ICC's doing all it can to incite change

ICC's doing all it can to incite change

ICC's doing all it can to incite change

A leading expert on religious freedom says change to Pakistan's dangerous blasphemy law is necessary and possible, but understandably slow in coming.

People accused of blasphemy in Pakistan -- insulting Mohammed or the Quran -- can and have faced the death penalty. Recently, rumors of blasphemy spread in a Christian neighborhood, and 5,000 Muslims responded by destroying churches and homes there.

Jeff King of International Christian Concern (ICC) tells AFN "nothing much happens" to such rioters who get caught.

King, Jeff (ICC) King

"The government comes in; this time they arrested a hundred, but the arrests don't matter," he explains. "Where are the convictions? That's what's going to stop this kind of thing, and that's what never seems to happen. Hardly anyone ends up in jail."

King says, though, that the United States can help bring the cycle to an end.

"Our job is to name and shame, to bring these atrocities out, to bring these violations out, to expose," he relays about ICC. "They get a lot of aid from the U.S., and so then you want to put that imperil; you want to press them and to say, 'What are you going to do?'"

King asserts that some within the Pakistani government want to change the blasphemy law or abandon it entirely, but they are afraid to promote their position.

"If you step too far the wrong way as a politician, or even as a Supreme Court justice, you can be murdered," he explains. "So, you understand, but at the same time … there has to be justice."

In short, the ICC president says there is much work to be done in the Islamic nation.