Pakistan attempts to prosecute Ahmadi US citizens for digital blasphemy
Pakistani governments try to censor American media by threatening US citizens with blasphemy laws and their cybercrime regulations.
(RNS) — Pakistani authorities have asked leaders of the American Ahmadiyya Muslim community to take down its official website, claiming that the U.S.-based site violates Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws and new cybercrime regulations.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said in a legal notice issued on Dec. 24 to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA’s spokesmen, Amjad Mahmood Khan and Harris Zafar, that failure to remove the website TrueIslam.com would result in fines of up to $3.14 million or criminal sanctions, including possible 10-year-prison sentences.
“This is a new frontier in persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in the digital space,” said Khan, a lawyer in Los Angeles who has testified before Congress about blasphemy and religious freedom. “Pakistan wants to impose its abominable blasphemy laws on the whole world by targeting U.S. citizens and U.S. websites.”