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As Toronto was getting ready in the first week of March to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Pakistan Minority Minister Shahbaz Bhatti's assassination, the Government of Pakistan hanged a man, Mumtaz Qadri, for the brutal murder of Punjab province's governor, Salman Taseer.
Now, you may not like Confess's music. You may not like that they've chosen to express themselves through a loud and vociferous medium. But that's just a matter of taste, not of principle. Consider this fundamental tenet of a free society: it is too dangerous to grant a monopoly over expression to any government.
Classical Islamic law interpretations stipulated death as a punishment when apostasy was combined with treason and rebellion against the state, not for blasphemy. This later position is more in line with the Quranic message of tolerance. The Quran further states that had God willed it He could have created all of humanity with the same beliefs.
An 11-year-old Pakistani girl with Downs Syndrome might be put to death for blasphemy. Killing people for expressing negative and/or dissenting views on religion, for burning Qurans, for writing letters -- is this Islam? No. In Islam, a law that penalizes a person for challenging or disparaging the religion -- is blasphemy itself.
In Sharia-benighted Pakistan, an 11-year-old Christian girl with Down's Syndrome has recently been incarcerated for blasphemy. Rimshah Masih allegedly burned pages of the Quran and other Islamic textbooks, including a Quran primer. The girl was found holding the charred pages. Unfortunately, Rimshah is not the only Pakistani facing such charges. Pakistanis collectively have shown little outrage at these travesties.