‘What is the Right Punishment for Blasphemy?’ BBC Apologises


BBC Asia has apologised after receiving a barrage of criticism for posing the question “what is the right punishment for blasphemy?” on its Asian Network Twitter account.

Intending to promote a debate, the tweet concerned blasphemy on social media in Pakistan.

It came to light this week that Pakistan, wanting to crack down on so-called ‘blasphemers’, asked both Facebook and Twitter to help identify Pakistanis who have contravened blasphemy law so it can either have them extradited or persecuted.

Protesters in Islamabad call on authorities to take action against blasphemous content on social media. Photograph: T Mughal/EPA

According to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, anyone who has been found to have either insulted Islam or the prophet Muhammad face the death penalty.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the interior minister of Pakistan, claimed that an official in Pakistan’s Washington embassy had communicated with both Twitter and Facebook for the purpose of detecting Pakistanis, whether in Pakistan or abroad, who had shared media deemed blasphemous.

He also claimed that 11 people had been identified for questioning by Pakistani authorities over apparent blasphemy and would go so far as to pursue the extradition of any Pakistani suspected of blaspheming living outside of the country.

In response to the BBC’s controversial tweet, various human rights activists and organisations spoke out. For example, Maryam Namazie tweeted that the question posed by BBC Asia was “disgraceful”.



About Benjamin David 35 Articles
Benjamin David founded Conatus News in 2016. He currently works as an editor for Parliamentary Review.


  1. The BBC “apologizes” for asking what should be done to blasphemers??!! It was bound to happen; the BBC is becoming the mouth of muslims and sharia law. Just as England has given in to sharia law by having so many “no go” neighborhoods where police there allow them to sort things out themselves under sharia law, the BBC is now becoming its voice. This question and the “apology” is merely the first step in making people “comfortable” with this type of question and I believe this is just the start; soon the BBC will be “all muslim all the time.”

  2. Just a correction, the channel in question is not “BBC Asia”, which suggests a BBC channel broadcasting in Asia similar to BBC America etc. (as a matter of fact, there is no “BBC Asia”), but “BBC Asian Network”, which broadcasts in Britain and is aimed at people of Asian descent living in Britain.

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