PAKISTAN. Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi is a well-known imam from Pakistan who is seen as liberal by his fellow Pakistanis. But what they view as liberal isn’t something that even the most conservative westener would agree with.
Ashrafi condemns extremism and has been awarded a presidential honor for the defense of peace and human rights. But the Pakistan Ulema Council, which is the the main body of Islamic clerics in the country, have tried to expel Ashrafi to let somebody more traditional take his place. Think about that. Traditional is being pro terrorism and against human rights!
But Ashrafi also defends Pakistans blasphemy laws and the use of death sentences for perceived outrages against religious figures, texts and beliefs.
Because of the blasphemy laws, thousands of people have been saved. If the law weren’t there, I tell you, it’s possible that I speak blasphemy you’ll kill me, or if you do it I’ll kill you. (…) With the law, there can be negotiations.
The idea that religious Muslims can stop being oversensitive and offended doesn’t seem to have occured to this liberal imam. If they doesn’t drag non-Muslims into their religious worldview and rules there wouldn’t be any risk to their lives. Everybody could just go on, minding their own business.