No one believed a mentally challenged minor girl could have possibly burned pages of the Holy Quran. However, the world was appalled when this girl attracted the ire of strict blasphemy laws.
A surprising twist in the case now available makes it evident that a Muslim cleric actually stashed pages of the Quran in the Christian girl’s bag.
Khalid Chisti, the accused cleric was arrested Sunday for planting evidence as a way to push the Christians out of the neighborhood. Blindfolded Chisti, however, denied the charges while being led to the court in shackles.
Earlier, according to news sources, the Pakistani police had arrested the Christian girl Rifta Masih in her early teens after neighbors accused her of burning pages of the Holy book. The same cleric had approached the police last month after the arrest of the girl for the girl to be handed to them, so she could be set on fire publicly.
According to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws a person accused of burning the Holy book or blaspheming Prophet Mohammad attract the death penalty. According to a police officer when this girl was brought to the police station, her bag contained partly burned religious and Arabic papers but no Quran.
However, despite the clinching evidence against the cleric Chisti, many locals in Pakistan are baying for the innocent young girl’s blood while claiming the cleric innocent.
“Pour petrol and burning these Christians” says 74 year old lady, Iqbal Bibi defending the Imam where he preaches in Mehr Jaffer, the impoverished village where the young accused girl lived.
The Christian community has since abandoned this village and the neighboring areas.
This case has opened the debate on outdated blasphemy laws in Pakistan.
Roy Brown, chief representative to the United Nations for the International Humanist and Ethical Union says, “This latest affair just highlights the total hypocrisy of Pakistan, and its supporters, in the Human Rights Council”.
The incident has prompted an international coalition of Churches representing half a billion Christians (World Council of Churches) into a discussion on the brutal Pakistani laws in Geneva this month.