Friday, August 24, 2012

Pakistan Arrests 11 Year Old Girl for Blaspheming Islam

Rimsha Masih
John R. Houk
© August 24, 2012

Pakistan is a Muslim nation in which the Muslim populace and the Pakistan government with every evidence of being a nation under the grips Radical Islamic Sharia Law. Pakistan is a nation that is invested hook, line and sinker into the some of the most insane punishments prescribed by Sharia Law. Among many of those Sharia Laws the rule of law to execute those that have insulted Islam, Mohammed and Allah. Such is the case of many nameless to the West Christians in Pakistan are jailed under the Blasphemy Law for insulting Islam.

Two Pakistanis I have been following are Hector Aleem and Asia Bibi. In their case Hector was framed by a Muslim Cleric and Asia – also a Christian – drew water from a Muslim well.

The Administrator (Mehwish Aleem) for the Facebook group Free Hector Aleem sent a link to sign a petition to protest the arrest of a young girl between the age of 11 and 16 (For some reason there seems to be a bit of confusion about her age). The Pakistani Christian gal’s name is Rimsha Masih. Then Mehwish sent a link that provides greater detail to Rimsha’s persecution.

Below is the cross post of that.

After the first cross post I decided to also cross post an excellent write-up by anti-Counter-Jihad website LoonWatch couldn’t help to write some anti-Counter-Jihad junk after their excellent piece on Rimsha; ergo I precede the second cross post somewhat defending Counter-Jihad bloggers which LoonWatch labels as anti-Muslim bigots and Islamophobe haters.

JRH 8/24/12
Girl accused of blasphemy ‘denied meeting with lawyer’

August 23, 2012

ISLAMABAD: A lawyer for a young Pakistani Christian girl arrested on blasphemy charges in a poor suburb of Islamabad claimed Thursday he had been refused a meeting with her.

Police arrested the girl, Rimsha, who reportedly has Down’s Syndrome, in a low-income neighbourhood of the capital last Thursday after she was accused of burning papers containing verses from the Quran, and remanded her for 14 days.

Rimsha, aged between 11 and 16, is being held in a jail in Islamabad’s twin city Rawalpindi, and her case has prompted concern from Western governments and fury from rights campaigners.

“The lawyers are facing difficulties to see the accused girl. The jail authorities have told them to get permission from the top authorities,” Shamaun Alfred Gill, a spokesman for All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA), told AFP.

Her legal team said they had approached the higher authorities in Punjab province but could not get a go ahead for the meeting.

“I myself contacted the inspector general (of prisons) by phone and he told me that he will call me back, but I am still waiting to speak to him,” Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, one of Rimsha’s lawyers, told AFP.

“He is not receiving my calls now. Legally, they can’t stop a lawyer seeing his client in the jail but the authorities are refusing us a meeting.” But Farooq Nazir, the inspector-general of Punjab prisons, told AFP there was no restriction on Rimsha meeting her lawyer or immediate family and insisted she was being cared for.

Earlier, an activist who said he visited Rimsha said that the girl was too frightened to speak in a prison where she is being held in solitary confinement for her safety.

Christian activist Xavier William said he visited Masih at a police station where she was first held, and then this week in prison.

“She was frightened and traumatised,” William told Reuters.

“She was assaulted and in very bad shape. She had bruises on her face and on her hands,” he added, referring to an attack by a mob in her village on the edge of Islamabad after she was accused of blasphemy.

Rimsha is being held in the same jail as Mumtaz Qadri, the bodyguard who last year gunned down Punjab governor Salman Taseer, who had declared Pakistan’s strict anti-blasphemy legislation “a black law”.

Chaudhry said that they have also filed an application with a court in Islamabad to set up a medical panel to determine Rimsha’s age.

“We want the court to constitute a commission to judge the age of Rimsha, because, the church records show she is 11 years old only. While her age mentioned in the police report is 16,” he said.

Christians flee girl’s village

Masih’s arrest triggered an exodus of several hundred Christians from her poverty-stricken village after local mosques reported over their loudspeakers what the girl was alleged to have done. Emotions were running high there.

A neighbour named Tasleem said her daughter saw Masih throwing away trash that included the burned religious material.

“If Christians burn our Quran, we will burn them,” she told Reuters.

Other Muslims were more conciliatory.

“We protected the rest of the Christians,” said Masih’s landlord Malik Amjad Mohammad. “People here support them.”

Christians, who make up four per cent of Pakistan’s population of 180 million, have been especially concerned about the blasphemy law, saying it offers them no protection.

Convictions hinge on witness testimony and are often linked to vendettas, they complain.

President Asif Ali Zardari has told officials to produce a report on the girl’s arrest, which has brought protests from Amnesty International, British-based Christian group Barnabas Fund, and others.

Masih is due to appear in court in the next 10 days. She could be formally charged with blasphemy.

Spotlight on blasphemy law

The case has put another spotlight on Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy law, which rights groups say dangerously discriminates against the country’s minority groups.

Under the law, anyone who speaks ill of Islam and the Prophet Mohammad commits a crime and faces the death penalty, but activists say vague terminology has led to its misuse.

Convictions are common, although the death sentence has never been carried out. Most convictions are thrown out on appeal, but mobs have killed many people accused of blasphemy.

Christians, who make up four per cent of Pakistan’s population of 180 million, have been especially concerned about the blasphemy law, saying it offers them no protection.

Convictions hinge on witness testimony and are often linked to vendettas, they complain.

In 2009, 40 houses and a church were set ablaze by a mob of 1,000 Muslims in the town of Gojra, in Punjab province. At least seven Christians were burned to death. The attacks were triggered by reports of the desecration of the Quran.

Two Christian brothers accused of writing a blasphemous letter against the Prophet Mohammad were gunned down outside a court in the eastern city of Faisalabad in July of 2010.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++ Here is another informative article on Rimsha Masih from In case you are not aware of it, bills itself as exposing the anti-Muslim bloggers. Although I am not a big dog name among bloggers I probably fit the bill that dislikes. Most bloggers that write about the dark side of Islam don’t use the “anti-Muslim” appellation. Most expose Islam bloggers prefer to be called counter-jihad bloggers.

So anyway, after the great information on raising public support for Rimsha, can’t help taking a stab at Counter-Jihad bloggers that might – cough – take advantage of Rimsha’s situation to inspire bigotry and violence against Muslims. AND then feels the need to quote Radical Muslim Tariq Ramadan who wrote an essay entitled, “An International Call for Moratorium on Corporal Punishment, Stoning and the Death Penalty in the Islamic World”.

The title is deception of this LoonWatch esteemed Islamic scholar. Check out the definition for “moratorium”:

1 a: a legally authorized period of delay in the performance of a legal obligation or the payment of a debt b: a waiting period set by an authority

2: a suspension of activity

Ramadan’s usage of “moratorium” is in the sense of something TEMPORARY. Thus a moratorium or temporary suspension means Muslims should follow the Quran and Sharia (Ramadan says Hudud is a better word) punishments should resume. When calls Tariq Ramadan an esteemed Islamic scholar rather than a Radical Muslim ideologue and grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna they are either displaying their ignorance or have unwittingly submitted to Islamic dhimmitude.

JRH 8/24/12
Pakistan: 11 Year Old Christian Girl, Rimsha Masih Arrested on Charges of Blasphemy

By Garibaldi
22 August 2012

“He will not enter paradise whose neighbor is not secure from his wrongful conduct” – Prophet Muhammad

In the most recent manifestation of rising intolerance against minorities in Pakistan we have yet another instance in which blasphemy laws, amended under the military dictatorship of Zia-Ul Haq in the 1980′s have been used and manipulated to abuse and harm the most vulnerable.

This time an 11 year old girl by the name of Rimsha Masih has been arrested at the incitement of a mob on charges of allegedly burning a few pages of the Qur’an.

This is not the first time such egregious assaults on the conscious in Pakistan have come to our attention.

A few months ago a mentally ill man in Bahawalpur was accused of insulting Islam by burning the Qur’an, he was beaten by a mob, police intervened and jailed the man for his protection. This however did not sit well with the mob or their thirst for vigilante ‘vengeance’. The mob besieged the police station, forced their way inside, overwhelmed the impotent police force, dragged out the man, and beat and burned him alive.

Before that incident there was the high profile case of Aasia Bibi, a poor Christian woman who was accused of blasphemy by her co-workers. In the resulting aftermath the Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer was murdered by his own security guard for speaking out about the injustice of the blasphemy laws and the treatment of Aasia Bibi. Shahbaz Bhatti, Minister of Minority Affairs, was quite vocal regarding his opposition to the law and the way Aasia Bibi was treated, he too was gunned down.

Such horrific cases are not limited to Christians: Hindus, Sikhs, Ahmedis, Sunnis and Shias have all been subjected to the injustice of blasphemy laws, in one form or another. The laws are generally used according to observers as a means to settle personal scores.

Critics among Pakistan’s embattled liberals say the law is regularly misused by people to settle personal scores and dispossess neighbours from land.

Now, 11 year old Rimsha Masih sits in a dingy jail cell, as in other cases ostensibly for her protection.

How did this tragedy unfold?

Some doubts and questions exist about whether or not Rimsha Masih is actually 11 years old and suffers from Down syndrome as most media outlets have portrayed,

Christian, and some Muslim, neighbors said Ms. Masih was 11 years old and had Down syndrome. Senior police officers dismissed those claims; one described her as 16 and “100 percent mentally fit.”

Discussions about Masih’s mental faculties and age miss the point and are irrelevant considering there is agreement on the most important facts.

According to most accounts, Rimsha and her family are impoverished street sweepers who lived in a slum near Islamabad. According to her landlord the controversy erupted when a local cleric was informed by his nephew about Masih holding a burned copy of a book called the “Noorani Qaida” which is used to teach children the Quran.

Malik Amjad, landlord of the family’s rented house, said the controversy started early last week after his nephew saw Ms. Masih holding a burned copy of the Noorani Qaida. The nephew informed a local cleric, Khalid Jadoon, Mr. Amjad said.

Desecration of Muslim holy texts is illegal in Pakistan and punishable by death. But Mr. Amjad said the incident bothered few local residents initially and caught fire only at the instigation of the cleric and two conservative shopkeepers.

“He tried to shame people by saying, ‘What good are your prayers if the Koran is being burnt?’ ” Mr. Amjad said.

Mr. Amjad said he handed the girl over to the police for her own protection and criticized the cleric’s role. “He exaggerated the incident and provoked people,” he said.

It was not clear how, or even if, Ms. Masih had come across the burned religious book. One neighbor, Malik Shahid, said it might have simply become accidentally swept up in a trash pile she was collecting.

The situation has been roundly condemned by Pakistani Human Rights campaigners and activists, government officials and politicians.

Senior government and police officials agreed with Christian leaders that the accusations against Ms. Masih were baseless and predicted that the case would ultimately be dropped.

Imran Khan, a leading politician and frontrunner in Pakistan’s 2013 Presidential elections sent out this message,

Shameful! Sending an 11yr old girl to prison is against the very spirit of Islam which is all about being Just and Compassionate.

The Poor child is already suffering from Down Syndrome. The State should care for its children not torment them. We demand her immediate release.

Pakistani journalists and bloggers have also been quite vocal about the shocking situation.

We have been alerted to two separate petitions calling on Pakistan’s Minister of Human Rights and the government to protect and immediately release both Aasia Bibi and Rimsha Masih (h/t: Hatice).



It is important to sign and share these petitions, so as to make clear where the world stands on these issues. It is vital foremost for Muslims to do so.

Some may question why we are highlighting this particular case, since Loonwatch focuses on exposing rampant anti-Muslim and Islamophobic bigotry. We believe sharing the above petitions are important most of all out of respect for basic human dignity and because such attacks also harm Muslims everywhere, especially in the West. A bigot or an Islamophobe may use it as justification for his (or her’s) nefarious anti-Muslim agenda and or as an excuse for violent reprisals. It is also important to point out the great irony of all of this, that such mobs, excited by ignorant and blind passions of “defending the faith” stand condemned by Islam–unequivocally. Nowhere, not even in classic, medieval Islamic jurisprudence can one find an interpretation permitting vigilante, extra-judicial torture and murder of any person who allegedly committed a crime–let alone killing and beating the insane, handicap and poor. Indeed, those individuals who took part in the mob should be found, arrested and given the harshest judgment possible under the law. To be made examples.

Clearly the implementation of the blasphemy laws in Pakistan has proved defective and only increased divisiveness, sectarianism and injustice. It calls to mind the urgent need to implement what Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan called “An international moratorium on corporal punishment, stoning and the death penalty” in Muslim majority countries–and to go further, a repeal of unjust laws such as the current blasphemy law in place in Pakistan which overwhelmingly prosecute and persecute the innocent, the poor, the vulnerable and the minority.

Pakistan Arrests 11 Year Old Girl for Blaspheming Islam
John R. Houk
© August 24, 2012
Girl accused of blasphemy ‘denied meeting with lawyer’

Copyright © 2012 DAWN.COM
 Pakistan: 11 Year Old Christian Girl, Rimsha Masih Arrested on Charges of Blasphemy

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