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Perilous Prophecy
British Man Sentenced to Death in Pakistan over Blasphemy

A British man will pay the ultimate price for blasphemy in Pakistan, after a district court sentenced the 70-year old to death for sending out letters to the police in which he declared himself to be a prophet. The BBC reports:

Muhammad Asghar was arrested in 2010 after writing letters to various people claiming to be a prophet, reports say.

His lawyers argued for leniency, saying he has a history of mental illness, but this was rejected by a medical panel.

Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws carry a potential death sentence for anyone deemed to have insulted Islam.

Under Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws, Ashgar’s act carries the death penalty as punishment. Despite being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, the court refused to consider the evidence in man’s favour after some Pakistani doctors declared him mentally fit.

Strangely, the case has hardly attracted the attention of the Pakistani media. Preoccupied with daily bombings and attacks on itself, the media might be seeing such ‘minor’ events as inconsequential. One suspects the case would have gotten even less attention had the accused not been British.

A few days ago we wrote about a Pew Research Center study that put Pakistan on top of the list of countries with the highest religious hostility. It seems they got Pakistan spot-on.

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