A Muslim mob of 400 zealots is tracking two individuals while threatening the 100,000 Christians living in the city of Faisalabad in Pakistan. The mob wants the lives of two Christians who had been accused under the treacherous Blasphemy Laws for alleged insults to Prophet Mohammad PBUH in a handwritten pamphlet.
As it has been in the past, members of a religious minority are hunted down under Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws where the ‘evidence’ is doctored and the action is a show of deadly strength to intimidate all non-Muslims, non-Sunni Muslims and secular minded Muslims in the country.
Various human rights and inter-faith organizations have demanded from the successive governments to repeal the Blasphemy Laws but each Government protects it to support Sunni Fanatics and to fulfill its own political ambitions.
Below is an eyewitness account by Atif Jamil Pagaan, a prominent social activist and the director of Harmony Foundation in Faisalabad, that was posted to the mailing list of Labour Party Pakistan (socialist_pakistan_news.yahoogroups.com) by Farooq Tariq.
Muslim mob demands death sentence for alleged blasphemy law accused
By Atif Jamal Pagaan
‘Thousands of Muslims took out a procession on the roads of Faisalabad from the afternoon till evening on July 11, 2010. They were demanding death sentences for Rashid Emmanuel and Sajid Emmanuel of Daud Nagar Faisalabad, two brothers who were arrested on July 2, 2010 on the charges of writing a pamphlet with blasphemous remarks about Prophet Mohammad.
‘Both the brothers were arrested and are in the Civil Lines Police Station. Rashid and Sajid reside in a street next to my home.
‘The protest started on the evening of July 10, 2010 in Waris Pura where more than 100,000 Christians live. The mob wanted to attack and burn the area where Rashid and Sajid live and burn their house. The protesters chanted slogans, raised weapons and announced to teach a lesson to the Christian community in Waris Pura. More than 400 protesters continued their protest for six hours in which they stoned the Catholic Church in Waris Pura and burnt tyres on the roads.
‘Despite the presence of the police the protesters did not disburse but announced to continue their protest on July 11, 2010.
‘The Christian community in Faisalabad especially in Waris Pura, the second biggest slum in the city, was scared and many of them fled to their relatives in other towns and villages. The mob threatened that if Rashid and Sajid are not given death sentence they will themselves take revenge not only from the two brothers but from the whole Christian community.
‘Rashid, 32, is a pastor in his own ministry and his brother Sajid is a student of Masters in Business Administration. The charges levied on them are false as no evidence or witness is present. The handwritten photocopied pamphlet is distributed by some unknown people and the names and telephone numbers of Rashid and Sajid are printed in it.
‘The situation is still tense in Waris Pura and Muslim youth is roaming in the streets holding weapons and sticks. Christian community is scared as they remember the Gojra incident last year in which nine Christians were killed and burnt alive and more than 120 homes were completely burnt by a Muslim mob who wanted to give punishment to the Christian community in that area for alleged charges of Blasphemy on one Talib Masih.’
To stand against Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws and to lend support to its current victims, contact Pagaan at:
Atif Jamil Pagaan
Pakistan Minorities Democratic Harmony Foundation
Image: The back page of the poster ‘The Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan’, published by National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP)