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Monday, 27 March, 2000, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
Serial killer sentence 'un-Islamic'
Sentenced to be cut into pieces and dissolved in acid
By Zaffar Abbas in Islamabad

Pakistan's leading religious affairs advisory body, the Islamic Ideology Council, has declared the recent sentencing of a serial killer as un-Islamic.

The council says the Lahore court's decision to sentence Javed Iqbal to death by mutiliation is not allowed in Islam.

The sentence given by the Lahore court judge in the serial killer case sent shock waves around the world.

Faisal mosque
Sentence could create wrong impression about Islamic law
Judge Allah Bakhsh Ranjha, who found Javed Iqbal and three accomplices guilty of the murder of 100 children, sentenced Mr Iqbal and one of the accomplices to death, saying he should be executed in the same way he had killed the children.

He ordered Mr Iqbal, and one of the accomplices, to be executed by strangulation in public at Lahore's national monument, Minar-e-Pakistan.

He then ordered the bodies to be cut into 100 pieces, and dissolved in vats of acid.

Many people across the country were shocked by the verdict, and the Interior Minister acted swiftly to counter criticism by announcing the sentence would not be implemented in the manner as the judge had ordered.

Against Islam

Although Javed Iqbal has now appealed against the verdict in the High Court, the country's top advisory body on religion, the Islamic Ideology Council, has said the sentence is against the teachings of Islam.

The council has said the sentence against Javed Iqbal could create an impression inside and outside Pakistan that it has been passed in keeping with Islamic injunctions, and potentially giving rise to misunderstandings about Shariah law.

It said there were categorical commandments in Islam to maintain the dignity of dead bodies, including those of non-Muslims.

The council says the cutting of bodies into pieces is strictly forbidden and quotes the Prophet Muhammed prohibiting Muslims from undertaking this practice.

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16 Mar 00 | South Asia
Serial killer fights execution
15 Mar 00 | South Asia
Death for Pakistan serial killer
16 Mar 00 | South Asia
Few executions in Pakistan
16 Mar 00 | South Asia
The mind of a killer
01 Mar 00 | South Asia
Eyewitness: Trying a serial killer
13 Jan 00 | South Asia
Pakistan 'serial killer confesses'
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