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Angry Mob Torches Christian Neighbourhood in Pakistan
Written by Qurratulain Zaman On 13 March 2013 @ 5:17 am | 1 Comment
In Citizen Media, Disaster, English, Ethnicity & Race, Feature, Governance, Human Rights, Law, Pakistan, Politics, Religion, South Asia, Video, Weblog
The residents of Joseph Colony, within Lahore's Badami Bagh area had already fled their homes on Friday night and the early hours of Saturday, after the police warned them of a potential revenge attack over an alleged blasphemous remark made by Sawan Masih, a 28-year old sanitation worker from their community.
Pictures of Joseph Colony's burnt houses were circulated on social media by the Express Tribune Facebook page. In these pictures, a jubilant mob is setting beds, washing machines and household stuff on fire.
Reza Habib Raja writes in Pak Tea House :
In countries like Pakistan, it is the reverence of religion (which at times does not even have neat correspondence with actual adherence to its rituals) which is the main culprit. A law implemented in the name of religion is often impossible to repeal. People may not be following religion in their personal capacities, but fully understand its power in collective settings.
The Blasphemy Law is often used against religious minorities in the country. The Constitution  of the country also discriminates against religious minorities. Non-Muslims are barred from becoming head of the state and other institutions according to the 1973 constitution .
Reza Habib Raja in his blog in Pak Tea House states it's not only the law:
Much more than the law, it is the mindset. I really don’t think that merely repealing the law will change anything. In fact law can only be repealed if there is a sufficient majority in the assembly. And that majority will only repeal it, if majority of the electorate wants it to be repealed. I really don’t think that any party has the political courage to even present the possible repealing as an agenda point in its political manifesto.
BoloBhi, a right-based organization tweeted a video made by Saad Sarfaraz Shiekh  about the Badami Bagh incident.
@salmansid  (Salman Siddiqui): Just imagine being a Christian or an Ahmedi or Shia 4 a second in #Pakistan what future will u think u'll have 4 urself, ur family here?
Blogger and columnist Sonya Rehman  interviews one of the residents of Joseph Colony:
Beena Sarwar, a Pakistani journalist based in the US writes in her blog post , ‘Planned attack on Christian properties in Lahore; protest demonstrations Sunday':
The mob was given a free hand to burn and loot; it destroyed more than 150 houses and shops, as well as a church, including bibles and religious symbols (blasphemy case against perpetrators, anyone?). This is not the first time this has happened. Remember Shantinagar (1997) , and Gojra and Kerian.  (2009)
Pak Tea House  blog sums up the situation in Pakistan:
Religion has been elevated to such level and in a way that any debate on it has become impossible. Consequently, as a society we are completely impotent to even condemn those who misuse religion for committing horrifying acts. This impotence is the real tragedy and is even more horrifying than the actual act.
Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org
URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2013/03/13/angry-mob-torches-christian-neighbourhood-in-pakistan/
URLs in this post:
 blasphemy charges,: http://dawn.com/2013/03/09/mob-attacks-christian-neighbourhood-in-lahore/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
 Muslim mob of 3,000, torched: http://tribune.com.pk/story/518775/mob-madness/
 Pictures of Joseph Colony's burnt houses : https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.623897344293962.1073741840.111457038871331&type=1
 @norbalm (i N O R B A L M ™): https://twitter.com/norbalm/status/310441090916438016
 pic.twitter.com/3agi09KxE2: http://t.co/3agi09KxE2
 Image: https://twitter.com/norbalm/status/310441090916438016/photo/1
 @TahaSSiddiqui: https://twitter.com/TahaSSiddiqui/status/310372484803334144
 pic.twitter.com/rJBRFBj0vz: http://t.co/rJBRFBj0vz
 Blasphemy Law: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12621225
 Punjab Governor Salman Taseer: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/01/13/pakistan-salmaan-taseer-we-buried-a-man-not-his-courage/
 Shahbaz Bhatti: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/02/shahbaz-bhatti-shot-dead
 Pak Tea House: http://pakteahouse.net/2013/03/09/attack-on-christians-the-real-tragedy-is-even-more-horrifying/
 The Blasphemy Law : http://www.freedomhouse.org/sites/default/files/PolicingBelief_Pakistan.pdf
 The Constitution: http://www.pakistani.org/pakistan/constitution/
 Image: http://www.demotix.com/photo/1860427/pakistani-christian-protest-attack-their-community-members
 Saad Sarfaraz Shiekh: http://sssheikh.wordpress.com/
 @BoloBhi: https://twitter.com/BoloBhi/status/311094158418915328
 http://vimeo.com/61458898: http://vimeo.com/61458898
 @salmansid: https://twitter.com/salmansid/status/310481427521212417
 Sonya Rehman: http://sonyarehman.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/a-resident-of-joseph-colony-badami-bagh-lahore-pakistan-speaks-out/
 blog post: http://beenasarwar.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/planned-attack-on-christian-properties-in-lahore-protest-demonstrations-sunday/
 Shantinagar (1997): http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Christians-of-Shanti-Nagar-remember-the-massacre-of-1997-17569.html
 Gojra and Kerian.: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1914750,00.html
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