Le blasphème est-il un discours haineux ?

NEW YORK – L’assassinat de Salman Taseer, gouverneur de la province pakistanaise du Panjab ouvertement opposé à l’extrémisme religieux, a focalisé l’attention sur la loi draconienne du pays contre le blasphème. Adopté dans sa forme actuelle par la dictature militaire du Général Mohammad Zia ul-Haq il y a plus de trente ans, la loi anti-blasphème impose la peine de mort obligatoire pour quiconque est déclaré coupable d’avoir insulté l’Islam.

L’officier de police qui a assassiné Taseer aurait apparemment agi parce que ce gouverneur avait récemment lancé une campagne pour l’abrogation de cette loi – une démarche qui, aux yeux des extrémistes religieux pakistanais qui ont applaudi ce meurtre, constituait en soit un acte blasphématoire.

Pendant longtemps, les lois anti-blasphème étaient considérées comme un héritage malheureux des efforts entrepris en Angleterre au cours des luttes religieuses des 16ème et 17ème siècles pour supprimer les interprétations déviantes des écritures par les chrétiens. Ces lois se sont généralisées dans les pays de l’Asie du Sud et ailleurs au travers du régime colonial britannique. La version dure de cette loi du Général Zia au Pakistan fut adoptée dans le cadre de son action consistant à utiliser l’Islam pour légitimer sa politique de suppression de toute contestation.

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