Asia Bibis case is one such example of the above.

Rampant ignorance in this country has led to poverty, deprivation, misery, anger, and misinformed bearded persons carrying that baggage becoming accepted as the religious voice of the community.

My beloved Prophet (PBUH), for whom I am willing to lay down my life, was extremely persecuted during his lifetime; yet when asked to curse those who persecuted him, he refused to do so, saying that he had been sent as a blessing for mankind, not as a curse. So how can we sentence a person to death because he/she has supposedly, or even actually, said something against him?

If we believe in the Shariah, then does not this in itself prevent such a sentence? Would Mohammad (PBUH), given the example above, have passed that sentence? If not, then how can we? And that too, on a poor woman humiliated when her peers refused to drink the water she served them, because they said she was unclean. I would probably have overturned the whole bucket on their heads, and called them many names. Being Muslim I would naturally have not gone where Asia reportedly did, but many other places, yes.

We flawed puny beings impute our own frailty to people who are neither puny nor frail, nor as flawed. It is we little people who are easily hurt. Towering personalities such as Mohammad (PBUH) can withstand sticks and stones, derogatory remarks, and anything else that is hurled at them. If we truly love him, we will feel anger if anyone maligns him, but then we will immediately look inwards to discover where we went wrong, and why people say such things about him. Is our example weak? Have we shown the world what a true Muslim is?

Praise has to be earned, not obtained by beating it out of people.

Is blasphemy the real issue here, or is it us, our corruption, ignorance and beard bristling fury that leads us to offload our frustration on the heads of anyone but the deserving.

It is easier to quote from large tomes and denounce one poor woman, or twenty poor women and men, than it is to be courageous and make an effort to deal with the actual issues that brought matters to this head.

Heres a little exercise… in the Google search bar enter: blasphemy against other religions.

Youll find blasphemy because someone denied that the Jewish holocaust occurred. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Blasphemy against Dhan Sri Guru Garanth Sahib Ji Maharaj. And, blasphemy initially being a criminal offence in every state of the USA.

In Maryland a law was passed in 1723 which prohibited any person from denying that Jesus was the Son of God. The first offence was punishable by a fine of 20, the second by the letter B being burnt onto the offenders forehead. And the third time around, the punishment was death.

We all blaspheme somehow against someone or the other. I do not believe that Jesus was the son of God. But I accept that the Jewish holocaust took place, so I suppose that lot will let me live. As for Dhan Sri Guru Garanth Sahib Ji Maharaj, Im not quite sure who he was or is, and that in itself is probably blasphemy somewhere or the other.

Someone called Ophelia Benson said: Religion is exactly the kind of institution that should be exposed to

criticism, not exempted from it.

Whatever Ms Benson meant when she said this, I personally agree that something as important as religion can either be the best thing that happened to humanity or else its worst curse. In the case of Islam, I am staunch in believing that it is not the religion that is at fault, it is those who use it to rant. And so every day, before we spread what they say on our toast with the marmalade and eat it, we need to examine their dictums for little stones and dispose of them, not gather them and throw them at others who have no clue what they did to deserve such treatment.

That, in fact, is blasphemy because it flies in the face of all that our Prophet taught.