07/16/2012, 00.00
PAKISTAN

Christians condemn the killing of Muslim man for blasphemy in Punjab

by Imran Morris
Some 3,000 people, mostly madrassa students, set fire to Ghulam Abbas for ripping some pages of the Qur'an. The victim was mentally disabled. The silence of the authorities and police is upsetting, Christian activist says.

Lahore (AsiaNews) - Pakistani Christians have condemned the silence of Punjab's provincial government over the death of Ghulam Abbas, a disabled Muslim man who was burnt alive by a mob of 3,000 people for blasphemy. "It is upsetting that police did not arrest anyone even though a First Information Report (FIR) has been filed against the attackers," Christian social activist Safraz Clement said.

Police arrested the victim, a homeless man in his forties, for questioning in Ghani Gnot (southern Punjab) after he ripped some pages of the Qur'an.

Once news about the incident made the round of the region's mosques, a mob of 3,000 people gathered in front of the police station, demanding he be put to death.

The protesters, mostly students from local madrassas, eventually turned violent and stormed the station, injuring seven police agents. Several police vehicles were also set on fire.

Once they grabbed the prisoner, they dragged him outside, beat him to a pulp and then set him on fire.

Christians note that the blasphemy law has become a licence to kill since a simple accusation of insulting the Qur'an or the Prophet Muhammad is enough to become the victim of fundamentalists.

 

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