Pakistani Muslims Gun Down Christian Friend
They order him to convert to Islam or die, after accusing him of murder.
12/21/2009 Pakistan (CDN)-A group of Muslims shot their Christian friend dead this month on the outskirts of this town after saying they would spare his life only if he recanted his faith, according to the young man’s father.
The friends of Patras Masih, who died from gunshot wounds on Dec. 3 in Karol village, Punjab Province , issued the ultimatum to him after accusing him of the murder of their friend Anees Mahammad. An autopsy reported showed Mahammad died from toxic alcohol earlier that day.
Patras Masih’s father, Gulzar Masih, said his son was at home on that day, had no contact with Mahammad, and that his friends accused him of the murder only because he refused to recant Christianity and embrace Islam.
On Dec. 1, Mahammad and three other Muslim friends of Patras Masih – Sohail Muhammad, Imran Muhammad and Amir Muhammad – had arrived with unknown Muslim men and asked Masih to help them find liquor, Gulzar Masih told Compass. Pakistani law forbids Muslims from buying or consuming alcohol. Locally brewed liquor in rural areas of Pakistan can be fatally toxic; this month 14 people died from locally brewed, toxic liquor in Pakistan ’s Punjab Province , news website Express India reported today.
“On that night,” Gulzar Masih said, “I also heard them saying in a commanding way in the drawing room of our house, ‘You [Patras Masih] ought to accept Islam and recant your faith, otherwise you and your family will be responsible for the dire consequences.’”
Patras Masih held fast to his faith, his father said; leaving with his Muslim friends, he bought them a couple of bottles of liquor and returned home.
His voice full of grief, Gulzar Masih said that on Dec. 3, his son’s three Muslim friends arrived at their doorway yelling that he had killed Mahammad, and that they would spare his life only if he converted to Islam. They accused Patras Masih of serving Mahammad a toxic drink in their home the previous day.
When Patras Masih refused to recite the Islamic conversion creed, his father said, Sohail Muhammad, Imran Muhammad and Amir Muhammad sprayed bullets at his chest, killing him instantly.
“My son bravely refused to recant Christianity and clung to Christ,” Gulzar Masih said, dejected but with a small smile on his face. “He bravely embraced martyrdom.”
He said these same three friends on several occasions had pressured Patras Masih to convert to Islam, “but my son never accepted their invitation and always turned down their request to recant Christianity in a healthy and polite manner.”
When his father asked him about his friends’ Dec. 1 threats, Patras Masih told him that they often insisted that he become a Muslim. Though the young men had been friends since childhood, Gulzar Masih told his son to stop seeing them, he said.
Sternly denying that his son was capable of killing a human being., he pointed out that Patras Masih’s friends accused him of serving Mahammad a toxic drink at Masih’s home on Dec. 2, but that Mahammad died on Dec. 3.
“Surely it is a conspiracy against him because he refused to meet their unreasonable demands,” the frail, bereaved father said. “They were ready to spare him only if he converted to Islam by reciting the holy Kalima [Islamic affirmation of faith], an emblem that one has become a Muslim.”
He said that all four Muslim men had been friends of Patras Masih since childhood.
Gulzar Masih said that Ferozewala police have registered a murder case against the three suspects, but that they are all still at large and his family is vulnerable to further attacks.