Home > Radical Islam > Pakistan: Violations Against Christians Soar, ‘Killing, Oppression And Humiliation Are More And More Frequently Taking Place’

Pakistan: Violations Against Christians Soar, ‘Killing, Oppression And Humiliation Are More And More Frequently Taking Place’


By Mohshin Habib, Gatestone Institute – “Rimsha Masih, a young Pakistani Christian girl, who was arrested in August 2012 by Pakistan’s police for alleged blasphemy, has escaped the country with the direct help of Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and AVAAZ, a civic organization. Local media and her parents said she was as young as 11 at the time of her arrest; medical reports classified her as an ‘uneducated’ 14-year-old with a mental age younger than her years. Accused of burning pages of the holy book for Muslims, the Quran, Masih, under Pakistan’s ‘blasphemy laws,’ faced the death penalty…

Killing, oppression and humiliation are more and more frequently taking place in Pakistan. In addition to the well-known cases of Martha Bibi, Younis Masih, Rifaqaat Masih, Sawan Masih, Samuel Masih [Masih, meaning ‘messiah’, is a very common name among Pakistan’s Christians] and many others are also being subjected to killings, imprisonment with long sentences, beatings, and burnings. In just the past few months, for instance, Pakistani police killed three Christian boys for love affairs with Muslim girls. Afzal Masih 20 and Iftekhar Masih 20 were killed on Aprl 29, and Adnan Masih was tortured, then killed, by the police on June 10.

In August 2012, an 11-year-old Christian boy was found dead, with his lips and nose sliced off, his stomach removed and his legs mutilated. Police said he had also been subjected to sodomy.

The Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child reports that as many as 2,000 girls and women from various minority sects have, through rape, torture and kidnapping, been forcibly converted to Islam; and in 2011 alone, 161 people were charged with ‘blasphemy.’ According to reports, in 2009, eight Christians were burned to death in Pakistan’s province of Punjab after rumors spread of a desecration of the Quran.

In April, 2013, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom warned that the risk to Pakistan’s minorities has reached a crisis level. The Commission said that the blasphemy laws, and others, are used to violate religious freedoms and foster a climate of impunity.

Blasphemy laws are, at present, the most significant tool for persecution against the Christian community. These laws, however have also often been used to settle personal disputes or just to make Pakistan into a Christian-free state. These trends sharply escalated when, in 1986, Pakistan’s late military ruler, General Zia-ul-Haq, harshly amended the British-era blasphemy laws in Pakistan’s penal code, with sections 295-C, 298-A, 298-B, and 298-C the most dire:

Section 295-C: “Use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet…shall be punished with death or imprisoned for life…”

Section 298-A: “Uttering words, etc, with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings….”

Section 298-B: Misuse of epithets, descriptions, titles reserved for certain holy personages or places…”

Section 298-C: “A person who poses himself as a Muslim…. or in any manner whatsoever outrages the feelings of Muslims.” [Emphasis added.]

No later government has since dared to re-amend them.

Since 1986, more than 1200 people have been charged under blasphemy laws. The Asian Human Rights Commission has cited the Islamabad-based institute Center for Research and Security Studies in a report which says that more than 1,000 people have been charged in Pakistan for committing offences against the blasphemy law. Since 1990, 52 people have been extra-judicially murdered for being implicated in blasphemy charges. Among them, 15 were Christians.

Nasir Khan, a Pakistani who resides in Dhaka, Bangladesh, has said that no evidence is required before the court; just the verbal statements of two or three persons are enough to punish a non-Muslim for blasphemy.” Read more.

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