Lamb to the slaughter | The case of Rimsha Masih a Christian girl facing death in Pakistan on charges of blasphemy
- "Salma Siddiqui, president of the Muslim Canadian Congress, has asked for an urgent meeting with the Pakistani High Commissioner in Ottawa. “I’ll let him know in no uncertain terms that if Rimsha is not released immediately, the MCC will lobby the Canadian government to suspend all aid to Islamabad and expel Pakistani diplomats from Canada immediately,” said Siddiqui."Lamb to the slaughterChristian child faces death penalty in Pakistan for ‘blasphemy’Tarek FatahHow many more “kaafirs” have to die before the thirst of Pakistan’s Islamist jihadis is quenched? As you read this, a Christian girl, no more than 14 years of age, gifted with the pure innocence of Down’s Syndrome, stays locked up in a maximum security prison in Pakistan, charged with the offence of ‘blasphemy,’ facing a death penalty or a life sentence in prison, despite evidence she was framed.This child’s name is Rimsha Masih, the daughter of a dirt-poor Christian family who until last month lived in a one-room house in Islamabad’s shantytown suburb of Mehrabad. Inhabitants of this township are mostly Christian families who work endless days as sweepers and janitors in Pakistan’s capital.On August 16, as she did every other day, Rimsha was collecting waste paper when a Muslim neighbour stopped her, claiming she had burned pages of an Islamic textbook in a plastic bag, and that this amounted to an “insult to Islam.” Shortly after the accusation, a Muslim mob went to Rimsha’s home and beat the child and her mother before police took the girl into custody, charging her with blasphemy.As outrage swept across the globe, France “urged the Pakistani authorities to release this young girl,” adding “the very existence of the crime of blasphemy infringes upon fundamental freedoms, namely the freedom of religion or belief, as well as the freedom of expression.” In the U.S., New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez and five of his bipartisan colleagues, blasted the blasphemy law of Pakistan in a letter to Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari, demanding Rimsha be set free.But in Pakistan, people wanted to burn the girl alive. The lawyer for the man who accused the girl of blasphemy told reporters, “This girl is guilty.” Then he warned, “If the state overrides the court, then God will get a person to do the job,” reminding everyone of the murder of two Pakistani politicians who had sought the release of another Christian woman rotting in prison on similar charges.
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