Angered by the perceived blasphemy of the Prophet Mohammad, a Pakistani lawyer named Muhammad Azhar Sidiqque has petitioned the nation’s highest court to charge the three founders of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes with the death penalty.
None of the three men are currently involved with the Facebook company which was originally conceived as a harmless social networking site for those seeking love and other elusive commodities on line.
The basis for the charges is Section 295-C of Pakistan’s Penal Code which clearly states that “use of derogatory remarks etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet, whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable for fine.”
The charges were filed after Zuckerberg hosted a “Draw Muhammad” contest, but the Pakistani law enforcement agencies have not yet acted on those accusations.
This current indictment comes in the wake of and is perhaps an over-reaction to last month’s court orders to ban the entire Facebook site from Pakistan because a German woman created an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” while using Facebook.
The charges against the three men could possibly lead to a request for the death penalty and if this Pakistani lawyer has his way, he will see his named enemies shipped to Pakistan, executed and still faced with paying a fine after death!
While no one has the right to disrespect the religious beliefs of another, it would seem a bit extreme to punish such action with death. Are not the qualities of kindness, understanding and forgiveness more in line with the tenets of all the world’s major religions when they are broken down to the basics?
What do YOU think about this?