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Pakistan: Madarsa teacher killed over 'dream blasphemy' in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Police said two students and a teacher ambushed Safoora Bibi at the main gate of the school and attacked her with a knife and stick. The suspects said a relative had dreamt that the victim 'committed blasphemy'

March 30, 2022

At around 7 a.m., Pakistani schoolteacher Safoora Bibi was walking to work when she was attacked by three women armed with knives and sticks.

The women ambushed Bibi near the main entrance of an all-girls Islamic seminary where she worked. Two of the attackers were her students. The third was a fellow teacher.

When police arrived at the Jamia Islamia Falahul Binaat school in the northwestern Pakistani town of Dera Ismail Khan on March 29, they found Bibi’s body outside the school. The 21-year-old had been repeatedly stabbed. Her throat was slit.

The attackers had accused Bibi of committing blasphemy, a highly serious and sensitive charge in Pakistan, a predominately Muslim nation of some 220 million where even unproven allegations have led to vigilante justice including mob lynchings and violence.

Bibi’s gruesome killing has put the spotlight on vigilante attacks in Pakistan, where scores of people accused of blasphemy have been killed in the past few decades.

People attend a vigil for a Sri Lankan worker who was lynched by a mob over allegations of blasphemy in Lahore in December 2021.

History Of Violence

Bibi is the latest victim of blasphemy-related violence in Pakistan, where more than 90 civilians accused of blasphemy have been killed during the past seven decades, according to the Center for Research and Security Studies, a think tank in Islamabad.

In a report issued in January, the organization said that more than 1,400 people had faced blasphemy accusations both in courts and from angry street mobs since Pakistan's independence in 1947. More than 1,200 of these cases and incidents were documented during the past decade, marking a huge increase.


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