Christians in Pakistan are routinely put to death for blasphemy which could meant anything, even a single word about the Prophet considered by any Muslim to be offensive. This is regardless of whether the said words were actually offensive at all! Many times, merely expressing an opinion in jest could send a non-Muslim to the gallows! Sawan Masih, a Pakistani Christian was convicted of using derogatory remarks against the Prophet Mohammed in a row with a Muslim friend. This is not an isolated incident; since the 1990s, scores of Christians have been convicted for ‘desecrating the Koran or blaspheming’ Prophet Mohammed. It all has to do with perception and nothing with reality.
BBC reports: In an expected reaction, hundreds of Muslims attacked the city’s Christian Joseph colony, torching homes, when the allegations surfaced. Instances of blasphemy against Islam are taken very seriously in Pakistan, where 97% of the population are Muslim. Sawan Masih’s lawyer said a judge announced the verdict during a hearing at the jail where the trial has been held, amid fears for his client’s safety if he attended court. The 26-year-old Masih, who is a father of three, has consistently maintained his innocence during the year-long trial. He argues the real reason for the blasphemy allegation was a property dispute between him and his friend.
What however is troubling is the fact of complete disregard for human life and other religious beliefs besides Islamic in Muslim dominated countries. Insults to Mohammed can comprise anything from personal property disputes, work disagreements, children’s issues, unwanted advances for young girls and so on. This is clearly an excuse for targeting minorities in Pakistan. Majority Muslims lose no time to bully, attack, burn and destroy anything they perceive is an insult. If there is none, it can be generated easily in a country high in crime, unemployment, suspicion and religious fanaticism. Religion is a good way to settle scores, rape and kill people, destroy property and other heinous acts!
Christians in Pakistan are regularly faced with false accusations of blasphemy, forced marriages, and social hostility where many view non-Muslims as a lower class and not even Pakistani, according to International Christian Concern’s William Stark. Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy law makes it illegal to speak against Islam. Todd Nettleton, director of media development at Voice of the Martyrs, said the law is used as a weapon. Worst of all, accusers don’t need any proof. There are no consequences for false accusations, but anyone accused is arrested and imprisoned during the investigation and death penalty is almost certain. There has been some global outcry over blasphemy laws of Pakistan and other Muslim nations but apathy remains strong and Christians continue to face a life of misery because of their faith. On the other hand, Muslims demand full rights to freedoms of thought, action and worship in the countries they choose to live in!