Good thing they have a holy book to tell them what’s moral. Imagine how these people might behave without Allah’s divine guidance.
An enraged Muslim mob beat a Christian couple to death and burnt their bodies in the brick kiln where they worked on Tuesday for allegedly desecrating pages of the Holy Qur’an. …
Sources privy to the details of the incident told Pakistan Today that Shahzad Masih and his wife Shama worked in a brick kiln owned by a man named Yousaf Gujjar since the last 3-4 years. “The couple were originally from Clarkabad, a Christian village a few kilometeres away from Raiwind but they had been working at Yousaf Gujjar’s brick kiln for the last 3-4 years and were living in a quarter in the premises,” a relative of the deceased couple told Pakistan Today on the condition of anonymity.
He said that on Sunday, Shama, wife of the deceased Shahzad Masih, was cleaning her quarters when she found some amulets belonging to her late father-in-law who used to ‘practice’ black magic. “Shama burnt the amulets and threw them on a garbage heap. Irfan, a Muslim co-worker at the kiln, noticed some half burnt pieces of paper from the amulets and raised clamour, claiming that these were pages from the holy Quran. Soon the word spread and at 7am on Tuesday, a Muslim mob of about 3,000-40,000 people attacked the couple’s quarters at the brick kiln and tortured the couple to death.
Shama and Shahzah Masih reportedly had three children (no word on their condition or whereabouts) and were expecting a fourth.
Will justice be done?
Police sources said that a case had been registered against some 2,000 “unidentified people” for the murders.
We wait with bated breath.
Extreme violence over alleged anti-Islam blasphemy is nothing new in the region. Pakistan’s Tribune reminds us that just last year,
An over 3,000-strong mob set ablaze more than 150 houses of Christians in Lahore’s Joseph Colony on March 9 to “take revenge of the blasphemy” allegedly committed by a Christian two days earlier. …
[The crowd was] furious over an alleged remark against Islam by a Christian, Sawan Masih, in an earlier discussion with his Muslim drinking buddy, barber Shahid Imran.
As the riots and arson unfolded, police officers stood by and did nothing.
According to Dawn, the country’s oldest and most popular English-language newspaper,
Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in the country, with even unproven allegations often prompting mob violence. Anyone convicted, or even just accused, of insulting Islam, risks a violent and bloody death at the hands of vigilantes.
Sometimes, the people who knowingly set off such predictable chains of events may not even be actually offended. But pretending that they are can have certain benefits:
The desire to grab land or settle personal scores often underlies blasphemy allegations. …
The reality of Pakistan today is that [the] mere accusation of this crime, howsoever unsubstantiated, instantly imperils the life of the individual concerned, and that threat persists not only throughout his incarceration, but even after acquittal.
Speaking of Pakistan and blasphemy: As Hemant wrote two weeks ago, the Pakistani appeals court in Lahore upheld the death penalty for Asia Bibi, a woman incarcerated in 2009 after she argued with Muslim co-workers over shared water. They claimed it was unclean because Bibi is a Christian. Things turned ugly when she refused to convert to Islam, a statement her colleagues considered an insult to their faith. Incredibly, Bibi will now most likely be executed for her perceived impudence.
People with knowledge of that situation think that even if members of the judiciary are not in the pocket of Islamists screeching blasphemy, the judges have a powerful incentive to go along with the wishes of the mob.
Judges of the Lahore High Court may have rejected the appeal out of fear for their safety, as religious groups demanding Ms Bibi’s execution were present in court.
The country’s religious hotheads and assorted thugs have somewhat of a tradition of violent intimidation, up to and including murder:
Pakistan’s judges have occasionally faced the wrath of countrymen upset with their decisions concerning blasphemy. Judge Pervez Ali Shah, who gave the death penalty to the guard who killed Salmaan Taseer, fled Pakistan after issuing his decision. Justice Arif Bhatti, who had acquitted two Christians in a 1995 blasphemy case, was killed in his office in 1997.
(Image via Shutterstock)