blasphemy: Pakpolis arrests four for blasphemy over mosque arguments

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistani police has arrested four Muslim men on blasphemy charges near the eastern city of Lahore after an argument with a local priest, who refused to make a funeral announcement for a Christian neighbor from the speaker on mosque where he was prayer leader.
The incident occurred in the village of Khodi Khushal Singh in central Punjab on November 18, local police officer Faryad told reporters on Thursday. “The men have been arrested and presented to the court,” he added.
According to the first police report, the men had an argument with the priest after he refused to make funeral announcements for a Christian man from his mosque. “As soon as they (accused people) arrived at the mosque, they started cursing the mosque’s imam (religious priest), disrespecting the mosque and insulting Islam“, It was stated in the police report.
The four men were charged in accordance with ยงยง 295 and 298 Pakistans penal code, which carries a penalty of up to two years in prison.
Blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan, and although no one has ever been executed for it, dozens have been killed by mob after being accused of the crime. False accusations of blasphemy, often motivated by personal revenge or religious hatred, are widespread in the country. In most cases, such accusations are highly inflammatory and have the potential to trigger lynchings of bullies, vigilance killings and mass protests. Since 1990, at least 79 people have been killed in violent incidents triggered by accusations of blasphemy.


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