In a bizarre display of religious discrimination a band of drunken Muslims beat seven innocent Christians in their homes during their revelry.
The attack happened in the town of Samundri in Faisalabad 16th September 2016. Apparently a small group of Muslim men had been out drinking
and had become extremely boisterous and loud in their drunken stupour. One of the women from a Christian home reacted to the noise and asked
the men to move somewhere else as they were disturbing the peace. The Muslim men however took offence from the audacity of ‘ritually impure’
Christians making demands on them. They were so incensed they gathered friends and any fighting implements they could find including sticks and
metal rods and returned in a mob of between 35 – 40 people. When they came back they entered the homes of the Pariah Christians and started beating
the men, women and children indiscriminately. They shouted obscenities at the Christians and called them choorey (dirty sweepers), donkeys and insulted
Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour – despite Jesus being referred to as a prophet in their koran.
Arif Masih, recalled the attack, he said:
“I had returned form work and we were enjoying some rest as we waited for our food to be prepared. A group of drunk Muslims came and were shouting loudly and saying lewd things to any young girls that were passing. My wife asked them to leave the area as they were disturbing locals and they started shouting obscenities at us, but left shortly after. About and hour later they returned with a gang of around 15 people and started beating us with sticks and poles. They said all Christians should be killed they said we were evil demons and made Pakistan impure. I thought I am my family would be killed it was very frightening.”
The bizarre nature of the attack was not the fact that Christians were being brutally beaten by Christians, an act which has become a common phenomenon
in Pakistan. But more so, the drunk Muslim men who were flouting the rules of Islam by drinking and still had the audacity to call Christians
Seven victims were hurt in the incident five of whom were admitted to hospital. Arif Masih (48 years), Parveen Akhtar (40 years), Zahid Masih (35 years),
Sharifaan Bibi (35 years), Shahzad Masih (34 years), Jamaal Masih (50 years) and Akram Masih (42 years).
Kanwal Amar lead reporter for the BPCA visited the victims in hospital and later at their homes in village Chak 172/GB. He has been providing counselling,
support and advocacy for the victims. When he arrived to them he discovered no First Information Report (FIR) had been filed by police for the brutal
attack on the innocent Christians, despite visible injuries, eye witness accounts and several attempts by humanitarian groups to exert pressure on
local police to fulfill their duties..
Kanwal Amar visited the police station at Sadar Samundri with Professor Anjum Paul, the local Lumbardar (Village leader) Abdul, Dr Albert Sahotra an elected Councillor, Father Abid from the Catholic Mission, Dr Shamoun Bhatti and together they challenged the local police
force on their lack of professionalism. Accompanied by the family Kanwal Amar and his colleagues provided adequate evidence to persuade Deputy Superintendent
Malik Shahid to agree to register an FIR once Medico-legal evidence is received. Samundri hospital has no X-Ray machine meaning results are due
back from Faisalabad General Hospital, which has caused delay. The severity of the injuries will then determine the severity of the crime. Already
the police have questioned some of the men accused of the violence.
Kanwal Amar, lead reporter for the British Pakistani Christian Association,
“To many this attack just seems to be an act of drunken violence, but the manner of the insults directed at these innocent Christians, evidences their lowly status. I believe most Muslims in Pakistan hold a deep hatred for Christians that is easy to evoke just by a Christian being in their presence. Fear of an attack is an ever present fear in the minds of all Christians living here and our Government is doing little to change this.”
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:
“The deep-rooted and festering malice towards Christians in Pakistan means that they are constantly living on the edge, waiting to be the next victims. These drunken Muslims were ogling women, shouting expletives and committing unprovoked violence. All of these acts made the Muslim perpetrators ritually impure yet they labelled the innocent Christians as ritually impure and beat them indiscriminately for the perceived evil within them. The lack of morality in this act of violence is obvious to most onlookers, but crimes like this continue to mar a country seemingly intent on fostering hatred and intolerance. As a UK tax-payer I am disgusted that Britain continues to fund Pakistan through foreign aid -especially the 225 million meant for holistic educational reform. The national curriculum in Pakistan continues to espouse hatred towards minorities, the result of which, is a worsening social pariah status for Christians in particular and other minorities.”
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