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Pakistan drops ban on jihad group that is targeting non-Muslims over Muhammad cartoons, even in the West



Pakistan is infamous for its blasphemy laws. Anyone who offends Islam can be put on death row in Pakistan, even on trumped-up charges. Christians are particular targets. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has been front and center, leading international efforts to criminalize so-called “blasphemy” and any offense to Islam. The latest decision by Pakistan to virtually unleash an army of jihadists on anyone who insults Islam poses a risk even to those living in the West.

France already witnessed an Islamic execution for blasphemy, when elementary school teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded for showing his class one of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of Muhammad. It was part of a classroom discussion on the freedom of expression. The West has virtually lost its freedom of expression thanks to the desire not to offend Muslims at all costs.

“Pakistan Lifts Ban on Islamic Extremist Group, Threatening Western Countries With ‘Security Challenges,’” Algemeiner, December 1, 2021:

Pakistan dropped its ban on a violent Islamist group that led attempts to intimidate non-Muslims against sharing images and caricatures of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad last month, a move that a security analyst warns could create “security challenges” in Western countries.

Along with lifting the ban on Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), the Pakistani government has released its leader Saad Rizvi and hundreds of members from prison, and will allow the group to participate in the political system, the BBC reported.

The TLP members were jailed after the group blocked major roadways to the capital during an April protest.

The TLP has been a leading supporter and enforcer of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, which mandate a death sentence for insulting Islam or Muhammad, and once threatened to commit genocide against the Netherlands after a Dutch politician sponsored a contest for cartoons of the Islamic prophet.

The group has since focused its ire on France, where the staff of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was massacred in 2015 by al-Qaeda terrorists for publishing cartoons of Muhammad.

Security analyst Amir Rana of the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies said that there will be global reverberations from the decision to permit the group to operate legally.

“The world may not care about what is happening inside Pakistan, but there is concern about the TLP influencing the Pakistani diaspora and overseas communities in Europe and in the West,” Rana warned.

This, he said, could “create some security challenges” for Western countries.

The Pakistani government said it lifted the ban in order to head off a direct confrontation with TLP, though Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said this had ominous implications.

“The way the state had to back off in the TLP’s case symbolizes that the bomb [of extremism] is ticking,” he stated….

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