Thrown to the Wolves
ByIjaz Mathew Zulfquar,
President Christian Liberation Front (Pakistan)
Curse of the infamous Blasphemy Law continues to haunt the lives of Christians in Pakistan. On Tuesday 4th November 2014 a savage mob took lives of Shahzad Masih (35) and his wife Shamma (31) by throwing them into the hell like hot fire of the brick kiln. Shahzad was the youngest in family and he worked and lived at the site of the brick kiln was his five brothers in Village number 59 of the Kasur District in the Punjab province for some years. Shamma was pregnant. The couple wanted to find a work with fair wages before the arrival of their fourth child. The owner of the kiln was demanding a ransom of Rs. 5, 00, 000 for their release from the bonded labor. On 3rd Nov. Shamma swept the house and throw the garbage out of home. The manager of the kiln claimed that he saw Shamma throwing desecrated pages of the Quran in the garbage and alarmed the local Muslims. Instantly the mosques in Village # 59 made announcements that the Christian couple had committed blasphemy. Shahzad and Shamma tried to escape but Muhammad Yousef locked them up in a room. On 4t Nov. a furiously mad crowd mounted on motor bikes and tractor trolleys came to the kiln searching for Shahzad and Shamma. They broke the roof of the locked room, dragged them out and thrashed them across the head and shoulders. First they paraded the couple naked and finally the bloodthirsty herd of barbarians threw them in the brick kiln fire, burning at about a 1000 °C.
Talking spiritually the couple was destined to meet their Lord and Savior and they won their life eternity after being burnt alive in the hell fire set on the earth by followers of Satan and children of hate.
I am still confused why the three off springs of Shahzad and Shamma were left alive. Had the humanity of the vigilantes somehow come back they left them unharmed or were they simply lucky enough not to be spotted by the so called defenders of the faith. Will the punishers come back for them too? What will they be known as; victims of mass violence, children of innocent martyrs or simply orphans? In the absence of parents who will help and guide them on the path of future? Whatever we could guess or predict but one thing is for sure that they are not safe in Pakistan.
When the demon of the blasphemy law casts its shadow on the lives of humans in Pakistan, their destiny is sealed in the form of death or exile. So it was with its first pray, Naimat Ahmer- a Christian teacher, scholar and poet who was stabbed to death by a butcher, and so was it with the 11 year old Christian girl Ramsha Masih of Islamabad that even when the court declared that she was falsely accused and the Muslim cleric, Muhammad Khalid Jadoon had burnt pages of the Quran to frame Ramsha, she could not walk free and her nightmare could not end until she sought refuge in the safe haven of Canada. Khalid Jadoon, though himself a blasphemer is free and triumphant because the Blasphemy Law is not for the Muslims but otherwise.
Today this discussion is worthless whether this law existing in its present form is good or bad. Should it be amended or totally repealed? Can the procedure of registering the F.I.R. or the investigation or the recording of witnesses be improved to ensure that the accused faces a fair trial? Does death penalty is a befitting punishment for the crime, if it is a crime at all? Why a country of 95% Muslim population needs such a gruesome law? Why the case can only be heard by a Muslim judge and pleaded by a Muslim Lawyer?
There are many things of important consideration for a thinking mind. Firstly that when this scary law exists with capital punishment the ordinary masses still take the law in their hands. There seems to be no one following Islam but imposing it forcefully on others, especially on non-Muslims. They don’t trust their own Muslim police officers for fair investigation so they attack the police stations, snatch the accused from police custody and do street justice. Hafiz Farooq Sajjad a devout Muslim faced such justice in April 1994 when his opponents accused him of burning the Quran the police arrested him but then it was announced in the mosques that he was a Christian. So the mob attacked the police station, stoned him to death, burnt him and dragged his corpse on the street. The accused are not safe in Jails. A paralyzed converted Christian, Tahir Iqbal was killed in Kot lakhpat Jail in 1992. In these cases the so called defenders of the faith have no respect for the courts even. Pastor Rashid Emmanuel and his brother were gunned down in broad day light outside the district court on 19th July 2010 when the accusers came to know that the police investigation had found them innocent. In the case of Sawan Masih we have seen that the witness of the accuser was accepted even when he was drunk at the time he observed Sawan committing blasphemy.
In all the cases and the outcomes of them we see that the executive, the law enforcement agencies, the judiciary; fail to protect the accused from public anger. The accused is killed and if he/ she is in police custody the police can’t dare do fair investigation for the fear of public anger. The investigating officers are threated of dire consequences if they do not get the accused to gallows. As the aftermath of the incident the family and the entire neighboring community faces attacks. Harassment, looting, burning and killing is done by the aggressors without fear of grip of the law. On such occasions the police stands aside inactive and let the churches and houses be burnt and people be killed. The civil administration and political leadership never demote or punish such police or administrative officers who did nothing and let the atrocities take place as in the Village of Shanti Nagar, Christian Colony Gogra, Warispura Faisalabad or Joseph Colony Lahore.
The cruel reality of today is that in Pakistan churches are under attack by hand grenades, suicide bombers and heavily armed terrorists. Christian villages and entire neighborhoods are attacked, looted and destroyed. Christian youth is slaughtered and burnt alive. Christian girls are kidnapped, raped, forcefully converted to Islam. And the world simply pretends to be unaware of it. In that hell called Pakistan more than six million Christians await their Messiah, their good shepherd to hold his staff and scare out the wolf. They are waiting for their Mosses to challenge the Pharos and get them out of slavery and into the promised land of peace and abundance. They are waiting for their Jehovah to kill the first born of their oppressors and set them free.