Muslim Persecution of Christians Escalating in Pakistan
There is no provision in Pakistan's blasphemy law to punish a false accuser or a false witness. Since 1990, more than 65 Christians have been killed for "blasphemy;" more than 165 cases are waiting for verdicts.
In recent years, the Christians of Pakistan have become one of the most vulnerable religious communities in the world. Most of the time, the Pakistani extremists use two common accusations to persecute the Christians: defamatory remarks toward Mohammed, and burning pages of Quran.
Christians in Pakistan, a news site on behalf of the Pakistani Christian community, predicted that the situation is becoming alarming. The site alleges that there are currently many cases being reported of Christians being targeted, but no action to reform or address the problem by any government official.
In a recent incident in Badami Bagh near Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore, Sawan Masih, a Pakistani Christian and two Muslims were quarreling over the drinking of alcohol. Four days later, on March 9, the Muslims accused him of insulting the Prophet Muhammad -- in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Iran, under blasphemy laws, an allegation punishable by death.
Police quickly arrested Masih, but a massive mob of 3000 Muslims wanted police to hand "the blasphemer" over to them. The mob attacked the Joseph colony, a poor Christian neighborhood, and burned 180 houses. Two churches were vandalized. The Asian Human Rights Commission stated, "on March 8, during the Friday prayers it was announced through the mosque loud speaker that Masih committed blasphemy by passing remarks against the last prophet of Islam. The police who were already prepared arrested Masih when a crowed attacked the community. In the ensuing incident they beat Masih's father seriously. The police asked the community to vacate the area, as there were chances of further attacks, totally ignoring their responsibility to protect members of the religious community. The police left the area thereby providing a perfect opportunity for the attackers to return the next day, March 9." In fear of Muslim reprisals, Christians rapidly fled the area, leaving behind homes and households.
There have been many persecutions like Younis Masih most Christians in Pakistan are named Masih], a Christian father of four, who has been on death row; Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five, who was convicted of blasphemy (allegedly making derogatory remark about the Muslim prophet Muhammad), and in 2010, sentenced to death by hanging. In 2012, a Christian Pastor was charged with blasphemy. These and dozens of others are still fighting against criminal charges. Rimsah Masih, a 14 year old Christian girl afflicted with mental disabilities, was arrested in August 2012 after being accused by a local cleric of burning 10 pages of the Quran. In addition, there is no provision in Pakistan's blasphemy law to punish a false accuser or false witness. Since 1990, either mobs or individuals have killed more than 65 Christians accused of blasphemy. 165 blasphemy cases are waiting for court verdicts. There have been many extrajudicial killings of Christians, seizures of Christian graveyards, and forcibly vacating from lands where Christian have been living for decades. Some people accused of blasphemy have been killed in prison or shot dead in court.
In 2011, two high-level Pakistani Christian politicians who had attempted to repeal the blasphemy laws were assassinated. Salman Taseer, the only Christian Governor and Minister in Pakistan's cabinet, was killed by his own guard. According to reports at the time, Pakistani lawyers, as well as street mobs, took the side of the murderer. Two months later, an Islamist killed the Minister for Minority Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti. According to a Human Rights Watch report in 2012, high-ranking officials of the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) called for the amendment of section 295(C) of Pakistan's penal code, otherwise known as the blasphemy law. However, the government succumbed to pressure from extremist groups and dropped the proposed amendment.
Reader comments on this item
|Any help for Pakistan? [148 words]||Sharon Rogers||Jul 27, 2013 00:08|
|Correction for your article [33 words]||VCYP||May 11, 2013 06:48|
Comment on this item
by Mudar Zahran
"If Hamas does not like you for any reason all they have to do now is say you are a Mossad agent and kill you." — A., a Fatah member in Gaza.
"Hamas wanted us butchered so it could win the media war against Israel showing our dead children on TV and then get money from Qatar." — T., former Hamas Ministry officer.
"They would fire rockets and then run away quickly, leaving us to face Israeli bombs for what they did." — D., Gazan journalist.
"Hamas imposed a curfew: anyone walking out in the street was shot. That way people had to stay in their homes, even if they were about to get bombed. Hamas held the whole Gazan population as a human shield." — K., graduate student
"The Israeli army allows supplies to come in and Hamas steals them. It seems even the Israelis care for us more than Hamas." — E., first-aid volunteer.
"We are under Hamas occupation, and if you ask most of us, we would rather be under Israeli occupation… We miss the days when we were able to work inside Israel and make good money. We miss the security and calm Israel provided when it was here." — S., graduate of an American university, former Hamas sympathizer.
by Ben Cohen
Now, with the Islamic State's self-proclaimed caliphate having captured key oil wells in the Middle East this year, foreign oil has become an even more lethal financial weapon-of-choice for those seeking to destroy democracy and further escalate the War on Terror.
That President Barack Obama failed even to mention oil as a critical factor in the war against IS during his speech to the nation on September 10, is an omission both revealing and dangerous in terms of how his administration wants to depict the stakes involved in this latest confrontation with the jihadis.
by Lawrence A. Franklin
One Pakistani recruiter of child suicide bombers describes these children as "tools provided by God."
Another Muslim cleric in a madrassa [Islamic boys' school] describes child suicide bombers as "a gift from Allah that we have an unlimited number willing to be sacrificed to teach Americans a lesson."
Using children as suicide bombers will stop when... they stop "condoning the killing of innocents."
by Denis MacEoin
"No religion condones the killing of innocents." — U.S. President Barack Obama, September 10, 2014.
"Islam is a religion of peace." — U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, September 13, 2014.
"There is a place for violence in Islam. There is a place for jihad in Islam." — U.K. Imam Anjem Choudary, CBN News, April 5, 2010.
Regrettably it is impossible to re-interpret the Qur'an in a "moderate" manner. The most famous modern interpretation by Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966), the Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, leads the reader again and again into political territory, where jihad is at the root of action.
If they deviated from the true faith -- as we are seeing in the Islamic State today -- "backsliders," like pagans, were to be fought until they either accepted Islam or were killed.
In India alone, between 60 and 80 million Hindus may have been put to death by Muslim armies between the years 1000-1525.
by Yaakov Lappin
Hamas's long-term ambitions are indistinguishable from those of Islamic State and al-Qaeda.
Hamas will now focus on its next goal -- trying to strengthen its presence in the West Bank and eventually toppling the Palestinian Authority from power there, just as it did in Gaza. If Israel were to withdraw from the West Bank, Hamas would certainly find such a goal easier to accomplish.
Nothing keeps the flames of jihad alight, and Hamas's popularity secure, like frequent wars.