Rule of law ideology masks the possibility of inversion inherent in the law-state and law-norm framework on which the "rule of law" reality has been built--social will through law. If law is used in the service of the dignity of religion against others, then the "rule" of law is that of the religion whose dignity is the object of the domestic legal order. The form of a secular rule of law system, then, masks its functional objective to protect the privilege of a dominant religious group. Theocracy can, then, adapt the structural forms of rule of law systems in its own service.
It has long been supposed that law--understood as binding pronouncements from some apparatus of state legitimately vested with the power to make such pronouncements, and enforce them--is successfully implemented only with the collusion of the population that is the object of its command. Theories of non-violent revolution are grounded on this insight. The study of the management of the legitimacy of law, and its relationship to the management of the legitimacy of the state apparatus has long been popular among political and legal theorists. That, in part, might be a function of the popularity, in turn, of the instrumentalist view of law, and the insistence on a connection, sometimes an exclusive connection, between law and the state apparatus.
Pakistan is a country that occupies a dynamic space somewhere between transnational theocratic constitutionalism. See, Larry Catá Backer, Theocratic Constitutionalism: An Introduction to a New Global Legal Ordering. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2008; Islamic Law and Law of the Muslim World Paper No. 08-44. Pakistan the best of both worlds but appears instead to have embraced some of their excesses.It is a state whose political order is derived from a divine source, to be exercised within limits prescribed by God, as understood by Muslims, it is organized to observe "principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice" Pakistan Constitution, Preamble. Pakistan is meant to constitute itself as a territorially defined political space within which "the Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the individual and collective spheres in accordance with the teachings and requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and Sunnah" but also where "adequate provision shall be made for the minorities freely to profess and practise their religions and develop their cultures." Id. These sentiments provide the foundation for the law structure of the Pakistani state apparatus.Islam is the state religion. Pakistan Constitution, art. 2. Simultaneously, "the protection of law and to be treated in accordance with law is the inalienable right of every citizen, wherever he may be, and of every other person for the time being within Pakistan." Id., art. 4(1). The protection of rights to practice, profess and propagate religion are broad (Pakistan Constitution Art. 20), "[s]ubject to law, public order and morality." Id.
Chapter XV: OF OFFENSES RELATING TO RELIGION
295. Injuring or defiling place of worship, with Intent to insult the religion of any class:
Whoever destroys, damages or defiles any place of worship, or any object held sacred by any class of persons with the intention of thereby insulting the religion of any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction damage or defilement as an insult to their religion. shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
295-A. Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting Its religion or religious beliefs:
Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the 'religious feelings of any class of the citizens of Pakistan, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations insults the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both.
295-B. Defiling, etc., of Holy Qur'an:
Whoever wilfully defiles, damages or desecrates a copy of the Holy Qur'an or of an extract therefrom or uses it in any derogatory manner or for any unlawful purpose shall be punishable with imprisonment for life.
295-C. Use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet:
Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.
296. Disturbing religious assembly:
Whoever voluntarily causes disturbance to any assembly lawfully engaged in the performance of religious worship, or religious ceremonies, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
297. Trespassing on burial places, etc.:
Whoever, with the intention of wounding the feelings of any person, or of insulting the religion of any person, or with the knowledge that the feelings of any person are likely to be wounded, or that the religion of any person is likely to be insulted thereby, commits any trespass in any place of worship or on any place of sculpture, or any place set apart for the performance of funeral rites or as a, depository for the remains of the dead, or offers any indignity to any human corpse or causes disturbance to any persons assembled for the performance of funeral ceremonies, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
298. Uttering words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings:
Whoever, with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utters any word or makes any sound in the hearing of that person or makes any gesture in the sight of that person or places any object in the sight of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year or with fine, or with both.
298-A. Use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of holy personages:
Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of any wife (Ummul Mumineen), or members of the family (Ahle-bait), of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), or any of the righteous Caliphs (Khulafa-e-Rashideen) or companions (Sahaaba) of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
298-B. Misuse of epithets, descriptions and titles, etc., reserved for certain holy personages or places:
298-C. Person of Quadiani group, etc., calling himself a Muslim or preaching or propagating his faith:
Any person of the Quadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves 'Ahmadis' or by any other name), who directly or indirectly, poses himself as a Muslim, or calls, or refers to, his faith as Islam, or preaches or propagates his faith, or invites others to accept his faith, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations, or in any manner whatsoever outrages the religious feelings of Muslims shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.
He said that according to his investigation, Bibi drew the ire of fellow farmhands after a dispute in June 2009, when they refused to drink water she collected and she refused their demands that she convert to Islam.
The women reported the incident to a cleric, who concluded that Bibi had committed blasphemy and then gathered a crowd that forced her to the police station, Bhatti said. He said that the police did not investigate and that a court, without hearing Bibi's full account, handed down a death sentence four months later.
Bhatti said he has concluded that Bibi, a mother of five who has been in prison 17 months, never criticized Islam and is innocent. . . .
Bibi's husband and children are now in hiding, Bhatti said. "We are frightened," Bibi's husband, Ashiq Masih, a brickmaker, told reporters in Islamabad on Wednesday. "We are receiving threats, especially from clerics. (Karin Brulliard, "Both Sides in Blasphemy Case Pressure Zardari," The Washington Post, Nov. 26, 2010 at A6).
Asia Bibi was convicted of insulting Islam's prophet, Mohammed, while working in a field with several Muslim women in a village southwest of Lahore.
She told them the Quran was "fake" and made comments about one of Mohammed's wives and about his health in his final days, the police complaint against her said.
She said that "the Quran is fake and your prophet remained in bed for one month before his death because he had worms in his ears and mouth. He married Khadija just for money and after looting her kicked her out of the house," local police official Muhammad Ilyas told CNN.
The initial complaint against Bibi was filed on June 14, 2009, by a Muslim cleric, Ilyas said.
Police say the Muslim women reported the incident to Qari Muhammad Salim, who later filed the police report. The cleric claims Bibi confessed to him and apologized. (Reza Sayah and Nasir Habib, Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan, CNN, Nov. 11, 2010).
Indeed, this is not a new development in Pakistan, nor one whose double purpose is unknown. The very minister who is now reviewing the Asia Bibi affairs rose to power in part on the basis of opposition to the double use of the blasphemy law. "Shahbaz Bhatti founded the Christian-inspired APMA movement in 1985. One of his first battles was against the law on blasphemy, introduced in 1986 and used to repress religious minorities in the country, with particular focus on the Christian community, the one hardest hit by the new norm." Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic, is the new minister for the defense of minorities, Asia News,. April 11, 2008. But as the incarnation of a portion of the Pakistani law-state, Bhatti's fidelity is to the formal structures of the law-state. And that requires a mediation between the law-state and the social-norm state of Pakistan.
The Federal Minister stated that Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had given a clear vision for a democratic, moderate and progressive Pakistan, where minority and majority would live in harmony, equality and peaceful co-existence under the one green and white national flag. “Minorities are sons of the soil, Pakistan belongs to them and they belong to Pakistan, they have made sacrifices and shed their blood for the creation and development of Pakistan”, Shahbaz Bhatti further said that the white in the Pakistani flag represents the minorities and to protect the life and property of the minorities is the constitutional obligation of the Government and therefore we cannot remain silent spectators on the problems of religious minorities. (Federal Minister for Minorities condemns Announcement of Reward to Kill Asia Bibi, Online).