Islamic punishment for blasphemy cannot be administered in a democratic, non-Islamic country: Fatwa

Legal avenues must be explored and strongest punishment demanded; no individual has right to enforce this punishment

September 02, 2022 09:11 pm | Updated September 03, 2022 09:05 am IST - Hyderabad

Jamia Nizamia is one of the oldest Islamic seminaries of higher learning of Sunnis in India. File photo

Jamia Nizamia is one of the oldest Islamic seminaries of higher learning of Sunnis in India. File photo | Photo Credit: Mohammed Yousuf

The punishment for affronts to Prophet Muhammad cannot be administered in a democratic, non-Islamic country, a fatwa states.

The fatwa, which is a jurisprudential opinion, was issued by Hyderabad-based Islamic seminary Jamia Nizamia, in response to a set of questions.

While upholding the death penalty for blasphemy, the Jamia Nizamia clarified that this punishment cannot be awarded in a democratic, non-Islamic country. The fatwa also states that in such countries and in light of the Constitution, legal avenues must be explored and demands for the strongest punishment should be made. The fatwa underscores that no individual has the right to enforce this punishment.

The fatwa states that enforcing Sharia penalties is the exclusive domain of Islamic countries. Only the head of an Islamic country, or a person appointed by him can administer such penalties.

The fatwa comes days after parts of the city saw youngsters protesting against Legislator from Goshamahal, now-suspended by the Bharatiya Janata Party, T. Raja Singh’s offensive comments about Prophet Muhammad. The Legislator was arrested under the Preventive Detention Act and is lodged in Cherlapally Central Prison.

Soon after the Legislator’s objectionable remarks went viral, some individuals created and shared content that called for violence against Mr Singh. Police arrested Syed Abdahu Quadri alias Kashaf, who describes himself as a “social and civil rights activist”, for allegedly raising a slogan, calling for the Legislator’s beheading.

In the same vein, Hyderabad City Police Commissioner C. V. Anand on Thursday told the media that as many as 13 cases were booked against such persons.

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