That is a good question with the answer hidden by search engines: Where is the Facebook post of Junaid Hafeez?
A Pakistani university lecturer/student, Junaid Hafeez is on death row after he was found guilty of blasphemy.
The sentence was rendered in December last year. But a search of Junaid’s Facebook post shows condemnation of the sentence by the Pakistani court. Nothing more.
One would think the news sites carrying the story of the sentencing would refer to the Facebook posts. They do not.
Most of the news sites, including the BBC and Al Jazeera, do not give a hint what did Junaid say to offend the Pakistani justice.
But for sure, the authorities did not take lightly his ‘insults’ against Prophet Muhammad on Facebook made in 2013.
Sentenced to death, he is awaiting execution, but he is maybe lucky. Pakistan did not execute any of the blasphemy prisoners for decades.
IMRAN KHAN’S PAKISTAN
The question is whether Imran Khan, the beloved Prime Minister of Pakistan, will intervene in this case. While he does not intervene directly, he may influence the process.
As soon as he came to power in 2018, Asia Bibi, a Christian woman was acquitted by the supreme court.
She was sentenced to death in 2010 for blasphemy. Pakistan has the toughest blasphemy laws after Iran, the US says.
Since then, she wanted to leave the country because it was not safe for her to live in Pakistan after being freed.
She is now in hiding, say reports.
NOT ONLY PAKISTAN
Note that 71 countries criminalize blasphemy in the world and 32 are majority Muslim countries.
Pakistan has one of the toughest blasphemy laws after Iran. In Pakistan, there is no room for anyone to say bad things about the Prophet of Islam.
Junaid Hafeez, 33, was arrested in March 2013 after posting derogatory comments about the Prophet Muhammad on Facebook.
According to Wikipedia, Junaid is accused of using the account Mulla Munnafiq to commit blasphemy.
He made unwanted comments about Prophet Muhammad’s wives in a closed group.
The group is “So-Called Liberals of Pakistan.”
Pakistan’s police claim they have 1200 pages of material that incriminates him.
They found the materials from his computer as well as a book called “Progressive Muslims” that he had received.
Why this article? There are many sites mentioning this story and some are making it their main story this week.
This includes the International Policy Digest. But the article in the IPD does not give any good reason for the sentencing. It does not say why exactly the man is convicted and is waiting on death row.
We thought it is important to tell the story in full and outlets should not hide information on and off the Internet to let readers decide.