A 16-year-old Christian boy has gone into hiding along with his family after he was accused of sending text messages denigrating the Prophet Muhammad to friends and neighbors in the city of Karachi. Protesters broke into their house and burned all the furniture and appliances.
Ryan Stanten, who has been charged under the blasphemy law, and his family, including his physically challenged father, have been in hiding since Tuesday night, when the cleric of the local mosque, Maulvi Ghulam Qadir, spoke to them about the text messages, The Express Tribune reported Saturday.
The boy's mother, Rubina Bryan, was suspended by the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), where she worked, on Wednesday, the day a complaint was lodged at the local police station. The same day, protesters broke into their house in the SSGC staff colony, threw the furniture and electric appliances on the road outside the colony, and set fire to them. more >>
A day after the United States condemned an offer by a Pakistani minister to pay $100,000 for anyone who kills the maker of an anti-Islam film that has caused an outrage across the Muslim world, the government of Pakistan reiterated on Monday it had nothing to do with the bounty.
Pakistan's Foreign Office said in a statement Monday that the bounty put on the filmmaker's head reflected the personal view of Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, and was not Pakistan's official policy, The Associated Press reported.
The statement came a day after a U.S. State Department official told BBC that President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have both said the film on the Prophet Muhammad is "offensive, disgusting, and reprehensible." more >>
A police investigator in Pakistan told a trial court Saturday there was no evidence that a minor Christian girl, believed to be mentally disabled, had desecrated Islam's holy book as her accusers had alleged seeking to expel Christians from the area.
The investigator, Munir Hussain Jaffri, told the court in Islamabad that his final report shows there is no evidence against Rimsha Masih, and it is possible that the cleric of a nearby mosque tampered with evidence by putting pages of the Quran into a bag the girl had been carrying, local media reported.
Police brought Rimsha to the court in a helicopter, and took her back to an undisclosed location after the hearing as her parents have received death threats. more >>
A court in Pakistan has sent a Muslim cleric to 14 days in custody after he was accused of tampering with evidence to frame a minor Christian girl, believed to be mentally disabled, in a "blasphemy" case and thereby expel all area Christians.
Even as Rimsha Masih, who was arrested from the Mehria Jaffar area on the outskirts of Islamabad on Aug. 16, remains in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, a witness told a court in the national capital on Sunday that the cleric, identified as Imam Khalid Jadoon, planted evidence against the girl, Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reported.
The witness, identified as cleric's deputy Hafiz Muhammad Zubair, said he and two others saw the cleric adding pages carrying Quranic verses to ashes that the complainant, Ammad, handed to him as evidence against the girl. more >>
Christians in Pakistan are responding to the persecution attacks they often endure by demanding their own province within the South Asian country – although some have questioned the likelihood of such a request being granted by the government.
"I don't have much hope that such a request would be granted," Faith McDonnell, the director of Religious Liberty Programs at the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), shared in an email with The Christian Post on Friday.
"First, I don't think that all of the Christians of Pakistan want this. Second, I think that Islamists do not want Christians to have ANY safe place or any autonomy. They believe that Pakistan is part of the Islamic world, in fact, that all the world should be under Islam. Third, I think that this would be very problematic for the Government of Pakistan," McDonnell continued. more >>
A young Christian girl, believed to be mentally disabled and who has been in judicial custody for 15 days on charges of "blasphemy," will be held for another fortnight, a court ruled Friday. Her accuser has threatened extra-judicial action if the girl is not convicted.
Rimsha Masih, who was arrested from the Mehria Jaffar area on the outskirts of Islamabad on Aug. 16 and has been in Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi since then, was produced in the judicial magistrate court in the national capital amid tight security on Friday.
The face and torso of the girl with Down syndrome were covered with a white sheet as she was taken into the courtroom by policewomen and armed police guards. She was accused of burning a Noorani Qaida, a booklet used to learn the basics of the Holy Quran. It was also alleged that she had thrown the booklet in garbage after putting it in a plastic bag. Blasphemy is punishable by death in this Islamic country. more >>