Another shocking incident has emerged from Pakistan which highlights atrocities against minorities in the country. A Christian woman and her son were mercilessly killed by a mob allegedly over charges of blasphemy. According to reports, Yasmin and her son Usman Masih were brutally gunned down by a mob
A Christian woman named Yasmin and her son Usman Masih were brutally killed by a Muslim mob led by Muhammad Hassan and others in Kathor Kalan village in Gujranwala, Pakistan.
The gruesome lynching of the Christian mother-son duo reportedly took place in the name of blasphemy. According to activist Rahat Austin, Yasmin was shot dead by Mohammad Hassan. His son, severely injured, died minutes later as he desperately clung to his wife’s hands while his two daughters saw their father dying.
The activist further mentions that the crowd gathered at the spot watched the specter of violence unleashed against the Christian family, with none of them coming forward to help them.
Plight of minorities in Pakistan and rising cases of violence over blasphemy
As such Pakistan has a poor record of safeguarding its minorities population and blasphemy is used as an instrument to target the minorities. Christian and Hindu minorities in Pakistan live under a constant threat of being persecuted by the Muslim extremists in the country. Girls belonging to the minority communities are routinely abducted, forcibly married and converted into Islam by the Muslim fundamentalists. Non-compliance or resistance have often led to their murder.
Just a few days back, another killing over blasphemy had come to the fore in Pakistan. A bank manager was shot dead by the security guard over a purported blasphemy allegation. Videos of the crowd cheering the security guard for killing the Bank Manager had gone viral on the internet.
In one such viral video shared by Pakistani activist Rahat Austin, Ahmad Nawaz, the security guard who shot a manager of the National Bank of Pakistan branch in Quaidabad tehsil of Khushab, accusing him of blasphemy, is seen leading a fanatic crowd of supporters which greets him and raises slogans in his favour as they walk together on the street. Amidst loud cheers and slogans, one person appears from the crowd and kisses the guard.
Even the Pakistani legal system appears to side with the fundamentalists as far as blasphemy is concerned. In September 2020, a Pakistani court in Lahore convicted a Christian man to death under the controversial ‘blasphemy’ law. The Lahore Session Court sentenced 37-year-old Asif Pervaiz Masih for insulting Islam and sending ‘blasphemous’ texts to a former supervisor at work. Masih was arrested in 2013 for alleged blasphemy.
Recently, in a brutal incident, an elderly man belonging to the minority Islamic sect of Ahmadiyyas, who was facing a trial for ‘blasphemy’, was shot dead in front of the judge in a local court situated in a high-security zone in Pakistan’s Peshawar city.
Tahir Ahmad Naseem, who was arrested on the charges of blasphemy two years ago, died on the spot in the court of Additional Session Judge Shaukatullah Khan after being shot at. The man on trial was facing charges for ‘insulting’ the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.
After the incident, shockingly, the Islamists in Pakistan had turned Khalid Khan—the man who shot dead Tahir Ahmed Naseem into a ‘hero’ as people took to social media to hail him as the ‘Lion of Islam’ for killing the ‘blasphemer’.
In a similar case, Aasia Bibi, a 48-year-old mother of four was convicted in 2010 for insulting Islam. She maintained her innocence but spent eight years in solitary confinement. Later she was acquitted by the Pakistan Supreme Court and had to escape to Canada. Salman Taseer, who was the former Punjab governor was also killed by his own guard in 2011 after he sought mercy for Asia Bibi.