Christian families flee area after Muslim mob threatens them.

July 5, 2011, 5:23 pm
Source: Global Healing Pakistan
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Lahore Pakistan, May 6 (CDN) - Police in chichawatni, Sahiwal district have charged a mentally man with injuring religious practice, under Pakistan’s widely condemned blasphemy laws.                                                                                                    

The families related to 25-years-old baber Masih, are the only Christian families in the area. They have fled their home after a Muslim mob threatened them, relatives of the accused complained.   Police in chichawatni, Punjab province registered the blasphemy case against Masih on Monday (May 2) after arresting him at about 10 pm. that night.

The accused is the son of Iqbal Masih in shakir colony, chichawtni Bypass. The young man’s own family handed him over to police because a large numbers of Muslim clerics had gathered outside their house and demanded that he be turned over to them so that they could, do justice to him the relative said.  

A Muslim neighbor, Rana sadar, had told the Muslim family that the police should be called so that he could be taken into custody, otherwise he would be killed by the Muslim clerics who where bringing more charges up with every passing moment, a relative said. With a large number of people gathered at the house when the police arrived, Babar Masih was handed over from another gate and immediately but into a police van.  


When the clerics saw Masih being put in the police van, they rushed toward it to take hold of him They continued chasing the vehicle that carried him away, giving the three families related to Masih’s immediate family the opportunity to flee from their home, relatives said.

At press time they where still in hiding.     Masih,s brother Amjad Masih said that after fleeing from their home, he talked with neighbors who told him. That several other neighbors had been pressured by Muslim clerics to go to the police station to provide testimony against the accused.  

These neighbors where of the opinion that they could not refuse to give evidence after the clerics force them, telling them that were coming out of the mosque after prayer when Babar masih used abusive language against the prophet Muhammad, Amjad Masih said ,they told me, it is such a sensitive matter that we could not refuse.  

He said Babar Masih has suffered from mental illness for the past six years or seven years typified by fits of unprovoked rage. He said that his brother’s loss of mental balance was reflected in abusive language and lack of concern for food and clothing.   Amjad Masih told compass that he had learned from witnesses that Babar Masih was walking by a canal near the mosques looking upward and calling out names as the mosque he had learned.

While he was coming out witnesses heard him using abusive language about Muhammad. Amjad said he did not learn about the alleged incident until he had returned from an area bazaar.   “when I reached home  I saw a large numbers of Muslim clerics that had gathered outside our home:, he said. “I believe that they had come from other cities, because I can not identify them and they were not of our area.”

Then he asked why they had gathered. He said the clerics told him that Babar Masih had used insulting language about Muhammad, which can be punishable by death in Pakistan. His older brother James Masih, said he had locked the accused in a room. He confirmed that neighbors warned that the clerics  would kill Babar Masih unless police were informed.   Police were not available for comment at the time representaves from a human rights organization met with Babar Masih in the Sahiwal central jail, were he has been since Tuesday(May 3).  

Masih was charged under the section 298 of Pakistan’s blasphemy statues for, uttering words….. with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings, and section 298-a for use of derogatory remarks …… respect  of holy personages.,    Attorney Khurram Shehzad maan of the European center for law and justice’s office in Pakistan said that the complainant in this case was not the cleric who allegedly saw Babar Masih speaking ill of Muhammad and other Islamic figures, but rather a dairy farmer named Zeeshan arain whose property is on the same street as Babar Masih,s. He said the police should have examined him to confirm whether he was insane as Babar Masih,s family had informed them.  

Maan said that section 84 of Pakistan penal code states, nothing is offences which is done by a person who, at the time of doing it by reason of unsoundness of mind, is incapable of knowledge, the nature of the act, or that he is doing what is ether wrong or contrary to law., therefore he said police had the option of sending him to a mental asylum rather then registering a first information report.  

In the FIR, arain clearly states that Babar Masih was addressing the stars as he allegedly cried out against the prophet and holy personages of Islam, the Maan said.  

It means that the police must have come to know since the beginning that Babar was not a sane person, who was addressing stars, and also Babar never meant to injure feelings of any Muslims, Maan added.   Amjad Masih said that the few neighbors who were not siding with the murderous mob had told him not to return home, as police out of uniform, the clerics and several other were visiting their house to see if they had returned.  

I want to go back home, he said. We have business there, and we don’t want to leave the place, but we fear that the people will attack us. We do not have any idea how to response in this situation.  

With tensions returning high in the area, on Thursday (May 5) there was a meeting as a panchayat in which Islamic clerics from all major mosques of the local and surrounding areas gathered with a Christian representative. The Christian representative argued that Babar Masih was insane, and that in any event the Christian families were not responsible for whatever he may have done and should be allowed to return to their houses.  

Muslim at the meeting, however were reluctant to allow the three families to return home, saying they needed three days to consider it. Sources said the situation was still tense and that the government should be aware that attacks on other Christian was possible.  

Pakistan’s blasphemy laws have drawn condemnation across the world, and two senior government officials- Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer, a liberal Muslim, and federal minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian have been assassinated this years for demanding a review of the legislation.   Reported By: Parvaiz Akhter Executive Member Global Healing Pakistan.  



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1 Comment

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SERRAH SHAD wrote: 06-05-2013 20:54:23

Hello, To all that were the part of this incident,only thing I can say is my thought's and prayers are with all of the victims and folks who were in defending part. thank guys for all your support and concern may Lord Jesus Christ protect you always. Serrah Shad