Brutal murder of Christian couple shows how dangerous Pakistan is for minorities
Global Minorities Alliance, a human rights charity which fights for minority communities the world over, has condemned the brutal murder of a Christian couple in the Punjab region of Pakistan following allegations of blasphemy.
Shahzad Masih and Shama Bibi, a married couple with four children, were beaten and then burnt alive in a brick kiln where they worked yesterday (4 November) after they were accused of desecrating the Quran by a co-worker.
According to the Pakistan Christian Post, mosque loudspeakers in Kot Rada Kishan, Kasur district of Punjab, were used to call a Muslim mob together to ‘teach a lesson to the blasphemers’. After the mob had beaten the couple and burnt them alive, other Christians in the area fled fearing for their safety.
The news of the attack came on the same day that the Prince of Wales called on faith leaders not to remain silent over the worldwide suffering of religious minorities, and described the persecution of Christians around the world as an ‘indescribable tragedy’.
Report: Violence Towards Religious Communities in Pakistan
By United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
The Religious Violence Project, an undertaking of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, has tracked publicly-reported attacks against religious communities in Pakistan over the past 30 months. The latest report covers the period from July 2013 to June 2014, during which 122 incidents of sectarian violence resulted in more than 1,200 casualties, including 430 deaths. While the number of attacks are slightly down from the previous year, they remain alarmingly high. The violence impacted both Muslim and non-Muslim religious communities, threatening Pakistan’s stability.
Speakers: L to R: Mridul Wadhwa, Deirdre Flanigan, Shahid Khan and Peter Tatchell
The Commonwealth theme of ‘welcome’ is a distant dream for some citizens in commonwealth states, says Global Minorities Alliance.
Global Minorities Alliance (GMA), a Glasgow based human rights organisation which fights for the rights of the minorities worldwide, organised a discussion panel at Glasgow University Memorial Chapel to discuss the human rights issues present in member states of the commonwealth.
The talk was the part of GMA’s campaign to raise awareness of human rights abuses, from the anti- conversions laws in India to the criminalisation of LGBTI communities in a number of the African countries represented at the Commonwealth Games.
The event was an opportunity to create a space for concerned people to share and learn from each other’s experiences as well as to discuss human rights issues at home and abroad.