Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Salman Rushdie Attacked Know What Islam Or Quran Says About Blasphemy

Salman Rushdie Stabbed: Salman Rushdie is in news. This time he is in discussion not because of his ‘controversial writing’ but because of the deadly attack on him. Rushdie was attacked last Friday night at 8.30 pm when he arrived at the Chautauqua Institution in rural New York to deliver a speech at a summertime lecture series.

Salman Rushdie has always been known as a ‘controversial writer’. He has also received death threats several times. The biggest allegation against him is regarding his book ‘The Satanic Verses’. This book came out in 1988 and this book was heavily opposed in many Muslim-majority countries. He was accused of blasphemy for this book. Iran was so angry that the country’s top leaders had threatened to behead them. Not only this, he had also promised to reward those who did so.

Now whether the strings of this attack on Salman are related to Iran or not, it is a matter of investigation, but whenever it comes to blasphemy, the question arises that what is blasphemy and what are the laws regarding it in Muslim-majority countries? It is also important to know here what the Qur’an says about blasphemy. So let’s find out…

what is blasphemy

Blasphemy, which is called BLASPHEMY in English, to understand it in simple words, is to make fun of the faith of any religion or religion. This means that when a person insults the symbols, symbols, holy things of any religion, then it is considered as blasphemy.

The news of the murder of the blasphemer is heard many times. In February 2006, Charlie Hebdo published a cartoon of Islam’s prophet Muhammad, which is considered blasphemous in Islam. After this, two attackers attacked the office of the magazine and killed 12 people. One such gruesome incident came to light when a teacher was murdered by slitting his throat in France. The teacher showed a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad to his students.

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After such incidents it becomes important that we know about the laws of Muslim countries regarding blasphemy. Countries with strict laws regarding blasphemy include Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and even Italy. According to the report of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, Pakistan has the second strictest blasphemy law in the world after Iran.

strict laws in pakistan

When it comes to blasphemy, the first thing that comes to mind is that of India’s neighboring country, Pakistan. In Sheikhpura, Pakistan, the first woman to be sentenced to death for blasphemy was Asiya Bibi. In June 2009, Asia gave fellow farm workers water to drink. They refused to take water from her because she was a Christian and believed that the water was contaminated by her mere touch. A debate ensued between Asia Bibi and other workers there. Both sides defended their religion. Reportedly, during this time Asiya insulted the Prophet Muhammad.

A few days after Asiya’s alleged statement, a crowd gathered outside her house. He was later accused of blasphemy. Asiya Bibi spent eight years in jail. But then the Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted him, holding him innocent. Protests against this decision took place in Pakistan.

Unfortunately, when it comes to religious violence in Pakistan, the case of Asia Bibi is not just one. The governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, Salman Taseer, was assassinated by one of his own police guards for taking a public stand against blasphemy laws. Apart from him, Shahbaz Bhatti, who was the Minister of Minority Affairs of Pakistan, was shot dead outside his house in Islamabad. Bhatti was a vocal critic of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

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Now who does not know the story of Professor Junaid Hafeez of Pakistan. In December 2019, he was sentenced to death for blasphemy. He was accused of insulting Prophet Muhammad on Facebook.

More than 1500 people in Pakistan are facing charges of blasphemy law in the last three decades. Since 1990, at least 70 people have been murdered by mobs who were accused of insulting Islam. Among those killed is Professor Junaid Hafeez’s lawyer.

Saudi Arab

Among the Muslim-majority countries that have strict laws regarding blasphemy, there is also a Sunni-majority country Saudi Arabia. Here Islamic law Sharia is applicable. There is a death penalty for blasphemy here. A new law was made in Saudi Arabia in 2014. According to this law, ‘promoting atheism in any form and raising questions about the basic principles of Islam on which this country is founded will be considered terrorism.’ Such people are killed.


Like Pakistan and Saudi, Iran also has strict laws regarding blasphemy. In 2012, a new penal code was introduced in Iran. In this a new section was added for blasphemy. According to the new section, the death penalty has been fixed for those who do not believe in religion and insult the religion. Under section 260 of the new code, if any person condemns the Prophet-e-Islam or any other prophet, he will be punished with death.

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Not only this, under this section, the punishment for condemning the 12 imams of Shia Firqa and the daughter of Prophet Islam is also death.

Strict laws regarding blasphemy in 32 majority Muslim countries

Of the 71 countries that have declared blasphemy a crime, 32 are majority Muslim countries. The punishment varies according to the laws of these countries. Blasphemy is punishable by death in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania and Saudi Arabia. Italy has the strictest blasphemy law among non-Muslim countries, where the maximum sentence is three years in prison.

Half of the world’s 49 Muslim-majority countries have additional laws banning apostasy, meaning people could be punished for leaving Islam.

There is no mention of punishment for blasphemy in the Qur’an

In the Quran, the holy book of the followers of Islam, sacrilege is not considered a crime. It contains many verses that encourage peace, freedom of conscience and religious tolerance. Chapter 2 of the Qur’an, verse 256, states, “There is no coercion in religion.”

At the same time, Chapter 4, verse 140 urges Muslims not to engage in mere blasphemous conversations. It says- “When you hear from someone that you have rejected God, do not sit with them.”

The Qur’an tells us that the contemporary opponents of the prophets did exactly what is today called blasphemy. For centuries the prophets have been criticized by their contemporaries. Contemporaries used words like liar, fool and conspirator for the Prophet but the Prophet did not punish him but gave the message of love which is at the foundation of Islam.

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