Christians have expressed their concern over calls by a Muslim cleric for the Bible to be banned in Pakistan.
Maulana Abdul Rauf Farooqi, leader of the political party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, announced at a recent press conference that he had petitioned the Supreme Court to ban the Bible.
The call is a response to the burning of a Koran by Florida pastor Terry Jones
He and others in the party claim that passages in the Holy Bible are blasphemous and offensive to Muslims.
Some of the passages that some Muslims find blasphemous relate to the story of the Last Supper, Jesus’ prayer at Gethsemane, and the story of David committing adultery with Bathseba.
Farooqi’s call has been condemned as “reckless” by the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), which provides free legal support to persecuted Christians in Pakistan.
CLAAS said it was a “distortion” to claim that the contents of the Bible amountd to blasphemy, and warned that banning the Bible would criminalise Pakistani Christians.
It is “vital”, the organisation said, that the Supreme Court “disregard” the legal challenge mounted by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam.