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Muslim man burned alive by mob
Attacks for blasphemy violations spark fear of growing intoleranceProtesters demonstrate against religious violence in Lahore
- ucanews.com reporter, Chani Goth
- July 4, 2012
Ghulam Abbas was arrested this week but was dragged out of his cell yesterday by an angry mob and set on fire at a crossroads in Chani Goth in Punjab province.
Local media reports said eight police officers were injured and four police vehicles vandalized by the mob.
Father Samuel Raphael of St. Dominicâ€™s Church in Bahawalpur, 60 kilometers from Chani Goth, said the attack was a sign of growing lawlessness and religious intolerance that had many Christians in the area concerned for their safety.
â€śThis signifies an inhuman society that is growing intolerant at a dangerous pace. The controversial blasphemy laws were specifically designed to handle such issues, but people are now taking matters into their own hands,â€ť he said.
â€śSome say Abbas was mentally ill, but he never got a chance to prove his innocence,â€ť the priest added.
The day before the burning of Abbas, a mob beat another Muslim man in Faisalabad for allegedly uttering derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammad. Police eventually rescued the man, but the mob reportedly blocked a road and chanted for the death of the accused man.
Two Muslims and a Christian, all accused of blasphemy, have been killed this year, according to the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) within the Catholic Bishopsâ€™ Conference of Pakistan, and 88 people including 64 Muslims and 17 Christians have been victimized by blasphemy laws from January last year through May 2012.
â€śPolice are becoming conscious of the misuse of these allegations, which are still a low priority for the government. The lives of human rights defenders are under threat due to increasingly aggressive attitudes,â€ť said Peter Jacob, executive secretary of the NCJP.
â€śThe chance is perhaps lost to form public opinion against blasphemy laws.â€ť
Book tackles thorny blasphemy issue