On 7th June 1988, the members of
the controversially elected parliament of Bangladesh passed the Constitution
(8th Amendment) Bill imposing Islam as the state religion of the country which
broke away from another religious-based country - Pakistan - only 17 years ago.
The four pillars of the Constitution of Bangladesh originally were nationalism,
democracy, secularism and socialism. Secularism and socialism were dropped from
the Constitution in 1977 to be replaced by ‘total faith in Allah’ and ‘social
In Pakistan, the blasphemy law has only acted as a catalyst to abuse the innocent in the name of religious honour. Is Islam so brittle and vulnerable that it can easily be dishonoured by a so-called 'insane' statement?
Former Jordanian parliamentarian Toujan al-Faisal was given amnesty by King Abdullah II, on 28 June 2002, after she was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment on charges of undermining the state's sovereignty.