Over 100 Christian Homes Torched in Lahore over a Blasphemy Accusation in Pakistan

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Over 100 Christian Homes Torched in Lahore over a Blasphemy Accusation in Pakistan

Xavier Patras William

Modern Tokyo Times

Christians are fleeing a Muslim rampage in Lahore after another “alleged blasphemy” accusation led to approximately 3,000 Muslims attacking Christians. Like often happens, the entire Christian community is fleeing over a minor alteration between a Muslim and Christian. Of course, if Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism are mocked then nothing happens and this applies to the response of the minority non-Muslim communities and from a legal point of view.

It must be stated that when Shia Muslims are killed in vast numbers in Pakistan by Sunni Islamic militants, then this is usually based on major terrorist attacks. This applies to suicide attacks, Shia Muslims being taken of buses and killed in cold blood and by other deplorable terrorist ways.

However, the attack against the Christians of Joseph Colony which is near Badami Bagh, Lahore, was done by local Muslims. Sadly, this incident isn’t anything new and neither is the deplorable response whereby one “alleged comment” can lead to prison, death and the entire non-Muslim community being attacked where the “alleged” incident occurs.

Sawan Masih, 26, is the Christian involved in the “alleged incident” and now he fears for his life because of the hatred within the hearts of people who can’t accept religious equality and freedom. Equally alarming, is that the institutions in Pakistan are stacked against non-Muslims and Muslims who “allegedly blaspheme.” Therefore, many innocent Christians and Muslims are at the mercy of a failed law which incites hatred and which is open to enormous manipulation.

The Express Tribune, a Pakistan media group, stated that The charged group gathered around Joseph Colony on Noor Road, led by Shafiq Ahmed, who was in search of the accused Savan, alias Bubby. The mob attacked Savan’s house, partially burnt it and pelted it with stones. Other houses in the locality – home to about 150 Christian families – were also attacked.  Many residents, including women and children, hastily fled to save themselves.”

It is known that a blasphemy case was registered therefore the police have taken Sawan Masih into custody. The case will be registered under the dreaded 295-C section number. Therefore, Sawan Masih will face a very dark period because violence can easily happen within the institutional system – or if he is released – given the nature of the hatred towards the local Christian community which expresses such hatred over such a minor “alleged altercation.”

Salamat Masih, a local Christian resident, stated that “We were busy in our daily work, we heard a noise “burn them alive,” and a huge mob rushed in and burnt our properties. They threw acid and threw stones at Christian houses. The authorities kept silent and didn’t intervene until everything was burnt.”

Apparently a local Muslim cleric stated that Sawah Masih should be killed if he is seen anywhere. Life for All which is campaigning against religious persecution is on the ground in order to help the local Christian community.

Sadly, it is clear that major democratic nations are not speaking out against issues like this. Yet with every case like this then Pakistan is “losing a part of its soul” to the forces of darkness. Many Pakistan nationals involved in human rights in this country, irrespective if Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Sikh, or secular; are “showing the light of Pakistan.” However, you have too many negative forces against them because the international community isn’t doing enough to support organizations which are trying to stem the tide of hatred. Therefore, it is imperative that the blasphemy law is taken out of the legal system in Pakistan because all citizens of this nation, irrespective of faith, can face a bleak future based on “a minor altercation” or “a false statement.”

Xavier Patras William based in Pakistan provided the above images

Xavier Patras William is based in Pakistan and he is a writer and human rights activist who kindly provides articles for Modern Tokyo Times.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/518244/alleged-blasphemy-mob-burns-100-christian-homes-in-lahore/

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com



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