Christian Leaders in Pakistan Meet with Police Regarding Blasphemy Accusation Against Nurses
04/13/2021 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – According to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), Christian leaders in Pakistan are working with police authorities in Pakistan to resolve communal tensions surrounding a blasphemy accusation against two Christian nurses.
On April 9, Mariam Lal and Newish Urooj were detained by police after being accused of committing blasphemy by Muslim coworkers at Civil Hospital in Faisalabad. The women were specifically accused of desecrating a sticker that carried a Durood Shareef on April 8.
As news of the accusation spread, a mob of enraged Muslims gathered outside of Civil Hospital and demanded the two women be punished. According to UCAN, members of the mob chanted, “Beheading is the only punishment for blasphemy.”
Muhammad Waqas, a Muslim ward boy in the hospital, confessed to attacking Lal with a knife after he learned of the blasphemy accusation. Christian leaders are demanding Waqas be arrested and punished for the attack.
Both women remain in police custody at Civil Lines Police Station in Faisalabad. Christian leaders have met with police authorities to resolve the situation peacefully.
“The incident occurred in a psychiatric ward,” Father Bonnie Mendes, a former executive secretary of the National Commission for Justice and Peace, told UCAN. “The sticker was already half torn by a mentally challenged patient. The nurses were trying to clean the cupboard. They were not interested in blasphemy. It is very difficult to proceed in such cases.”
In Pakistan, false accusations of blasphemy are widespread and often motivated by personal vendettas or religious hatred. Accusations are highly inflammatory and have the potential to spark mob lynchings, vigilante murders, and mass protests.
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