Sunday, August 26, 2012

Christian Girl Faces Death Penalty For 'Blasphemy' In Pakistan

"Last weekend's arrest and imprisonment of Rimsha Masih, an 11-year old Christian girl, by Pakistani authorities in the nation's capital, Islamabad, on charges of blasphemy, is deeply alarming. The girl, whose mental stability is doubtful, will certainly face death sentence according to the Pakistani law if she is found guilty of disrespecting or burning Islamic text. While the poor terrified girl awaits appearance before a court by the end of this month, President Asif Ali Zardari has ordered an immediate inquiry into this perturbing episode. The president's intervention is not likely to serve as a breakthrough nor is it going to lead to the swift release of the girl..."

According to the Associated Press, a group of 500 to 600 people had surrounded her house in Islamabad seeking action against the alleged blasphemer. "They were very emotional, angry," AP quoted a local police officer saying, "and they might have harmed her if we had not quickly reacted." It is unfortunate that the Pakistani law and officials have also turned against Ms. Masih by imprisoning her instead of protecting her from extremists. The little girl, who barely understands the dirty politics of religion and communalism, must be undergoing immeasurable distress and trauma. Media reports say hundreds of Christian families who lived in Ms. Masih's town have also fled their homes fearing assaults by Muslim mobs. They have not agreed to return since they left some days ago as they still feel insecure. Even President Zardari cannot do much against the country's infamous blasphemy law.-Who Benefits From Pakistan's Blasphemy Law?

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