Sticks, stones and sacred words break bones
By Tom Blanton
Having grown up in a Christian country, it’s shocking to Americans to see the cross as the object of religious persecution. In Pakistan, where only four percent of the country’s 180 million inhabitants pray to Jesus, they sometimes feel the same persecution Muslims have felt in post 9/11 America. Only recently, a presumably young girl named Rimsha Masih — her age varying in different reports from eleven to seventeen — has recently been arrested and accused of “blasphemy,” an extreme Pakistani offense, for throwing out pages of the Koran. Although some reports suggest she suffers from Down syndrome, others claim she’s mentally sound. This girl, with questionable mental health, was almost torn to confetti by a rabid, devilish mob of pissed-off Muslims hell-bent on taking the justice of their good book into their own hands.
According to Reuters, “a Pakistani Christian girl detained on accusations of defaming Islam was too frightened to speak in a prison where she is being held in solitary confinement for her safety.” Well, that’s just great, isn’t it, you over-reactionary Muslim extremists? The poor girl obviously couldn’t physically defend herself against a mob of robed sadists, but now she can’t verbally defend herself either. Referring to an attack by a mob in her village after she was accused of blasphemy, Christian activist Xavier William told Reuters after an initial visit, “She was assaulted and in very bad shape. She had bruises on her face and on her hands.” He also stated, after visiting her a second time, she was still “frightened and traumatized.” Uhh . . . duh? Any normal person would need a change of underwear after being beaten by a fiery mob, excited over the alleged “desecration” of their sacred book.
The girl, mentally disabled or not, has by no, none, zip, zero means deserved the beating, imprisonment and controversy caused by the simple disposal of a few pieces of paper, regardless of whatever was written on them. It sounds even more ridiculous when breaking it down to a simple action of disposing of paper that happened to have sacred — if only by some accounts — words on them.
The blasphemy law in Pakistan states anyone who speaks ill of Islam or the Prophet Mohammad commits a crime and faces the death penalty. As Mrs. Broflovski would say: WHAT?! WHAT?! WHAT?! The real crime committed there would be the unjust “justice” bestowed upon the poor saps who somehow stumbled into a situation like the one Masih finds herself in.
As a result, Christians from the girl’s village, just outside of the country’s capital Islamabad, fled in terror of what could’ve turned into a Pakistani Kristallnacht, and rightfully so. Pakistan’s “anti-blasphemy” law had to have been created by the equivalent of fried-out Muslim witch doctors who were tripping so hard they thought themselves to be Allah, and in turn, had the authority to create such a ludicrous law.
To give some light to the virtually unscathed arrest that saved Masih, two Christian brothers accused of writing a blasphemous letter against the Prophet Mohammad were gunned down outside a court in the eastern city of Faisalabad in July 2010.
Religious and secular groups worldwide have protested the arrest of the young girl, but hell, she’d probably be dead if the police, however reluctant they were, hadn’t taken her into custody. The real heathens aren’t those that desecrate another’s beliefs, intentional or not, but those who seek vengeance and turn a blind eye to the humility religions often preach. “If Christians burn our Koran, we will burn them,” a neighbor of Masih stated, and what a neighborly neighbor she was. No one deserves to burn for the arson of words. That is blasphemy.