Nytt

En kristen jente med Downs syndrom ble 16. august arrestert i Pakistan, anklaget for å ha brent et islamsk skrift.

Hun sitter i fengsel og myndighetene skal se på om diagnosen kan frikjenne henne.

Men problemet er en blasfemilov som er åpen i alle ender, og kan brukes til å anklage nærmest hvem som helst for blasfemi. Man kan komme til å trå på en tekst, bruke noe som innpakningspapir, og det holder ofte med anklagen om krenkelse, før rykter settes i omløp og mobben mobiliseres.

Selvfølgelig er det ofte minoriteter, kristne eller andre, som anklages, eller anklagen fabrikeres som ledd i personlig hevn eller oppgjør.

Resultatet er mobb og lynsjestemning. Slik også i dette tilfelle.

The girl was arrested Aug. 16 after hundreds of neighbors gathered outside her house and demanded that police take action. The crowd had heard rumors she had allegedly burned a Qaida, a learning guide to the Quran which includes excerpts of the Islamic scriptures.

“On Friday I got reports that in a village on the outskirts of Islamabad, some 1,000 men had gathered after the Friday prayers sermons where the local cleric had asked for the massacre of Christians in the neighborhood over blasphemy by a Christian girl. But due to timely action by the police, we were able to calm the crowd,” Dr. Bhatti says.

Paul Bhatti er rådgiver for regjeringen.

Locals from the slum outside Islamabad where the girl lived say the case has sparked tensions between Christians and Muslims, forcing the Christian minority to flee.

“We are living with our relatives in Rawalpindi till the situation calms down in our area,” says Shabnam, who works as a maid for wealthy families in Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. “Our landlord, who is a Muslim, told us to leave the house and go away for some days because he says it is dangerous for us to stay there after the arrest of the girl accused for blasphemy.”

Shabnam says she does not know when her family of eight will return home. She says the Muslims in her area also tried to attack some of the houses where Christians are living but police intervention stopped it from happening, a claim Paul Bhatti, adviser to the prime minister for National Harmony, verifies.

Bhatti er bror til statsråden for religiøse minoriteter, Shahbaz Bhatti, som ble drept fordi han støttet forandringer i blasfemiloven. Regjeringen trakk forslagene tilbake. De religiøse kreftene står sterkt.

Paul Bhatti sier at myndighetene måtte opprette sak mot jenta, ellers ville hun blitt drept. De tør heller ikke gripe inn mot lederne for mobben. Ca. 300 familier kan ikke vende tilbake til landsbyen. I realiteten har myndighetene resignert og kapitulert. Men dermed overlater den også initiativet til de ytterliggående kreftene.

The current government is not strong enough to make any changes says Paul Bhatti, who is Shahbaz’s brother. “Even if the law changes, who will change the mindset of the people? It is very important that we first create interfaith harmony in Pakistan, without which such discrimination against non-Muslims will continue,” he says.

Pakistani president wades into ‘Down’s Syndrome’ blasphemy case