‘Holy warrior’ selfies: Pakistan teen feted for killing U.S. blasphemy suspect

August 10, 2020 — Reuters reports: “Faisal Khan, a 15-year-old Pakistani, beams for selfies with lawyers and police. Thousands hail him in the streets as a ‘holy warrior.’

His claim to adulation? Allegedly gunning down in open court an American accused of blasphemy, a capital crime in this Islamic republic.

Khan is charged with murder, which also carries a death sentence. But while lawyers line up to defend him, the attorney for Tahir Naseem, the U.S. citizen, has gone into hiding.

The teen, according to officials and witnesses, got through three security checkpoints on his way into a courtroom in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on July 29, pulled out a pistol and fired multiple shots into Naseem, 57, at a bail hearing.

Naseem died on the spot, onlookers spattered with his blood…”  (According to a 2017 report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, there are 71 countries that criminalize views deemed to be blasphemous.  The punishment for blasphemy range from fines to the death penalty.  In the Middle East and North Africa, 18 of the 20 nations treat insults to Islam as a criminal offence, and 14 of those also criminalize apostasy.  While Iran and Pakistan are the only two nations that enshrine the death penalty in law, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia carry it out.  See the next report.) 

Nigeria: Singer Sentenced to Death for ‘Blasphemy’

August 11, 2020 — Voice of America News reports: “An Islamic court in northern Nigeria on Monday sentenced a singer to death for blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed, judicial officials said.  

An Upper Islamic Sharia court in the city of Kano ordered 22-year-old Yahaya Aminu Sharif to die by hanging for derogatory expressions against the Prophet in one of his songs, spokesman for the Kano region justice ministry, Baba-Jibo Ibrahim, told AFP.  

Sharia courts in majority Muslim northern Nigeria have handed down death sentences for adultery, murder and homosexuality before but to date no executions have been carried out.  

‘The court handed down the death sentence as enshrined in Islamic laws based on irrefutable evidence and the convict’s admission of guilt,’ Ibrahim said.  

Sharif was accused of blaspheming the Prophet in a song he shared on social media in March, which caused riots in the city.  

Mobs burnt the singer’s family home and took to the streets demanding his prosecution, leading to his arrest…”