Pakistan Couple, Man, Jailed For Blasphemy

Thursday, March 11, 2010 | Tag Cloud

By Worthy News Special Correspondent Jawad Mazhar reporting from Pakistan
Christian couple (r) charged with blasphemy, speaks with CLAAS investigator.

LAHORE/KASUR (Worthy News)-- A Christian couple, were detained Thursday, March 11, as they began serving a 25-year prison term for blasphemy against Islam shortly after another Christian received a similar sentence, the latest in a series of cases that have worried the human rights community.

Ruqqiya Bibi and her husband Munir Masih were sentenced last week under Section 295-B of the Pakistan Penal Code for "defiling" the Koran, deemed a holy book by Muslims, because they allegedly touched it without ritually washing their hands, the independent Center Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) told Worthy News and its news partner BosNewsLife.
Islamic "fundamentalists came with fake evidences to prove that we allegedly violated Pakistan's Blasphemy Law," said the handcuffed Masih.Soon after he and his wife were separated and now serve time in the District Jail Kasur and Women Jail Multan in the Kasur area, a city near Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, CLAAS confirmed.
Earlier in February, Qamar David was sentenced in Karachi to life imprisonment for allegedly sending blasphemous text messages with a mobile phone, although other trial observers said the jail sentence would be closer to 25 years.
His lawyer Pervaiz Aslam Chaudhry told reporters that David was innocent as over a dozen apparently said that not David but the owner of the cell phone, a Muslim, was guilty.
Righs activists and church representatives have told Worthy News the cases underscore their concerns over Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws which they say have been misused to target Christians and settle personal disputes.
A local Christian church leader in the Kasur area, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of security concerns, described the detained Christian couple as "very religious people" and members of his church.
He said the couple apparently touched parts of the Koran "without an Islamic ritual in which head, teeth, mouth, hands and feet are washed with water, or sand and soil."The ritual, he said, "is performed prior to offer an Islamic prayer or recite the Holy Koran or even touch any copy or part of the Koran.
"By allegedly violating this rules the couple "incurred themselves to the gruesome dangers of allegations under the Blasphemy Laws in December of 2008," added the church leader, whose name is known to Worthy News and BosNewsLife.
CLAAS confirmed it would support an appeal against the prison sentence for the couple, saying the charges amounted to "a fake blasphemy case.
The group also expressed concerns about the couple's children, saying the "impoverished Christian family" should have had a fair opportunity to fight their case in court.
The latest blasphemy cases come amid mounting concerns over threats and attacks against the Christian minority in Pakistan, a mainly Muslim nation, rights groups say.
Last month, Pakistan's government said it plans "to change" its blasphemy legislation to check its misuse by extremist groups.
The law, which besides long prison sentences can even carry the death penalty for insulting Islam or its prophet, is a highly sensitive issue in Pakistan, which is more than 95 percent Muslim.
Previous governments have failed to reform the law because of opposition from powerful hard-line Islamic groups, according to observers familiar with the legislation. (Worthy News' Stefan J. Bos contributed to the story).
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3 thoughts on “Pakistan Couple, Man, Jailed For Blasphemy”

  1. Praying!

    "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
    Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." Galatians 4:6-7

    Save Now LORD!

    "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call." Joel 2:32

    Save Now!

    "The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." Jeremiah 31:3

    I Love You LORD Jesus

  2. I don't know why muslims don't tell the truth about moham their so called prophet. He was after all a man who slept with a eight year old girl after marrying her. How come they don't make that public? Let the world know what kind of man this was. mohamedism is an oppressive religion that only wants to bring the world back to the dark ages.

  3. We can help theses kind of situations by prayer and by donating to CLAAS - who provide legal assistence in these unjust trails of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
    Please have a look at the CLAAS website - and pray .
    We may be safe in the West for now, but our time of persecution will come .
    Jesus Christ is LORD.

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