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Thursday, December 19, 2002

Once again Islam shows its true colors

MULTAN, Pakistan (Reuters) - A Pakistani man has been sentenced to life in prison under the country's blasphemy laws for being a follower of a self-proclaimed prophet, court officials said Thursday.

Ahsan Azamtullah, 45, was convicted of being a disciple of Sardar Ahmed, a self-proclaimed prophet who died in prison last year after a prolonged bout of mental illness, officials said.

Azamtullah was also fined $1,700 in the verdict handed down Wednesday by a court in the eastern Pakistani town of Faisalabad. Another man and woman are being sought to answer similar charges.

In Islam, the prophet Mohammad has been declared the last messenger from God. Under the law in Pakistan, an Islamic nation, those claiming to be latter-day prophets are guilty of blasphemy, which carries the maximum death penalty.

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