Offensive content

God the BBC can be infuriating. In its reporting on the murder by torture of Mashal Khan for instance.

A university student in Pakistan accused of blasphemy against Islam has been killed by a mob of fellow students on campus, police say.

Many students have been arrested after the brutal attack in the northern city of Mardan, and the campus has been closed.

Reports suggest that two young men were accused of posting offensive content on Facebook. One survived with injuries.

It’s not for the BBC to call the content of Khan’s posts “offensive.” It’s not for the BBC to agree with the idea that skepticism or mockery of religion is “offensive” – especially not hours after someone was violently battered to death over such accusations.

Blasphemy is a highly sensitive and incendiary issue in Pakistan.

Critics say blasphemy laws, which allow the death penalty in some cases, are often misused to oppress minorities.

Critics say that, but others might disagree. And what do they mean “misused” – how could laws against blasphemy be properly used?

Last month Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif voiced his support for a wide-ranging crackdown on blasphemous content on social media.

In a statement on his party’s official Twitter account, he described blasphemy as an “unpardonable offence”.

An official at Abdul Wali Khan University who spoke on condition of anonymity said Mr Khan was disliked by other students for his liberal and secular views.

At least 65 people have been murdered in Pakistan after being accused of blasphemy since 1990, a recent think tank report said.

And it serves them right for being so “offensive”?

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