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’.
Glasgow: The Glasgow based human rights organisation Global Minorities Alliance (GMA) demands absolute support for the Sikhs who were found in a container at Tilbury port, Essex on Saturday.
The group who is believed to be from Afghanistan consists of 13 children, including a baby and adults up to the age of 72.
One Sikh man identified as Meet Singh Kapoor was found dead in the container.
GMA’s Director for Interfaith and Dialogue, Shahzad Khan, expressed his condolences over the death of Mr. Kapoor.
Mr. Khan said “We are saddened to learn about the death of Meet Singh Kapoor. Our thoughts are with the bereaved family.”
“It is unimaginable to fathom the plight these people must have gone through in their home country which forced them to take the risk to board on a container with their children.”
“We believe that the hostile climate for minorities in Afghanistan and to the Sikhs in particular provides any ground to these people absolute and immediate support here in the UK.”
“Sikhs have long been persecuted because of their faith in Afghanistan. Persecution reached to its acme since Taliban took over in 1992. Since then the Sikh population has shrunk from 75.000 to just 4.000”
“GMA strongly opposes the thought of the traumatised stowaways being sent back to their home country where they face terror and violence on basis of their faith”
“It is the UK Government responsibility to show gratitude to these people and grant sanctuary in the UK on humanitarian ground in a quick and non-bureaucratic manner.”
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.