Spreading blasphemous statements is a major taboo especially for religious groups, but being sentenced to death because of blasphemy is something new even to sacred religions.
Debate about blasphemy penalty spark online after a 30-year-old Pakistani man sentenced to death following his insulting statement against Prophet Mohammad published in one of his Facebook posts.
According to a DailyMail report, blasphemy is a very sensitive topic in Muslim-majority Pakistan. Insulting Prophet Mohammad is considered a major crime where dozens are now sitting on a death row. But Raza’s case is the first time where the country sentenced a death penalty for committing blasphemy on social media.
Since this is the first time someone was sentenced of death penalty controversy among this death sentence has caught the attention of human rights groups in and outside Pakistan despite the fact that there are lots of convicted individuals guilty of blasphemy.
According to public prosecutor Shafiq Qureshi, Raza was found guilty for his derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammad and his wives. They found out that Raza has been using Facebook and WhatsApp to spread hate materials including hateful photos and statements against the prophet and his companions.
He was also arrested by a counter-terrorism officer after allegedly watching blasphemous hate speech materials on his smartphone while riding a bus.
“An anti terrorism court of Bahawalpur has awarded him the death sentence. It is the first ever death sentence in a case that involves social media. The trial was conducted at Bahawapur jail in tight security.”
Qureshi also said that Raza was discovered to a part of the SHia community and was accused of disseminating hate speeches against Deobani sect adhere to Sunni Islam.
Hoever, Raza could still make an appeal in the High Court since his conviction now is still under the counter-terrorism court.