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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 04/18/2012
PAKISTAN
Muslims strip Christian woman in Punjab because she "dressed up", shoot at her son
by Shafique Khokhar
A family in Gojra is attacked by some Muslims because they like to "dress up". The mother is brutally beaten whilst her son is shot at, luckily without consequences. Police and the courts fail to apprehend the offenders. The local priest says that such violence is used to maintain people in "conditions of inferiority".

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) - A Christian woman was harassed, beaten and stripped in public by some Muslims belonging to the local land mafia because in her family people like to dress up too much. Her son almost suffered a worse fate. When he tried to help her, they fire at him but narrowly missed. As tragic as this is, it is typical of the violence and persecution Christians endure. More than a month after the incident, which occurred in mid-March, both police and the courts have not brought any redress or punished the offenders. "These thugs pursue their own interests," a local priest said; in so doing, they violate the rights of the "weakest elements in society."

Shamin Bibi, a 42-year-old mother of five, works in a brick kiln. She is originally from Chak 179 G.B., in Gojra, a town in Toba Tek Singh District (Punjab), where several Christians died in an attack in 2009.

During her brutal assault, her attackers badly beat her and ripped her clothes off. When her 22-year-old son Naqshaq Masih tried to intervene, they attacked him with bricks and shot at him. Luckily, they missed.

Two Muslim landlords, brothers Sajid Ali and Abid Ashan, were responsible for the attack. They exert a mafia-style control over the area.  

The reason for their action appears even more absurd than the action itself. They do not want Christians to "dress up", even on holidays or Sunday for Mass.

As second-class subjects, not much better than animals, minority Christians are not allowed to wear elegant clothes. They can only dress rough garments. In the past, they have often been subject to mafia-styled threats and "warnings".  In fact, another of Shamin Bibi's sons had to flee to avoid being killed.

On the day of the atatck, the Christian woman was at home alone with a daughter, and pleaded to the men to go away because there was no male member of the family present.

Initially, police opened a first information report and arrested the offenders. However, a week later they were released after paying off the police.

On Monday, Shamin Bibi filed a suit against her attackers, appearing before a district judge in Gojra. The latter however rejected her application. Her family plans to continue their battle for justice but their chances in court are slim.

A resident in her town spoke to AsiaNews on condition of anonymity. "Landlords have no pity," he said. "They can only waste the wealth" their parents accumulated. They engage in violence and abuse the poor. "If the latter refuse to follow their orders, they are beaten." These people "walk around with guns and have no respect for Christians," he said.

Fr Yaqub Yousaf, a parish priest in Gojra, agrees. "Social injustice and divisions are used by cruel landlords to protect their vested interests and maintain people on the margins of our society in conditions of inferiority."


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See also
10/24/2011 PAKISTAN
Asia Bibi prays for freedom but judges are hostage of fundamentalists
by Jibran Khan
11/16/2010 PAKISTAN
Blasphemy law, a sword hanging over our heads
by Anonimo*
12/22/2010 PAKISTAN
Asia Bibi affair: Islamic parties set strike date for 24 December, same day as Christian march
by Jibran Khan
05/24/2011 PAKISTAN
After Bin Laden’s death, Asia Bibi’s prison security tightened
by Jibran Khan
11/08/2011 PAKISTAN
Asia Bibi “frail” yet “strong a year since she was sentenced to death for blasphemy

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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