"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Friday, November 30, 2007

Muslim persecution of Christians - nothing new

In Pakistan's Penal Code the section 295C blasphemy law, introduced in 1986, has a mandatory death penalty for anyone "who by words either spoken or written or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly" who defiles the Prophet Mohammed.

However, the law is abused to do away with one's enemies or to seize the property of those accused. From 1986 to 2004, more than 4,000 cases of blasphemy were reported.(Approx 1% of Pakistan's population is Christian)

Ayub Masih was arrested for blasphemy on October 14, 1996 in his village, Arifabad in Sahiwal District (about 700km from Islamabad) on a complaint filed by a Muslim neighbour Muhammed Akram. Akram alleged he heard Ayub saying "If we want to know the truth about Islam read Salman Rushdie". He was found guilty and given a death sentence on April 27 1998. Shortly afterwards, on May 6, the Catholic Bishop of Faisalabad, John Joseph, who was trying to have the blasphemy law abolished, committed suicide by shooting himself on the steps of Sahiwal Law Court in an extreme act of protest.

On May 10, following Bishop Joseph's burial, Muslim extremists rampaged through a Christian neighborhood in Faisalabad, attacking and burning a number of homes and shops; dozens were left homeless.To assuage public anger, the local authorities razed 70 houses occupied by Christian families.

On May 12 1998 , in the wake of the Muslim-Christian clashes, a two-judge panel of the Lahore High Court suspended Ayub Massih's death sentence

At the time there some modest press comment outside Pakistan.

Sahiwal ?

It's the town in Pakistan, twinned with Rochdale.

There is a sequel

Towards the end of July 2002, Freedom Now facilitated the delivery of a letter from 12 U.S. Senators (one Senator signed separately) calling for Ayub Masih's release. Signatories to that letter included Senators Brownback, Leahy, and Wellstone, all well-positioned in the Congress to impact U.S. policy towards Pakistan.

With pressure on the Pakistanis growing, the Government accelerated the date of the hearing before the Supreme Court of Pakistan. On August 15, 2002, a three-judge panel of the Supreme Court sitting in Islamabad heard arguments on the long-awaited final appeal.

The three Judges rendered an oral decision acquitting Ayub Masih of blasphemy charges and ordering his immediate release. In essence, the Supreme Court held that the arrest, conviction, and sentencing of Ayub Masih violated due process, very much following the reasoning of the United Nations. Moreover, this decision set a very positive precedent for all other blasphemy victims in Pakistani jails.

There was a serious danger to Ayub the moment he was released from prison. The U.S. State Department worked with Human Rights Groups to arrange Ayub's quick exit from Pakistan. He arrived in the United States on September 4, 2002. After successfully claiming political asylum on the basis of his well-founded fear of religious persecution should he return to Pakistan, Ayub is now taking English lessons and is working two jobs.

He planned to become a Christian Minister.

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(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish