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ICC Note: 

Last month, Sonia Gill was accused of blasphemy by one of her Muslim neighbors when she used a political banner as a floor mat in her home in Gujrat, Pakistan. The banner bore the name of a politician named Muhammad, so the Muslim neighbor accused Gill of defaming the name of the prophet Muhammad. Instead of fleeing these frivolous charges, Gill stood firm and was quickly exonerated. According to Gill, she knew that her neighbor had falsely accused her because of a grudge she held against Gill’s family. Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are often misused for score settling, personal gain, and in attempts to incite religious hatred. This seems just like another instance of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws being misused.   

6/1/2016 Pakistan (Christian Daily) – A Pakistani Christian woman accused of blasphemy refused to leave her home to protect her neighbors from being targeted in her absence.

Sonia Gill, 23, could have fled from her home when she was accused of blasphemy, just as other Pakistani Christians who have also been previously accused have done. However, she chose to stay at the Christian Town settlement near Gujrat despite angry demonstrations held outside her house, the World Watch Monitor details.

Because Christian settlements are often attacked, and other Christians are murdered in the wake of blasphemy accusations, Gill stood firm against the allegations. Eventually, the accusations against her were withdrawn.

“If I flee, what would happen to my Christian neighbors and their houses?” said Gill at that time.

Sharjila Komal (Poma), Gill’s neighbor, had accused her of using a banner with Prophet Muhammad’s name as a floor covering. The Christian woman denied the accusation, saying the banner only bore politicians’ names, and said her neighbor had malicious intent against her.

Gill recalled how Komal’s sister-in-law eloped with her cousin Khalid three years ago. Although a case was filed against Khalid and the issue was settled later on, Komal reportedly held a grudge against Gill’s family.

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