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“It is not right in God’s sight to obey men rather than God.”





General
Christian couple burned alive in a brick kiln in Pakistan
05-11-2014

ISLAMABAD: A married Christian couple was on Tuesday thrashed and burned alive by an angry mob in Pakistan’s Punjab province for allegedly desecrating a copy of the Holy Quran. The incident took place in Kot Radha Kishan town, about 60 kilometres southwest of Lahore city.

The victims, identified as Shama and Shehzad, were burned alive in a brick kiln where they used to work. “A mob attacked a Christian couple after accusing them of desecration of the Holy Quran and later burnt their bodies in a brick kiln,” a news agency quoted senior police official Bin-Yameen as saying.

“Yesterday an incident of desecration of the Holy Quran took place in the area and today the mob first beat the couple and later set their bodies on fire in a brick kiln,” he added.

Blasphemy and the draconian laws dealing with it are highly sensitive issues in Pakistan, even the courts and legislators think twice before dwelling into the sensitivities of these issues.

The controversial blasphemy laws were formulated in the 1980s during the martial law regime of General Zia-ul-Haq. A conviction or merely an accusation of blasphemy can put one’s life in danger. Even if one is acquitted, the fear of death at the hands of vigilantes remains.

A Christian woman, Aasia Bibi, has been on death row since November 2010 after she was found guilty of making blasphemous remarks about Prophet Muhammad during a quarrel with a Muslim woman. Two prominent politicians who were campaigning for the release of Aasia Bibi and reform of the law were ruthlessly murdered in Pakistan’s capital. Ex-Punjab governor, Salman Taseer, was shot dead in January 2011 by his own bodyguard while the then federal minister for minority affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, was killed in March 2011.

Mumtaz Qadri, Taseer’s murderer, currently lives comfortably in a special cell at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail. No lawyer has come forward to prosecute the case and there is no one, even from amongst those who were present on the scene at the time of murder, ready to stand in the witness box against Qadri.