"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pakistan, 10,000 Rally again in support of Blasphemy Law

Reactions can be read at JihadWatch

In Pak, blasphemy law supporters on the streets

Peshawar: Rallies took place in Peshawar and Faisalabad on Sunday in support of Pakistan's strict blasphemy laws that stipulate death for those insulting Islam.

About ten-thousand supporters of the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami party gathered in the northwestern city of Peshawar for a sit-in outside the provincial assembly.

In Faisalabad, meanwhile, a large crowd of activists from Islamist political parties held a demonstration in the city centre.

Pakistani Islamist groups called for the strikes and rallies this month despite assurances by the embattled ruling Pakistan People's Party that it would not pursue any changes to the laws.

The long-standing laws against blasphemy gained new attention when a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, was sentenced to death in November 2010 for allegedly insulting Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

The sentencing attracted local and international condemnation.

Prominent among the critics was Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, who was gunned down by one of his bodyguards, Mumtaz Qadri, earlier this month.

Qadri later told media he was motivated by Taseer's stance on the laws.

Addressing the crowd in Peshawar, Syed Munawar Hasan, the president of Pakistan's main Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami, said people with "a religious spirit" would stand up against criticism of the laws from the United States and Pope Benedict XVI.

Benedict has spoken out against the blasphemy laws, saying they should be repealed because they were being used as a pretext for violence against non-Muslims.

In Faisalabad, Abdul Rehman Makki, a leader of the banned Islamist charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa, said Muslims would "never tolerate any disrespect for the prophet".

The US and the UN believe Jamaat-ud-Dawa is a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group accused of planning and carrying out the attacks in Mumbai in 2008.

The Pakistani government, which is struggling against Al-Qaida and Taliban militants, has stated it has no plan to amend the blasphemy laws.

Analysts say the government is too weak to pick a fight with Islamist forces, which are able to rally thousands of people on the streets even though their political parties only have a few seats in parliament.

Dozens of Pakistanis are sentenced to death each year under the blasphemy law, but most cases are thrown out by higher courts and no executions have been carried out. However, some who are accused end up being killed by extremists.

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