Confronted with tragedy, a young man shared his anguish and wrote God should be cruel if he allows it. Now, the boy risks the death penalty.
by Marco Respinti
The danger of blasphemy laws in Pakistan is that what blasphemy is, is not clearly defined. On December 27, a clear example of this ambiguity surfaced in Sindh.
A young boy of whom only the pseudonym, “Love Kumar,” has been disclosed, had gone missing on November 22. The family did not know where he was until they were informed on December 27 that he was in jail. He had been formally charged with blasphemy, a crime that according to Pakistani law is punished with the death penalty.
From the social media posts about his case, including by exiled Sindh nationalist activist Zafar Sahito, it is unclear of which religion the boy is, although according to some media he is part of the Hindu minority.
What exactly is the boy’s crime? He posted on social media that he “felt sad” having had to suffer deaths in the family and was anguished because “our sisters are taken from home every day,” which may indeed be a reference to the kidnapping and forced conversion to Islam of Hindu girls in Pakistan.
The boy concluded the post with the words (in Sindhi) “مولا تون ڈایو ظالم آھین اچکلەه جي تنھنجی کیل فیصلن مان,” meaning “Oh Lord, you are the cruelest person in your decisions!”
This cry of anguish and feeling of being abandoned by God is a common human experience, and examples are also found in the world’s literature.
In Pakistan, however, this is enough for a young boy to be jailed, and face the very serious risk of being sentenced to death for blasphemy.