Strict blasphemy laws continue to upend the lives of Christians in Pakistan*. Two Christian teenagers were recently arrested for blasphemy charges in the Punjab province. Sunny Mushtaq (19-years-old) and Noman Asghar (17-years-old) face blasphemy charges for receiving what were considered blasphemous sketches in the likeness of Prophet Muhammad via WhatsApp.
Pakistan’s Misused Blasphemy Charges
Executive International Director for FMI, Bruce Allen says a Muslim sent the sketches to Mushtaq and Asghar. The sender, who also appears to have alerted the police to press charges, will face no consequences for his actions.
If convicted of the blasphemy charges, Mushtaq and Asghar will pay a penalty fee and face a death sentence. That is, if vigilante street justice distributors do not get to these young men first.
“It is frequently that people are set up and the Christians, many of them are just naive about the evil intent of their neighbors. They don’t suspect that anything like this would ever happen,” Allen explains.
“For example, a frequent charge is that Christians are using pages of the Quran as fuel for their fire. They’re lighting up pages of the Quran as kindling under a teapot to get the water to boil. What I find so ironic…the overwhelming majority of Christians in Pakistan are illiterate. They don’t even own books, much less a Quran. They’re not going to have a Quran on hand to rip out pages of it.”
However, sometimes a Muslim neighbor will purposefully give their Christian neighbor a Quran to set them up for a blasphemy charge.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Bethann Flynn