Australian Outlook

Blasphemy Law and Islam

26 Oct 2018
By Professor Sajid Hameed
Flavia Bellieni Zimmermann from the Australian Institute of International Affairs in Western Australia, discussed Blasphemy Law and Islam with Al-Mawrid Global Research Fellow, Professor Sajid Hameed, through the UWA Centre for Muslim States and Societies.

There is a need to differentiate between Islamic law and Muslim law to remove the misperception of Islam as being harsh and rigid.

There are distinctions between Islamic law and Muslim law. The former comprises only the injunctions of the Quran and Sunnah, while the latter is derived from analogy through Ijtihad (independent or original interpretation of problems not precisely covered by the Quran). Blasphemy law, in this regard, does not have any basis in Quran and Sunnah and thus it is a Muslim law. This difference is very important, as the execution of blasphemers in Muslim states like Pakistan has led some to interpret Islam as being harsh and rigid. Rather, Islam is very lenient and would never approve of killing because of blasphemy.

Flavia Bellieni Zimmermann from the AIIA for Western Australia spoke with Professor Sajid Hameed.

Professor Sajid Hameed is Al-Mawrid Global Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia’s Centre for Muslim States and Societies and the Director of the Directorate of Education at Al-Mawrid Global. Mr Hameed is a member of the Editorial Board of the Quarterly “Ijtihad” Organ of He is currently conducting doctoral research on the topic of Islamic Thought and Civilization. His previous research was on the concept of certitude and probability in Muslim thought.

Interview by Flavia Bellieni Zimmermann.

Video and editing by Nancye Miles-Tweedie.