Civil society members and rights activists have strongly condemned blasphemy accusations “framed” against a Christian girl and criticised the police for arresting her despite the fact that she is a juvenile.
They have expressed outrage over the inhumanity of those men who lodged a report with the police on the last Friday of Ramazan - theoretically enjoined as a month of peace, tolerance, goodwill and non-violence towards all humankind.
In a statement issued here on Wednesday, Women Action Forum strongly condemned the police and interior ministry administration which allegedly broke several laws by arresting a minor girl; not seeking to apply the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance; allegedly keeping her at a male police station overnight; reportedly shifting her to Adiala Jail; reportedly not permitting lawyers or civil society representatives to visit her and failing to protect the life and property of non-Muslims.
“The people’s reaction over the issue has created a sense of insecurity in the society. If an adult commits blasphemy he or she should be dealt according to the law and it is the not for the mob to take the law in their hands,” commented human rights activist Dr Farzana Bari.
“Every religion ensures safety and security to humanity and such a reaction from people in the name of religion is against the very essence of religion,” she noted.
While talking to The Express Tribune, writer Haris Khalique said, “Blaming and imprisoning an 11-year-old girl for blasphemy isn’t religious in any sense, it is outright insanity.”
He maintained that the issue at hand is not just about discriminatory laws; it is about the society allowing such things to happen openly.
Writer and intellectual Ashfaq Saleem Mirza termed the incident as “a sensitive matter which needs to be dealt with carefully”. He said that the evidence in the case is insufficient and there is a need to take up the issue with patience without any emotion. “We have to follow both religious and international laws and everybody should have the right of defence,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2012.