"Blasphemy has become the tool of choice for Pakistan's resurgent Islamists, one that rarely fails," said Mr. Hoodbhoy. "Point your finger at someone — possibly someone whose business you covet or a political opponent — and scream that he defiled Prophet Muhammad. Before you know it, a lynch crowd will have assembled."
"It would have been different if Noreen Laghari had said she had been recruited by [the Indian intelligence service]. In that case, no punishment would have been too severe," said Mr. Hoodbhoy, a physics professor at Forman Christian College in Islamabad.