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Muslim Doctor Faces Blasphemy Charge for Putting Business Card in Trash Can


KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Police say a Pakistani doctor has been arrested on suspicion of blasphemy after he threw away a business card of a man who shared the name of Islam's prophet, Muhammad.

It is the latest case involving the country's contentious law on blasphemy against Islam.

Police official Mushtaq Shah says the Muslim doctor was detained Friday in the southern city of Hyderabad after a complaint was lodged alleging his actions had insulted the Prophet Muhammad.

Pakistan's blasphemy law has received widespread attention following the case of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death last month for insulting Islam. Critics say the law is often misused to settle grudges, persecute minorities and fan religious extremism.



Naushad Valiyani was detained on Friday following a complaint by a medical representative who visited the doctor in the city of Hyderabad.

"The arrest was made after the complainant told the police that Valiyani threw his business card, which had his full name, Muhammad Faizan, in a dustbin during a visit to his clinic," regional police chief Mushtaq Shah told AFP.

"Faizan accused Valiyani of committing blasphemy and asked police to register a case against the doctor."

Shah said the issue had been resolved after Valiyani, a member of Pakistan's Ismaili community, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, apologised but local religious leaders intervened and pressed for action.

"Valiyani had assured Faizan that he did not mean to insult the Prophet Mohammed by throwing the visiting card in the dustbin," Shah said, adding that the police had registered a case under the Blasphemy Act.

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