There is no end to Pakistan’s blasphemy, no end to the depravation religious minorities are undergoing on a daily basis. I have been away from blogging for some time – partly due to university work but mostly due to the mental exhaustion and weariness one feels after reading, seeing and hearing about case after case after case of Christian torture, beating, murder . Although I write about a story that occurred a few weeks ago, even deciding to write about it years later would make no difference. The Islam I have ever known continues to persecute non-adherents mercilessly. The country of Pakistan has long become synonymous with religious intolerance, hatred and sectarian violence to the point where the difference between the testimonies of Asia Bibi, Shabhaz Bhatti and now Shehzad & Shama Masih is non-existent. For increasingly so, the blood of Pakistan’s Christians are being spilt in the name of blasphemy.
Blasphemy that is non-sensical when screamed from the mouth of a vengeful Muslim to evoke the Blasphemy Law – a blasphemy unto itself. There will be no end of accusing Pakistan’s Christians of blaspheming against Muhammad, against Muslims and against Islam itself. So long as hatred remains towards non-Muslims throughout the Islamic world, the much revered construction that is the blasphemy penal code will remain in force. Remain in force to be used to throw countless people into jail, rejecting their every appeal, whilst mistreating them and their families. This irrevocably changes the lives of the accused’s families, as they perpetually run for their lives, continually at risk of being hunted down like the animals they have become in their own country.
As many of you already know I have long become accustomed to this wretched Blasphemy Law, rendering me numb upon any case-study I stumble across. But as world leaders converge in combating any negative portrayal of Islam, as billions of aid pours through the Middle East and beyond, it is utterly incomprehensible to turn a blind eye to the treatment of Shehzad & Shama Masih, a young Christian couple beaten and burned to death. This couple was accused of desecrating Quranic pages and were dragged by a local mob, where they were then subsequently tied up, legs broken and burnt to death. Such treatment of these parents of three (with a fourth child on the way) should trigger the question of why, when billions of aid pumped into Pakistan to develop and benefit the nation – why Western leaders and the wider Christian world in particular – fail to actively show their opposition to such anti- Christian behaviour, particularly] when such aid is still essentially Christian aid.
One cannot help but feel blind anger at the lack of Pakistani government action in addition to international response. The beating and burning of any Muslim mother of three, whilst four months pregnant would no doubt spark global outrage ,with Obama himself probably racing to the nearest podium to be heard first. Instead the lack of authoritative action against Christian persecution is becoming severely dire. As Father James Channan, coordinator of the United Religions Initiative and director of the Peace Centre of the Dominican Order in Pakistan, stated: ” Our present government has the worst record of not punishing the culprits of these cases. All of them are set free after a short time. There is a big question for us: Where is justice?”
Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti remarked in a letter to Obama that the U.S. Administration — the custodian of human rights, liberty and freedom of speech and expression around the world — did not even bother to condemn the horrific murder of the Christian couple by Islamic extremists in Pakistan. Moreover, the U.S. State Department has never uttered any comments at all about Christian persecution or the genocide of Christians.
There is no end to blasphemy in Pakistan. My question to global leaders is this: why do you think the Pakistani government pardons Sunni criminals, whilst Asia Bibi is detained in prison, deprived of her children? Why can Pakistani police be bribed to dismiss murder, theft, domestic violence whilst one accusation of blasphemy against the nation’s Christians see them immediately arresting and detaining them indefinitely? The brutal reality of the situation is that Western leadership do not recognise the three million Christian Pakistanis who live in constant fear of the growing intolerance and hostility against them, nor have they made the connection between the concentration of blasphemy accusations in the Punjab province, a region home to two million of Pakistan’s Christians.
Moreover, the fundamentalist 725 Madrassa schools of Pakistan have become an influential power supporting the blasphemy laws. Total Madrassa attendance stands at 1.5 million students. These religious schools are producing a particular world-view called Alem-e-kufr (the World of Infidels) whereby the concept of these religious schools is: “The world is divided into two antagonistic parts: the Islamic world, and the infidel world. With little common ground between them both, clash is eternal, natural and unavoidable, because the forces of evil and forces of good are predestined to be at war. The West is after us, they want to destroy Muslims, Islam and our culture.”
The general silence on Pakistani blasphemed Christians is excruciating, tacitly approving and allowing this barbaric behaviour to thrive. Given the circumstance, scores more of Christian couples, children and the elderly will continued to be smeared with this life-threatening penal code. A code that relishes in the spilling of non-Sunni blood. A law that holds no reverence for age. A law that takes away the concept of life before it is even born.
There is no end to the blasphemy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.