Judgment Day October 16, 2014: Will Spain Condemn Imran Firasat to Death?
Spain does not have death penalty. And recently, dozens of Spaniards blockaded the house of an Ebola-infected nurse for saving her Ebola-infected dog after a court had ordered the dog be euthanized. When the security forces eventually broke through the blockade and took away the poor dog, the protesters chanted, “Assassin! Assassin!” with many bursting into tears.
Yet a Spanish court today may arrive at a verdict, which would mean death penalty for Imran Firasat, a Pakistani ex-Muslim and convert to Christianity.
His offence? Criticism of Islam, which is a constitutionally protected human rights in Spain.
The Spanish government had given asylum to Imran Firasat because of threats to his life from Muslims for his apostasy from, and critical views on, Islam.
But after Mr. Firasat produced the movie, The Innocent Prophet, on the life of Prophet Muhammad, the Spanish government, fearful of likely Muslim outrage and violence in reaction to the movie, revoked his refugee status.
Imran Firasat’s final appeal to the Spanish Supreme Court for the reinstatement of his refugee status was rejected in May 2014. After that he made an attempt to seek asylum in Norway, but Norway refused to consider his application. Thereafter he was detained by the Spanish police. The Spanish public prosecutor has sought Mr. Firasat’s deportation to Pakistan or Indonesia (country of his wife).
In Pakistan, apostates and critics of Islam are routinely punished with death sentence by courts under its Blasphemy Law, while such offenders are frequently lynched by mobs if fallen into their reach. Even police officers recently murdered two Christian blasphemy-accused in jail, while Salman Taseer, the governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, was assassinated by his body guard for calling for a review of the country’s unfair Blasphemy Law.
In Indonesia, critics of Islam are punished under its blasphemy law, while extremist Muslim vigilante mobs often attack and even murder non-Muslims, such as Christians, as well as apostates and deviants, such as the Ahmadi Muslims.
Mr. Firasat’s vocal criticism of Islam over the years would be most offensive to Muslims in Indonesia and Pakistan. Therefore, if Spain deports him to Pakistan or Indonesia, he is bound to suffer extreme torture and even death under law, and lynching by mob if set free on the street.
A Spanish court will today (16 October 2014) will give its verdict on the Public Prosecutor’s demand for Imran Firasat’s deportation.
As the Spanish government is bent on deporting him, the judge may just oblige the wishes of the government. And that would mean death penalty for Imran Firasat.
It will be a worst comedy of justice if Mr. Firasat will have to suffer death for expressing critical views about a religion while residing in a western country, where it is a constitutionally guaranteed human rights.