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Registration of blasphemy case against Christian in Gujrat violates religious freedom: PCC

Karachi: August 21, 2015. (PCP) Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC, in a statement issued here today from Central Secretariat of PCC, have strongly condemned arrest of three Christians under charges of blasphemy and terrorism by Gujrat police on publishing a flyer for worship gathering with title of “Prophet” to their deceased religious leader. The Civil Lines Police Station arrested two Christians and one Muslim owner of Printing Press on publishing and distributing a religious gathering flyer in city of Gujrat on calling a Christian leader “Prophet”. Among arrested is one Pastor Aftab Gill whose father late Pastor Fazal Gill founded a Ministry named Biblical Church in Nai Abadi, a Christian colony with more than 200 hundred families in Gujrat city where worship meeting to pay tribute to late Fazal Masih Gill was scheduled and organizing committee was formed which decided to publish a Poster/Flyer. The Muslim shopkeeper in Nai Abadi had business rivalry with one son of Late Pastor Fazal Masih who also owned a grocery shop in this locality. When flyer came in notice of Muslim grocery shop owner Mohammad Rukhsar Butt he raised objections on word “Prophet” which was used for Late Pastor Fazal Gill and argued that Title of “Prophet” can only be used for Holy Prophet Mohammad with one of organizers of the worship gathering. Mohammad Butt called some other Muslim religious leaders and Imam of mosque who issued Islamic decree that Christians have committed blasphemy and their homes shall be set on fire. The area police intervened when Muslim started gathering to attack Christian homes in Nai Abadi and arrested 3 people and lodged cases against 11 Christians under blasphemy and terrorism charges who were in organizing committee of worship meeting. The Christians of Gujrat city are fleeing from their homes to safe their lives on fear of Muslim mob attack after Muslim religious leader’s decree. Nazir S Bhatti said that there are many Christian sects who designate their religious leaders as “Apostle” and “Prophet” which have nothing to do with the Islam nor it is claimed that they are “Apostle or Prophet” of Muslims then how it can be a blasphemy. “if misuse of blasphemy law is not stopped in Pakistan as it is happened in Gujrat Also then blasphemy charges will be lodged by one Muslim against other Muslim on crimes of robbery, theft, child abuse, domestic violence, murder and under every section of PPC because Muslim name themselves with “Mohammad” which is given name of Holy Prophet of Muslims and any crime will be counted as blasphemy because committing any crime carrying name with Mohammad by accused Muslim will be counted as defiling Holy name of Prophet” warned Dr. Nazir Bhatti Nazir Bhatti urged Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Nawaz Sharif to legislate to stop misuse of blasphemy laws against religious minorities in Pakistan and to authorize Islamic Ideology Council to investigate incidents of blasphemy laws before lodging of FIR.

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