A Hindu principal in Pakistan may face the death penalty after a student accused him of making illegal comments about the Islamic prophet Muhammad, an act that spurred riots and led to dozens of arrests.
After rumors of the alleged “blasphemy” spread, upset Muslim rioters decided to attack basically everything. Many were arrested, but their fate isn’t nearly as dire as the man accused of blasphemy.
The principal is now in custody facing blasphemy charges. If found guilty, he could face the death penalty.
The rioters have also been charged under the blasphemy act, according to BBC reporters in Pakistan. However, they face a lesser charge of attacking a temple which does not carry the possibility of a death sentence.
The man is in danger of losing his life for something atheists in the West do regularly. Even outside the barbaric punishment for a “crime” that isn’t a crime, it’s not even clear if the principal actually insulted Muhammad. Often, these witch hunts form before there’s any kind of evidence.
A total of 43 rioters were reportedly charged with attacking the Hindu temple and the school; even more were charged with theft.
A Hindu principal in Ghotki, Sindh has purportedly been accused of committing blasphemy by extremists, who have vandalised his school. Hindu community in the area is in danger. They must be provided with protection immediately! Video & report via Shankar Meghwar pic.twitter.com/Xctf04brli— Bilal Farooqi (@bilalfqi) September 15, 2019
The incident has reminded many rights groups about the backward nature of blasphemy laws.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has condemned the violence, sharing a video of the alleged destruction on Twitter.
“The video… is chilling: mob violence against a member of a religious minority is barbaric, unacceptable,” it said in the post.
This isn’t just about Islam, or even about Muhammad. Much of the problem is the Islamic government, controlled by theocrats insistent on getting revenge against any potential threats to their favored mythology. While white evangelicals in the U.S. aren’t clamoring for the death penalty for dissenters, they also want to use the government to advance their views, acting like any actions they disagree with are attacks on their faith. The injustices are piling up over here, too, and the current government can’t be counted on to put secular values over particular religious beliefs.
(Screenshot via YouTube. Thanks to Som for the link)