2 July, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 11/02/2013
PAKISTAN
Punjab, Christians hunted for blasphemy: fireworks wrapped in Koran pages
by Jibran Khan
The two Christians and their families have fled for fear of being killed. The two fireworks vendors say they are innocent: they bought them from a factory owned by Muslims.

Islamabad ( AsiaNews) - Two Pakistani Christians and their families are fleeing for their lives after being accused of blasphemy against the Koran. The two proclaim their innocence and fear for their lives.

Arif Masih and Tariq Masih are owners of a store where they sell fireworks in Thatta Faqirullah (Wazirabad , Punjab ) . On October 27 they sold Muhammad Zahid a set of fireworks for his wedding party. Since some of them failed to go off, some of the wedding guests opened them to see why they did not work and found that the powders were wrapped in pages containing verses of the Koran. The discovery shocked the newlyweds and their guests who immediately destroyed the store of both Christians and denounced the two to the police.

Tariq Masih tells AsiaNews : "We do not manufacture fireworks, we buy them from a factory near Gujranwala and we do not know what materials they use. Moreover, these factories are owned by Muslims and no Christian works inside there."

Tariq adds : "We have not even touched the pages of the Koran. The idea of using these pages for fireworks is beyond all imagination because we are well aware of the consequences."

The people of Thatta Faqirullah did not believe the two Christians and called on the police to arrest them and an exemplary punishment for those who insult Islam. Several have threatened that if the police do not act, they will hunt and kill them to the two blasphemers themselves.

Arif Masih and Tariq Masih, along with their families, fled from the area, fearing for their lives.

Fr. George James, of the Diocese of Sialkot, comments: "This is a sad incident that the marginalized  are being victimized, a poor vendor is being targeted for something he has not done, the violent and aggressive mobs are hunting them down to kill them. For how long will the minorities have to face the abuse of the law? The concerned authorities should act responsibly and ensure that the law and order situation remains in control and no innocent has to suffer".

In Pakistan, the blasphemy law is often used against Christian minorities , Sikhs, Ahmadis, but also against Muslims in order to pursue personal vendettas . Last month a Christian was beheaded in Karachi, accused of blasphemy, for reasons related to professional rivalry .

 

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
07/09/2004 pakistan
New proposal to change the blasphemy laws
02/16/2009 PAKISTAN
Marginalization, threats, and misery for families charged with blasphemy
by Qaiser Felix
12/19/2008 PAKISTAN
Islamic threats in church: bible burned, appeal to conversion
by Qaiser Felix
05/31/2007 PAKISTAN
Another Christian condemned to death for blasphemy, without any proof
10/27/2009 PAKISTAN
Pakistan, Christians and Muslim leaders: repeal blasphemy law
by Fareed Khan

Editor's choices
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.