Pakistani refuses Islam, charged with ‘blasphemy’ comment (0)
March 22, 2012
FORT ABBAS, Pakistan — A young mother has been falsely accused of “blaspheming” Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, because she rebuffed attempts by relatives who had converted to Islam to force her to renounce her Christian faith, family members said. Police in Khichiwala, Bahawalnagar district, in Punjab province, charged 26-year-old Shamim Bibi, mother of a 5-month-old girl and resident of the village Chak No. 170/7R Colony, in the Fort Abbas area, under Section 295-C of Pakistan’s “blasphemy” statutes after neighbors accused her of uttering remarks against Muhammad.
She was arrested Feb. 28. Speaking ill of Muhammad in Pakistan is punishable by life imprisonment or death under Pakistan’s internationally condemned blasphemy laws.
Shahbaz Masih, her brother-in-law, said one of the two men named as witnesses has denied hearing anything from Shamim Bibi that supports the charge. Bahawalnagar superintendent of police investigation Irfan Ullah acknowledged that one of the two witnesses had admitted to not being present at the alleged “crime” scene at the time of the alleged remark.
“The other witness is standing by his claim, and she has produced nothing so far which can prove her innocence,” Ullah said. He vehemently denied that police had caved in to pressure from local Muslims and had registered a case in undue haste.