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Pakistan: Muslims ask imam to make funeral announcement for Christian; they argue, and are charged with blasphemy

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Were they charged for arguing the imam or for calling for kindness to a Christian? That is not entirely clear. They are accused of “cursing the mosque’s imam, they disrespected the mosque and they insulted Islam,” but that’s as specific as the reports get at this point.

“Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are ruthless against the unbelievers and merciful among themselves.” (Qur’an 48:29)

“Pakistani police arrest four for ‘blasphemy’ over mosque argument,” Al Jazeera, November 25, 2021:

Pakistani police have arrested four men charged with blasphemy after they argued with an ‘imam’ (religious cleric) over whether a funeral announcement for a Christian neighbour could be made from a mosque, officials say.

The case occurred in the village of Khodi Khushal Singh, near the eastern city of Lahore, on November 18, a local police official Faryad, who goes by one name, told Al Jazeera on Thursday.

“The men have been detained and we have presented them before the court,” he said.

The men, who were Muslim, argued with a local cleric after he refused to make a funeral announcement for a Christian man from his mosque, the initial police report says.

“As soon as they arrived [at the mosque], they started cursing the mosque’s imam, they disrespected the mosque and they insulted Islam,” reads the report….

Pakistani human rights activists have decried the case against the four men as being unfounded.

“If there was a Muslim who in good faith wants to have an announcement such as this made in the community, it’s not an attack on someone’s faith, it’s a good cause,” said human rights activist and lawyer Nadeem Anthony.

“So if someone announces [a funeral] on a loudspeaker, how is it a religious violation?”

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