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Published On: Sun, Nov 3rd, 2019

Pakistan Christian Amir Masih escapes blasphemy charges as Imams rally violence against Christians

On Saturday, October 26, Amir Masih, a Christian sanitation worker from Yousafabad, a small town near Faisalabad, was falsely accused of blasphemy. Fortunately, after local police intervened, the blasphemy charges against Masih were dropped.

cover of a Quran photo by crystalina via wikimedia commons

While collecting trash from local residences, Masih found a bag containing pages from the Bible and Quran. He took these pages to a Muslim-owned shop to confirm that they were pages of the Quran. When the shopkeeper saw the pages, he accused Amir of being a “unclean garbage collector.”

Masih was then dragged to a local mosque where the imam announced over the mosque’s loudspeaker that they had stopped a blasphemous Christian. The imam went on to encourage imams from other mosques to punish the culprit and burn the homes of local Christians.

The police intervened and took Masih into custody. After Masih explained what had happened and a brief investigation, the police convinced the local imams to drop their accusations against Masih. Eventually, police filed a blasphemy charge against person or persons unknown.

False blasphemy accusations in Pakistan, especially against religious minorities, are common. The legal ambiguities surrounding Pakistan’s blasphemy laws cause them to be easily misused and abused. Because of this, simple misunderstandings, such as what happened to Masih, have the potential to explode into false blasphemy charges. In other cases, false accusations are often motivated by person score settling or religious hatred.

ICC

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Pakistani Christians: Another blasphemy accusation results in mob violence

 

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