.... The power of extremist groups, and the acquiescence of politicians, has had a big impact on the direction of public discussion in Pakistan. The targeting of anyone who speaks out about blasphemy laws has had a chilling effect, and even outspoken liberal voices are reluctant to make the case for reform publicly. Several years ago, while living in Karachi, I wrote on the subject for one of Pakistan’s leading liberal English-language newspapers. The editors decided not to publish it because the subject was deemed too risky.
[A TOP RATED COMMENT] And those of us fortunate to live in modern societies must fight this at every level. We should sanction Islamic regimes who kill blasphemers and apostates, and we should resist the pressure for censorship at home. Next time let's hope the Guardian prints the cartoons.
[ANOTHER] It is utterly crazy, and not a little frightening, that a country with a nuclear capability clings to outmoded and outdated religious beliefs within their laws.
While Pakistan allows religious belief to influence its laws and politics to this extreme then we need to be very careful about our dealings with them.
[ANOTHER] "Asia Bibi’s death penalty is far from just". Understatement of the year.
Why not have a headline that actually reflects what's in the article? Something like "Bibi's death penalty is at outrage to civilisation" or "Bibi's Death penalty shows religious intolerance at its worst" or "shows Pakistan to be as barbaric as ISIS". [The Guardian] Read more