Sacrilege: ‘Quran-burning’ suspect sent to jail

Mob gathers outside his house and chants slogans threatening him.

Express September 22, 2011


A magistrate on Thursday sent to jail for 14 days a man arrested by Samanabad police for allegedly burning some pages of the Holy Quran.

The police had arrested Rizwan, 35, a resident of Street 1 in Maqsoodabad, on Wednesday and registered a case against him after a crowd gathered in front of Rizwan’s house, chanted slogans against him and called him out to ‘punish him.’ Some of the people also threw stones at the house and threatened to burn it down.

His neighbour, Muhammad Shafique, said he had seen him and reported him to the police.

He said he had seen Rizwan throwing some burning papers. When he picked them up, he said, he discovered that they were inscribed with Arabic text.

He said he had shown the pages to a few men including Muhammad Faisal and Muhammad Usman, who said that the pages belonged to the Quran.

Shafique said when he had confronted Rizwan, “he had no answer.” He said he had then filed a complaint against Rizwan with the police.

In a statement to the police, Rizwan said that he had burned some torn pages that he had picked from the street to “maintain the dignity of the holy book.” He said he was a practising Muslim and ‘could not even think of disrespecting’ the sanctity of the Holy Quran.

Since Wednesday, this was the second incident of desecration of the Holy Quran by Muslim accused, both reported from Faisalabad.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2011.

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