An angry mob of over 500 people had reportedly gathered outside her house in Islamabad. They insisted she had burned pages from the Koran, even though police said they had found no such evidence. At the police station, though, they apparently found that the girl had a shopping bag containing religious and Arabic-language papers that had been partly burned—but no Koran.
Since few people in Pakistan speak or read Arabic, the more ignorant among them assume anything in Arabic is from the Koran.
Perhaps more frightening is the fact that this is not an isolated case.
In July, thousands of people in Bahawalpur, central Pakistan, reportedly beat a man to death and set his body on fire. The man had been jailed after being accused of desecrating the Koran, and a mob had dragged him from a police station before beating him to death.
Being a Christian in Pakistan is, apparently, a dangerous thing. And this latest incident demonstrates just how backward the people of that wretched country are. Zora Yusuf, head of the Pakistani Human Rights Commission, has been quoted as saying his country’s blasphemy laws have “been exploited by individuals to settle personal scores, to grab land, to violate the rights of non-Muslims, to basically harass them.”
What disturbs me most about these reports is the number of immigrants Canada accepts from Pakistan. Intolerance seems common in that country and widely accepted, especially intolerance based on religion. The anti-blasphemy laws are one case in point.
Attempts to reform or moderate those laws have not been successful. Quite the contrary as just last year two politicians spoke out against the laws and were killed for their efforts. This implies the blasphemy laws are broadly accepted and supported.
People who support such cruel and unjust laws are not the sort we want here. We have our own problems without importing beliefs and cultural customs which belong in the dark ages.