PMLN’s Use Of The ‘Blasphemy Card’ Widely Condemned On Social Media
Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) recently accused the ruling party of blasphemy, referring to a speech given by Prime Minister Imran Khan a few days ago. The opposition has been accused of creating a controversy to promote their own political agenda. For accusing the current government of allegations that have stirred up so much trouble in the past their actions have been condemned by other politicians, activists as well as journalists. Allegedly the Prime Minister’s speech referred to the companions of the Prophet (PBUH) in a way that was deemed inappropriate. However, it seems that the PM was referring to an incident that took place during the life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) to highlight how good leadership leads to success. The PMLN’s course of action has been widely criticized on social media.
However seductive it might seem, PMLN must not go the tried, tested way – the religion / blasphemy card. Just don't. As we say in Punjabi
Toteya mann moteya, ais galee na jaa
Ais galee de jatt buray, phaayyaaN lainday paa!
— Marvi Sirmed (@marvisirmed) June 15, 2019
Journalist Marvi Sirmed commented on how as tempting it may seem, accusing a political rival of allegations that have lead to sever repercussions in the past, spells trouble.
Playing the religion card to score political points is dangerous and foolish whoever does it. Forget that the PTI played the card relentlessly when in opposition over alleged changes in the oath and on other occasions. Two wrongs don’t make a right, PML-N. Don’t go there!
— Talat Aslam (@titojourno) June 15, 2019
PMLN should not use blasphemy card against PTI. This is not the right approach as we have already suffered a lot due to politicizing of religious sensitivities. I know PTI did the same, but that does not justify it
— Raza Habib Raja (@razaraja) June 15, 2019
Prominent journalist and the Prime Ministers ex-wife Reham khan also commented on the matter, expressing her strong disapproval for politicizing religious controversies. In a rather concise and balanced statement, she acknowledges that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) may have played the blasphemy card before, but that doesn’t justify the actions of politicians using it today.
Using the blasphemy card is simply wrong.
PTI might be guilty of using the blasphemy card but religion should never be used in politics not for persecution or for building a vote bank.
— Reham Khan (@RehamKhan1) June 15, 2019
Several politicians in Pakistan have used the blasphemy card to serve ulterior motives. Allegations of blasphemy have led to violent repercussions in academic spaces, as well as in the political realm in past few years . During the PMLNs government the PTI was accused of trying to capitalize on the Khatam-e-Nabuwat controversy regarding the wording of an oath taken by incoming politicians. Recently Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of the PMLN has stated during a press conference that his party should be allowed to discuss this ‘controversy’ in the National Assembly.