31 August, 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
LEBANON
Muslims defend Christians’ freedom in Beirut DeclarationFreedom of religion, education and opinion are defended by quoting the Qur’ān, which is the basis for the rule of law, not a religious state. Lebanese Sunnis slam violence committed in the name of God. The full declaration is reprinted here.
LEBANON
Islamic Makassed launch doctrinal battle against Muslim extremism
by Fady NounOfficial reference point for Lebanon’s Sunnis approves a document entitled "Beirut Declaration on Religious Freedom". Speculation over whether Dar el-Fatwa will succeed in gradually regaining control of Islamic religious teaching in the nation’s mosques.
HONG KONG – CHINA
For Card Zen, removing crosses in Zhejiang is an insult to the faith of CatholicsHong Kong’s bishop emeritus has come to the conclusion that the campaign to dismantle crosses and religious buildings is part of a broader, nation-wide strategy, and constitutes regression in terms of the mainland's religious policy. Catholics and Protestants in Hong Kong now fear that it might happen to them. In Zhejiang, another 15 religious buildings are slated for destruction by 1 September.

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.