Urdu Daily: 150 Barelvi Clerics Ask Pakistani Government To End Option Of Life Sentence For Acts Of Blasphemy, Retain Death Penalty As Only Punishment

December 9, 2013

Sunni Tehreek, a Pakistani religious organization which follows the Barelvi school of Sunni Islam, has called for ending the possibility of life imprisonment in cases of blasphemy in Pakistani laws, meaning that only the death sentence would remain in effect. The following are excerpts from the report:

"150 clerics of the Sunni Tehreek Ulema Board have said that the punishment for blaspheming the prophet is only death sentence; awarding life sentence is against the sharia.

"The demand by the Federal Shariat Court to end the life sentence for committing blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad was endorsed, on an appeal from Sunni Tehreek chief Sarwat Ejaz Qadri, by the Sunni Tehreek Ulema Board's 150 clerics and muftis [who are qualified to issue fatwas or decrees], including:

"Mufti Ghufran Mahmood Sialwi, Pir Syed Wasimul Hasan Naqvi advocate, Mufti Liaqat Ali Rizvi, Mufti Muhammad Arif Chishti, Allama Mujahid Abdur Rasool Khan, Allama Khalilur Rahman Qadri, Mufti Ahmadyar Sialwi, Mufti Muhammad Haseeb Attari, Mufti Kamran Siddiqi, Mufti Riazur Rehman, Qazi Ghaniur Rehman, Allama Abdul Lateef Qadri, Allama Sher Muhammad Sialwi, Allama Saifullah Naqshbandi, Syed Abid Hussain Shah, Mufti Tanvir Ahmad Siddiqi, Allama Rabnawaz Jalali, Allama Riaz Ahmad Hazarwi, Allama Tariq Shahzad, Allama Sarfaraz Ahmad Chishti, Allama Shafaqt Naqshbandi, Allama Muhammad Hashim Mujaddedi, Allama Amanat Ali Haideri, Allama Atiqur Rehman Nashbandi, Allama Sharifuddin Qaddafi, Allama Muhammad Saleem Naqshbandi, Allama Ejaz Rasool, Sahibzada Ataur Rehman Dhanyal, Allama Ashfaq Ahmad Sabri, Allama Muhammad Asim Qureshi, Allama Abdul Hafeez Rizvi, Allama Sabeel Ahmed Hazarwi, Allama Bashir Ahmad Naqshbandi, Allama Shaukat Hussain Naqshbandi, Allama Syed Dilawar Hussain Shah and Allama Rafaqat Harooni.

"[They] demanded that the government end the death sentence by amending the Pakistan Penal Code. Sarwat Ejaz Qadri expressed concern that this issue has been kept in abeyance for 23 years. [The government] must explain the reason for not ending this sentence [of life in the cases of blasphemy acts] since the '90s when the Federal Shariat Court demanded it. Foreign dictation in the matters of Islamic law will not be accepted."

Source: Roznama Nai Baat (Pakistan), December 7, 2013

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