Relaymedia

Anglican Head: Pakistan Needs to Debate Blasphemy Laws

( [email protected] ) Mar 07, 2011 11:38 AM EST

The government of Pakistan and much of the population there are being blackmailed by religious extremists who are uninterested in justice for all, said Anglican leader Dr. Rowan Williams.

And "this must not be allowed to happen," he asserted.

In a statement Monday, published in U.K.'s The Times, Williams made the observation that Pakistan was headed down the "catastrophic road" where political and factional murder becomes almost routine.

Last week's assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, the country's minister for minorities and the only Christian cabinet member, is evidence of that, he noted.

"[T]o those who recognize something truly dreadful going on in their midst – to the majority in Pakistan who have elected a government that, whatever its dramatic shortcomings, is pledged to resist extremism – we have surely to say, 'Do not imagine that this can be 'managed' or tolerated,'" the Archbishop of Canterbury stated.

He asserted the need for more, including Muslim thinkers, to speak out against the "inhuman pseudo-religious tyranny" being promoted by extremists.

And "this must not be allowed to happen," he asserted.

In a statement Monday, published in U.K.'s The Times, Williams made the observation that Pakistan was headed down the "catastrophic road" where political and factional murder becomes almost routine.

Last week's assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, the country's minister for minorities and the only Christian cabinet member, is evidence of that, he noted.

"[T]o those who recognize something truly dreadful going on in their midst – to the majority in Pakistan who have elected a government that, whatever its dramatic shortcomings, is pledged to resist extremism – we have surely to say, 'Do not imagine that this can be 'managed' or tolerated,'" the Archbishop of Canterbury stated.

He asserted the need for more, including Muslim thinkers, to speak out against the "inhuman pseudo-religious tyranny" being promoted by extremists.