Pakistan: Ismaili Muslim accused of Blasphemy

Naushad Valiyani

As protests and appeals for the freedom of Asia Bibi mount, the controversial blasphemy law has claimed another victim from a religious minority, this time of the Ismaili Muslim sect that is headed by the Aga Khan. The episode proves, if proof were ever needed, how the blasphemy law harms Pakistani civil society of. The incident took place in Hyderabad, the second city of the province of Sindh. Naushad Walyani, a doctor, is in prison for a seemingly trivial gesture. A pharmaceutical salesman, Muhammed Faizan, visited him on December 9 to sell certain products. The doctor ”after taking the business card of the sales representative threw it in the trash” writes a local newspaper. Clearly annoyed by the gesture, Faizan returned later with some colleagues to “teach the doctor a lesson”. A violent quarrel broke out between the two. 

The agent threatened to report the doctor for blasphemy for not respecting the sacred name engraved on the business card. According to local media reports, on December 10 Faizal’s colleagues attacked the doctor, who, following a complaint to police under the Blasphemy Act was arrested and is now awaiting trial. His apology and the assurance that he “had no intention of insulting the Prophet by throwing the card in the trash’ has served no purpose. The complaint was supported by local religious leaders.

Others say he is Shia.

In any case, the accusation is absolutely ridiculous…

3 comments on “Pakistan: Ismaili Muslim accused of Blasphemy

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