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The lunacy of Islam #15,250 (or thereabouts): torching Christian houses over alleged blasphemy

AN accusation of blasphemy made by a Muslim barber against a Christian in Pakistan led today to the torching in Lahore of more than more than 100 houses of belonging to Pakistani Christians.

According to this report, over 3,000 Muslim protesters went apeshit over alleged derogatory remarks made against the “prophet” Mohammed by Sawan Masih, 28. The exact number of houses set fire to in Joseph Colony, a Christian neighbourhood in Badami Bagh area, was not immediately known.

A protester burns belongings from Christian houses in Lahore. PHOTO: ABID NAWAZ/ EXPRESS

A protester burns belongings from Christian houses in Lahore. PHOTO: ABID NAWAZ/ EXPRESS

Police and rescue officials said they belonged to low to middle-class families from the minority community.

Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf have ordered an immediate inquiry into the attacks.

Police official Multan Khan said that the police had arrested Masih, a sanitary worker, on Friday night – three days after he was accused of blasphemy by barber Shahid Imran.

Protesters began to assemble in the area of Masih’s home this morning and later set on fire houses and other items including furniture, crockery, auto rickshaws, bicycles and motorbikes belonging to local Christians.

An AFP reporter at the scene said:

Thick clouds of smoke engulfed the small houses, mostly consisting of one or two rooms, and many of them looked like charred shells.

Police said protesters burnt 25 houses but Dr Ahmad Raza, in-charge of local rescue operations, and the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) put the number at more than 100. Raza, who was busy in rescue operations in the area, told AFP:

At least 160 houses, 18 shops and two small churches were burnt by protesters,

Police baton-charged the protesters to disperse them from the neighbourhood. There was no loss of life reported during the violence but 20 policemen were slightly injured during clashes, officials said.

Private Pakistani TV channels showed footage of violence from the scene as many masked members of the mob damaged or burned down households.

The Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf have both ordered an investigation into the violence. A spokesman said in a statement:

President Zardari called for a report into this unfortunate incident and said such acts of vandalism against minorities tarnish the image of the country.

Prime Minister Ashraf also ordered an “expeditious inquiry and measures to stop recurrence of such incidents in future”, his office said in a statement.

Provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah said in Lahore that the government would not spare those involved in the attack.

These people committed a serious crime… there was no moral, legal or religious ground to indulge in such an act.

Shamaun Alfred Gill, a spokesman for the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, also condemned the incident and demanded that the government provide security to Christians.

Shahi Imran, who filed a the blasphemy charge, is reported here as saying that he was not responsible for the incident and he had left the area when the mob arrived to burn the houses. He maintained that the accused should be taught a lesson but the other Christian families should not be harmed.

Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive issue in Pakistan, where 97 percent of the population are Muslims, and allegations of insulting Islam or the Prophet Mohammed can prompt violent outbursts of public anger, even when unproven.

The laws came under the international spotlight in August last year when 14-year-old Christian girl Rimsha Masih was held for three weeks in a high security prison for allegedly burning pages from the Koran.

Hat tip: M A Chohan and John C

25 Responses to “The lunacy of Islam #15,250 (or thereabouts): torching Christian houses over alleged blasphemy”

  1. charlie says:

    And yet, we have politicians who keep telling us that Islam is a “religion of peace”. Sure doesn’t seem that peaceful in Pakistan.

  2. Matt Westwood says:

    Fuck you Mohammed, piss be upon you.

  3. Broga says:

    Anytime this toxic religion gets a serious hold in the UK we are in big trouble. We could make a start on protecting ourselves by kicking out without delay these clerics who are here and preach their bile. They hate us yet take our benefits and encourage their followers to undermine our values. When we try to kick them out the fight desperately, funded by our legal aid, to stay here. Isn’t it time everyone had a reality check?

  4. T says:

    They are doing their gods will. That is all. This is why islam more than any other religion needs to be treated as a real threat to peace. The primitive foul minded mullahs and imams are self appointed hate mongers who spread their malignant dogma to masses of uneducated gullible halfwitted dullards who are only too happy to spice up their meaningless empty lives with mindless violence. The only way to break the back of islam in civilised countries where it has secured a foothold is to ban all religious schools, teach science instead of religious claptrap and ban children from attending any form of extra curricular indoctrination. Make religion an x rated activity so that hateful divisive beliefs are not forced into the minds of children. Then religions will fall as their ageing follows wither and die. This is the only chance of securing a happy future.

  5. Buffy says:

    Score another one for the “Religion of Peace”.

  6. Brad Welch says:

    Not all Muslims are like this. Don’t stereotype Muslims. Most Muslims are peaceful.

  7. jay says:

    such acts of vandalism against minorities tarnish the image of the country.

    I don’t think there’s a lot of tarnishing to be done here. I wouldn’t set foot in that place.

  8. jay says:

    Though it’s not like that never happens here; an extreme example is after the cops that beat Rodney King got off…

    But there have been dozens (hundreds) of similar if lesser occurrences where mobs went bezerk after a real or perceived injustice.

  9. Canada Dave says:

    @ Brad

    “Not all Muslims are like this. Don’t stereotype Muslims. Most Muslims are peaceful.”

    How do you square that with a holy book that states….

    Kill disbelievers wherever you find them. If they attack you, then kill them. Such is the reward of disbelievers. (But if they desist in their unbelief, then don’t kill them.) 2:191-2

    Seems a pretty straight forward belief system…it is either allah or death.

  10. pumaman says:

    I will fight to protect your right to believe what you want to believe. But I will never give up my right to criticise or make fun of your beliefs if I think they deserve it.

  11. Robster says:

    It’s a pity the “peaceful” muzzies don’t speak up about being tarred with the same feather as their more fundamental brothers. They never say a word. Can’t help but wonder if the whole bearded and bagged lot are in this together.

  12. T says:

    Mr Welch – I never hear or read of any muslims condemning or disowning the outrageous behaviour of the brotherhood. islam is an evil confection of nastiness and hatred of kaffirs that gives license for murder and violence to any mob or bully who has a personal grievance or dislike against anyone anywhere anytime. It is criminality writ on the page used by wastrel imams to whip up violence against those their evil constipated minds take a dislike to. I do not think muslims are peaceful. They are bound to violence if some fifth rate dullard with the title of imam, mullah or cleric decides that’s what he wants. islam breeds thugs hooligans and murderers in the incubators disguised as places of worship. mosques are the barracks and training centers for private armies and lynch mobs for the sole purpose of undermining democratic society.

  13. T says:

    I disapprove of all religions but I consider islam to be the most hateful, mindless and dangerous of the lot. Hair trigger sensitivity to any critique, petulant bigmouth bullying and an open threat of extreme violence as a first resort. All in the name of a nasty violent epileptic child molesting misogynistic mobster.

  14. Marky Mark says:

    (AN accusation of blasphemy made by a Muslim barber against a Christian in Pakistan led today to the torching in Lahore of more than more than 100 houses of belonging to Pakistani Christians.)
    …maybe they’ll kill eachother off one day, or reduce themselves to more manageable numbers.

  15. barriejohn says:

    I’m sure that most people are aware of this by now:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21726993

    The Ansaru movement has been listed by the UK government as a “terrorist organisation” aligned with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

    The first attack for which it claimed responsibility was an attack on a police station in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, in November 2012.

    The group has warned it will target non-Muslims “in self-defence”.

    No comment!

  16. Brad Welch says:

    @CanadaDave
    That quote is taken out of context.

  17. Matt Westwood says:

    @Brad: What possible context could excuse that egregious expression of hatred?

  18. Angela_K says:

    @Brad Welch “Most Muslims are peaceful”

    Wake from your stupor, you’ll be telling us that the Pope isn’t a catholic next.

    Violence against the person and in particular women, is part of islam. Also the younger muslims here in the UK are becoming more radical rather than integrating into our more enlightened society.

  19. the Woggler says:

    Surely not worshipping the prophet IS blasphemy. Any religious belief system that contradicts your own is blasphemous. This is one reason I love being an atheist – I don’t condemn anybody for not being an atheist. I feel sorry for them, but I accept their right to be wrong. This isn’t arrogance, it’s simple reality.

  20. 1859 says:

    ‘Most muslims are not like this’ then why don’t ‘most muslims’defend the christians’ property from being torched by the fanatics? If ‘most muslims’ wanted to really prove that their religion is the religion of peace then this would be an excellent opportunity. But they don’t. ‘Most muslims’ have had decades and decades of opportunities to reign in their fanatics. But they haven’t. Why not?

  21. Georgina says:

    @Brad: I feel sorry for you. Either you are yourself a muslim, trying desperately to hang on to the belief that your religion is merely being corrupted by idiots who ‘misinterpret’ its teachings, or you are a dhimmi, brainwashed into believing in the basic decency of human beings.

    While I would love to agree with you, I have met far too many Germans who thought as you do, back when that other fascist totalitarianism was being pushed as a clean, pure ideology.

    They too thought that the brown shirts were headstrong young boys, misunderstanding the message of purity being preached.
    They too believed that the national socialist, labour party of Germany actually wanted peace with their neighbours, it was just that their neighbours had stolen their land – leaving them to hunger and deprivation (sound familiar?).
    They too believed the lies they were told, but they were born Germans. They could not suddenly decide to stop believing in Adolf and become French, or British.
    Many tried, many ran to the UK and America and Australia – many refused to be associated with butchers. Many others did not.
    Muslims in the west do not need to remain muslims. They can renounce their so-called ‘faith’, stop demanding special privileges, stop waving their bums in the air in public (a disgusting habit), where children and young girls could see them.

    Islam is a creed of slavery, slavery is below the dignity of reasoning human beings, and there is no way you can persuade clear thinkers that the Earth is flat, that the sun goes down in a puddle or that Islam is a peaceful religion.

  22. Brummie says:

    Well said Georgina!

  23. 1859 says:

    A great post Georgina – thank you. That is indeed a very fertile concept worth exploring – religion as a form of slavery. Because of their blatant and obscene abuse of their children and women, I would rank islam and orthodox judaism as top of the slavery charts…with the rest not far behind.