Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy<br>By Shahid Hussain
20 Jul 2002
LAHORE: July 19. A former Christian officer of fisheries department who claimed to be Jesus Christ and blasphemed the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was convicted for hurting the feelings of Muslims, Christians and Jews on Thursday and sentenced to death by h
The prosecution had charged the convict with passing derogatory remarks about the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in a letter he sent to complainant Haji Mehmood Zafar, secretary general, Aujuman Ashait-e-Islam. The court upheld the charge and observed that Kenneth defiled the sacred name of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and hurt the religious sentiments of people by committing an offence under Section 295-C PPC.
The judge observed the convict uttered derogatory remarks in his letter to the complainant, all heads of states, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, all foreign diplomats in Pakistan, Muslim religious leaders and Christian theologians the world over. The judge observed, "apart from his abhorrence of Islam, Kenneth has tried to amalgamate Christianity and Judaism, which is not acceptable to both religions. So he has not only hurt the feelings of Muslims but also those of Christians and Jews."
The judge said the convict had pleased none by offending all and nobody could be allowed to earn cheap popularity at the expense of hurting religious feelings of people. Before the judgment, the court dismissed an application for Keneth's medical examination. Gowalmandi police arrested Keneth in September 2001. He had also sent a copy of his blasphemous letter to the Gowalmandi police. An FIR was lodged against him under Section 295-C at the police station, with Haji Mehmood as complainant.
According to the convict, out of the heads of 188 countries, only Ireland President Sister Mcaleese replied his letter. Earlier the bearded Kenneth, who was wearing Shalwar Kameez and skullcap, was taken to Awan-e-Adl under a tight security. A number of policemen were deployed on the court premises. They did not let anybody meet the convict. The convict said he would not appeal before the Lahore High Court because he had full faith in that he could not die. Sticking to his blasphemy, he said, Kenneth was a BS-18 officer at the Fisheries Department three years ago. In the beginning of the year 2000, he resigned on religious grounds. The department did not accept his resignation. But he did not join and so was punished with removal from service. On the previous hearing, he confessed to blasphemy and said Jesus Christ had chosen him for preaching his message.