'Last Jew in Pakistan' beaten by mob, arrested

Published: March 6, 2015
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PHOTO: FISHEL BENKHALD TWITTER PAGE

PHOTO: FISHEL BENKHALD TWITTER PAGE

KARACHI: Fishel Benkhald, a ‘Jewish’ activist in Pakistan was allegedly reported to have been beaten by a Muslim mob on Wednesday after which he was arrested and mistreated by the police Arutz Sheva reported.

Benkhald leads a one-man campaign to preserve an old Jewish cemetery in Karachi and has been a vocal activist for minorities’ rights in the country where minorities like Christians, Hindus and non-Sunni Muslims are frequently persecuted.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Benkhald gave an account of the incident in which he had agreed to have a one-on-one debate on minority rights with a Muslim Pakistani man following a discussion on the topic on Twitter initially.

“I was debating over Twitter with a young educated Pakistani Muslim that non-Muslim Pakistanis should be allowed in theory to be elected president according to our constitution,” he said.

He added that “the discussion was purely theoretical given that non-Muslims account for only around 3% of the Pakistani population.”

Benkhald then suggested that the two continue the debate in person and planned to meet at a restaurant in Karachi. However, on his arrival at the restaurant, Benkhald was ambushed by the man and his friends.

“I went there alone but he was with his friends, we started the debate in a normal discussion manner but soon it got heated up and cursing started,” he said.

At that point, a “mob” began to gather around him “and two of the guys who were with him started manhandling me – I should have left at that time,” he added.

Giving a detailed explanation he said “They started punching me and when I fell they started kicking my head. Someone also tried to snatch away my mobile.”

Benkhald managed to make a video after the attack and posted it to his Twitter account in which he gave an account of how he was treated by the mob.

 

 

“They have hit me, they have threatened me, they have pushed me and they have cursed me,” he said in his video.

Police then reportedly arrived at the scene, blindfolded him and took him away leaving the rest at the scene.

He was then allegedly handed over to the Pakistan’s Rangers paramilitary force, who continued to question him about his ethnic origins and went through his social media accounts after allegedly demanding for his passwords.

 

 

They further accused him of being a spy for either Israel, US or India, according to Benkhald.

He was released eventually after his brother intervened and bailed him out. Benkhald was left with a swollen eye and bruising.

 

 

Regardless of the ordeal Benkhald experienced, he did admit that his decision to agree to a personal debate in a restaurant was unwise. He has also said that he will tone down his online activism for fear of his safety.

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Reader Comments (37)

  • BCCI
    Mar 6, 2015 - 2:41PM

    Well, buddy you are a courageous but ‘stupid’ man. You have only one option. ‘GET OUT OF THERE’.

    God bless you – Take careRecommend

  • Jameel ur Rasheed
    Mar 6, 2015 - 3:10PM

    I am sorry for whatever happened to you. Having said that, you are the biggest fool on planet to have agreed to meet just a random guy you had a brief conversation with over twitter. I won’t do it despite the fact that I am a Muslim. I am not saying that your cause was unjust or illegitimate but because the fanaticism runs through our blood and apparently cool and calm people turn out to be heinous monsters when poked on sensitive issues. And a Jew in Pakistan, that’s relatively new to me.Recommend

  • EyeWtiness
    Mar 6, 2015 - 3:49PM

    I was there when the incident took place. Whatever the JEW has stated is over exaggerated.
    He cursed and used abusive against he Pakistan and Islam. His behavior was very provoking as if he wanted to frame the Pakistani’s by getting beaten. He eventually achieved his goal and got hit. While lying down on the ground he was still cursing Pakistan and Islam and people then surrounded him. Still amongst the angry mob, we Pakistani’s tried to protect him and then the DHA guards came and took him for safety.

    HE WAS THE ONE WHO TRIED TO PROVOKE THE PEOPLE SO THAT HE MAY CREATE A PROPAGANDA AGAINST MUSLIMS AND PAKISTANI’S.Recommend

  • Zaida Parvez
    Mar 6, 2015 - 4:32PM

    And Muslims want right to impose Sharia in other nations where they live in !! What hypocrisy !!Recommend

  • Ali S
    Mar 6, 2015 - 4:42PM

    @EyeWtiness:

    If you think anyone who talks bad about your country or religion deserves a beating, you’re just proving his point. Don’t be an idiot.Recommend

  • Pity
    Mar 6, 2015 - 5:13PM

    This guy always spew hatred against Pakistan on social media. However, I am sad over the treatment meted out to him by the law enforcement officials.Recommend

  • Muhammad Kashif
    Mar 6, 2015 - 5:35PM

    @ All,

    This guy gets money from Jewish community for defaming Muslims on twitter. Check his twitter history and every body will be in better picture. Where are Rangers why they don’t make him disappear? , like Israelis do with Palestinian Muslims.Recommend

  • Leo
    Mar 6, 2015 - 5:47PM

    M amazed by the title of the story, “last Jew in Pakistan” seems that all others are killed or exiled.
    Whatever happened was a sad incident, mabe he was willingly beaten to get popularity. Meeting someone to convince on a religious topic is a foolish act.

    Chiristians lives next to my door, Ahmadis on the other side. Safe, peaceful n True Pakistanis,

    “Keep calm n keep kam se kam”Recommend

  • C M Naim
    Mar 6, 2015 - 6:43PM

    Pakistan: Blame the victim if he is not a Muslim.
    Israel: Blame the victim if he is not a Jew. Recommend

  • 3rdRockFromTheSun
    Mar 6, 2015 - 7:15PM

    @Eyewitness” …as if he wanted to frame the Pakistani’s by getting beaten” – wow!! The extent these non-Muslims go to to defame Pakistan! Recommend

  • reader
    Mar 6, 2015 - 7:26PM

    I agree 100% with the gentleman. Pakistan should constitutionally allow non-Muslims to be Presidents; it should also provide due compensation for displaced non-Muslims who wish to repatriate to their properties. Similarly, Israel should also allow non-Jews to become President, and they should provide voting rights to all Palestinians and non-Jews in Israel and Israeli-occupied territory.Recommend

  • Muhammad Kashif
    Mar 6, 2015 - 8:20PM

    @ 3rdRockFromTheSun You are like a marvellous innocent human being with no clue how life is spent by palestinians in Israel.

    @ reader Marvellous logic, i think israeli zionist jews would love to give voting rights to Palestinians and take back their last jew whom they love so much.Recommend

  • just_someone
    Mar 6, 2015 - 9:31PM

    @EyeWtiness:
    Idiot lying blatantly… do you people have no shame?Recommend

  • Mar 6, 2015 - 9:38PM

    Fishel Benkhald is either very stupid OR this was a ploy to get a visa out of the
    country. More likely a ploy to get in the news and get a visa. The Jewish cemetery
    does not have any problems. It is well maintained. And a family takes care of it.
    Paid by Pak Jewish families who have emigrated abroad.Recommend

  • Lion King
    Mar 6, 2015 - 9:38PM

    The criminals in the mob and corrupt policemen should be arrested and punished

    but by whom ???

    The same corrupt people !!Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Mar 7, 2015 - 2:03AM

    @EyeWtiness:
    Please tell us the name AND address of the restaurant in Karachi where the incident took place, since you claim to have been there!!
    Otherwise we may have to conclude that you were never there and never observed anything, but decided to make up your story to challenge the JEW’s account of the incident!Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Mar 7, 2015 - 2:10AM

    @Muhammad Kashif:
    BTW, a little research on your part would have revealed that Palestinians living in the State of Israel DO HAVE VOTING RIGHTS!Recommend

  • Weirdity
    Mar 7, 2015 - 2:40AM

    Idiocy. Does he think he lives in India? He is living in Pakistan for gods sake.Recommend

  • JSM
    Mar 7, 2015 - 8:20AM

    Is this endangered species in Pakistan an extinct species now?Recommend

  • Muhammad Kashif
    Mar 7, 2015 - 1:07PM

    @ numbersnumbers

    I did research. You check again. I think you escaped the mob.Recommend

  • SHAHID
    Mar 7, 2015 - 4:17PM

    It is like saying and asking publicly and thru media circuit; that a Muslim should have full right to be President of Jewish Israel; I am sure the Jewish Knesset in Israel will not object and make a muslim their President of Jewish Israel… RIGHT ??? ; FISHEL either you are mentally retarded or you have deliberate mischievous plans in mind; Recommend

  • Logical
    Mar 7, 2015 - 8:26PM

    How can he be the ‘last jew in Pakistan’ when his brother intervened and bailed him out? Did his brother convert to Islam? Very illogical of you ET.Recommend

  • Malik
    Mar 7, 2015 - 9:36PM

    And what have we done to the Quaids vision of upholding/protecting the rights of the citizen of Pakistan before anything else. Fishel, I apologise for the lack of toleration that the majority of our countrymen hold. We have far drifted from the consituents that hold together a coherent/tolerant society. For this I apologise and salute your courage to engage in positive debate. Sadly the state and its institutions(police) seem too far gone to understand that the rights of the Pakistani citizen come first regardless of caste, creed, religion or color. I urge you to keep up the good fight for minorities in our country and hope that all of us understand what it means to live in a tolerant inclusive society, sooner rather than later. Recommend

  • Hasan
    Mar 7, 2015 - 10:59PM

    I’ve had numerous conversation with this guy on Twitter. Every time he’s the first to counter attack your argument. With the presence of brainwashed Mullah’s its tough as is for minorities. If you are Jew its a whole different level. Although as claimed by this article about being respectful; this guy is far from being respectful about Islam, and often offensive towards it. So I was sad to see this guy in the news, but not surprised. He should choose his words carefully, and as noted above trust is gut instance to abandon the argument before it heats up, instead he’s always the first to counter, and continue arguing pointlessly. I guess its different on Social Media, but when you are in public its a different ball game. Recommend

  • Ryan
    Mar 8, 2015 - 12:00AM

    Pakistanis can be so hot-headed, especially when sensitive issues such as religion are talked about. Although I’m really sorry about how this man got beaten up, he is kinda stupid for meeting a random guy he came across on the internet. Recommend

  • I Witness
    Mar 8, 2015 - 1:58AM

    @EyeWtiness: no, I was there, I saw & you lie.

    See how easy it is over the Internet?

    And yet you got “upvoted”.

    Disgusting.Recommend

  • zara haq
    Mar 8, 2015 - 2:57AM

    @Weirdity:
    Yes for god’s sake, in india he would have been burnt aliveRecommend

  • Mar 8, 2015 - 3:31AM

    @3rdRockFromTheSun:
    Are you a Jew KillerRecommend

  • JSM
    Mar 8, 2015 - 9:34AM

    @zara haq:
    Yes Zara. In India he would have been burnt alive! Like Muslims are being burnt everyday. And do not talk of Gujarat- the burning spree was started by Muslims.Recommend

  • Mar 8, 2015 - 1:09PM

    @Hasan:
    Shalom, Dear Sir Hasan,
    Its me Fishel Benkhald from twitter ( @Jew_Pakistani )
    maybe I am an average debater with sure flaws but I dont curse, any one can check my twitter timeline its clean but no doubt my twitter timeline and arguments are politically incorrect.

    About your objection on my “Words”! Sir I used the same abusive-words during the face to face debate with the young educated Pakistani muslim tweep who belong to middle educated class.
    I only started recording the debate when they became abusive.

    Thanks for reading the article and your comments,
    Fishel Benkhald
    Twitter @Jew_Pakistani Recommend

  • woody
    Mar 8, 2015 - 5:18PM

    Classic Pakistan – never miss a chance to tarnish your reputation. Xenophobia isn’t something you should be proud of.Recommend

  • zara haq
    Mar 8, 2015 - 6:41PM

    @JSM:
    Lies. Read up on how gujrat riots started. Who lit up the train.
    And muslims lit it up was till date never proved. Shame on. Khoon choosnay ki adat hai.
    And even for a second assuming that happened did that justify killing of 3000 muslims, men,women,kids, raping women, killing them burning them, you have kausar bano’s murder on your hands. Google and see wht u did to her. And take this sarcasm of yours where no sun shines.
    And india has guts to point fingers at pakistan or even anyone. Even isis is better than you.

    @Fishel, i like it how throughout you emphasize on “educated muslim pakistani” . Anyways carry on your agenda. People who engage in such debates must videotape all. i don’t favor this beating and all. Recommend

  • EyeWtiness
    Mar 8, 2015 - 6:41PM

    @numbersnumbers
    The incident took place near Hot n Spicy restaurant, Phase 5, DHA.

    @Ali S
    I do not approve of the beating, neither do i stand with the person who beat the Jew. But the point is he should have been intelligent enough to not provoke the sentiments of the people. And i am telling you as soon he got beaten, at once he took out his mobile and started recording anti Pakistan and anti Islamic statements as if he had planned all this.

    @just_someone
    Shut up and kindly use your intelligence. You should not believe in every article that is published on the internet. Anyways, i don’t give a damn whatever you believe me or not. I just wanted the people to know my account of the story.Recommend

  • Ray
    Mar 8, 2015 - 7:04PM

    @Fishel you actions were stupid and you are lucky to be alive…now a days debating religious fanatics is a dangerous game and you are lucky you were not in Israel and questioning their practices because you will be dead or rotting in jail…even if you are a jew… you would have been beaten senselessly and your whole family will be deported or put in jail …you are damn lucky not to be Palestinian because then you will not be seen alive ever.Recommend

  • Mansoor Ahmad
    Mar 9, 2015 - 12:21AM

    you have refered Arutz Sheva (the Jewish community news source) as your source. I dont say that this source is not at all credible, but cannot you refer an other and more credible source because I find comments asking a witness if @EYEWTNESS if he was really there. Why couldn’t you yourself investigate into the subject and found the truth. This is no reporting. I am disappointed. And perhaps you know , another daily by the name SIASAT reported ot , again its source was the same Arutz Sheva.

    It’s however highly shameful to beat a guy physically. Why do we become physical and cannot argue. This is lack of tolerance & respect for others views. This kind of attitude is not seen in the developed and civilized society of the West. I see few comments comparing Jews in Israel with Muslims in Pakistan and terming them the same. I suppose we must prove to be better humans and Pakistan a place of peace for every individual irrespective of its faith, colour or creed.

    And in the end I apologize to Fishel for him being manhandled and ask the Sind government to please investigate the matter and bring the culprits to justice.Recommend

  • zara haq
    Mar 9, 2015 - 1:20AM

    @Ray:
    This is what israel had done to this innocent peaceloving muslim gazan who had worked with israel for years to bring peace.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/18/world/middleeast/18doctor.html

    Mera dil phatta hai soch kay. If you are weak hearted don’t read.Recommend

  • Asif
    Mar 9, 2015 - 5:10PM

    Seriously, I don’t believe in conspiracy theories but hard for me to understand that why in today’s world, somebody was brave (or insane) enough to meet a random guy to discuss a sensitive issue. He then continued the discussion, despite the other guy showed up with his supporters… also how was he able to make a video when others were beating him up so much that he was left with a swollen eye… does it really make sense?

    I also think that nobody should have beaten him, even if he was intentionally provoking others. But then again, he probably looked for / invited some fanatic so that he is able to prove his point.Recommend

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