Muslims denounce violence, abuse of blasphemy laws
LAHORE - Muslim clerics have condemned ongoing violence in Pakistan and acknowledged Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws have been misused in the past. "Islam does not approve of terrorism in the cloak of jihad,” Allama Rjee Allah Khan, a Muslim cleric, told a Nov. 20 peace conference. "We do not want the Taliban’s version of Islam. A terrorist has no religion.”
More than 150 Christians, Muslims and Sikhs attended the conference, titled "I promote peace. Do you?” The HAC Alliance, a coalition of three NGOs -- Human Friends Organization, Awaz-e-Niswan (Voice of Women), and CATHE Foundation -- organized the event.
Conference program manager Neena Noreen said the blasphemy laws, which prescribe the death penalty for insults to the Prophet Muhammad and up to life imprisonment for acts against the Qur’an were discussed.
"The clerics, in their speeches, mentioned that blasphemy laws are being misused. This is progress in the struggle toward recognition of the multi-religious situation in Pakistan,” she said (...)