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News – Pakistani Christians attacked

September 2009

Pakistani Christians attacked

 

Pakistani Christians recently have experienced more outrages. Eleven Christians were burned by acid when 600 Muslims went on the rampage in Bahmani Walla, a Christian village in Pakistan.

      Some 117 houses were vandalised, while petrol bombs caused serious damage to 48 properties, leaving villagers without electricity or many of their possessions. Cars were burnt or stolen. As the Christians fled, acid was thrown on them. The slower ones, mostly women and children, were seriously scarred.

      The incident flared up after a question of a right of way arose, when a Christian farmer asked a Muslim motorcyclist to let him pass. Allegations of blasphemy against Muhammad and Islam were raised, causing the mob’s attack.

      In another shocking display of violence, Islamists set fire to 60 Christian houses in Korian village, in Toba Tek Singh district, on 30 July after a blasphemy accusation was levelled against a young boy and his father.

      The trouble began when a Christian vendor ignorantly brought home a piece of paper that had Qur’anic verses written on it, along with some other rough papers. His children innocently ripped apart the paper not understanding its contents.

      When some local Muslims found the torn pieces of paper, anti-Christian hostility spread like wildfire. Local Muslim clerics accused the father and son of committing blasphemy and incited Muslim residents of Korian and adjoining villages to attack Christians in Korian. Some 500 Muslims from nearby villages, armed with firearms and explosives, set fire to the houses and took away the Christians’ cattle.

      Mr Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Minorities, has ordered police to arrest the culprits. Talking to ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net), he termed the attack a ‘heinous crime’ against Christians.

      Criticizing Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws, he said that the laws are being ‘widely misused to victimize minorities and innocent people of Pakistan’. Mr Bhatti has been at the forefront of a campaign to repeal Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

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