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    » 07/18/2013, 00.00


    Pakistani Christian violently attacked for protecting his daughters

    Shafique Khokhar

    The perpetrators are two young Muslim men, still on the loose. The Christian suffered a head injury and a broken arm. The man: "I may not be rich, but I will fight for justice and for the respect and the dignity of my family."

    Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Insulted, threatened, beaten and humiliated: this is what happened to a Christian family in Pakistan, attacked by some Muslims, who own a brick factory. The attackers wanted to "punish" Rafique Masih, a 50 year old father, for trying to defend his daughters, harassed by the constant taunts of Muhammad Umai and Muhammad Zubair, nephews of the owner of the factory.

    "This inhuman act - Rafique Masih tells AsiaNews - happened because we are poor and we had requested a loan of 70 thousand rupees (770 dollars) from the owners of the brick factory. They think that poor Christians do not deserve respect and that therefore they can do whatever they want. I may not be rich, but I will fight for justice and for the respect and the dignity of my family. "

    Rafique and his wife have seven children, four girls and three boys. After his eldest daughter, Iram, 17, was yet again verbally harassed on July 10 last, the father went to tell the two young men not to bother his daughters anymore. In response, Muslims began to verbally abuse him, insulting him and his family and threatening to "teach him a lesson."

    After the argument the Christian returned home, but the same evening Muhammad Umai and Muhammad Zubair appeared at his door looking to continue the argument. Mehboob Masih, 23, one of the sons opened the door, refusing to call his father. At that point the two burst into the house armed with wooden sticks and bricks and began to beat the boy and his father, who came to see what was happening.

    The attackers wounded Rafique's head and broke his arm. Then they slapped and insulted his daughters, trying to drag them into the street to humiliate them. Only the intervention of some neighbors made them desist. At that point, the Muslims held the Christians in their own home, threatening to crush anyone who rushed to their aid and preventing the family from receiving medical treatment.

    A few days later, on July 13, some relatives were able to rescue the family with the help of the Justice and Peace Commission (Ncjp), which has been providing medical care and assistance. However, the culprits are still at large.


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    See also

    24/03/2011 PAKISTAN
    Pakistani activists warn of cover up in Bhatti murder inquiry
    Christian leaders denounce inadequacy of investigation into the death of Minister for Minorities. Too many false leads and a lack of political will to punish those responsible. The new president of AMPA Paul Bhatti requests a parliamentary commission of inquiry. Like Shahbaz, "I will carry on his mission until the last drop of our blood."

    20/07/2010 PAKISTAN
    Faisalabad, murdered brothers buried. Justice and Peace: abolish the blasphemy law now
    At 8 this morning the community bid a final farewell to Sajid and Rashid Emmanuel. Their murder has sparked violent clashes between Christians and Muslims. The police are patrolling the streets but the situation is "explosive." Catholic activist: "renewed commitment to cancellation of discriminatory laws." Christian couple threatened with death for a documentary on Gojra.

    29/07/2014 PAKISTAN
    Pakistan, Ahmadi neighborhood torched over 'blasphemy' charge: Grandmother and grandchildren die
    The children were 1 and 7 years of age. Islamic community enraged by a Facebook post, considered "blasphemous." The doctrine of Ahmadis is considered "heretical" by much of the Muslim world, both Sunni and Shiite.

    26/02/2013 PAKISTAN
    Punjab: Muslim attacks disabled Christian for money, police deny any investigation
    The 35 year-old Khalid Masih had agreed to witness to a trade – for free- at first welcomed by both parties. The next day the Muslim Irshad Gujjar demanded more money. On refusal, he avenged himself by ambushing Christian intermediary. The police refused his complaint and the criminals go unpunished.

    06/07/2009 PAKISTAN
    Faisalabad, Christians and Muslims investigating case of young man charged with blasphemy
    An inter-religious committee will examine the case of Imran Masih, arrested and tortured for having burned pages of the Koran and beaten by police. A Catholic priest points out that is a "positive step" to dissolve the tension. Involving Muslim leaders to dismantle the charges against the young man.

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