Just to remind you, persecution of Christians is not solely an ISIS problem, though it does continue to seemingly be a predominantly Muslim issue.
In the nation of Pakistan, an ally of the USA, a Christian Pastor was murdered and a second Christian was wounded last Thursday – not by militant Muslim extremists –but by Pakistani police. Pastor Zafar Bhatti was martyred for his faith while Muhammad Asghar, a 70 year-old British citizen was shot and wounded. The two Christian men were shot in their prison cell after spending months in prison on blasphemy charges.
Pastor Bhatti was an activist who fought to protect the rights of Pakistan’s Christian minority. He was awaiting trial for sending text messages that someone believed were insulting to the prophet Mohammed’s mother. He and his family had argued all along that he had not sent that message, pointing to the fact that the phone in question wasn’t even his.
Xavier Williams of human rights NGO Life For All said regarding the pastor’s execution: “This is a barbaric act. There had been threats. The court should have instructed police to ensure Bhatti’s safety. Killing of a person who was falsely accused is mockery of the judicial system. The protectors of the innocent have become the predators.”
William Stark, a regional manager for the International Christian Concern, told the Christian Post: “This most recent incident involving Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law should once again bring the abuse of this law back into international discussion.”
As in most Muslim majority nations, the “crime” of blasphemy is punishable by death in the nation of Pakistan. The charges are extremely dangerous for defendants, because while the law forbids blasphemy, it does not define what blasphemy is. This ambiguity makes it easy to use the blasphemy law as a bludgeon to hurt others – which seems to happen often in Pakistan, where many of the supposed blasphemy charges seem to be “trumped up.”
Just in Pakistan the blasphemy laws have wreaked havoc…
Those accused of blasphemy are often lynched and lawyers in defending those accused of blasphemy cases have frequently been attacked. Judges have been attacked for dismissing cases and many of the accused face years in jail as their trials drag on.
At least 48 people accused of blasphemy have been extrajudicially killed, including seven in prison or outside court, according to Life for All.
Earlier this year, a prominent human rights lawyer representing an English professor accused of making a blasphemous Facebook post was shot dead after prosecution lawyers had threatened to kill him in front of a judge.
Last week, gunmen shot dead a liberal professor of Islamic law in the southern city of Karachi. The killing followed years of threats from his colleagues and allegations of blasphemy.
Two prominent politicians who suggested reforming the law have been killed, one by his own bodyguard. Another politician who discussed reforming the law on television is now facing blasphemy charges.
Islam’s blasphemy laws are just another way to persecute non believers, which seems to be a favorite pastime in the Muslim world. If our “allies” in the Islamic world will not push to end the persecution of Christians, then we should force our leaders to end our “friendship” with them. They don’t derive our money, our time or our help… let them provide for themselves.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com