11-year-old mentally challenged Christian girl jailed for blasphemy

Published: August 19, 2012

Rifta suffers from Down’s Syndrome; allegedly burned pages of a Qaida while playing outside her house. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

An 11-year-old Christian girl, suffering from Down’s Syndrome, was arrested on Saturday on blasphemy charges, after being accused of burning passages of the Holy Quran.

Rifta Masih was jailed by the police in Mehrabadi village, near Islamabad, after being severely beaten up by locals, for allegedly burning 10 pages of the Noorani Qaida.

On the eve of Ramazan 27, Rifta was playing outside her house, opposite sector G-11 in Islamabad, when she was allegedly seen burning and dumping the pages of the Qaida into a bin.

Fearing severe backlash, Rifta’s family fled from the area, while locals handed over the young girl and her mother to the local police.

According to sources, locals blocked the Kashmir Highway for hours and surrounded the Ramna police station in G-11 when the police initially showed reluctance to register a case against the young girl. The police, however, soon succumbed to the pressure, registering a blasphemy case against Rifta and formally arresting her on Thursday.

Zabiullah, the investigation officer of the case, could not be contacted, despite repeated attempts. Ramna police station SHO Qasim Niazi, meanwhile, refused to give details of the case, saying he did not have much information.

‘Paul Bhatti takes notice’

According to sources, Adviser to the Prime Minister for National Harmony Dr Paul Bhatti has taken notice of the incident.

Sources told The Express Tribune that Bhatti has spoken to lawyers to provide legal aid to Rifta and her family for her immediate release from the juvenile jail, as well as to take legal action against locals who influenced the police into registering a case.

They further disclosed that Bhatti has also taken up the issue with religious scholars of different sects, who, after Eid, will determine whether Rifta’s act was deliberate or unintentional, since she is only a child.

According to sources, the capital police, while briefing Bhatti on the issue, denied that Rifta and her mother were tortured by locals; however, they confirmed that she has Down’s Syndrome.

Down’s Syndrome is a severe genetic disorder that severely affects cognitive and physical growth – and affects a child from birth. Usually, children suffering from it are identifiable from their features. There is no cure for Down’s Syndrome. Therapy for this disorder is uncommon in Pakistan, and is usually unavailable for poorer segments of society.

Parliamentary Secretary on Human Rights and Chairperson of Parliamentary forum on Child Rights Rubina Qaimkhawni told The Express Tribune that the ministry will provide every possible aide to Rifta and her family.

“I will take up the issue at the parliamentary forum,” she said, adding that Rifta “is an innocent minor, who might not even be familiar with the meanings of religion”.

She said the issue could have been solved amicably at a local level but it was deliberately blown out of proportion.

“The government will continue to strive for human rights and particularly for the rights of minorities in Pakistan,” said Qaimkhawni.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2012.

Reader Comments (97)

  • Gratgy
    Aug 19, 2012 - 9:10AM

    Is the girl, mentally challenged, or the people who arrested her?

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  • observer
    Aug 19, 2012 - 9:21AM

    A. A mentally challenged girl tears up a text book and Islam is threatened.

    B. Then, Policemen, apparently in their senses go and erase Quranic verses, and VOILA , Islam is saved.

    Is this really happening, or am I having a nightmare?

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  • YP Toronto
    Aug 19, 2012 - 9:25AM

    She is mentally retarded child, if she had Bible, she could have burnt Bible. For God’s sake have mercy on child. To me it seems people who beat her up are mentally retarded and needs their head examined.

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  • Shahid Khan
    Aug 19, 2012 - 9:29AM

    So,the greatest threat to Islam comes from mentally challenged children!! Have we done ourselves proud now,have we saved Islam now? Is this the true spirit of Ramzan? There are news reports that the crowd demanded that the girl be handed over to them so that they could burn her alive.Burning mentally challenged children alive,is this what Islam is??? When will this barbarity stop,when will such savagery be termed unacceptable by our society.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    Aug 19, 2012 - 9:33AM

    Am at a complete loss of words

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  • tariq siddiqui
    Aug 19, 2012 - 9:36AM

    The mujahids of Islam have done themselves proud.Beating up children with mental health issues,how low can these people go,what’s next,will they start attacking maternity wards and beheading babies of non-Muslims.

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  • Jahangir
    Aug 19, 2012 - 9:36AM

    Deplorable! What a low a country has sunk into.
    Read this one too titled as ” When the old man escapes the death”
    http://www.dardistantimes.com/content/when23old-man-escapes66death-unforgettable

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  • Rahul
    Aug 19, 2012 - 10:35AM

    This really begs the question, who is it that needs urgent psychiatric help?

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  • anonymous
    Aug 19, 2012 - 10:59AM

    NRO for the truly blasphemous.

    Talks with enemies of humanity.

    A kid behind bars for the reasons she may not comprehend.

    And that’s the land of pure; great going.

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  • Toticalling
    Aug 19, 2012 - 10:59AM

    Shameful. t is time this law is annulled and this drama of primitive laws is practiced. We have a right to criticize, even faith beliefs. Such so called blasphemous acts can be countered with reasonable arguments and not prison sentences or death sentences. It is time to wake up.

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  • Taliban (I) Khan
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:06AM

    Thank you Zia ul Haq for your law, I hope all the western countries must intact it as it provide the justice you desired off

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  • ridiculous
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:16AM

    what a shame.

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  • Pan Mat
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:33AM

    Seems like that a society at large can be “autistic” in thinking and action……..

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  • Omer
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:45AM

    Sick.Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:49AM

    They kill shias. They kill Ahmadis. They kill Christians. They kill Hindus. Who will now believe that Islam is a religion of Peace. If it is really a religion of peace then why political leaderships of different colors and shades do not condemn these incidents openly. Why blasphemy law is not revisited? By the way where is our Chief Justice Of Contempt Court? If West hates us and 50 plus other Muslim countries also has many reservations about us then where are we standing? A 11 year old insane minor girl is indicted in this case then this means that only holy cows are immune from all laws.

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  • Talib
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:55AM

    Congretz Muslims,
    You just turned a child life into a nightmare…. Now her whole life, she would be afraid of Muslims…
    I have nothing but sympathy for the little girl

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  • TightBanian
    Aug 19, 2012 - 12:04PM

    @Aftab Kenneth Wilson:
    You are so right. The ‘religion-of-peace’ claimants had better take a second look at the state of affairs. It is off the rails and rolling into unknown realms.

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  • Komal S
    Aug 19, 2012 - 12:52PM

    Kind of depressing to read this. Instead of trying to make sure the law is enforced fairly, the Government of Pakistan should repeal this law. Another related point, the liberals in Pakistan often repeat that muslims are the biggest victimes of the blashphemy law. The data quoted is 83% of the blashphemy law related cases are against muslims and only 17% against minorities. The point is your minority numbers are 2-3% of your population. That means a minority is about 6-8% times more likely to be a victim of blashphemy law as compared to Muslims. Not sure it is intentional, however way you analyse the minorities are the biggest victimes of this archaic law.

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  • AkhtarMehmod
    Aug 19, 2012 - 12:53PM

    Disgusting. Also note that our regular commentators are missing, since there is no defense for something like this.

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  • pakistani
    Aug 19, 2012 - 1:10PM

    First of all thank you Tribune for publishing this news as no other man stream news paper or channel has published this as yet .
    Secondly wonder where is our CHIEF JUSTICE SAAB why has he not taken any notice as yet .
    Thirdly please all pray for this child that she may be safe

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  • Umar
    Aug 19, 2012 - 1:25PM

    I just have one question ! why do all these mentally challenged people have to be dis-respectful to another faith. I sense a deliberate hand behind this.

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  • Kolsat
    Aug 19, 2012 - 1:26PM

    @Aftab Kenneth Wilson: Islam is off the rails. It is no longer a religion of peace. They also have lost any sense and are dictating who can and cannot call theselves Muslim. What a shame.

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  • Amira
    Aug 19, 2012 - 1:56PM

    Stupidity knows no bounds! What has become of Pakistan!

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  • A Khan
    Aug 19, 2012 - 2:13PM

    The most depressing thing about this whole issue has been the way that people in the area have reacted. How can you beat up a mentally challenged child and think you are doing God’s work? It’s insane. It’s a mad world. Is there so much pent up anger and insecurity now that it comes out at any spark? Why don’t the religious ‘scholars’ condemn this misrepresentation of Islam?

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  • Murthy
    Aug 19, 2012 - 2:47PM

    Very recently a mentally retarded person was killed for blasphemy even when he was in police custody. And now a mentally retarded girl. Religion is meant to humanize people, not to turn them into animals. Of course, it is meant for human beings, not animals!

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  • Hedgefunder
    Aug 19, 2012 - 2:50PM

    @Gratgy:
    “Is the girl, mentally challenged, or the people who arrested her?”

    No, But the people who arrested certainly are mentally challenged !
    Such sad state of affairs in this Country’s society which is filled with Hypocracy at its best !

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  • Qaisar jan
    Aug 19, 2012 - 3:22PM

    and the likes of Tariq Jameel and co will be busy giving sermons about the length of beard and number of prayers, God save Islam

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    Aug 19, 2012 - 3:38PM

    @Komal S: Your math seems to be wrong, if the percentages given are correct then the possibility of a member of the minority community member being booked under this law is 7 times higher than one from the majority community.

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  • the truth
    Aug 19, 2012 - 3:48PM

    now christians should migrate to India

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  • Toba Alu
    Aug 19, 2012 - 4:03PM

    All has been said. The inmates are running the institution.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/423815/11-year-old-christian-girl-accused-of-blasphemy/

    180 comments.

    Sorry guys you have to read a little bit more. Recommended: The atheist universe David Mills and you find all the answers for your outrage.

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  • Wowemkay
    Aug 19, 2012 - 5:33PM

    Deeply ashamed and shocked as a servant of Allah, His Prophet (pbuh) and a follower of His word. And not to forget Naziran Bibi and the poor little girl in Wah. Would like to contribute financially to this family. Can any NGO or other group dare to set up an account or suggest some way for me to reach her with funds. May Allah forgive each one of us today for we are too scared for our lives to fight this madness but surely will be called to account on the Day of Judgement.

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  • Magus
    Aug 19, 2012 - 5:44PM

    @Umar: Of course, this is a Zionist conspiracy? But knowing what happens to alleged (not proven) blasphemers you have to be insane to do any such thing in Pakistan

    Funny, but most blasphemy seems to be in the nature of tearing books. In the country of people where they don’t worship idols isn’t this a kind of idolatry, worshipping books? ESP when most worshippers are illiterate themselves!

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  • Magus
    Aug 19, 2012 - 5:46PM

    @A Khan: Which god do they worship, a god that needs human help to protect his honor?

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  • Mariam Sturgess
    Aug 19, 2012 - 6:39PM

    ‎11 year old with Down Syndrome. Yeah she is a REAL threat to Islam. WHEN are people going to start using their common sense?? What’s the big deal about religion anyway? Prophet Muhammad and Shiva and Buddha are as much mine as Jesus is. I don’t know where people find a hatred of this degree in themselves.

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  • The Logical and I dare you to respond /w logic
    Aug 19, 2012 - 8:00PM

    Dear moderator,
    Follow up to my prev. post, which I am sure you will not post. For the sake of humility, pls. convey this..

    We should expect the PM and President to be there to protect the girl who has no knowledge of what is going around her. I am sure you you or your friends know one of those kids.

    Similar incidences happen everywhere in the world, but; that is no excuse to let this one go. Trust me, the whole world will be behind this, even for the sake of sounding right.

    Let us, for once, be above all this. For Allah’s sake!!
    Rgds//
    ..p

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  • The Logical and I dare you to respond /w logic
    Aug 19, 2012 - 8:26PM

    We have left logic behind a long time ago.
    Sad..//
    ..p

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  • Sara
    Aug 19, 2012 - 8:40PM

    It’s really sad to see how the people here have just jumped up at the opportunity to condemn Islam. I see many comments here calling Islam a religion of “so-called” peace. You’re not doing any better than the assaulters by saying this. The fault is not with Islam but with the people. Our religion is flawless. If they cannot understand the true principles of Islam, then they are to be blamed.

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  • Deena
    Aug 19, 2012 - 8:47PM

    What I do not understand is how this little girl got the holy pages? And how did she get matches to burn them? It is terrible what has happened to her, but it also raises questions how this could have happened. Did someone gave her the pages and matches and told her to burn the pages, knowing she would have no understanding of what she was doing?

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  • sameer bag
    Aug 19, 2012 - 9:24PM

    its such a shame for the so called Islamic republic of PAKISTAN . it is such a strange thing that in British era when the punishment for blasphemy laws was 2 years , no one dared it. now it is death then everyone seem to commit it. its crystal clear that this law is misused for own purposes. and what a shame.. that girl was not mentally sick , but this nation is .

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  • Aug 19, 2012 - 9:55PM

    This is not a new News, it is happening so often with Christians of Pakistan, this is a real and true picture of Pakistani Islam (made by Nawaz League PML-N). My appeal is to Christians of Pakistan please do not vote for PML-N anymore.

    No leader will condemn this incident, bcoz they don’t have courage to do this, and by heart all are happy on this action including Pakistani CJ who is at the moment biggest criminal in this country. No one will take any action against this incident I can challenge it. May Our Lord Jesus protect the family, Girl and Christians of G11 Islamabad.

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  • Enlightened
    Aug 19, 2012 - 10:02PM

    Being a non-Muslim, I read in my school text book that Islam is a religion of peace and compassion but many such ghastly incidences happenings in Pakistan put this religion in poor light in eyes of the rest of the non-Muslim world. Secondly, do these bigots think that Islam is so weak a religion to be in danger or is insulted because some ignorant or mentally deranged person speak against or perform some dastardly act??

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  • thewhigs
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:02PM

    As a Muslim, especially during this festive day of Eid, I pray Allah SWT helps and protects this poor girl. I have nothing but disdain for the person that beat her and for the person that arrested this poor girl.

    Allah SWT is watching you people…you people are a DISGRACE to Islam and Pakistanis. Recommend

  • Sami
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:22PM

    Even if she wasn’t mentally challenged and had done the same thing, she is merely a child. It’s the people who are mentally challenged. Recommend

  • Frank
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:36PM

    This is not something new. The problem is this fed to us during our childhood. I would like to mention here an old article that was published in Express Tribune that identifies the problem in a precise way. http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/11674/so-a-christian-cant-save-pakistan/
    The problem is that our Muslim brothers are failing to understand that problem is lying with in us and has to rooted out.

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  • N
    Aug 19, 2012 - 11:48PM

    DO they know what down syndrome is? I bet they think girl is possessed by shaitan.

    too bad i am not nuclear submarine commander. i would bring some education and civilization upon their heads.
    24 nuclear missiles, 1.6 Megatons each would do the job fine.

    Too radical? Yeah thats how i am.

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  • The Logical and I dare you to respond /w logic
    Aug 20, 2012 - 12:01AM

    ET,
    Thanks for making this story public.
    Our support should go out to all who are persecuted on the name of religion/Nationalism.

    I personally had a tough time after running into this story. I do know few kids with DS.
    ..Best//
    ..p

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  • Rami
    Aug 20, 2012 - 1:20AM

    A bunch of animals, a brutal and evil pseudo culture. Mr Obama chooses his friends very carefuly, obviously.

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  • erum hussain
    Aug 20, 2012 - 2:21AM

    im 13! My father told me about this girls story today! And the sad part was i could not help but cry my eyes out! Knowing that shes 2 year younger than me and that whatever i tried, i couldn’t help her is what made me realize that this country has lost its humanity! I wish i could something, anything to help her!!

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  • AIN
    Aug 20, 2012 - 2:26AM

    a 11 yr old mentally unstable girl cant make any harm to islam…for god sake leave her…dont call curse of god on this land

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  • Raja
    Aug 20, 2012 - 2:32AM

    Please let it be known to them that the girl is suffering from down syndrome!!!!!
    May the Lord keep the girl and her family under his shelter ///

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  • Pakistani jiyala
    Aug 20, 2012 - 3:05AM

    Long live the President …shame on all pakistanis

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  • kamran
    Aug 20, 2012 - 3:10AM

    what a mess, i don’t know, where is Pakistan heading? our society is becoming very very intolerant toward minorities, really sick people to beat up a mentally challenged poor girl and punish here!!

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  • Mr. Ali
    Aug 20, 2012 - 3:56AM

    How low have we sunk..primitive act..may we & wholle country d be forgiven..for our own wicked deeds…

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  • Cornelius Mohsin
    Aug 20, 2012 - 4:48AM

    Muslim religious leaders should come forward and make a consensus by themselves so that this law is not misused against any human being. Shame on accusers.

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  • Jean Pierre
    Aug 20, 2012 - 6:48AM

    @tariq siddiqui:
    Ohhhh, they have done this already.

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  • Khattabi
    Aug 20, 2012 - 7:08AM

    Is this the gold medal performance at the “Piety Olympics”? Is this really what it takes to show people that you are the cleanest, purest, “best” Muslims on the block? Is this defending your beliefs? To what depths has your concept of spirituality sunk? Let’s blame the CIA/Mossad/RAW, that should suffice.

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  • QJ
    Aug 20, 2012 - 10:13AM

    Lord they need you ….Please help them. Amen!
    ..

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  • Are you serious
    Aug 20, 2012 - 10:21AM

    The story was written by “Talal Khan Qaimkhani” who you can find online who blogs in his own words “I DREAMT” (That’s dreamed for those of you challenged in literacy) Seriously. Are you all going to line up and vote? If so, I hope it is for Romney this time. Think people. Quit being sheep.

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  • Amira
    Aug 20, 2012 - 10:42AM

    @Sara:
    A religion may or may not be flawless, but what the people make of it is quite another thing. Islam has been hijacked by extremist elements long ago. They succeeded so well in subverting the religion that even “educated’” people in Pakistan nowadays condone their despicable acts. Islam may be a peaceful religion, but as practiced in Pakistan it is definitely not!

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  • Aakif
    Aug 20, 2012 - 1:21PM

    its all getting Dirtier by the day !

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  • shaun
    Aug 20, 2012 - 2:38PM

    plz stop this nonense and be a caring people it my pray that u will be soon come out of this situation it my request to alll are christian community to pray and protest against this problem

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  • SSM
    Aug 20, 2012 - 2:40PM

    Pakistani broke all records of stupidity,,,,

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  • Sara
    Aug 20, 2012 - 5:47PM

    @Amira:
    What you’re saying is a confirmation of what I said. That’s exactly what I said that the PEOPLE have hijacked Islam and THEY are to be blamed. You are just continuing my analogy. Cheers.

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  • Sara
    Aug 20, 2012 - 6:13PM

    Why does everyone keep saying they beat her up? Nowhere in that article does it say she was beat up. It says “fearing backlash, the family fled.” Backlash doesn’t mean beating up. It says locals handed her over to police. While this is horrible, fortunately she has not been attacked and the police need to get this together, let her out and offer her protection if need be.

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  • Emperor
    Aug 20, 2012 - 7:25PM

    @Sara

    In response to where you asked “Why does everyone keep saying they beat her up? Nowhere in that article does it say she was beat up.”, please read the opening paragraph of the article. I have pasted it below for the sake of convenience.

    “Rifta Masih was jailed by the police in Mehrabadi village, near Islamabad, after being severely beaten up by locals, for allegedly burning 10 pages of the Noorani Qaida.”

    “After being severely beaten up by locals.” The girl was beaten up, the family and other Christians escaped fearing backlash.

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  • Yogesh
    Aug 20, 2012 - 9:51PM

    This news has spread around the world like wild fire. I came to know about it and just by curiosity I came to a newspaper site of Pakistan to see how people of Pakistan react to such news. The devilish acts of religious fanatics can in no way be justified even the slightest. I saw so many Pakistani people out here condemning it in clear terms.
    Kudos, guys. World need people who can think beyond defined limits of religion. Humanity and sensibility are the important qualities which a religion should possess.
    I wish all people of Pakistan will get such sensibility like you people and help in establishing a modern peaceful society full of happiness and joys for all. Allah help to save the child from those Satans and wish wisdom prevail over all people. Had to delete after wishing Happy Eid as it wont be without making it happier for the ignorant child.Recommend

  • Cornelius Mohsin
    Aug 20, 2012 - 10:07PM

    I am very serious about giving this suggestion to national & international experts of social sciences or behavioral sciences to come forward and conduct a physio-analysis of Pakistan nation, who are accusing a 11 year old Christian burning Koran for hate against Islam, taking off the Kalma from Ahmedy worship place and tomb stones, taking off passengers of Shia faith and killing them, giving life imprisonment to Mohd Shafi of D.G.Khan for tearing up a poster and thus insulting the religion, killing a factory owner in Gujranwala who tear up a calender but accused of blasphemy because there were some Koranic verses written on that calander. All the experts and Muslim scholars should tell us what to do with blasphemy law, because when we ask that they tell us we are asking a license to abuse Islam, are we?Recommend

  • Roy
    Aug 20, 2012 - 11:10PM

    I am just so shocked to read this article. From where do people muster such brutality in them to beat up a 11 year old mentally challenged girl, and feel good about it by thinking that they have somehow saved their religion???

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  • Person
    Aug 21, 2012 - 12:44AM

    @Aftab Kenneth Wilson:
    This is not what Islam says, this is just the ignorance of the locals at work. You can’t blame an entire group for the idiocy of a couple of people. I’m Muslim and the Quran does not say it’s alright to burn her alive for this. She has a mental illness, so she should be excused, THAT’S the proper way to handle this. the fact that you believe that this is what Islam says shows that you’re no better than they are

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  • Jinnah Jehan
    Aug 21, 2012 - 2:07AM

    Time for all sane people to migrate to India or any other place. Pakistan has become the biggest insane asylum in the world. We were so focused on India that in order to save our body we forgot to pay attention to the soul. So now we have a soulless and mindless body – all the nuclear weapons and F16s cannot save Pakistan from the cancer that is religious extremism and pure jahalat.

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  • Linda
    Aug 21, 2012 - 3:54AM

    I can’t believe these people. I just Googled Noorani Qaida book, The Noorani Qaida, it say’s it’s a teaching book that teaches children/ and whoever want’s to learn’ almost all the correct pronunciation rules of reciting their Quran in the Arabic language. This book isn’t even one of Islams holy books, There ya go, just a bunch of so-called {religion of peace thugs} wanting to kill another Christian. They don’t care if they kill little kids, or kids who are mentally challenged. These idiots don’t even know the difference between their so-call Quran, and a “Arabic learning book called the Noorani Qaida, These types of people have got to be the most retarded idiots on earth.

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  • DJ
    Aug 21, 2012 - 6:09AM

    What is the real blasphemy? To burn a piece of paper of which there are millions of identical copies or to hurt an unique human being !!

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  • GS@Y
    Aug 21, 2012 - 8:03AM

    Truly absurd. Besides, in any case, the noorani qaida is not even part of the Quran. It’s just a teacher’s aid before kids are actually taught the actual Quran. Disturbing.

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  • Azi
    Aug 21, 2012 - 11:51AM

    Muslims getting humiliated and destroyed by the most stupid people one day at a time. Anyone who supports the idea of having the girl arrested is one of these people and my message to them is, when you look back after 50 years and see Muslims as a minority all over the world the reason is you and your stupid mistakes.

    This news is just so depressing and makes me feel that I am living in a nightmare.

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  • alee
    Aug 21, 2012 - 11:59AM

    This is toally the right punishment for such behaviour from a grown up child. Girls at the age of 11 are pretty much intheir senses and thats why she burned a muslim book not bible. Clearly she knew what she was doing in a muslim country. Credit also goes to mom for not preachibg her child proper ethics n religious tolerance. Wen i was 11 used to be afraid of even lighting up a matchstic. Thanks to my upbringing.. and yes nobody tortired anyone. These are all lies to accumulate solidarity nuthing more..

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  • Aug 21, 2012 - 1:09PM

    @Gratgy: yes u right…..most of people living in pakistan becomes like God father now..

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  • M.Ahmer Ali
    Aug 21, 2012 - 1:56PM

    First investigate truly,sincerely and honestly and if proven that she did it then treat her in the kind and soft manners as Islam teaches us so that she couldn’t do so in the future instead of treating her harshly,cruelly and brutally……Recommend

  • Jintoo
    Aug 21, 2012 - 2:47PM

    WOW, a great honor to be a part of this country which gives me and my community a new present every other day or atleast on every eid, which they show off to be a unanimous celebration. I wonder why Muslim minority in the west are given equal rights, that’s very distressing to me. We have no piece of land of our own where we can enjoy our rights, practice our religion freely. A constant fear that we will be taken down by radicals at any time even when we will be celebrating our Christmas. Past 60 years we are never allowed to see our Holy Land coz passport says ‘Not valid for Israel‘. What if American, British passport says ‘Not valid for Saudi Arabia‘, HOW WOULD YOU FEEL HONESTLY??? You know that is why Christians who are suppressed in Muslim countries have sympathies for JEWS and ISRAEL, coz they know only they can fix them. I wish we have our own piece of land too.

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  • Amira
    Aug 21, 2012 - 3:09PM

    @alee:
    Before condemning people first learn how to read and write English and how to think logical – or was that not part of your upbringing?
    There are so many flaws in your statement, it’s quite amazing you are not ashamed to publish it! Let’s get to it:
    – An 11-year old child is not yet grown up (even leaving aside the fact that this particular child has Down-syndrome which means that she will never grow up). That girl’s illness also stipulates that she is not in her senses and – even if she really burnt the Holy Quran (or some other religious text) – she did not know what she was doing.
    – By saying Muslim country, do you mean Muslim as in Taliban?
    – You were afraid to light a match at the age of 11???!!! Are you kidding me?
    – Your upbringing apparently did not encompass proper ethics and religious tolerance, right? However, don’t despair, there’s always time to learn and make up for your failings.
    – What solidarity are you talking about?
    Stop being holier than thou and just use some common sense. Islam is a religion of peace and of common sense, not the religion you would want it to be.

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  • Mirza Mohsan Baig
    Aug 21, 2012 - 3:42PM

    I am finding it seriously difficult to understand how much the Islamic scholars in Pakistan literally abuse the blasphemy law and yet get away without any charges as they believe they are untouchable. This law only and only has given them a safe haven to extend their violence against whoever so they like. Let’s be realistic they can initiate a fatwa against whoever they like for some handsome compensation. I understand this girl is from a Christian background but surely these scholars themself should realise that a 11 year old girl who is suffering from Down’s syndrome is not correctly in her mind, moreover to physically beat her is simply inhumane. OK she has burnt a few pages of the Qaida, so what – can you explain to me how you dispose of Qaidas and the Holy Quran which have detriorated? You don’t throw it in the bin but in Islamic history, you burn them. Then the question arises the girls intention, i am sure she didn’t realise or even knew what she was doing, for Allah’s sake why should Muslims decide her fate, believe in Allah if it was in her intention then surely Allah will deal with this. I am sick and tired of reading how much the blasphemy law has been given the importance in THE COUNTRY THAT IN MY OPINION ISN’T THE BEST EXAMPLE OF THE MUSLIMS FROM THE TIME OF THE HOLY PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SAW). I only ask you one question, do you think the Holy Prophet (SAW) would have tolerated what the people of Pakistan in the name of Allah & Islam are doing today?

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Aug 21, 2012 - 5:07PM

    Perhapes this is the end of Pakistan as an Islamic republic .

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  • John
    Aug 21, 2012 - 7:45PM

    @observer: Erase verses which have been torn out and burned? Really?

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  • Saima Cheema
    Aug 21, 2012 - 10:48PM

    Are there similar Blasphemy laws for when the Muslim population insults Christanity, Hinduism, Sikhism etc? I’ve seen TV hosts on Pakistani tv talk badly of Hindus and their customs. There should be equal punishment for forced conversion and blasphemy against any religion.

    That being said this was an ill 11 year old with downs syndrome. If this was an adult of right mind I would agree with the punishment, but she is a child, the fact that she got beaten up over it (and of course the same would happen in India if a Muslim child burned a Hindu holy book or figure – us Desi folk sure love our violent crowds) is awful, no grown adult particularly one not related to the child should do that to a child. IF and I mean IF this child was of the right mind and meant geninune harm, elsewhere in the world the PARENTS would be punished for an act like this, as the parents are the one responsible for the child acts, her father would face punishment and by that I mean not beaten up by a violent crowd (I doubt the people that beat up the child will be prosecuted) and an apology from her would be sufficent, it’s sad that the families lives have been ruined by one mistake.

    Why are people bring up Obama? what has this got to do with Drone attacks? I swear George Bush was 100 times worse than Obama yet if someone stubs their toe it is Obama’s fault!

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  • Saira
    Aug 21, 2012 - 10:49PM

    Islam is a religion that teaches compassion and tolerance to its adherents. Such an Islam however has no place in Pakistan, where a mentally challenged child was jailed under the blasphemy laws. This is just one such example where the “blasphemy laws” are being used to torture minorities in Pakistan. The child perpetrating this act may have been mentally challenged, but the police officials arresting her certainly cannot be In their senses. The government of Pakistan must stand up to protect the rights of minorities and such barbaric laws should be abolished.

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  • Aug 21, 2012 - 11:14PM

    thanks for crying out loud. for the sake of god please dont punish a down syndrome girl who is not in a proper frame of mind of what she is doing or saying its like a blind date movie where she doesnt remember a thing of whats happened similarly please dont punish an innocent girl for this negligence that has caused havoc in pakistan be human and not fight for human torture please forgive her there are more deadly sins committed in this world which does not catch the eye of the public its legal if youre caught but illegal if not caught. sometimes this world is no real world we are living in its a piece of plastic so please please forgive this poor little child think of forgiving her as your daughter, sister, niece or a friend be kind to human and god will in turn be kind to you or your family. make this happen and make this world a better place like michael jackson sang to his highest to make this world a better place we must forgive and forget what the world is doing to this entire human race.

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  • Rafay
    Aug 22, 2012 - 1:24AM

    Oh God! Why do such people even exist? Allah Help Pakistan! Sympathy for the kiddo! What part of ISLAM = PEACE they don’t understand?

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  • Aug 22, 2012 - 6:49AM

    I am becoming more heartened at the increasing number of Pakistani Muslims standing up in and defending this child. Its time Pakistanis faced up to the Mullahs who are not just destroying Pakistans future but if anything are the real blasphemers against Islam and The Last Prophet pbuh in their actions and behaviour

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  • Faisal
    Aug 22, 2012 - 7:51AM

    The mother and father taught the girl bad things about Islam and thats why the crime was done. So her parents should be arrested for blasppemy.

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  • ally
    Aug 22, 2012 - 11:48AM

    Whoa, is there anything we can do. How crazy but how very scarry for this poor little girl who probably had no idea what she did wrong and then to be beat up by grown men. Whoa I am still really in shock. Lets all stand together like americans have for a women in iran. I think. her name is sakineh and America have kept her from being stoned. This is unreal. I guess they don’t have freedom of religion there. Anyway This little girl needs us to stand up for her and let that county know this is not ok. Scarry thing is what they are doing to her now when no one is looking. The father should of stayed and been a man and explained to the men the situation with the little girl.

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  • ally
    Aug 22, 2012 - 12:13PM

    @Faisal: You do not know what the parents taught her you judgemental product of whatever. Kidss do things without being persuaded. Some kids just like to burn things. You might want to look up blaspheny because it is not this. Blasphemy is something spoken of and about judgemental pharisees. So stop blaming. You know nothing.

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  • ally
    Aug 22, 2012 - 12:16PM

    @Emperor: I guess you didn’t read the first or second paragraph. Yes it says the locals beat her and her father ran and hid. My emphasis on the father.

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  • jagjit sidhoo
    Aug 22, 2012 - 1:52PM

    @Saira:” The government of Pakistan must stand up to protect the rights of minorities and such barbaric laws should be abolished.” Could not agree with you more God is GREAT and none of us should be under any misconception that anything we do or dont do is going to make a iota of difference to his GREATNESS. We pray(beg) him for our own salvation that is the maximum we can do.

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  • Linda
    Aug 23, 2012 - 4:07AM

    @alee:
    You have got to be kidding me….. Did you even bother to read what the news article said?

    You said: and I “QUOTE” {This is toally the right punishment for such behaviour from a grown up child. Girls at the age of 11 are pretty much intheir senses.} Who would say a child is grown up at the age of 11?

    It says this CHILD is mentally challenged with down syndrome. Do you even know what down syndrome is? Please Google “DOWN SYNDROME”. Do you even know how idiotically stupid all of what you said sounds? You are know better than the idiots who beat and arrested this little girl CHILD.

    Oh and by-the-way go back to school and learn to spell. Spelling words wrong, and making idiotically stupid remarks about something you haven’t a clue about, because you can’t even read or spell correctly is very stupid on YOUR part. People who think like you are bigger idiots than the ones who beat and arrested this poor little girl.

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  • kaalia
    Aug 23, 2012 - 5:37PM

    narrow mindedness to its limit!!

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  • Lubna
    Aug 23, 2012 - 9:08PM

    Who do these people think they are?? Do they seriously think that by beating up this minor and having her hanged (even if she is not mentally challenged) has saved islam?? Shame on them and shame on us for having such an ignorant mob society..

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  • Ram
    Aug 26, 2012 - 7:50PM

    Laws across the globe recognize that any act (including criminal) by a minor/infant or by a person of insane mind is not a criminal act. At the worse the courts will send these children to juvenile home. If the Pak laws are different than rest of the world, they should change it. Alternatively if the police has done it for cheap publicity the same needs to be condemned.Even stupidity has its limits.

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  • NojihadagainstnooneLetLoveRule
    Sep 1, 2012 - 4:55AM

    @Rami:
    Yes, Islam is a religion of peace as we all can see. Very peaceful and civilised behaviour.

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