Abolishing Irish Blasphemy Law

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It's very relieving to know that Ireland is on the way to abolish or at least intending to abolish the blasphemy provision from its constitution. About the Irish Blasphemy, You can read the details from many recently published articles, for example, this one or this one but I would like to look at the blasphemy law from my perspective. How I felt while living under the regime which was very efficient in implementing the blasphemy laws.  I am referring to Pakistan here obviously.

The environment of a country that is driven by the laws against blasphemy is totally different than the one which is not.  Why, because everybody has this sense prevailing in the back of their head that their any unintentional action or word can also be construed to mean blasphemy even when it is not.
I would quote a few examples here, first of all, my personal one, when somebody like me comes out and expresses his opinion openly that sexual abuse of the religious students in the religious schools by their own teachers, is not right, is construed as blasphemy.

Secondly, When the Ex-Governor of Punjab, Pakistan, Salman Taseer,  was murdered just for pointing out the fact that the blasphemy laws of Pakistan were not drafted properly to give room to the detailed investigating process, he was considered a blasphemer and was murdered by his own guard.  

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Why because his attempt to call for a modification in the Blasphemy Laws of Pakistan was construed as an attempt to change the Divine Blasphemy law that is part of Islamic Teachings? Now when PEW Research centre says that the blasphemy laws of Pakistan are rooted in colonialism,

“In Pakistan, for instance, blasphemy statutes have their origins in the country’s colonial past, when British rulers first introduced penalties for insulting any religious beliefs. These laws remained in effect after Pakistan’s independence in 1947 and have since increased in severity.”

This is, if not completely, then partially incorrect, they are based on the Islamic Laws of Blasphemy, Ex-Governor was murdered because of the religious sentiments attached to that Divine law, People thought he was talking about Islamic Blasphemy law. Actually, he was referring to the blasphemy provisions found in The Constitutions of Pakistan and Pakistan Penal Code,  which were enacted by the National Assembly of Pakistan. He wanted to make the requirement of proof more stringent and the procedure more investigative. In his own words
“The thing I find disturbing is that if you examine the cases of the hundreds tried under this law, you have to ask how many of them are well-to-do? Why is it that only the poor and defenceless are targeted? How come over 50 per cent of them are Christians when they form less than 2 per cent of the country’s population. This points clearly to the fact that the law is misused to target minorities.”
“The blasphemy law is not a God-made law. It’s a man-made law. It was made by General Ziaul Haq and the portion about giving a death sentence was put in by Nawaz Sharif. So it’s a law which gives an excuse to extremists and reactionaries to target weak people and minorities.”
His own guard killed him. This is a blasphemy driven mindset.
Thirdly When a student of Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan(Pakistan), was murdered by a mob of religiously charged, blasphemy mindset driven crowd, in the broad daylight, in the college ground, in front of hundreds of spectators, with mobile videos as a proof of their novel deed, due to a mere allegation of blasphemy, which later was proved to be false, is actually referring to the point where you reach when you are driven by false sentiments of blasphemy.

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Here, let me clarify myself that I am not saying, we should not respect religions, I am not at all saying that, but criticising any harmful practice of any religion should not be construed as blasphemy. It is the development of civilized culture which develops with a thought process and by pointing out the flaws in various cultures. Blasphemy driven mindset can never leave enough room to let the civilized norms nurture through discussion or a thought process and the brutality which comes as a part of this blasphemy driven mindset is one of its own kind when committers of crime actually think that they are doing some novel deed and they have the right to punish anybody who thinks otherwise or alleged to have thought otherwise.

I would never want to see such an environment in Ireland. It is such a lovely nation and beautiful country. People don't care about small petty issues. They have a tendency to forgive small mistakes, they are welcoming of new cultures and religions. They are very hospitable and open-hearted. I would never, ever want to see such a lovely nation to be driven by any of the sentiments of the likes of blasphemy mindset.

And fortunately, we  (If you allow me to include myself with you) have this chance to say yes to the upcoming referendum of blasphemy on 26th of October 2018, where Irish Government after almost one and a half century of its inception from the common law and then creeping into the constitution of 1937, is trying to get rid of it.  This is our chance and if this time we don't succeed, we might not get this chance again. And believe me, there are many forces out there who are trying their best to win a no vote to keep it a part of our constitution.

So I would request you to please get rid of this blasphemy driven mindset and take a leap forward and stand in line with topnotch civilised nations on the planet. We are civilised already but this little bump has the ability to become a roadblock on the road to achieving the epitome of civilised norms of the Today's world. I vote yes for the abolishment of this provision from the constitution of Ireland. Are You With Me? 

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