JSD Candidate Dawood Ahmed Discusses Pakistan's Blasphemy Law

Let’s Give Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law a Break
Dawood Ahmed
Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
March 20, 2013

In March 2013, a mob of 3000 rioting mostly young and middle aged men burned down dozens of Christian homes in Lahore. In July 2012, a mentally unstable man was torched alive for alleged blasphemy. In March 2011, a lunatic murdered a government minister who had criticized Pakistan’s blasphemy law.

Apparently, these tragic events would not have occurred if only there was no blasphemy law in Pakistan.

Or so we are told.

Amnesty International’s representative in Pakistan, Mustafa Qadri, claimed confidently in the Guardian that “[Pakistan’s] blasphemy laws…led to the murder of Salman Taseer”. Another Pakistani writer in the same paper wrote that a “girls’ school has been burned to the ground…because of this [law] of intolerance”. An op-ed in the Christian Post alleged that the blasphemy law “allows Islamists and others to justify killings”. Andrew Buncombe at the Independent also weighed in, commenting that “Pakistan’s minorities are under attack and the country’s blasphemy laws must share the blame”.