Pakistani Muslim leader charges a TV station with 'blasphemy'

Pakistan’s Islamic laws that hold Christians, Ahmadis, and Hindus accountable for supposed blasphemy continue cause controversy in the South Asian country. On May 17, blasphemy charges were leveled at four Christians in Mirpur Khas, a village in Sindh province. They are: Rose Marry, Cavell David, and Javed Masih and wife Nazi. An Islamic religious leader, Hafis Shah Fahad, brought the charges against them for alleged preaching at the rail station in Mirpur that offended local Muslims. The four Christians were arrested by the police for questioning.
 
George Masih, a Christian, told Fides News that the alleged murderers of his father, elderly scrapper Boota Masih, are still at large. The elder Masih was brutally murdered in broad daylight on September 14, 2013 by Muslim assailants who slit his throat while crying ‘Allah is great!”. The alleged murderers have since boasted of having terminated “a blasphemous infidel.” Son George said that "in my family we are more dead than alive: we have lost our jobs and now no one is willing to give us work." 
 
Christians are not the only targets of Muslim rage in Pakistan. On May 16, a teenager killed Khalil Ahmad, a member of the Ahmadi community, inside a police lockup in the Punjab region while being detained on a charge of blasphemy. Ahmadis represent an offshoot of Islam that is considered heretical by Muslims.
 
In addition, a Pakistani TV channel "Geo TV" is accused of blasphemy. Sahibzada Hamid Raza, who leads the Muslim Forum "Sunni Ittehad Council," accused Geo TV of "hurting the religious sentiments of millions of people." Raza issued a fatwa, an Islamic religious decree, and denounced the TV channel. The complaint cited the airing of images of dancers and Sufi Muslim music that refers directly to Muhammad and his family. 


Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

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