Pakistani police arrested four people for “blasphemy” mosque quarrel | Religious News

Four Muslim men were accused of blasphemy after quarreling with religious clergy who refused to declare funerals for Christians.

Pakistani police arrested four men on suspicion of crime Blasphemy The officials said that after they argued with an “imam” (religious clergy) whether it was possible to announce the funeral for Christian neighbors in the mosque.

The case occurred on November 18 in the village of Khodi Khushal Singh near the eastern city of Lahore, a local police official named Fariad told Al Jazeera on Thursday.

“These people have been detained and we have submitted them to court,” he said.

The initial police report stated that these people were Muslims, and after a local clergyman refused to hold a funeral announcement for a Christian in his mosque, he had a dispute with the local clergyman.

“As soon as they arrive [at the mosque], They began to curse the imams of the mosque, they did not respect the mosque and insulted Islam,” the report reads.

Blasphemy is a sensitive topics In Pakistan, strict blasphemy laws provide for mandatory Sentenced to death For some forms of crime​​.

The four men were charged under Articles 295 and 298 of the Pakistani Criminal Code and could be sentenced to up to two years in prison.

Pakistan has never executed criminals under the blasphemy law, but accusations of crimes are increasingly leading to mobs or personal murders. According to Al Jazeera’s statistics, since 1990, at least 79 people have been killed in such violent incidents.

Pakistani human rights activists condemned the allegations against the four men as baseless.

“If there is a Muslim who sincerely wishes to make such a statement in the community, it is not an attack on someone’s beliefs, but a good cause,” said Nadim Anthony, a human rights activist and lawyer.

“So if someone announces [a funeral] On the loudspeaker, how can this be considered a religious violation? “

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