Islamic teachings.
“Parliament cannot create legislation that is against the teachings of the Holy Quran or Sunnah,” Sheerani had.
According to Pakistan’s Constitution, the CII Chairman has the final say in the Council and can overrule all of the other members. Even though the CII rulings have no power over Parliament, lawmakers take its suggestions as guidance when passing laws.
The move to withdraw the new bill goes against Pakistan’s pledge to end child marriages by 2030.
The rejected bill would have introduced tougher punishments for those entering into marriage with minors, including prison terms for up to two years. It also proposed raising the minimum age for marriage up to 18.
Current legislation is already in violation of Islamic law, according to CII, since it requires a minimum age of 16 for girls to marry.
In contrast, the CII believes that girls as young as nine could be married off, “if the signs of puberty are visible,” according to a May 2014 statement.
Over 21 percent of Pakistani girls enter into marriages before they turn 18, according to the organization Girls Not Brides.