SHEIKHUPURA, PUNJAB — In a shocking incident, the family of a local pastor fell victim to a brutal attack and religious persecution at the hands of an intolerant Muslim gang in Sheikhupura, Punjab.
Adding insult to injury, the perpetrators explicitly declared that Christians were not allowed to own a milk shop in the area.
The perpetrators of the violence have now threatened to kill the Christian family of they pursue justice and if they continue to run their small milk and yoghurt business.
On November 25th, Amir Masih was viciously assaulted while purchasing groceries from Muhammad Abdul Rehman’s shop. Present at the scene were individuals identified as Muhammad Naveed Akbar, Abdul Rehman Gujar, Usman Gujar, Gullu, Adil Gujar, and Buga Gujar. The situation escalated when Muhammad Naveed Akbar made an offensive remark about Mr. Masih’s Christian identity, “This chuhra is quite arrogant.” “Lets teach him a lesson”.
Upon hearing such offensive remarks, Mr. Masih responded that he was neither arrogant nor disrespectful to anyone in the area. He emphasized that his father, a pastor, had instilled in him religious teachings that never advocated vanity. Despite his fair defense, the group became enraged and commenced beating Mr. Masih violently.
As Mr. Masih arrived home and recounted the severe beating he had received from the gang, an informant arrived and informed Pastor Rasheed (48 yrs) that Muhammad Abdul Rehman and other Muslims were attacking his other son Ansar Masih (25 yrs) who was working at the family milk and yoghurt shop., Pastor Rasheed, along with his sons Amir, Danish, and Daud Masih, rushed to rescue Ansar Masih. When they attempted to save Ansar, they too were assaulted by the gang. In the midst of the scuffle, Amir was struck on his right shoulder, and Ansar’s head suffered a severe blow from a club, resulting in profuse bleeding.
Expressing discriminatory views, the attackers asserted that individuals referred to derogatorily as chuhra were not meant to operate a milk shop in a Muslim area. Muhammad Naveed expressed, “You are meant to clean and sweep in our homes. Chooras are not meant to run a milk shop in a Muslim area. We will not let you continue with your store.”