Friday, November 7, 2014

Pakastani Christian Couple Burned Alive

Image: Shama Bibi and Sajjad Maseeh 



The couple in the picture above is  Shama Bibi and Sajjad Maseeh.

 We are very saddened by the killing of this couple. Our Lord when speaking about the devil said, "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies ( NASB, John 8:44). There is not a doubt that this crowd was devilish.  Steve Bloem

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — 

A mob accused of burning alive a Christian couple in an industrial kiln in Pakistan allegedly wrapped a pregnant mother in cotton so she would catch fire more easily, according to family members who witnessed the attack.   Sajjad Maseeh, 27, and his wife Shama Bibi, 24, were set upon by at least 1,200 people after rumors circulated that they had burned verses from the Quran, family spokesman Javed Maseeh told NBC News via telephone late Thursday. Their legs were also broken so they couldn't run away. "They picked them up by their arms and legs and held them over the brick furnace until their clothes caught fire," he said. "And then they threw them inside the furnace. "Bibi, a mother of four who was four months pregnant, was wearing an outfit that initially didn't burn, according to Javed Maseeh. The mob removed her from over the kiln and wrapped her up in cotton to make sure the garments would be set alight. 

 Sajjad Maseeh, who was also known by his nickname "Shahbaz," was just seven years old when he started working at the factory. His family was tied to it through an arrangement of bonded labor whereby cross-generational debts were paid back through toil.  Sajjad Maseeh was born in the building where he was brutally murdered, according to his cousin. "The bones are still being found," Javed Maseeh said. "Friends keep on collecting them and bringing them to us in batches of two or three. We will bury these bones when we have enough for the bodies. But we will not find all of them, I'm sure." 

Whether or not the couple burned a Quran is still unclear. Sajjad Maseeh's brothers denied it. However, Mushtaq Gill, a lawyer and Christian rights activist in Pakistan, said verses from the religious text were among a pile of unwanted possessions owned by Sajjad Maseeh's recently deceased father. The belongings were cleared away and burned by Bibi, whom Gill said was "uneducated and probably didn't realize she was burning the Quran and not just any documents." 

Before the mob attacked Bibi, a sister who recently converted to Islam played the role of mediator and offered her the option to adopt the religion to calm tensions, according to Javed Maseeh's account. "Shama rejected this proposal," he said. The slain husband had a Muslin convert brother, Fayaz, who stayed in the village and is safe. But his three Christian brothers, Saleem, Imtiaz and Nawaz, witnessed the incident and spoke to NBC News through Javed Maseeh. They have escaped and are claiming their lives are now in danger.  Four suspects remain in custody and another 50 were booked and are being investigated, according to local police. Pakistan’s Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, brother of Prime Minister Sharif, is promising the family five million rupees (around $50,000) and 10 acres of land in compensation. 

According to the National Minority Alliance, Christians form under three percent of Pakistan’s estimated 180 million people.
Pakistan's much-debated "Blasphemy Law" is often used to target Christians and other minorities. In 2012, 14-year-old Rimsha Masih was falsely accused of burning the Quran, the sacred Islamic text. Charges were later dropped amid international concern for her safety, but the law, remains on the books.
Alexander Smith contributed to this report from London. .

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