Tens of thousands of Pakistani Muslims took to the streets on Tuesday to cheer and throw flowers on the casket of an executed bodyguard who in 2011 murdered popular Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer over his plan to reform the country's strict blasphemy law.
"He lives! Qadri lives!" supporters in the city of Rawalpindi chanted, according to Reuters. "From your blood, the revolution will come!"
Mumtaz Qadri was put to death for assassinating Taseer in 2011, an action which has made him a hero for many hardline Islamists. Taseer had been accused by hardline groups of committing blasphemy himself by criticizing the law, which is supposed to protect Muslim sentiments, but according to human rights groups is often used to settle personal scores and oppress Christians and other religious minorities. more >>
A disabled Christian man sentenced to death in Pakistan has claimed that he was forced into admitting blasphemy charges in order to save his wife, who was being tortured by police.
"There is no man who can stand to see his wife being tortured by police, so to save my wife, I confessed," Shafqat Emmanuel said in his appeal, according to Mail Online.
A city in Pakistan has banned Valentine's Day after hardline religious groups decried the holiday as being too "decadent."
The village of Kohat, located in the country's north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region, has prohibited local shops from selling Valentine's Day gifts and cards, although police have yet to enforce the ban.
The drastic move comes after conservative Islamic groups lobbied to have the holiday banned due to its "decadent" nature that they say may encourage eroticism. more >>
A Pakistani Christian mother of three who was kidnapped and forced into an Islamic marriage with her Muslim landlord last summer has escaped from her captor and is now in hiding, as local authorities have threatened to arrest members of her family if she is not returned to her abductor.
Thirty-year-old Fouzia Sadiq, whose entire family works as bonded laborers at a brick kiln in Pattoki owned by 60-year-old Muslim Muhammed Nazir, was called to come to Nazir's home on one of her off days last July to provide cleaning services because he was expecting guests.
Although Fouzia's family was expecting her to return home later that day, she never returned. As previously reported, Fouzia's brother went to Nazir's home to inquire about his sister and was told that she would return the next day. When Fouzia did not return the next day, her brother went back to the landlord and was told not to return to the home because Fouzia committed to a marriage with Nazir and was now considered to be his property. more >>
A disabled Christian man who has been sentenced to death alongside his wife for allegedly sending blasphemous text messages to an Islamic cleric has filed an appeal at Lahore High Court, seeking bail due to his deteriorating health.
"I have developed bedsores and I may die in jail as there is no possibility of a better treatment there," Shafqat Masih, who is paralyzed from his waist down, said in his petition, according to the Deccan Chronicle.
"There are serious contradictions in witness accounts against me and my wife and we are hopeful of an acquittal on our appeal," he added. more >>
A Pakistani Christian man, a father of five, was reportedly threatened and psychologically tortured by Muslim coworkers who wanted him to convert to Islam, and even though he considered suicide, he refused to convert.
"They very often called me 'kafir', which means unfaithful, and they threatened me that they would resort to false accusations of blasphemy if I refused to convert to Islam," said Patras Hanif, the Pakistani man who was the victim of abuse, according to Fides News Agency.
Hanif, who worked at a construction site in Multan, in Punjab, faced violence and harassment from fellow workers who wanted him to abandon his Christian faith, which at one point even drove him to consider suicide. more >>