Q. What do you think about the blasphemy law.

Faiza Hameed: Uncertain and ambivalent :( I respect the Prophet (PBUH). My faith won't be complete without it. But should I expect other people (their religion not withstanding) to feel the same association? You can't force people to love or respect anybody. Especially, if you say along with it: you must think this way or off with your head. This isn't respect ... this is a threat. And in matters of love and faith, threat tends to have a short life span. I personally think all religious figures should be respected. If somebody (who doesn't necessarily have to be an anti-state element ... genuine misgivings relating to religion can and do arise) with a difference of opinion comes forward, the clashing view points should be debated upon.

I like to consolidate my religious beliefs and see them as a united whole, not pick isolated doctrines out of context. But like so many other things, this has proven to be quite a quandary. The Quranic tafseer I read, the Hadis on the matter, my friends and family, all support the law. But does that version take into account the thinking patterns of the whole society or just the dominant majority? If it doesn't accommodate the thinking styles of everybody, what should we do with the dissenters, the ones who disagree with the dominant majority? I don't know. I can't, for the life of me, reconcile the conquest of Mecca, 'the blessing for humanity' Quranic verse, the forgiving humble nature of the Prophet (PBUH), with the Hadis. I can't.