LAHORE Pakistan (Reuters) –
A mob of Muslims were gathered by the towns mullah (the towns expert teacher of the koran and Islamic laws) outside the house of Shehzad Masih, 32, and his wife Shama, in her 20s, dragged them out and beat them to death, their bodies were then set on fire in a brick kiln where they worked while a mob of Muslims celebrated and jeered chanting “Islam is peace” according to police and witnesses.
The Christian couple was charged with blasphemy (desecrating a koran) — however, no one could verify whether or not the charges were true.
Blasphemy charges, (in countries were the ruling population are Muslims) even when they go to court, are punishable by death. They are hard to fight because the law does not define clearly what is blasphemous. Presenting the evidence can sometimes itself be considered a fresh infringement.
- Quick fact: Christians make up about four percent of Pakistan’s population and tend to keep a low profile in a country where Sunni Muslim militants frequently bomb targets they see as heretical, including Christians, and Sufi and Shi’ite Muslims.
Punjab police spokeswoman Nabila Ghazanfar said the couple, like many other poor Christians in the area, worked in a brick kiln owned by a local man who has also been arrested.
“Three days ago, a co-worker alleged that they had burnt pages of the Koran. On Tuesday morning, a mob gathered outside their house, dragged them out, beat to death and burnt them in the same kiln where they worked,” she said.
Pakistan’s minorities feel that the state fails to protect them, and even tolerates violence against them because the koran explicitly commands Muslims to kill, beat and treat poorly those who are non-Muslims.
- Quran (2:191-193) “And kill them (non-Muslims) wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out.”
- Quran (3:151) – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers…”
- Quran (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”
- Quran (2:191) “murder them (Christians and Jews) and treat them harshly“
A local journalist, who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons, said Islamic police are slow to act to protect non-Muslims.
- Last month a British man with a history of mental health illness, sentenced to death for blasphemy earlier this year, was shot by a prison guard in his cell.
- Also in October, a Pakistani court upheld the death penalty against a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, who is also accused of blasphemy, in a case that drew global headlines after two prominent politicians who tried to help her were assassinated.
Jesus said in Luke 6:43-45
43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart…