It’s time to boy­cott re­li­gious in­tol­er­ance

Weekend Herald - - Viewpoints - Peter Cooke, Whanga­paraoa

A Chris­tian girl in Pak­istan is fac­ing the death penalty for blas­phemy, for es­sen­tially ques­tion­ing whether the prophet Muham­mad has been of any use to mankind. Her lo­cal Mus­lim com­mu­nity took ex­cep­tion.

New Zealand, along with many other coun­tries, took ex­cep­tion to apartheid in South Africa and os­tracised that coun­try no­tably by dis­cour­ag­ing if not pre­vent­ing sport­ing con­tacts.

I think it’s time New Zealand, and all coun­tries, did the same with Pak­istan (and Bangladesh where the same in­tol­er­ance is hap­pen­ing) and made it clear their blas­phemy laws are to­tally un­ac­cept­able.

Be­sides stop­ping cricket con­tacts there are other mea­sures that can be taken at the po­lit­i­cal, diplo­matic and busi­ness lev­els to put pres­sure on Pak­istan to re­store the basic free­doms any civilised so­ci­ety has. I call on our Govern­ment to start mak­ing se­ri­ous noise about this.

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