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Pakistan: Retired teacher arrested for offending Prophet’s companions – World News Network

Islamabad [Pakistan], July 11 (ANI): A retired Muslim teacher was arrested in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan after an FIR was filed against him claiming that the former teacher had posted material on social media which was disrespectful to the companions of Prophet Muhammad, Bitter Winter reported.
A retired Muslim teacher was arrested by the police in the Battagram of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa based on an FIR against him claiming that the former teacher had posted material on social media which was disrespectful to the companions of Prophet Muhammad.
Bitter Winter is an online magazine on religious liberty and human rights in China published by CESNUR, the Center for Studies on New Religions, headquartered in Torino, Italy.
The teacher was arrested on June 26 after the police acted promptly. Although the teacher insisted that he did not post anything disrespectful to Islam, his own religion, and perhaps his profile had been hacked, Bitter Winter reported.
This is an example of enforcement of Article 298-A of the Pakistani Criminal Code which prohibits any kind of disrespect against the wives of Prophet Muhammad.  
Article 298-A precedes in the Criminal Code the notorious Article 298-B, which includes a laundry list of discriminatory provisions against the Ahmadi religious minority.
Compared to provisions on blasphemy, which include the death penalty as punishment to those who offend the Prophet, Article 298-A threatens those who do not show enough respect to Muhammad’s wives, relatives, or companions with comparatively mild penalties, Bitter Winter reported.
Lawyers, however, warn that judges can always convert an accusation of disrespect into one of blasphemy at trial, with dire consequences for the defendants.
The case also shows that an “Internet police” in Pakistan is continuously looking for evidence of blasphemy or similar offences on social media. Sometimes, when they cannot find any anti-Islamic postings, activists fabricate them, Bitter Winter reported.
This news was written by Bitter Winter’s Massimo Introvigne. He is an Italian sociologist of religions. He is the founder and managing director of the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), an international network of scholars who study new religious movements. Introvigne is the author of some 70 books and more than 100 articles in the field of the sociology of religion. (ANI)


Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed of ANI; only the image & headline may have been reworked by News Services Division of World News Network Inc Ltd and Palghar News and Pune News and World News


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