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Proposal for blasphemy law in Bangladesh

Two judges of the Bangladesh High Court suggested the introduction of a new blasphemy law with provisions for capital punishment. 

This time the idea of a new, harsh blasphemy law in Bangladesh sprouted out of the bail hearing of Selim Khan. The young Muslim man was arrested and charged with hurting Muslim religious sentiments because of a Facebook comment. This offence is punished with two years in jail and a fine of 500,000 taka. In this case, the court granted bail to the convict, but he has to pay a large amount of bank guarantee.

After this case, two judges of the Bangladesh High Court suggested the introduction of blasphemy law with much harsher punishment. Instead of two years and a fine with the current law for hurting religious feelings, the judges proposed that the new blasphemy law should introduce a life sentence or death penalty.

They say the blasphemy law is necessary because of the increased number of cases of hurtful religious feelings. The population of Bangladesh is 90% Muslim. Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians are in the minority. The leaders of these minority religions stayed away from commenting on the new developments, saying this topic was too sensitive and risky.

However, the current law of hurting religious feelings was upheld on many occasions when Islamic religious feelings were hurt. There are multiple cases when Muslims publicly defamed other faiths without facing any consequences.

Source: UCAnews

Photo: Wikimedia

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