First things first, let this be cleared once and for all that under no circumstances whether a person is a Muslim or a non-Muslim, whether it is according to Islam or the laws of Pakistan, no individual or mob has the right to murder anyone if he/she is accused of blaspheming our Noble Prophet Muhammad (SAW), period! The state alone has the authority through its judiciary system to try anyone accused of this crime. The law of the jungle is not to be permitted in this country.

Street justice is not a part of Islam or the legal system of Pakistan. It is the state that is responsible for carrying out justice through fair trial.

The tragic death of Mashal Khan, a student of Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, was received by the whole nation with shock and awe. It is condemned in the strongest of terms. But the purpose of this article is not to judge whether Mashal Khan was actually guilty of the accusations or not, rather it is to address the issue that there are perpetrators who are exploiting Mashal Khan’s death for their own benefits. The people who hasten towards spitting the filth and hatred rooted deep down in their conscience.

Moderation is an integral part of ones intellect. Holding a balanced view displays the wisdom a person possesses.

Yusuf Islam aka Cat Stevens

As was also beautifully put by a renowned American president:

“Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

This article intends to suggest the path an enlightened individual is supposed to take in a very sensitive situation where the blasphemy of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) may have taken place.

Mashal Khan’s demise has once again brought to light the two extreme perceptions prevalent in our society. On one hand, are the fanatics who under the influence of their love for our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) take actions as unfortunate as in the case of Mashal Khan. They fail to realize that Islam has not taught us that for any reason whatsoever no individual or group has the right to take the law in their own hands. Street justice is not a part of Islam or the legal system of Pakistan. It is the state that is responsible for carrying out justice through fair trial.

Imagine a society where street justice is the way of the people. What we will see is rape of those close to the rapist, murder of the one who has murdered and stealing from the one who steals from others etc. Is this what Islam has taught us? Or is this the law of our nation?

Most of the media has been continuously using the cloak of Mashal Khan’s lynching and exploiting it for criticizing the blasphemy law. Especially, BBC Urdu had been vehemently doing this propaganda. Extremist liberals under the same cloak are trying to portray the bloggers and social media activists such as Bhensa as being innocent.

On the other hand are those people whose favourite game is to play with the word “Extremism”. With just one wave of their wand they obliterate everything in their path. They slander the government, law enforcement agencies, Islam, the legal system of Pakistan, the Army and many a times belief in Islam itself.

Amidst all of this madness these self-righteous people fail to realize that their own views are also of very extreme nature. They say everything that this great nation stands for and object to almost every tenet of Islam just in the name of freedom of speech. No matter what such extremist liberals may say but the fact is that they only believe in freedom of speech unless it offends them or their self-innovated ideals.

Freedom of speech does not entail spoiling the honour of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), period! So if some fanatics who went berserk and lynched Mashal Khan then it is a heinous crime that they committed but this does not mean that the actual blasphemers should be pardoned and neither does this mean that the blasphemy law should be revoked.

Social media has been flooded with remarks that would baffle any sane minded person. Here are some examples which clearly depict how extreme the views of some people become.

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Famous anchor-person Raza Ahmad Rumi rightfully denounced the lynching of Mashal Khan. But along with it he demands “Blasphemer hunting must stop”. In his article on Daily Times he writes:

Sadly those in power have contributed to this unfortunate situation. Since January, the state authorities have been drumming up the campaign against blasphemy on social media. From the Prime Minister to the Parliament and from judges to legislators, high-sounding rhetoric has been aired to prove that the state is somehow guarding the faith. On social media, Pakistanis have been accepting challenges to prove their faith to fellow Muslims.”

Now we can clearly see that a very tragic incident is being taken advantage of by blaming the government for taking action against some blasphemers according to the blasphemy law. Let us see in another perspective. Burning women with acid is one of the most heinous crimes and if the government goes on eradicating this evil from our society then does this incite people to kill the perpetrators or those accused of such crimes? Of course the answer would be “no”.

This is what the government and legal system do to protect the society from crimes. Same is the case with blasphemy. It is one of the worst crimes in the Muslim world. But if some people take advantage of laws that address this issue then this does not mean that you should legalize this outrageous crime at the peril of the whole society, rather it is the system that needs to be improved.

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The tweet by Mr. Abdul Majeed Khan speak tones in itself. This is like talking about intolerance and hatred in a way which in itself is “intolerance & hatred” towards the security institutes of the country who are working tirelessly against the menace of terrorism.

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According the Oxford dictionary to “make an example” means: “To punish somebody as a warning to others not to do the same thing”. If Mr. Ahmad here is referring to the bloggers issue then he must be joking really because what they were doing was beyond “freedom of speech”.

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Marvi Sirmed as always is amongst the champions of desi liberalism. The first two sentences speak the minds of every sane Pakistani but then the later part seems like “laying eggs in someone else’s nest”. As if the state had provoked those perpetrators to commit such a barbarous act.

Now that the state has awarded death sentence to Kulbhushan Yadav, one must wonder that the extremist liberals of Pakistan might suggest that terrorism in Pakistan is being caused because we are hanging an Indian State’s official terrorist.

Anyone who takes the law in their own hands should be dealt with in a befitting manner. We as a nation should educate both of these factions so that they can work in the best interests of Pakistan rather spread hatred and intolerance at the cost of losing peace.

Most of the media has been continuously using the cloak of Mashal Khan’s lynching and exploiting it for criticizing the blasphemy law. Especially, BBC Urdu had been vehemently doing this propaganda. Extremist liberals under the same cloak are trying to portray the bloggers and social media activists such as Bhensa as being innocent. They fail to realize that blasphemy is not just about the emotions of Muslims rather it is much more than that. It is one of the gravest crimes in Islam. Religious scholars and the Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Mohammad Yousaf have strongly condemned Mashal’s killing but have clarified that blasphemy cannot be pardoned and that no one will be allowed to interfere in state affairs.

Freedom of speech does not entail spoiling the honour of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), period! So if some fanatics who went berserk and lynched Mashal Khan then it is a heinous crime that they committed but this does not mean that the actual blasphemers should be pardoned and neither does this mean that the blasphemy law should be revoked.

It is of utmost importance that the state should educate the people about the sensitivity of this issue. Awareness should be given through religious scholars and politicians. People should know that this issue should only be handled through Pakistan’s justice system. Anyone who takes the law in their own hands should be dealt with in a befitting manner. We as a nation should educate both of these factions so that they can work in the best interests of Pakistan rather spread hatred and intolerance at the cost of losing peace.