Pakistani police have arrested an illiterate mentally disabled Down syndrome afflicted 11-year-old girl from a Christian family after a mob of 150 Muslim savages angrily accused her of blasphemy and threatened to burn down Christian homes outside the capital of Islamabad.
Her parents have been taken into protective custody following threats and other Christian families have fled.
"From the reports I have seen, she was found carrying a waste bag which also had pages of the Koran," said Paul Bhatti, Pakistan's minister for National Harmony; that she was known to have a mental disorder; and that it seemed "unlikely she purposefully desecrated the Koran."
"This infuriated some local people and a large crowd gathered to demand action against her. The police were initially reluctant to arrest her, but they came under a lot of pressure from a very large crowd, who were threatening to burn down Christian homes."
More than 600 people have fled from the Christian neighborhood. Christians make up a tiny 1% religious minority in Pakistan.
A local resident accused the little girl of burning pages of the Muslim holy text after she gathered paper as fuel for cooking. Qasim Niazi, the officer in charge of the police station near where the incident took place, said that the girl told him she had no idea there were pages of the Quran inside the documents she burnt.
"The mob wanted to burn the girl to give her a lesson," he said.
Pakistani law provides that it is a crime punishable by life imprisonment or even death to insult Islam, the Quran or the Prophet Mohammed. Many of those accused of blasphemy have been killed by violent mobs before they can even go to trial.
Critics of the blasphemy laws say they are being used to persecute religious minorities. Civil rights activists have urged reform. But the critics and those who advocate a change in the laws too often become targets themselves.
Last year, for example, Shahbaz Bhatti, the minister for minority affairs, was killed after calling for the repeal of the blasphemy law. His death came just two months after the murder of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, who also spoke out about the issue.
This horrific story represents a perfect example of just one of the many problems I have with religion. Religion has always given people a fallacious excuse to become violent.
It also provides credible evidence that the “substance” of all religions are entirely imaginary. After all, if religion involved realities in existence there would be no need for adherents to become violent in instances of blasphemy – the God would simply take care of the problem himself.
Religious adherents become violent because blasphemy and the non-believer threaten their fantasy, a fact which they know instinctively and unconsciously. They get upset because they know the blasphemer has it right but they do not under any circumstances want to consciously accept it.
It’s the same reason why religious adherents demand that governments sponsor their gods. Without government support of the fantasy the believer feels a sense of apprehension and doubt about his own beliefs. They feel secure only when everyone believes, and if anyone doesn’t believe – even if she’s a mentally disabled 11 year old child – the savages think they have an excuse to commit murder and mayhem.
The predictable result: religious savagery in Pakistan.