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Muslim BBC presenter sparks Twitter uproar





  • Muslim activist Shazia Awan asked viewers to offer opinions on punishment
  • She asked: 'What is the right punishment for blasphemy? in online debate
  • Her assumption that it should be punished sparked outrage from viewers
  • One viewer wrote:  There should be no punishment. It's the 21st century'

By Charlie Moore For Mailonline

Published: 05:00 EDT, 18 March 2017 | Updated: 08:28 EDT, 18 March 2017

The BBC's Asian Network has provoked uproar by asking its Twitter followers 'what is the right punishment for blasphemy?'

A video posted on its account shows Muslim activist Shazia Awan asking followers to get in touch and offer their opinions on how blasphemy should be dealt with.

Her assumption that blasphemy - which is still punishable by death in some Muslim countries - should also be punished in Britain shocked many viewers. 

The BBC's Asian Network has provoked uproar by asking its Twitter followers 'what is the right punishment for blasphemy?' The BBC's Asian Network has provoked uproar by asking its Twitter followers 'what is the right punishment for blasphemy?'

The BBC's Asian Network has provoked uproar by asking its Twitter followers 'what is the right punishment for blasphemy?'

Paul Joseph fumed: 'There should be no punishment for 'blasphemy'. It's the 21st century for f***s sake. BBC is CANCER.'

Incredulous Ali A. Rivaz asked: 'Is this a serious question?'

Another wrote: 'If today @BBC talking about punishments for #blasphemy in Britain with 6% of population #Muslim what's our future in 30 years?'

Linda sulher wrote: 'This is BRITAIN, folks. WOW. 'What is the Right Punishment For blasphemy?' asks Muslim-focused BBC Radio Network'. 

Maryam Namazie‏ added: 'Disgraceful that @bbcasiannetwork @ShaziaAwan would ask what 'punishment' should be for blasphemy. You know people get killed for it.'

And Safiya Alfaris wrote: 'There should be no punishment of blasphemy... instead punish those who scare children into believing they'll burn in hell.'

Asia Network's video came after Pakistan asked Facebook to help it crack down on 'blasphemous content' as Pakistanis 'badmouthed' Islam online.

Her assumption that blasphemy - which is still punishable by death in some Muslim countries - should also be punished in Britain shocked many viewers Her assumption that blasphemy - which is still punishable by death in some Muslim countries - should also be punished in Britain shocked many viewers

Her assumption that blasphemy - which is still punishable by death in some Muslim countries - should also be punished in Britain shocked many viewers

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif earlier this week described blasphemy as an 'unpardonable offence'.

Since 1990, 62 people accused of blasphemy in Pakistan have been murdered before their trials ended. 

Facebook said it viewed government requests with care keeping in mind 'the goal of protecting the privacy and rights of our users.

Asia Network's video came after Pakistan asked Facebook to help it crack down on 'blasphemous content' as Pakistanis 'badmouthed' Islam online  Asia Network's video came after Pakistan asked Facebook to help it crack down on 'blasphemous content' as Pakistanis 'badmouthed' Islam online 

Asia Network's video came after Pakistan asked Facebook to help it crack down on 'blasphemous content' as Pakistanis 'badmouthed' Islam online 

'We disclose information about accounts solely in accordance with our terms of service and applicable law. 

'A Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty or other formal request may be required for international requests, and we include these in our Government Requests Report.'

Blasphemy has not been illegal in England and Wales since 2008 when the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act abolished the common-law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel. 

The BBC today apologised, writing on Twitter: 'Apologies for poorly worded question from Asia Network yday. Q was in context of Pak asking FB to help we shd have made that clear.' 

'We never intend to imply Blasphemy should be punished. Provocative question that got it wrong.'

The BBC today apologised, writing on Twitter: 'Apologies for poorly worded question' The BBC today apologised, writing on Twitter: 'Apologies for poorly worded question'

The BBC today apologised, writing on Twitter: 'Apologies for poorly worded question'

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