One of the victims said: “We are the only Christian family in the neighborhood. They wanted to snatch our property. Therefore, they started threatening us to leave the house otherwise they will [accuse us of] committing blasphemy against Islam.” This is a key point: Christians in Pakistan are all too frequently targeted with accusations of blasphemy that are often just a cover for attempts to settle personal grudges, appropriate their property, or achieve some other end. Pakistan’s blasphemy laws have been used to victimize innumerable innocent people, both Christian and non-Christian. All too often this happens with the approval of the relevant authorities.
“Christian Family’s Home Looted and Burned in Pakistan,” International Christian Concern, September 26, 2018:
International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on September 21, a group of Muslims looted and then burned a Christian family’s home and car in Gujar Khan, Pakistan. As the only Christian family in the neighborhood, they have faced repeated harassment and violence at the hands of their Muslim peers.
One of the victims, Fiaz Masih, told ICC, “An armed group of Muslims led by Muhammad Kamran intruded Bashir Masih’s house in daylight and thrashed the entire family.”
On September 20, Muhammad Kamran and his companions beat Fiaz’s elderly parents as they were cleaning the house. “My father got injuries and mother’s hand got fractured,” Masih explained. “Muhammad Kamran often threatened us to bear the consequences if we don’t leave the house. His abusive and threatening conversation is recorded on the mobile phone.”
“The attackers beat men, women, and children of the family and therefore some of us have severe injuries. They set fire to the house, including beds, furniture, sofa, cabinets, televisions, refrigerator, air-conditioners, fans, and vandalized vessels and other stuff,” he continued. “A new vehicle was set on fire and other valuables [including] cash money, jewelry, prize bonds, and mobile phones were looted.”
“The local police have registered the First Information Report # 504/18 against the culprits, however they have reportedly secured a Bail-Before-Arrest,” Masih added. “Our father, Bashir Masih, was a sanitary worker. He built this house a few years back, when he retired from his job, however Muslims could not bear that Christians would live in such a good, big, and furnished house.”
“We are the only Christian family in the neighborhood. They wanted to snatch our property. Therefore, they started threatening us to leave the house otherwise they will [accuse us of] committing blasphemy against Islam,” Masih continued….