"Pakistan's Ahmadis: Blasphemy, Identity and Persecution," A Talk with Pakistani Jurist Mujeeb-ur-Rahman.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 12:10 PM EDT
-- 01:10 PM EDT
Jerome Greene Hall Room 105
The Human Rights Institute, Social Justice Initiatives, the South Asia Law Students Association and the Middle Eastern Law Students Association invite you to a lunch time discussion with Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, a prominent Pakistani human rights lawyer who has litigated many seminal cases in Pakistan. Mr. Rahman will be speaking about human rights law in Pakistan and the apartheid treatment of Ahmadi Muslims in that country. The Ahmadis are a sect of Islam that have been declared non-Muslim by the Pakistani government and are frequently prosecuted pursuant to the country's extreme blasphemy law.
In more than a half century of legal practice, Mr. Rahman has argued cases before the Pakistan Supreme Court, including the ignominious Zaheeruddin v. State of Pakistan, which legitimized persecution of Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan by affirming the power of the state to legally define both the form and the content of religion. Mr. Rehman has defended hundreds of cases registered against Ahmadi Muslims under the anti-blasphemy laws, most notably in Zaheeruddin, where five Ahmadi Muslims were charged for professing to be Muslims, under Ordinance XX, which is specifically targeted at Ahmadi Muslims. Mr. Rahman challenged the prosecution on the grounds that it violated the rights of religious freedom under Pakistan’s Constitution, that the law was discriminatory, vague and overbroad. In the judicial history of Pakistan, Zaheeruddin is a landmark judgment, and its effect on the role of religion in Pakistan’s state and society is perhaps best analogized to Plessy v. Ferguson’s impact on the relationship between race and law in the United States.
Mr. Rahman graduated from the University of Punjab in 1957 and obtained his LLB from the University of Karachi in 1961.