Barnabas Fund - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Muslim groups in Pakistan speak out for ...

Email:

Muslim groups in Pakistan speak out for Christian girl accused of blasphemy

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Muslim groups in Pakistan speak out for Christian girl accused of blasphemy

Country/Region: South and East Asia, Pakistan

This is the first time in the history of Pakistan that the Muslim community and scholars have stood up for non-Muslims.

Sajid Ishaq, chairman of the Pakistan Interfaith League

Islamic groups in Pakistan, including the country’s leading body of Muslim clerics, have come out in support of Rimsha Masih, the Christian girl with Down’s syndrome falsely accused of blasphemy, in an unprecedented and welcome move.

Family_in_Maherabad_Islamabad_2_4X3.jpg
Hundreds of Christians fled Maherabad after Rimsha was accused of blasphemy

The All Pakistan Ulema Council (APUC), which includes representatives from fundamentalist groups, called for an “impartial and thorough investigation into the case” and for “strict action” to be taken against Rimsha’s accusers if she is found innocent.

Other Islamic groups, including Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) and Khatm-e-Nabuwwat, plus the Pakistan Interfaith League, which comprises minority religious groups, have also backed the young Christian girl.   

APUC chairman Allama Tahir Ashrafi said this was “a test case for Pakistan’s Muslims, Pakistan’s minorities and for the government”. He condemned the mobs who regularly pressurise police into registering blasphemy cases, saying that it was like the “law of the jungle”, and called for the government to “make this case an example so that nobody will dare misuse the blasphemy law in future”.

Mr Ashrafi, who is also part of the leadership of a coalition of Islamist organisations, Defence of Pakistan Council, said:

We don’t want to see injustice done with anyone. We will work to end this climate of fear. The accusers should be proceeded against with full force, so that no one would dare make spurious allegations.

He also spoke out in defence of the hundreds of Christian families who were forced to flee their homes in Maherabad village amid a violent Muslim backlash, urging the government to take action to protect them. Mr Ashrafi said:

This is inhuman that those who have nothing to do with the case or are not a party to it are also being harassed.

Rimsha, who was arrested after being accused on 16 August of burning pages of a Noorani Qaida, a booklet used to learn the basics of the Quran, is being held in a maximum-security jail and is said to be deeply traumatised by her ordeal.

Following a medical examination, Rimsha’s age has been determined as between 13 and 14, though her mental age is below her chronological age. This means that her case will go before a juvenile court, which is likely to treat her with greater leniency.

A court adjourned today (Thursday 30 August) a bail hearing for Rimsha until Saturday (1 September).  

Her father, Misrek Masih, has appealed to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to pardon the youngster. He said:

We are afraid for her life… I’m asking President Asif Ali Zadari, who has already called for further attention into my daughter’s case, to pardon her and to prevent other people from being persecuted under these harsh laws like my daughter.

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Muslim groups in Pakistan speak out for Christian girl accused of blasphemy

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • Pray for Christians in Sri Lanka facing attacks from Buddhist extremists, who have forced the closure of numerous churches. In an apparently positive move, the government has created a Religious Disputes Unit to address conflicts between different groups and combat attempts to create religious discord. But many Christians and Muslims believe that Buddhist extremists are allowed to operate with impunity and that the new unit will not solve the problems faced by non-Buddhists. A cap on the building of places of worship has also been announced, and this seems to serve the Buddhist lobby, which is opposed to expanding Christian activity. Pray for protection for Christian congregations and that their ministry and mission will not be further impeded. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 45 minutes ago

    • Cry out to the Lord for Alexis Prem Kumar, a 47-year-old Christian minister from India who was abducted in Afghanistan on 2 June. No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, but three Taliban militants have been arrested in connection with it. Alexis had worked for an NGO in Afghanistan since 2011, helping returning refugees. He was leaving a school near Herat for Afghan children who have recently returned from Iran or Pakistan when he was seized. Give thanks for Alexis’ willingness to serve the Lord in what remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world for Christians, and pray for his safe return. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Sep 2014 00:00

    • The case of an Egyptian Christian man arrested following complaints by Muslim neighbours that he had been using his home as a church without a permit highlights the need of the Christian community for more places of worship. The 55-year-old man from Minya in Upper Egypt, where Christians are particularly vulnerable to persecution, was arrested once before, in 2011, for the same offence. Every church building in Egypt requires a permit, but these are notoriously difficult to obtain. Pray that the authorities will show leniency to the Christian man and that a provision in the new constitution addressing the issue of church buildings will be enacted. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Kidnapping for ransom has been a persistent problem for the Christian community in Egypt amid the political upheaval and instability following the “Arab Spring” revolution of 2011. On 14 June, Wadie Ramses, a well-known surgeon, was seized in El-Arish. The assailants opened fire on his vehicle and took him away wounded. They later demanded a ransom of ten million Egyptian Pounds (£800,000; US$1.4 million) for his release. Two days later, Christian merchant Gemal Shenouda was captured near his home in the same city. It is thought that Islamic militants with links to al-Qaeda, who have been behind escalating violence in the Sinai region, are responsible for the kidnappings. Pray for the safe return of our two Christian brothers and that they and their families will know the Lord’s peace. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Sep 2014 00:00

    • On 18 June, Bishoy Armia Boulous (31) was sentenced to five years in prison and given a fi ne of 500 Egyptian Pounds (US£70; £40) for “disturbing the peace by broadcasting false information” in connection with reports he produced relating to anti-Christian violence in Minya for a Christian TV channel. His lawyer believes that Bishoy has been targeted because of his conversion from Islam. The Christian gained notoriety in Egypt in 2007 as the first person to try to change his religion on his ID card, a case that is still unresolved owing to the political tumult in the country over the last three years. Pray that the Lord will be Bishoy’s strength and shield (Psalm 28:7), and that he will soon be released. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Sep 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Fund 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Fund & Barnabas Aid are registered trade marks