Blasphemy Laws

A Cautionary Tale of Two Victims


Jakarta governor Ahok sentenced to two years in prison for blasphemy ... Jakarta’s Christian governor has been sentenced to two years in prison after a trial that was widely seen as a measure of religious pluralism in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.

The Guardian, May 9, 2017.

It all started with an opponent citing a verse from the Koran which he said warned Muslims against voting for a Christian.

Ahok said that was not true, and for denying the obvious he was tried for blasphemy. A crowd estimated at 200,000 marched through Jakarta, some demanding that he be put to death for claiming what we in the West, who do not know any better, take for granted.

Verses warning Muslims against associating with Christians, and that would include not voting for one, are "so numerous", to quote Abu Yusuf Riyadh-ul-Haq, an Islamic scholar based in the United Kingdom, "I can’t recite every one of them".

Saying a god did not really mean it will usually not get you killed if it is meant to soften some of the more hateful things gods may have inadvertently let slip. But not if that god is Allah. That is blasphemy of the worst kind, adding insult to injury, accusing the most omnipotent of omnipotent gods of not being clear in His instructions when He decreed that He is!

11:1 [This is] a Book with Verses which are elaborately formulated and clearly expounded from the Wise, the All-Aware.


In January 2016 as reported by the BBC, fifteen year old Qaiser was in a crowd celebrating the Prophet's birth at a mosque in a village in Pakistan. A cleric, having worked the crowd into a state of frenzy shouted, "Who among you is a follower of Muhammad?"

Everyone raised their hands.

"Who among you doesn't believe in the teachings of the Holy Prophet? Raise your hands!" he then bellowed.

The young Qaiser, thinking he was being asked if he believed in the teachings of the Holy Prophet, raised his hand. He was the only one to do so.

"BLASPHEMER" screamed the cleric!

The boy then ran home, which was only a few hundred yards from the mosque, and cut off the hand that had blasphemed God's Messenger, put it on a platter and bleeding profusely, returned to the gathering.

A birthday celebration then turned into a celebration of the boy who had cut off his hand as a show of love for the Prophet.

The only way we can stop the harm done to people for allegedly slandering ghosts is to make blasphemy a right not a crime.

Bernard Payeur