In a nation where religious sensitivities often run high, Pakistan has been marred by a recurring issue – blasphemy allegations.
These allegations, whether genuine or fabricated, have the power to disrupt lives and communities.
Recently, two distressing incidents unfolded in Lahore and Khanewal, shedding light on the continuing challenges faced by religious minorities and the alarming misuse of blasphemy laws.
Beaten for a Torn Page: Khanewal Incident
In Khanewal, a horrifying incident unfolded as a young child, aged between 6 and 7 years, was brutally beaten after being accused of tearing a page containing Quranic text from his Islamiyat textbook. Islamiyat is a compulsory subject on Islamic education taught in public schools across Pakistan. Unaware of the consequences that would follow, the child discarded an already torn page into a dustbin. However, the teacher discovered the page, leading to the merciless beating of the innocent child and the false accusation that he had intentionally ripped the page out of the book.
The child’s parents, upon learning of the brutal treatment their son had endured, visited the school to seek answers. Instead of receiving support, they were subjected to abuse and threats. School authorities even summoned a local Muslim cleric to further intimidate the family.
The District Police Officer, Khanewal has been notified of the situation, he has assured the Christian community of safety and vowed to uphold law and order in the area. This incident however, exemplifies the rising tensions and lack of religious tolerance that persistently threaten minority communities in Pakistan.
Our team in Pakistan has not yet been able to make contact with the family to offer help.
Accused of Desecrating the Quran: Lahore Incident
In another distressing incident, a couple, Kiran Shoukat (35 yrs) and her husband Shoukat Masih (40 yrs), residents of Chaudhary Colony in Lahore Cantt, found themselves accused of desecrating the Quran. The complainant, Muhammad Taimur, alleged discovering torn Quranic pages in a pink bag on the first floor of the couple’s residence.
According to Taimur’s account, he stumbled upon the torn pages while visiting a stall selling pre-seasoned meats in the local area around 12:15 am on September 8th. He said that he then followed a trail of scattered pages of the Koran, which he traced back to the couple’s home.
BACA has provided the family with a commitment of comprehensive legal assistance and financial support for the children who are currently under the care of their uncle, Sharif Masih. The expenses for this support are expected to amount to thousands of pounds. We are actively seeking generous donors who are willing to contribute to these costs. If you have been touched by this cause and would like to make a contribution, please consider donating by clicking (here). Your support is greatly appreciated.