Friday, January 22, 2010
Pakistani Christian Sentenced to Life under ‘Blasphemy’ Law
Young man convicted of ‘desecrating Quran’ by accusation of rival shopkeeper
By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
FAISALABAD, PAKISTAN (ANS) -- Compass Direct News (CDN) is reporting that a young Christian shopkeeper was sentenced to a life term in prison and fined more than $1,000 last week following a dubious conviction of desecrating the Quran, according to Pakistan’s National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP).
“The conviction was based on the accusation of a rival shopkeeper who, as part of an Islamic extremist proselytizing group, allegedly used a mosque loudspeaker system to incite a mob that beat Masih and ransacked his shop,” said the CDN story.
“Neighboring shopkeeper Hajji Liaquat Abdul Ghafoor accused Masih of burning part of the Quran on July 1, 2009. Denying that he burned any pages of the Quran, Masih told investigators that the papers he burned were a heap of old merchandise records he had gathered while cleaning his store. Nearby shopkeepers told Compass that they had seen the two men arguing over business a few days before the incident.”
“They said that when Masih burned the papers, Ghafoor started shouting that he had desecrated the Quran and blasphemed Islam and its prophet, Muhammad.”
One of the shopkeepers told CDN, “Ghafoor spread misconceptions about Imran Masih and a mob of angry Muslim men unaware of the facts attacked Masih and viciously beat him, looted his shop and later handed him over to police.”
CDN added that sources said Masih plans to appeal to a higher court.
For more information, go to www.compassdirect.org
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