Four Muslim men were accused of blasphemy after quarreling with religious clergy who refused to declare funerals for Christians.
Pakistani police arrested four men on suspicion of crime Blasphemy The officials said that after they argued with an “imam” (religious clergy) whether it was possible to announce the funeral for Christian neighbors in the mosque.
The case occurred on November 18 in the village of Khodi Khushal Singh near the eastern city of Lahore, a local police official named Fariad told Al Jazeera on Thursday.
“These people have been detained, and we have brought them to court,” he said.
The initial police report stated that these people were Muslims, and after a local clergyman refused to hold a funeral announcement for a Christian in his mosque, he had a dispute with the local clergyman.
“As soon as they arrive [at the mosque], They began to curse the imams of the mosque, they did not respect the mosque and insulted Islam,” the report reads.
The four men were charged under Article 295 and Article 298 of the Pakistani Criminal Code and could be sentenced to up to two years in prison.
Pakistan has never executed criminals under the blasphemy law, but accusations of crimes have increasingly resulted in mobs or personal murders. According to Al Jazeera’s statistics, since 1990, at least 79 people have been killed in such violent incidents.
Pakistani human rights activists condemned the allegations against the four men as baseless.
“If there is a Muslim who sincerely hopes to make such a statement in the community, it is not an attack on someone’s faith, but a good cause,” said human rights activist and lawyer Nadim Anthony.
“So if someone announces [a funeral] On the loudspeaker, how can this be considered a religious violation? “