Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pakistan: Christian boy faces death penalty for insulting Islam on Facebook


A 16-YEAR-OLD Christian boy faces the death penalty after he was accused of insulting Islam in a Facebook post.
His family have been forced to flee their home in Bhai Pheru for fear of violence as their sons awaits trial in prison….
Also, it isn’t even certain whether the boy even posted the image, was tagged in the post or he simply liked the post. But it really does not matter under Pakistan’s cruel blasphemy laws: Christians and other minorities are often targeted and wrongly accused of blaspheming Muhammad and/or Islam, and given death sentences upon Muslim witnesses’ testimony. For example, the well-known case of Asia Bibi, who was accused of insulting Muhammad after a group of upset Muslim women in her home village got angry with her for drinking the same water as they were drinking, since she was considered an unclean Christian infidel. An argument ensued and she was subsequently accused of blasphemy, incarcerated under the worst of conditions, and faces hanging.
Families of those accused of blasphemy also suffer under this state-sponsored abuse. For instance, a Christian man in Pakistan’s Punjab province, who was accused of watching “anti-Islamic lectures on his mobile phone,” was “accused of blasphemy, forcing him and his family to flee from their village” for safety.
A couple of other anti-Christian blasphemy cases which were particularly cruel: back in February a disabled Christian man and his wife were sentenced to death after being accused of blasphemy without evidence, on the sheer word of an imam who accused them of sending a text to him which blasphemed Muhammad. Two years earlier, another Christian couple – with a baby on the way — was accused of burning a Qur’an, beaten to death by a large Muslim mob, and then set ablaze.
When one considers the barbarity of Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which mandates death for anyone who insults Islam, one also needs to wake up and realize that the once-free Western world is now under siege from an imposed variation of Pakistan’s blasphemy law. Every freedom-loving individual faces threats of personal attack and death, without sentence, if he or she dares to “blaspheme” Islam and/or Muhammad. The Charlie Hebdo massacre; the jihad attack at the Muhammad cartoons art contest in Garland, Texas; the riots following Terry Jones’ burning of the Quran (and even his announcement that he was going to do so); the riots over the movies “The Innocence of Muslims” and “Fitna” — these are all high profile troubling examples. Remember also that South Park altered an episode that satirized Muhammad following death threats from a Muslim group in New York. So can the West really said to be a bastion of free speech, free from blasphemy restrictions?
“Christian boy, 16, facing DEATH PENALTY for offending Muslims in Facebook post,” by Katie Mansfield, UK Express, September 29, 2016:
A 16-YEAR-OLD Christian boy faces the death penalty after he was accused of insulting Islam in a Facebook post.
The boy has been arrested and charged with blasphemy after a photo of the Kaaba in Mecca, one of the holiest sites in Islam, appeared on his profile.
A Muslim man told police the image, which was part of an alleged derogatory post against Islam on the boy’s profile, was insulting and sacrilegious.
The black cube-shape is built around an ancient stone at the centre of Islam’s most sacred mosque Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Locals reportedly claimed the image showed the Kaaba with a pig’s head on top.
Shahbaz Ahmed, a police official, said the informant contacted officers over a post “hurting religious sentiments of Muslims and desecrating the religious place”.
He said the boy “had done a great injustice to us by badly hurting our religious feelings”.
Police did not release details of the contents of the post, other than it included a photo of the Kaaba.
It is unclear if the boy posted the image, was tagged in the post or liked the post.
But under Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws, the teenage boy faces the death penalty or a life sentence.
The Facebook post has since been deleted.
His family have been forced to flee their home in Bhai Pheru for fear of violence as their sons awaits trial in prison.
Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said: “This incident again underlines the worthlessness of Christians in Pakistan. A 16-year-old boy who has been accused of a blasphemy, has been placed in a prison without any proper investigation.
“Social media can be a force for good or for bad, and we are all too aware of trolling in the west. However few understand the blasphemy entrapment Christians can face in Pakistan and often on flimsiest evidence, for which I can see social media becoming an ever more prolific weapon.
“Pakistani Christians try to be active parts of society and will have friends from the local Muslim community. It is hard to be part of the local community when you exclude the largest diversity, however perhaps in future Christians in Pakistan should observe a more stand-offish approach when adding Muslims to their social media.
“Clearly, even long term friends will bay for your blood if they feel that you have slighted their faith. perhaps it would be wise to prevent such hatred by more aloofness in future.”
Human rights organisations say Pakistan’s blasphemy laws often target religious minorities.
Religious offences include “wounding religious feelings”, “derogatory remarks” and “defiling the Koran”….


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