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Author: Mirza Tahir Ahmad ra, 4th Caliph of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Description: Any divide between revelation and rationality, religion and logic has to be irrational. If religion and rationality cannot proceed hand in hand, there has to be something deeply wrong with either of the two. Does revelation play any vital role in human affairs? Is not rationality sufficient to guide man in all the problems which confront him? Numerous questions such as these are examined with minute attention.
No. of Pages: 756 (read it online)
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Home Critical Analysis/Archives Persecution of the Ahmadiyya …
Persecution Of The Ahmadiyya Community In Pakistan: An Analysis Under International Law
V. THE ANTI-BLASPHEMY PROVISIONS AND
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

B. The Institutionalist Paradigm *81

According to the institutionalist point of view, the anti-blasphemy provisions violate Article 18 of the UDHR, which Pakistan itself advocated in 1948. According to a developing body of international customary human rights law, Pakistan, in passing Ordinance XX, violated Articles 18, 19, 20, 27 of the ICCPR and Articles 6 and 7 of the U.N. Declaration of 1981. Pakistan justified its anti-blasphemy provisions and the persecution of religious minorities under the provisions of a regional instrument, namely the Cairo Declaration, post hoc, years after its promulgation. The United States, or any nation, should therefore treat the persecution of Ahmadis in a manner that defers to international institutions as a way to promote and maintain basic and universal religious freedom to religious minorities.

Pakistan has clearly demonstrated its commitment to the universal human right of religious freedom in its founding era, being the leading Muslim nation to endorse the UDHR. This commitment, though buried in history, must be renewed by holding Pakistan accountable for its promulgation of anti-blasphemy laws that fly in the face of existing international norms. All states have an interest in preserving the basic freedoms of ethnic minorities within their borders. By rendering Pakistan subject to international law, the international community posits a collective interest in prescribing state activities that champion freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief. With a history marred by corruption, violence, and instability, Pakistan has a vested interest in proving to the world that it can function as not only a progressive democracy capable of honoring commitments to international law and custom, but also as one of the few Islamic states that encourages religious pluralism.

Pakistan, though not a party to the ICCPR, reconciled its anti-blasphemy provisions with the limitations to non-derogable rights in the Covenant itself. Pakistan acted in a way prima facie incompatible with recognized rules concerning freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief. However, it defended its conduct by appealing to exceptions or justifications contained within the rules themselves. Whether or not Pakistan's conduct is in fact justifiable on the basis of these exceptions is not the key issue. Rather, the important thing is that Pakistan constructively consented to external institutions governing its conduct, thereby strengthening rather than weakening the spirit of the rules and the system.


81
Traditionally considered as opposing the realist paradigm, the institutionalist paradigm identifies institutions as modifiers of a state's power-driven interests. Institutions link common issues and posit a collective interest between states so as to change state behavior to reflect a norm. See id. at 14 - 17.
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