Girl accused of blasphemy for a spelling error

Published: September 25, 2011

Eighth-grader expelled from school; mother forced to move from city.

ABBOTTABAD: 

It may have been a mere misplaced dot that led to accusations of blasphemy against a Christian eighth-grader, whose miniscule error led to her expulsion from school and uproar amongst local religious leaders.

Faryal Bhatti, a student at the Sir Syed Girls High School in Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) colony Havelian, erroneously misspelt a word in an Urdu exam while answering a question on a poem written in praise of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The word in question was ‘laanat’ instead of ‘naat’ – an easy error for a child to make, as the written versions of the words are similar.

According to the school administration and religious leaders who took great exception to the hapless student’s mistake, the error is ‘serious’ enough to fall within the realm of blasphemy, Saturday.

Spelling out her punishment

On Thursday, Faryal’s Urdu teacher was collecting the answer sheets from her students when she noticed the apparently offensive word on her pupil’s sheet. The teacher, Fareeda Bibi, reportedly summoned the Christian girl, scolded her and beat her. Her punishment, however, did not end here. When Faryal’s class fellows learnt of the alleged blasphemy, the teacher brought the principal’s notice to the matter, who further informed the school management.

In the meanwhile, the news spread throughout the colony. The next day, male students of the POF colony school as well as certain religious elements took out a rally, demanding the registration of a criminal case against the eighth-grader and her expulsion from the area.

Prayer leaders within the community also condemned the incident in their Friday sermons, asking the colony’s administration to not only take action against Faryal but her entire family. In the wake of the increasing tensions, Managing Director POF Colony Havelian Asif Siddiki called a meeting of colony-based ulemas and school teachers to discuss the situation. The girl and her mother were asked to appear before the meeting, where they explained that it was a mere error, caused by a resemblance between the two words. The two immediately apologised, adding that Faryal had no malicious intentions.

In a move that was apparently meant to pacify the religious elements clamouring for action against the teenage ‘blasphemer’, the POF administration expelled her from the school on Saturday. Faryal was not the only one who got in trouble for her spelling error, however, as her mother, Sarafeen Bhatti, who was a staff nurse at the POF Hospital Havelian for several years, was immediately transferred to POF Wah Cantonment Hospital.

Decision applauded

While talking to The Express Tribune, Maulana Alla Dita Khateeb of Gol Masjid praised the decision of the POF colony administration, claiming that he had personally seen the answer sheet in question. He further went on to say that he had met the girl himself, who had apologised for the word used in error.  Asked whether the incident still fell within the realm of blasphemy and whether Faryal deserved expulsion when she had misspelt the word unintentionally, Khateeb said that although he was unclear about the intentions of the girl, the word she had used was sacrilegious.

The managing director of POF Colony was not available for comment.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 25th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (464)

  • Anthony Permal
    Sep 25, 2011 - 10:31AM

    Sigh. An eigth-grader should know better. How dare she make such a deep theological mistake.

    The girl must have been a Jewish Spy under the payroll of the CIA but trained by RAW and given youthful makeup by Mossad.

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  • Foxbat
    Sep 25, 2011 - 10:31AM

    wow…Pakistan never stops to surprise me…. :)

    next would be a goat I guess

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  • MUNIB
    Sep 25, 2011 - 10:38AM

    Jinnah would be cursing himself for creating this country which is practically under Taliban rule now

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  • Foxbat
    Sep 25, 2011 - 10:39AM

    wow

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  • John B
    Sep 25, 2011 - 10:45AM

    How many Muslim students can spell the word in Urdu without the same mistake.

    Did her fellow classmates also make a similar mistake, not all but may be a few.

    This is a prejudicial accusation on the girl because she is a Christian.

    Have no idea what the word means, but what the heck. My child also makes a spelling mistake and me too.!

    The incidence is blasphemy against blasphemy.

    By the way, did PAK forget about Asia Bibi, your slain Minister Bhatti and Tasser?

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  • Sep 25, 2011 - 11:02AM

    In conventional faith systems, it’s God who protects man. For these radicals, it’s the other way around. There ought to be a special punishment for the lunacy of assuming your God to be so insecure as to require you to protect His honour from an eight-grader.

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  • Zalmay
    Sep 25, 2011 - 11:07AM

    poor girl! what trauma she and her family would be going under. I feel for this small girl. May Allah keep her in protection from the evil designs of those who call themselves the followers of Allah, the most merciful and the holy prophet peace be upon him who was send to the world as Rehmat.
    I don’t know why a teacher would make an issue of an error of a small child. what does she know about blasphemy. so much for the religious tolerance and pluralism that a Christian girl HAS to study Islamic teachings.

    the hypocrites have no shame when they blame the West for intolerance towards Muslims’ faith and life style.

    These Mullas would eat up Pakistan. save Islam and Pakistan from their ignorance and violence.

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  • Feroz
    Sep 25, 2011 - 11:11AM

    All such things can only happen in the land of the Pure. People are asking how can the land become Pure if contaminants like Christians, Hindus and Sikhs remain – so they are all charged and acting as filters. That children have also been roped into this game makes one shudder about the future.
    A very tolerant society in both word and deed, indeed !

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  • hammad
    Sep 25, 2011 - 11:17AM

    due to shortage of time, students do mistakes in a hurry, she’s just a 8th grader. They should have done a proper counseling of her after this incident rather than expelling him.

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  • Dude
    Sep 25, 2011 - 11:17AM

    Sick blasphemy law. No wonder Pakistan still leaves in stone age.

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  • sarah
    Sep 25, 2011 - 11:19AM

    really really unbelievable. Where is the compassion and logic in our so called religious society? SUPPOSE this girl had the intention of saying something against the religion. Does anyone really think that she would do it in such an forum?

    In realty the chance of a young girl spelling the word wrong in urdu is 100% more likely than to actually wanting to say something blasphamous.

    Once again, an example has been provided by our narrow minded communtiy leaders for the western media to pick upon.

    Sad.Recommend

  • Vigilant
    Sep 25, 2011 - 11:23AM

    where is the tolerance in our society???

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  • hammad
    Sep 25, 2011 - 11:25AM

    Due to shortage of time students do mistake in a hurry in exams.. she’s just a 8th grader, they should have done a proper counseling of her after the incident rather expelling her from the school…!!

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  • Saleem
    Sep 25, 2011 - 11:28AM

    Psychopaths.

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  • Ali
    Sep 25, 2011 - 11:45AM

    This is beyond ridiculous! If a Muslim student had made the same honest mistake will we see the same furor? The teacher, the principal, and the so called ulemas who had the girl expelled ought to be ashamed of themselves! I hope Mr. Suo moto is reading this.

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  • Saeed
    Sep 25, 2011 - 11:56AM

    Ah an ugly news to start off your day with. The only crime of the innocent soul was that she was a Christian.If it were a Muslim student, nobody would have given it much heed. O self proclaimed Ashiq-e-Rasuls, don’t you people have any fear whatsoever of Allah Almighty? Even a bit of kindness and tolerance in any corner of your hearts?

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  • fus
    Sep 25, 2011 - 12:08PM

    What the hell is happening in Pakistan. We are follower of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH), just for a second think what prophet (pbuh) would have done….I am sure he would feel ashamed of the todays Moulvis who make stupid decisions and make issue out of everything.

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  • R. Khan
    Sep 25, 2011 - 12:14PM

    Crazy! Shows our messed up minds.

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  • feels pity!!
    Sep 25, 2011 - 12:21PM

    this is one of many result when you are trying to inject extreme religionism, in order to ensure religion, there is no place for commonsense, humanity, and all are brainwashed machines doing things according to preprogram. no doubt, this girl will be punished brutally, raped and may be killed, no one can help her, because “she is against islam”.

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  • Sep 25, 2011 - 12:23PM

    Pathetic. Can’t even think of anything to say…height of ignorance!

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  • KolachiMom
    Sep 25, 2011 - 12:47PM

    Are you KIDDING me?

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  • Yelmaz
    Sep 25, 2011 - 12:50PM

    Ah…the thaikedaar’s of Islam. Protecting God and the Prophet from the vast, endless and evil powers of a 12 year old child…

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  • Sidra Riaz
    Sep 25, 2011 - 1:11PM

    This is simply Pathetic. That is why we want a secular Pakistan. No to mullah ism.. No to Islamic Republic.

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  • Hunain
    Sep 25, 2011 - 1:14PM

    And this is tolerant Pakistan….

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  • Sep 25, 2011 - 1:19PM

    Though I have no right to speak on this matter. However could not refrain myself No it not a judgment on anyone from me. Just an observation.

    For God sake this is a child who has made a mistake in an exam.

    Allah is merciful than why is his man so merciless?

    Mistakes are part of learning.

    Sincerely

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  • Zara
    Sep 25, 2011 - 1:22PM

    The Holy Prophet (PBUH) forgave the old woman in Mecca who threw garbage at him, and prayed for mercy for the people of Ta’if who threw stones at him. In his name, we now persecute children who make spelling mistakes. God help us.

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  • S Swarup
    Sep 25, 2011 - 1:45PM

    I am happy to see the reactions from the public which do not support such mindless action against an innocent girl. God bless!

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  • Saleem Khan
    Sep 25, 2011 - 2:00PM

    Simply SICK, SICK and SICK mentality.

    Shame on such society where humanity is at RISK.

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  • KolachiMom
    Sep 25, 2011 - 2:07PM

    What is religion doing in an Urdu exam?

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  • Rochelle
    Sep 25, 2011 - 2:09PM

    Interestingly enough, no fingers point to the teacher who has obviously failed at actually “teaching” the child well enough so as not to have made the mistake in the first place. Praying for the safety of the child and her family from the depraved society/colony she lives in.

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  • Hassan
    Sep 25, 2011 - 2:14PM

    Pathetic. Typical behaviour you can expect from this society

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  • Sep 25, 2011 - 2:23PM

    its not even a spelling mistake!!!! in fact, its a misplaced DOT!!!! write both words in urdu … ONE DOT!!!!

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  • Ahmad
    Sep 25, 2011 - 2:28PM

    Sick ! These people are a disgrace to Islam!Recommend

  • Choas A.D
    Sep 25, 2011 - 2:52PM

    Maybe we should just kill all ‘kafirs’ in the womb, as it seems that they are just ‘bound to commit blasphemy’ since puberty, right?

    Amazing how quickly the ‘authorities’ and ‘religious scholars’ moved in on this little girl’s crime, from meetings to protests to expulsions to relocation and eviction.

    versus the speed with which a gang-rape woman, muslim or other, is served her ‘justice’.

    I’m so glad I managed to get out while I still can.Recommend

  • Prahaar
    Sep 25, 2011 - 3:10PM

    @Vigilant: It is not about tolerance. This needs common sense. Motive should also be the judge rather than mere focus on action. A child committing a mistake in writing is not blasphemous, it is NORMAL. You tolerate mistakes not NORMAL things.

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  • Sep 25, 2011 - 3:12PM

    Shocked to read this would be an understatement. Unbelievable.

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  • Seher
    Sep 25, 2011 - 3:35PM

    DISGUSTING! this is not what our religion is about. These people are a disgrace to our nation and religion! Whats worse is that nothing is going to happen about this. No justice,will ever come-forth and perhaps justice will not put an end to such mind-set but something needs to be done!

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  • Syme
    Sep 25, 2011 - 3:45PM

    The teacher was devoid of love and attachment to her student otherwise she would have ignore the petty mistake.We all know people who don’t “want” a reward for their prayers but they pray for Divine wrath for those who don’t pray and fast.

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  • Sep 25, 2011 - 3:54PM

    Pakistan is in the stone ages! What a backward country it has become? It’s a joke!Recommend

  • Pieter van Lieshout
    Sep 25, 2011 - 4:03PM

    Dear Sir, this is a very sad affair. My sympathies go out to this girl and her family. Hopefully this will teach religious extremists that education for girls should be encouraged, instead of campaigning to close down girls schools!
    By the way your article does not explain the meaning of the words ‘laanat’ and ‘naat’. For my understanding I would appreciate if you could provide the translation.

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  • The Real Aashiq-e-Rasool
    Sep 25, 2011 - 4:04PM

    Really sad to hear this rather stupid accusation. I really wish we had Ulema who actually understood Quran and Sunnah.Recommend

  • Sul
    Sep 25, 2011 - 4:11PM

    Iodine ki kami?

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  • MSQ
    Sep 25, 2011 - 4:27PM

    Not even one person in favour of the judgement. This goes to show that people like us who can read such articles via internet on the comfort of our couches and workstations are the real face of Pakistan and promote tolerance,equality,justice and peace. But lets just be awake to the fact that these posts are not taking us anywhere and these things will keep happening unless you and I do something about it and REPLACE these ignorant self praised and self monitored mullahs and leaders.

    Its like everyday you feel that dinner has extra salt in it..but neither do you tell the cook to take care of it, nor do you make an attempt to cook it yourself..

    Even my post is useless..see..?

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  • Seher
    Sep 25, 2011 - 4:28PM

    I am tearful….this poor little girl never knew that one mere mistake will cast out a big mob against her. May God bless her and keep her safe Amen

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  • M M Malik
    Sep 25, 2011 - 4:31PM

    The blasphemy law, the general impression and ambit of the law has been muddled by the clergy. In its present form the blasphemy law is un-Islamic. Imam Abu Hanifa’s teachings do not agree with the law.
    How can a eight year old Christian girl sully or tarnish the high spiritual station of our Holy Prophet (saw), who is the pinnacle of all Allah’s creations?

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  • Truth From Pakistan
    Sep 25, 2011 - 4:33PM

    Can’t find right words for expression. Why everybody is acting like sole torch bearer of the religion?
    One thing is surely extinct from our society….Tolerance !
    Wait for the Big Bang I guess !!!

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  • indian christian
    Sep 25, 2011 - 4:51PM

    my thoughts and prayers are with that poor little child.

    By the way, I am happy that INDIA and PAKISTAN got separated in 1947. Recommend

  • nafisa mubarak
    Sep 25, 2011 - 4:58PM

    Lord, what fools these mortals be!
    Easily victimizing the youth to glorify their so called religious hogwash.

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  • Umar Jawed
    Sep 25, 2011 - 5:03PM

    Eight-grader can’t spell naat.?Either it was deliberate or her Urdu is quite weak.

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  • sashi
    Sep 25, 2011 - 5:05PM

    Wow ! Now the americans can never threaten pakistan to bomb it to stone ages. It is already in stone ages now.

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  • Leila Rage
    Sep 25, 2011 - 5:06PM

    It is truly disgusting how these “religious” leaders persecuted a mere child for something as commonplace as a spelling error. Anyone could’ve made such a mistake. What the child did is not at all blasphemous by any stretch of the imagination. The true blasphemy lies in the actions of the teacher, the “religious” leaders and the administration. By putting this child and her family through all this, they have proved that they are the real blasphemers, because Islam does not teach us this injustice, and nor did the Prophet (PBUH) ever take such an action, and so by proclaiming themselves the guardians of faith and pretending to be following Islam there are actually flinging filth on the name of Islam, and on themselves.

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  • Sep 25, 2011 - 5:08PM

    utter psychotics! I vividly remember that when i gave the final exams of 8th GRADE, in the urdu exam i spelled “Janab” as “Jinnat” by mistake. Just a shift of dot changed the whole word. why dont we realized that shez a human that also a KID and can commit such mistake.

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  • Ali
    Sep 25, 2011 - 5:10PM

    such bigots constantly keep bringing shame to our country… seriously… the more logical question here is that why was the christian girl being made to write a naat in the first place?

    there is no such compulsion in Islam..
    imagine if we heard a story of some muslim kid in India being asked to write a bhajan…we would go crazy…. Recommend

  • Nasir
    Sep 25, 2011 - 5:13PM

    Whenever there is a negative news about Pakistan, I see lots of non-Pakistani comments like bees on honey, but when there is a positive news instead, they vanish like stars in the sun.

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  • Irfan
    Sep 25, 2011 - 5:15PM

    this situation shows we r still not ready for change

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  • mfhussain
    Sep 25, 2011 - 5:23PM

    well you wanted a Muslim homeland now you got it!

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  • Anthony Permal
    Sep 25, 2011 - 5:23PM

    @Nasir:

    And that’s ALL you could see on this article? Not a word about the ridiculousness of the situation and what the girl is going through, but your own nationalist view point?

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  • Sheikh
    Sep 25, 2011 - 5:25PM

    Only because shes a christian, we being muslims misspell a number of times but cover it up by saying “nauzubillah” in this case we should also be sentenced to some kind of punishment.

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  • Syed Fraz Ali
    Sep 25, 2011 - 5:33PM

    Sheer exaggeration! They are ignoramuses, but you aren’t! Why do you people hunt for stories that literally slanders the image of Pakistan. Why don’t you people cover stories like students of this very country coming with out-of-this-world ideas?! Why don’t you cover the stories of honest people toiling and moiling day and night just to keep this country thriving! Why don’t you post interviews with top-class Debaters and Orators who maintain to keep Pakistan’s dignity and head held high even under the harshest of circumstances?

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  • Sep 25, 2011 - 5:37PM

    While I agree with most of you condemning the act, we should not forget the killings and all after such incidence occurred in past. The administration probably took the decision (which has left a bad taste though) in anticipation of the riots and further problems as a result of reaction to this incident by the fanatics. The dust settled before it could become a wave of killings and destruction not only for the family but the whole christian community in the area.

    Having said that,,,I, too, am ashamed of what had happened.

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  • god
    Sep 25, 2011 - 5:38PM

    that teacher’s and others mentality towards a little girl shows how much they hate other religions.

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  • Anonymous
    Sep 25, 2011 - 5:39PM

    this is so dissappointingRecommend

  • Leila Rage
    Sep 25, 2011 - 5:41PM

    @Pieter van Lieshout

    Naat means a poem written in remembrance and praise of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

    Laanaat means to curse someone

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  • Asif Ali
    Sep 25, 2011 - 5:43PM

    PLEASE remove the reference to the names of the girl and her family in the article. The least we can do to let them live a new life in a new place…

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  • SanaZ
    Sep 25, 2011 - 5:47PM

    this is beyond ridiculous its sick!thats why blasphemy laws MUST be repealed and abolished altogether

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  • maawan
    Sep 25, 2011 - 5:52PM

    did any body ever make a mistake while writing hollow caste system as holocaust.

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  • Sep 25, 2011 - 6:02PM

    Please do not victimise an ignorant little girl. Realize, she has done and confessed a mistake. Do not become so rigid. Learn to be tolerant. Keep in mind that the Almight Allah is merciful and know your design. If you will not be tolerant, our prophet MUHAMMAD (Allah peace be upon him) will not forgive you and you people may be deprived off “Shafat” in next world.

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  • Muhammad Waqas Luqman
    Sep 25, 2011 - 6:04PM

    Well, there is so much happening in real then the media is telling us. I have spent 5 year just 15 miles away from the Place where this incident took place. It is called “Kotha Kabar village “which means the “the Donkey’s Grave Village”. In that Place Christan Missionaries have started to built a church and a Christian Colony and the have converted many of the, literally, “POOR” Muslims to Christians. The Girl Belongs to one of the family in that place…

    It must also be taken into the account that The High Court has stopped the Construction, dated August 26, 2011. So, the government already has an eye on them.

    And I also see that the media laying stress on the word “8th-Grader” and keep saying that she was a child. So 8-grader, if v judge it, v can certainly conclude, that she was 13 or 14 years old… In that age a person can B childish but not a child… They are sensible enough.

    Besides if we look at the Fact, the words, “LAANAT” and ‘NAAT” the way they written, there is no chance of confusing one with the other. As both are different.. In ENGLISH it may seem the same but in URDU, they are totally different. And also if someone says they she might have written it the wrong way because she was in rush then its not possible. Coz “LAANAT” which means “CURSE” is longer than the Word “NAAT” which means “Praise to Holy Prophet”.. So in rush u definitely cannot write long words and especially words which are completely opposite to each other.

    So definitely it was a slandering malicious act.

    However, I do agree with Hammad here that they should have done a proper counseling of her after this incident rather than expelling her. It, sure, will give birth to Anger and Hatred in the hearts of other Minority Groups, which certainly is not good for our country, especially, when it, already, has to deal more critical situations.

    Recommend

  • mschuadhary
    Sep 25, 2011 - 6:16PM

    @MUNIB:
    u idiot is not about taliban ….what u do taliban ..
    mounphat …

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  • faraz
    Sep 25, 2011 - 6:17PM

    The qadri lovers have stooped to a new low

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  • Ansazafar
    Sep 25, 2011 - 6:22PM

    Yes many people can’t spell words. Many poor people can’t spell words correctly. Many poor children whose parents are ignorant can’t spell words and don’t know how to correct a child who mis spells.
    Will no one take on the clerics and confront them ?? Will no one condemn such abuse ? Should not the teacher of the school be reprimanded and dismissed for beating up a little girl ?? Is the teachers job to teach or to stand on judgement ?? What is she there for if she could not let a child understand the error and help her understand what was expected of her ??
    This leaves me speechless and I am horrified.

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  • Faction
    Sep 25, 2011 - 6:26PM

    @Syed Fraz Ali: You dont want news, you want propaganda. Just read the Nation, you’ll be quite content.

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  • Amina
    Sep 25, 2011 - 6:30PM

    This issue needs to be taken up to the international level- In front of PM of Pakistan and everyone else in the world so that the Gov’t of Pak can be embarrassed (apparently we need to be embarrassed on an international level before our Gov’t can take any action against it). An effing dot and you beat up a CHILD?! What is WRONG!? Those clerics & the whole school should be punished for torturing this poor child! Where is Hina Khar preaching to other countries about muslim rights?! Forget about Kashmir worry about your own people’s safety first!

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  • Hassan
    Sep 25, 2011 - 6:35PM

    Evil just needs good people to stay silent to spread. And no commenting on articles does not count..

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  • Furqan
    Sep 25, 2011 - 6:46PM

    Looks like the media propaganda against Muslims once again

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  • Hassan
    Sep 25, 2011 - 7:04PM

    I do not believe this … I think and hope this is some staged news to degrade Pakistani society …

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  • Sam
    Sep 25, 2011 - 7:10PM

    such molvis should be strictly punished for damaging the image of Islam..

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  • Faraz
    Sep 25, 2011 - 7:15PM

    Wth is happening to this world? Tolerance is a thing extremely seldom, both in The muslim world AND in the West. If someone protests, anywhere in the world, for example in the UK you get prison for idk how long. I don’t need to mention the cruel acts being taken, anywhere in the world, mostly in Pakistan, afghanistan, in the US and in the UK. Why can’t we all just be equal and let them have their say? Freedom, equality, and tolerance are now a past trait of humanitym SAD.Recommend

  • MSQ
    Sep 25, 2011 - 7:19PM

    @indian christian: Brother/Sister..India and Pakistan are similar in this form of the game..So there is truly nothing to be happy about..Indians face so much inhumane and uncalled for incidents on a daily basis as well..Its how we have become as a subcontinent..disgraceful

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  • Wizz
    Sep 25, 2011 - 7:26PM

    I think the teacher and the mob should be charged with blasphemy of Islam.

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  • Lalarukh Hussain
    Sep 25, 2011 - 7:30PM

    why does an Urdu exam have questions on religious content anyway? and if it does have religious content, obviously it must be restricted to Islamic content only, heaven forbid that our poor little muslim students be taught anything about plurality and living in an inclusive society! This is so shameful.. Our country becomes more intolerant every day and anyone with any secular beliefs is severely outnumbered.. So depressing!

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  • Was A Pakistani
    Sep 25, 2011 - 7:33PM

    Dont support the girl…. she will either get killed or be thrown in jail. For her safety refrain from commenting.. Pakistan is land of insanity… anything can happen.

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  • falcon101
    Sep 25, 2011 - 7:52PM

    The decision to transfer the mother to another place was a sensible one bc her life was in danger in the same city… besides Wah cantt is a nice place:)

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  • Terence Elliott
    Sep 25, 2011 - 7:53PM

    Speaking os spelling mistakes, it’s “minuscule”.

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  • Namenotrequired
    Sep 25, 2011 - 7:55PM

    This is just the Land of the Pure going through another round of purification.

    Recommend

  • Muhammad Waqas Luqman
    Sep 25, 2011 - 8:05PM

    Well, there is so much happening in real then the media is showing us. I have spent 5 year just 15 miles away from the Place where this incident took place. It is called “Kotha Kabar village “which means the “the Donkey’s Grave Village”. In that Place Christan Missionaries have started to built a church and a Christian Colony and the have converted many of the, literally, “POOR” Muslims to Christians. The Girl Belongs to one of the family in that place…

    It must also be taken into the account that The High Court has stopped the Construction, dated August 26, 2011. So, the government already has an eye on them.

    And I also see that the media laying stress on the word “8th-Grader” and keep saying that she was a child. So 8-grader, if v judge it, v can certainly conclude, that she was 13 or 14 years old… In that age a person can B childish but not a child… They are sensible enough.

    Besides if we look at the Fact, the words, “LAANAT” and ‘NAAT” the way they written, there is no chance of confusing one with the other. As both are different.. In ENGLISH it may seem the same but in URDU, they are totally different. And also if someone says they she might have written it the wrong way because she was in rush then its not possible. Coz “LAANAT” which means “CURSE” is longer than the Word “NAAT” which means “Praise to Holy Prophet”.. So in rush u definitely cannot write long words and especially words which are completely opposite to each other.

    So definitely it was a slandering malicious act.

    However I do agree with Hammad here that they should have done a proper counseling of her after this incident rather than expelling her. It, sure, will give birth to Anger and Hatred in the hearts of other Minority Groups, which certainly is not good for our country, especially, when it, already, has to deal more critical situations.

    Recommend

  • saad
    Sep 25, 2011 - 8:09PM

    @sarah:
    well mam its really sad .but worst part is that instead of putting dis law in some more parctcable n sensible way we allways find an easy way to escape by poniting our fingers towards west.i think its high time that we point our finger to our selves n our mullahs who hav been supproting these kind of activties where lot f innocent people hav been killed.these mullahs hav hijcaked our religion.n no one can dare to say any thing.n if any one dares ………….see fate of slaman taseer.GOD HELP US

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  • Sep 25, 2011 - 8:13PM

    This is just outrageous. Have no words …. sorry.

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  • Babloo
    Sep 25, 2011 - 8:13PM

    The establishment is taking measurs to take the state to stone age to preempt RAW-CIA-MOSAD-MIA-12345 plot to reduce it to stone age.

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  • S.Z
    Sep 25, 2011 - 8:21PM

    By the way, its too big of a mistake to be made by an 8th grader. It was 15 years ago when i was in grade 8th and naa’t is included in the urdu syllabus for class 3 onwards, i guess. A simple check of the rest of her paper would tell if she is that foreigner to the language.

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  • Nizam
    Sep 25, 2011 - 8:24PM

    Why is Islam part of the curriculum in the first place?

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  • malik
    Sep 25, 2011 - 8:36PM

    @Muhammad Waqas Luqman:
    I agree with you sir. The media is misleading everyone saying she is a 6th-grader instead of saying she is 14 years of age

    14 is not a kid, but, a good enough age for getting married in our earlier Arab societies. So, she should be treated as an adult. The punishment for her should be that she should apologise for the blasphemous act and convert to Islam immediately. Or she should be made to marry a Muslim man.

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  • Dawn Marie Martin Ali
    Sep 25, 2011 - 8:45PM

    First of all, for those rush-to-judge kinds of people who say they believe in Allah, that Allah is all powerful, merciful, etc…if you really TRULY believed that(which by your insane and ignorant actions you prove that you DONT)than you would know this essential and powerful fact:

    GOD DOES NOT NEED US.
    WE need God.

    Therefore: GOD doesnt require our so-called “outrage” at percieved “blasphemies”, nor does God need assistance from us puny human creatures in ANY WAY. STOP the hypocrisy, you fanatical idiots: the truth is, it is these judgmental irrational sorts who find joy in sadism, torturing innocents and establishing power through TERROR.

    So come on you twisted fake “men of God”: own up to the truth, quit hiding behind religion!

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  • Preeti
    Sep 25, 2011 - 9:00PM

    How can we help her? I would pay for her schooling if the Express Tribune can help her get out of that place.

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  • Abbas
    Sep 25, 2011 - 9:17PM

    I feel pity for pupil having intolerant & disgraceful teachers like the one who instead of correcting the girl on the spot created a mess. God bless this country & our new generation.

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  • huma
    Sep 25, 2011 - 9:29PM

    the teacher shoukd be thrown out, because shes the one who originally created the ruckus.
    the principal should be thrown out who also propagated the ruckus
    everyone right down to the hospital administration should be penalized for blowing this up
    lastly, why is the little girl doing anything in relation to islamic studies anyway? its not her religion!
    and in case we all forget… 8 years old is the key word…. shameful!!
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  • ahmad
    Sep 25, 2011 - 9:33PM

    @Zalmay:
    you are absolutely right
    but we can just pray for her and can only comment to this post

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  • Annonymous
    Sep 25, 2011 - 9:33PM

    Everyday I feel more and more ashamed to be a Pakistan! The peabrains of the so-called educators of our youth could be so narrow minded it’s unconceivable! I am utterly disgusted!

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  • Asna
    Sep 25, 2011 - 9:40PM

    Its sad how a very negative image of Islam and Muslims is being portrayed by these ignorant, hypocritic “maulanas”. What if a daughter of one of these “mulla” had done this mistake?
    Loving the Prophet(SAW) truly means to follow His Sunnah! and what did our beoved Prophet(SAW) did in these situation. They killed His family, His family. Yet, when He was in power He forgave them all. Yes, He did!
    What our nation need today is education!

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  • Sep 25, 2011 - 9:48PM

    Our religion teaches us the lesson of forgiving.Whatever she did but we should not forget the fact that she is immature and innocent girl and she did so by just a spelling mistake.If she did so deliberately we should forgive her,it will inspire her from our religion …
    thanks
    May ALLAH forgive her and forgive us…..
    Adeel Ahmed.

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  • Strigon
    Sep 25, 2011 - 9:49PM

    How can you ask me to be loyal, passionate and be a patriot after seeing thousands of these cases?

    I wanted a separate country where I would feel secure but I also didn’t ask for a country inhabited by the worst of humanity that doesn’t recognizes the innocence of a child and takes away her education.

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  • John B
    Sep 25, 2011 - 9:54PM

    @Muhammad Waqas Luqman:
    Get a life. She is singled out because she was a Christian. As you said, the village already has a prejudicial atmosphere.

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  • Ducky
    Sep 25, 2011 - 9:58PM

    Hahaha! I love Pakistan!

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  • Mehdi
    Sep 25, 2011 - 9:58PM

    @Umar Jawed: U seem to have missed the whole point completely. Here we’re talking abt tolerance towards humanity, ESP where the poor girl has apologised for her UNintentional mistake. And here u go saying smtg quite silly.

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  • Shehryar
    Sep 25, 2011 - 9:59PM

    Have they completely lost their minds? how difficult would it be to prove her innocence. On top have they even considered that even if she did, she’s just kid – let her off with a heavy pile of homework etc. Recommend

  • Syed Rizvi
    Sep 25, 2011 - 10:02PM

    At least, she did not get a verdict of being stoned to death that the blasphemy law calls for. Maybe because she was a minor.

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  • Hussain Aslam
    Sep 25, 2011 - 10:07PM

    @Anthony Permal:
    I appreciate your sense of humor and sarcasm but when such allegations are made, they are not subjective at all. Im not commenting on how the scene was acted out, but themistake is not possible for an 8th grader to make.

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  • Laure
    Sep 25, 2011 - 10:12PM

    no wonder why France will never go back on being a laic country
    shame on these non democratic people

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  • Hussain Aslam
    Sep 25, 2011 - 10:20PM

    @indian christian:
    I am happy that India and pakistan got separated in 1947 too because female infanticide is still practiced in India which is obviously much worse off than expelling someone from the city. You must be lucky to have a mother Id say. Not too think about the hindu muslim, hindu sikh and hindu christian riots that take place over there. Im sure being a christian you ou did not lose a relative to a hindu mob and so you are happy. every one is not lucky like you perhaps.

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  • Hussain Aslam
    Sep 25, 2011 - 10:23PM

    @Sidra Riaz:
    A few incidences make you go against Islam. How cool is that? You only need to know what Islam is and whether the person claiming to be the savior of religion and practicing it so is even following the religion or not. IF they are not good Muslims, it doesnt make the religion bad, it only shows how pathetic your knowledge about religion is and how pathetic you are to not do anything about that. The problem is not with Islamic Republic, The problem is that there is no Islam over there and you exhibit that out loud!

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  • Khalid
    Sep 25, 2011 - 10:24PM

    Shows how well educated our Mullahs are and the teachers.

    The only fear the world has is the uneducated lot which 3rd world is producing so prolifically..

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  • Hussain Aslam
    Sep 25, 2011 - 10:24PM

    @Ahsan:
    Its not one dot. Lanat and naat are way apart. Seems like your urdu is even more pathetic than hers. Its not a mistake an 8th grader could make.

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  • White Crow
    Sep 25, 2011 - 10:30PM

    A very basic question is: Why a Christian girl was being taught Naat?

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  • Foxbat
    Sep 25, 2011 - 10:41PM

    Wonder what aka leader of the youth Mr. Zaid Hamid who not long ago was threatening the US and India thinks about this……well I don’t think that he ever thinks any ways

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  • Ali Khan
    Sep 25, 2011 - 10:45PM

    Shame on the society that we have become, we are a curse to ourselves indeed.

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  • R S JOHAR
    Sep 25, 2011 - 10:48PM

    This is height of religious intolerance in Pakistan and I am now in full agreement with some Pakistani’s comments that wrath of Almighty or Allah has fallen upon this country with much worse to come in the near future.

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  • Sep 25, 2011 - 10:56PM

    After all this, we still call us Pakistani…. its hard to live really, i m full of tears

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  • Ahmad
    Sep 25, 2011 - 11:08PM

    Could it be tabloid journalism seeking to overhype the event as a way to attack Islam?

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  • hidden
    Sep 25, 2011 - 11:32PM

    @Umar Jawed: 8th grader can’t spell naat? Well might I remind you this eight grader is not as privileged as we are living peaceful lives in the safety of our homes. She’s not receiving top class education as the article clearly states she’s from a rural undeveloped village. Instead of accusing an eight grader you should see what type of a society she is from. If the prophet can forgive a women who ripped his uncles chest open and chewed his raw liver, I’m sure a 8th grader can be forgiven for making a spelling error. Just shows the tolerance of our society. These maulanas have no knowledge of islam them self and are mere hypocrites and may I remind you once again. The Prophet himself waged war against all hypocrites and made it his sole responsibility to banish them completely. These hypocrites were the prophets worst enemies. God help this country.Recommend

  • hello
    Sep 25, 2011 - 11:38PM

    Lol broRecommend

  • A Warning Giver
    Sep 25, 2011 - 11:51PM

    @preeti

    Reporter of this incident has his NGO by the name of HDO ( Human Development Organization ), and he is open to accept any kind of donations in this regard.

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  • Samira Khan
    Sep 26, 2011 - 12:02AM

    Reminds me of Urdu teacher who gave me a thrashing if I made a mistake. This women did not know anything about Urdu except getting sadistic pleasure from humiliating her students. Urdu is a beautiful language but for long long time I could bring myself to read Urdu poetry, I hated Urdu so much because of my experience with that teacher.

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  • sick of this nonsense
    Sep 26, 2011 - 12:06AM

    @indian christian: religious intolerance is more rampant in india then in Pakistan. google it up. Here in Pakistan you see many of us supporting the minority. Its not the matter of pakistan and india. its the matter of intolerance which is rampant in both countries.
    @pieter van: lanaat means curse upon.. naats are sung in praise of Prophet (PBUH).

    even though i doubt the girl made a mistake she is a child. we should all take a deep breathe and relax. Nothing will happen to Islam if some one bad mouths it. People have been badmouthing it since ages, it is still the fastest growing religion in the world. However if things like these are ever shown light to people who want to convert they will surely change their minds because this isnt our religion its barbarism. this law is getting out of hand. what will expelling her accomplish???????

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  • hassan
    Sep 26, 2011 - 12:11AM

    ‎”The word in question was ‘laanat’ instead of ‘naat’ – an easy error for a child to make, as the written versions of the words are similar.”

    Not condoning the Blasphemy Law or anything but I find the statement above to be most peculiar because,in Urdu script,the two words are significantly different and easily distinguishable.

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  • Nick Day
    Sep 26, 2011 - 12:15AM

    So has anyone pointed out that this article contains a spelling mistake, albeit minuscule, right in the bold text at the top?

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  • Parvez
    Sep 26, 2011 - 12:16AM

    Even if it was deliberate the reaction of the teacher, the administration and the religious people involved was completely contrary to common sense and the spirit of tolerance and forgiveness. The misdeed, if it actually was such, should have been explained to the child, gaining her confidence and thereby doing religion a service in the process. What now has happened is exactly the opposite and we wonder why the world views us as religiously intolerant.

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  • Cautious
    Sep 26, 2011 - 12:19AM

    A xenophobe doesn’t need much of an excuse to punish someone different — a country which was born because it did not want to be a minority apparently has trouble tolerating minorities.

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  • Sundeep
    Sep 26, 2011 - 12:31AM

    I still don’t understand why is it that everything is seen in religious prism in Pakistan? It’s a school for gods sake. There will be kids from other religions too. Why would you ask them to write a poem praising Allah? Let them understand the world first before you throw at them your ideology. You are basically putting minorities in a highly risk/religious society judging every small mistake of theirs, calling everything blasphemous. Pakistanis ought to be ashamed of their society.

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  • Pakistan
    Sep 26, 2011 - 12:32AM

    @Umar Jawed: While you and I were lucky to have studied at decent schools, you’ll be surprised to see the current education standard in government school. Look up a video “The education of Pakistan” on youtube. Just a glimpse of how deep waters our educational institutes are in.

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  • Khurram
    Sep 26, 2011 - 12:40AM

    Though I am no urdu expert but I’m sure if the teacher actually read the whole sentence, it probably wouldn’t have even made sense.

    Can’t imagine what she and her parents must be feeling right now .

    I am no religious guy, but service to people and humanity is the first priority in Islam without any sort of discrimination. Wasn’t that what we were taught in elementary classes? What happened to that? I’m sure that mistake would’ve been completely overlooked if a Muslim child had written it.

    MAY ALLAH HELP THIS COUNTRY.

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  • Deborah
    Sep 26, 2011 - 12:46AM

    You do realise ..
    Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
    Those that desire & gain power rarely believe in any god
    That is why the god they claim to act on behalf of ..is no more than their own reflection they see every morning when they look in the mirror.. & all the fools flock around them & encourage that vanity daily.

    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities
    Voltaire.

    Morality is doing right, no matter what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told, no matter what is right.

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  • Pradeep
    Sep 26, 2011 - 12:51AM

    What galls me most is that there is not much questioning of the blasphemy law itself. Rather there are comments here trying to rationalize the the decision. Even worse is the apologists claiming that the girl was old enough to know she was making a mistake. Their comments are akin to blaming the victim of rape saying that “she should have been more modest in her dressing and behavior”

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  • Naeem
    Sep 26, 2011 - 1:02AM

    @hammad:
    it is disgusting to still hear such instigative comments from some of our brothers in islam which could tarnish the beauty and peace of islam.It is our duety as muslims to behave in a manner that would erase bad perceptions regarding islam and it’s doctrines when such matters come up.We should not forget that our behaviour and reaction or tollerance to matters like this is very paramount in the protection and recognition of our beloved relion;Islam.May Allah grant us understanding and protect our religion.
    it is disgusting to still hear such instigative comments from some of our brothers in islam which could tarnish the beauty and peace of islam.It is our duety as muslims to behave in a manner that would erase bad perceptions regarding islam and it’s doctrines when such matters come up.We should not forget that our behaviour and reaction or tollerance to matters like this is very paramount in the protection and recognition of our beloved relion;Islam.May Allah grant us understanding and protect our religion.

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  • Disgusted
    Sep 26, 2011 - 1:14AM

    Umar Jawed you mustn’t forget that children make mistakes. Assuming that this was deliberate, would you burn an 8th grader at the stake? Instead of teaching her the difference between right and wrong, you’d just out-right bludgeon her? This is hardly the course of action to take. A person not belonging to the Islamic faith should not be living in fear, checking and rechecking their actions to ensure that they don’t make an error which would shake the very fibres of their existence and shun them out of society. I for one am actually thankful that they got out with their lives.

    Now I’m not going to sit here and talk about how dreadful this country has become, because it is what it is. Hopefully things will start getting better from here onwards. The main problem is that if anyone even speaks up against this lunacy, the religious elements rise up and strike down the person(s) claiming them to be enemies of Islam. Unless we fight back and form a group that doesn’t start and end with a long march, we’ll remain in this abyss of ignorance and continue hearing about these “witch hunts”.

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  • Jay
    Sep 26, 2011 - 1:18AM

    @Nasir:
    I would be more than happy to hear good news from your country my friend. But unfortunately whatever good news that ever manages to come out, it gets ridiculously outweighed by the unpleasant news. And the fact that this happens in our immediate neighborhood (India), it sort of concerns us a little more than maybe the others on here,

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  • MD
    Sep 26, 2011 - 1:23AM

    The news is not a surprise, it was expected, it happens only in Pakistan. I write this comment, because, I want to know about all those people on this forum, who, rightly, condemned and expressed their disgust at the most heinous crime/incident that did take place today in Pakistan, but what was their practical contribution to the noble cause?. Sirs/ Ma’ams, it is nice on your part to express your outrage at the incident, but, please do something practical, that can really make a difference to the eighth grader or for that matter, any other helpless minority man woman or a child, living around you.
    If you do that, mark my words, you will be Allah’s most beloved people!Recommend

  • Sep 26, 2011 - 1:29AM

    @Ahsan:
    Spot on! I have been trying to write the words myself and it is just the placement of the dot-that is all! I say stone the teacher. She/he had the option to read it in whatever way he/she choose to. By reading it the wrong way its the teacher who has committed blasphemy. Oh my God! It has now come to this. Shame on all of us.

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  • Syed Touseef Rahat
    Sep 26, 2011 - 1:31AM

    And the conclusion / solution is that “Both the mother & the innocent daughter should accept Islam & become muslim for thier success in the world & eternity (May Almighty Allah help / guide them & also to all the humen beings)”.

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  • Fouad Yaseen
    Sep 26, 2011 - 1:43AM

    Why do we just right about the loopholes in the society? Why don’t we suggest solutions to them? A comment says: Pakistan never stops to surprise me.
    Well, stop being surprised and find a solution too such problems!

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  • Jay
    Sep 26, 2011 - 1:50AM

    @sick of this nonsense:
    “google it up” eh? I dont know if you are aware, but google cant really be treated as a “source.” What you get in google is a bunch of search results. Your country and constitution discriminates against minorities and India’s doesnt. Does that tell you anything about the levels of intolerance in our respective countries? We have dozens of political leaders, business people, top professionals, celebrities, sportspeople from the minorities back in India. While you had 1 yousuf yohana who eventually became a mohammad yousuf in a span of 6-7 years. BTW, what connotations does the last name “masih” have in pakistani society?

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  • Vk
    Sep 26, 2011 - 2:20AM

    Feel sorry for little child and her parents…and even more for those sick ppl who took such a henious decesion….welcome to stone age

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  • Indian
    Sep 26, 2011 - 2:30AM

    Indian government should offer to take in all the Christians (2.8 million), Parsis (3000), Sikhs (50000) and Hindus (2.9 million) from Pakistan. Any Muslim who wants to go live in Pakistan should be allowed to go from India. ~6 million people can be easily accommodated in exchange for an equal number of Muslims from India, many of whom have beliefs that Pakistan is a better place to be for Muslims than India. The same can be arranged for Afghan non-Muslim minorities.

    I am sure the remaining Afghans & Pakistani (100% Muslim) will continue to fight among themselves along ethnic and sectarian (Sunni, Shi’a, Ahmediyya) lines. But India as a target for refugees can then turn a blind eye to this problems of blasphemy in Af-Pak.

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  • Indian
    Sep 26, 2011 - 2:37AM

    @Syed Fraz Ali:
    Because such news as you ask for are hard to come by, sir.

    And even if such occurrences are the exception (which they are not), you know the saying “exceptions disprove the rule”, in this case it conclusively proves that Pakistan is increasingly becoming an insanely intolerant society because its people are condoning such activities, all in the name of religion of Islam (of which Pakistanis are considered 2nd or 3rd class citizens by the original Muslims in Arabia, read about treatment of Pakistani workers by Arabs in UAE, Oman, KSA, Kuwait etc.)

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  • Sep 26, 2011 - 2:43AM

    14 is not a kid, but, a good enough age for getting married in our earlier Arab societies. So, she should be treated as an adult. The punishment for her should be that she should apologise for the blasphemous act and convert to Islam immediately. Or she should be made to marry a Muslim man.

    @ Malik

    I’m not sure whether you’re being serious or joking……but we are not in old Arabian societal times. What religious rulings are you basing this on?! Pakistan law or some twisted tribal cleric’s whim?! There is no compulsion for her to be ‘forced to convert’ or for her to ‘marry a Muslim man’. This is wishful extremist and ignorant thinking and persecution. An apology should have sufficed rather than this pathetic debacle of societal mob bigotry and extremism.

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  • Maha
    Sep 26, 2011 - 2:54AM

    Idiot jaahil log. Yes, even the “maulana”. I am a practicing muslim and a Pakistani, and such acts just make me sick.
    To ll these super-religious teachers, maulanas and civilians, you’ve just dragged out and tortured the innocence of a naive 8th standard little girl. Even our Prophet (PBUH) would be ashamed of your actions.
    Disgusting. No wonder much of the world is against us as Pakistanis and muslims… such acts of illiterates don’t even give us a chance to be acceptable in a human soceity.Recommend

  • Syed Ahsan
    Sep 26, 2011 - 3:02AM

    This blasphemy Law has been continuously misused. The Supreme Court Should take notice of it,Lawyers can give a petition to review this law, as we have no hope of any politician touching it, as it is a “Sensitive Issue”.This is insanity in the name of Islam.

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  • zeeshan
    Sep 26, 2011 - 3:02AM

    A Christian doctor friend of mine faced the same treatment and couldnt work on a reputable hospital or get any support from the medical association though he was highly qualified than others. Heartbroken he has wowed never to return to Pakistan and is just waiting to get his immigration done.

    I wish people can get out of this “stone age ” stigma…its about time.

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  • Badger
    Sep 26, 2011 - 4:45AM

    Blasphemy is truly a victimless crime.

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  • Arjun
    Sep 26, 2011 - 5:04AM

    Why is this even news? This is an Islamic country. Living there and not becoming a Muslim itself is blasphemous – how can one expect common Muslims to tolerate something like this happily?

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  • faiz
    Sep 26, 2011 - 5:35AM

    Below is the Urdu of both the words, they look very similar to me…..Correct me if I am wrong.

    Urdu of Laanat – لعنت
    Urdu of Naat – نعت

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