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SEMINAR ON 'VIOLENCE IN THE NAME OF RELIGION AND ITS IMPLICATIONS ON WOMEN.'

Dec 09, 2009

National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) organized a seminar on 09 December 2009 at the Hill View Hotel Islamabad on the theme of “Violence in the name of religion and its implications on women.” The seminar had been organized in connection with the commemoration of 16 days of activisms against gender based violence. The speakers included Ms. Sherry Rehman, Member National Assebmly; Dr. Khalid Masood, Chairman Islamic ideology Council; Mr. I.A.Rehman, Director Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Ms. Hina Jilani, Director AGHS, Dr. Fouzia Saeed Executive Member NCSW and Ms. Anis Haroon Chairperson NCSW. A large number of people belonging to different walks of life participated in the seminar.

The speakers focused their talks around the flaws and ambiguities in Blasphemy Law and how this law is undermining the rights of minority citizens in Pakistan. On the occasion one of the speakers said that this law has been enacted by some ill minded people with malicious intentions to malign and marginalise the poor minorities of the country. This law has been badly abused and it is being used to settle personal disputes instead of guarding basic ethics of religion. It was enacted in the process of islamisation of Pakistan to please a particular segment of society who had political motives behind formulation of this law to legitimize their school of thought under the cloak of Islam. The intention of introducing the Blasphemy law was to curb dissent and dissention and it is being used to commit the outrageous acts against other minority religions. They termed it unconstitutional and contrary to the principles of Islam. They said since this law has been used for malicious prosecution and it has not only made non Muslims more vulnerable, but has also affected the Muslim women in particular. The minorities are feeling insecure because it does not define the offence in particular and its vague definitions have led to the brutal assassination of the innocent Christian people and as well as Muslims themselves. It has created an atmosphere of intolerance and has completely destroyed peace and harmony of

Pakistani society and it has brutalised the whole society.

The speakers expressed their absolute commitment to further strengthen their efforts to educate opinion makers, policy makers and the masses about malpractice of this law. To achieve the goal alliance building will be made with civil society organisations, law making and enforcing agencies, print and electronic media.

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