Life Imprisonment in Pakistan for Muslim-vs.-Muslim Blasphemy

Agence France Press reports:

Mohammad Shafi, 45, [an imam at a local mosque,] and his son Mohammad Aslam, 20, were arrested in April last year for removing a poster outside their grocery shop advertising an Islamic event in a nearby village which allegedly contained Koranic verses [and were sentenced to life in prison on Monday]….

The prosecution alleged organisers of the event, which commemorated the anniversary of the Prophet Mohammad’s birth, said the pair had “pulled the poster down, tore it and trampled it under their feet,” Karim said….

Defence counsel Arif Gurmani [said,] … “… The case is the result of differences between Deobandi and Barelvi sects of Sunni Muslims,” he said.

According to Prof. Howard Friedman (Religion Clause), “Islamic sects differ on whether celebrating Mawlid (the Prophet’s birth) is permissible…. Apparently those promoting the event were members of the Barelvi sect of Sunni Islam which publicly celebrates Mawlid, while defendants are members of the Deobandi sect of Sunni Islam which considers the celebration forbidden.” No word on which sect breaks eggs on the larger end and which on the smaller.