When Will Cases Of Blasphemy Be Filed Against the Muslim Attackers?

Sections 295 and 295A of the Pakistan Penal Code do not differentiate between Islam and Christianity.

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These are just two of the photos, among many, taken during the attack on Joseph Colony, a Christian residential area in Lahore.

The pictures tell the real story of the attack by Muslims extremists at the instigation of members of the assemblies from the ruling party of Punjab.

In the photographs the attackers themselves committed blasphemy by setting fire to the items belonging to a Church.

As a direct result of the attack hundreds of copies of the Bible were destroyed.

The Muslim attackers also desecrated the Cross by throwing it on the fire thereby sending a message to over seven million Pakistani Christians that there is no place for them in Pakistan.

In an Islamic Pakistan there can be no freedom of religion or equal rights for anyone and this includes the minority Islamic sects.

It must be asked as to why the government of Punjab has not taken action against the Muslim blasphemers and filed cases against them for desecrating the property, holy books and places of worship of the Christians?

The incident of the ransacking, looting and burning of 180 Christian houses and two Churches in Joseph colony happened on March 9 after the filing of a baseless and false case of Blasphemy by the police on the complaint of a Muslim liquor peddler. The arrest of Sarwan Masih was carried out without any investigation but merely on the word of a criminal.

In the case of a blasphemy accusation the police act quickly without performing the legal requirements of investigation.

With regard to blasphemy cases, in the year 2004, it was made compulsory that no police officer below the level of Superintendent of Police (SP) can investigate the charges. However, this has never been adhered to. Under pressure from Muslim extremists the ordinary police official files the case in an effort to appease them. Furthermore this is done with the knowledge of the government.

It is evident from the history of the country that on hundreds of occasions the residential areas and places of worships of Christians, Hindus, Ahmadis and Shias have been attacked and burned. In these incidents their sacred symbols and holy books were burned and defiled by spitting on them. However, there has never been a single case of blasphemy filed against the attackers who were from powerful Muslim groups who have the patronage of the military and the state itself. This is despite the fact that on the occasions when Ahmadi and Shia places of worship their copies of the Quran were destroyed.

Somehow it is all right to destroy a Quran belonging to an Ahmadi or a Shia but not one belonging to a powerful Muslim group. This means that Muslim groups from powerful sects have the authority to file blasphemy cases but others do not have the same right. It is blatantly obvious that the state thinks that Blasphemy laws only apply to the religious minority groups. Can it be that ‘Might makes Right’?

The Muslim pressure groups are so strong that the police always follow the dictate of these bigots who show their power through the illegal misuse of mosques loudspeakers. The mosques, by law, are not allowed to use loudspeakers for any other purpose than calling (Azan) for prayers but there is no political will to stop them using the loudspeakers for any purpose they chose.

The attacks on religious minorities will not stop until such time as the state issues warrants of arrest on charges of blasphemy against the attackers. Section 295 of the Pakistan Penal Code states as follows:

Whoever destroys, damages or defiles any place of worship, or any object held sacred by any class of persons with the intention of thereby insulting the religion of any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction damage or defilement as an insult to their religion shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

It is important to note that no one religious belief is mentioned in this section but rather applies to all religions. In the same spirit Section 295A continues:

Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the ‘Religious feelings of any class of the citizens of Pakistan, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations insults the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both.

In view of the above there can be no plausible reason as to why the state and the government of Punjab has not taken action against the attackers on charges relating to these two Sections.

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