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Feb-17-2014 23:30printcomments

A Boy in a Rickshaw

Pakistani version of "Westside Story" - Muslim mob sets out to burn village of Christian boy who eloped with a Muslim girl. Boy's father arrested, dies in custody...

Pakistan richshaw

(ISLAMABAD) - The formation of Pakistan (as religious extremist think) and the search for an Islamic identity are inextricably linked of the wider issues of global politics and rise of Islamic fundamentalism has been a side- effect, and religious intolerance places the minorities of the country in a shaky position.

On February 11, young Christian Asim Saleem 22, (rickshaw driver) went to see his girl friend, Sunair 20, of a Muslim background. He intended to marry her but his parents kept thwarting him and demanded that he should avoid her. The couple decided to take the bold step of cross-faith marriage; a dangerous ambition in Pakistan, and got married that same day in the local court.

Asim didn’t involve his parents while marrying the girl. The couple eloped and traveled away from their families. On the very same day, religious leaders informed of the marriage by Sunair’s family went to the Christian community where Saleem lived and demanded recovery of the Muslim girl.

Saleem and other community members were unaware of the elopement and marriage and requested some time to investigate, but they couldn’t find them during the given time period. Muslims under the leadership of Qari Sohail returned and warned the local people that if they could not produce the couple; Muslim mob would return and sat ablaze their houses. They warned the residents that people would be executed in retribution.

A few terrified Christians found courage to inform the police about this critical situation and the rest fled to escape to save their lives and their loved ones. Police became alert and ready to suppress any violence. On Friday, 14 February, after Jumma prayer, a large mob traveled to the Christian enclave intending to vandalize Nazarat Colony. However local police surrounded the Christian houses of Nazarat Colony. Christian inhabitants of the said colony had already fled their homes for safety as a precaution against further attempts.

In a bizarre twist of events, the police have filed a case against Asim Saleem, first investigation report – FIR 114/14 under section of abduction and enforced matrimony, PP 265-B.

A further allegation has been made against him for theft of Rs. 54000/- and gold of 5 grams. However these allegations are reportedly false.

The police also arrested two Christian men, Bashir Masih 45 and Shaukat Masih 35 who are the cousins and the father of the accused. Both were allegedly tortured and forced to make a confession admitting to be involved in taking hostage the Muslim girl.

Tragically, the father of the accused died of a heart attack whilst in custody. The investigation officer – IO, Mohd Shabbir stated that the police kept these two for their own good and well being. He advised that all action taken was for the safety of the Christian community; for they have to show them that the administration has kept those to convince the extremists. Later they were released, with sore bodies.

Christians and Hindu girls are abducted, forcefully converted to Islam and married to influential Muslims, but police do not file any case against Muslims even the court do not support in this matter. But if Muslim girl marries a Christian boy willingly, extremists arrive to vandalize the Christian communities. Isn’t inhuman?


About Shamim Masih

"I am Christian rights activist and freelancer Pakistani journalist specializing in writing about Christians rights for the different papers in the world. My aim is to create a peaceful environment in the society and to help eliminate Christian persecution through my writing as I bring the plight of these brave people under the spotlight of the whole world."

Shamim Masih was born in Sheikhopura's village and raised in Gujranwala, a city in Pakistan's Punjab province. He earned his Bachelors Degree from the University of the Punjab, Lahore majoring in English, Economics and Statistics; he also received a Masters Degree in Business Administration

As a freelance writer and author, Shamim has written for different papers in the world; his expertise is in writing articles highlighting different social issues. He has served as freelance chief reporter and column writer in “Minority Times” in Islamabad, and a number of Shamim's articles have been published in local papers as well.

You can write to Shamim at this address:


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Jimmy February 18, 2014 3:45 pm (Pacific time)

So, "anonymous", I was not aware that the US military was made up of persons of a particular faith. Surely you can find something better than that!

Jimmy I'm just saying that the problems are all the same, millions have been slaughtered in the name of Christianity and that is so undeniable; it is like you forgot about the 1.5 million Iraqi human beings dead from the US war waged over bad information. 

I hate what these creepy extremists do, but I report as much about the Sinhala Buddhists killing the Tamils in Sri Lanka and the Rakhine Buddhists killing Rohingya Muslims in Burma in actual Genocides.  I love Shamim and I have many Christian friends that I work with every day in Pakistan, but they and I do it for humanity, not because we want to just judge a religion over and over.  It isn't that religion, it is all religion, nobody is sticking up for the actions of these radical Islamists in Pakistan. 

Moreover, we expose the horrific acts of Sunni and Wahhabi extremists being funded by the US in Syria, killing Shi'ites and Christians and Jews; we write about Ethiopian Jews facing discrimination in Israel, everywhere a religious government exists, these problems go along with it.  Peace brother. Your anonymous friend Tim. :)

Anonymous February 18, 2014 2:30 pm (Pacific time)

Iraqi Muslim Woman Raped By U.S. Soldiers.

US Soldiers in St. Louis Admit to Rape and Murder in Iraq

Rape of Iraqi Women by US Forces as Weapon of War: Photos and Data Emerge

Jimmy February 18, 2014 10:59 am (Pacific time)

"Muslim mob sets out to burn village of Christian boy"
"Muslim mob would return and sat ablaze their houses"
"Jumma prayer, a large mob traveled to the Christian enclave intending to vandalize..."
"Christians and Hindu girls are abducted, forcefully converted to Islam..."

Can you find a story where the religion's are flipped and I'll be willing to change my opinion but until then...

Until then you will classify all people born into a particular faith as evil, got it, must be their fault for being born where they are.... really I think your mind is not so narrow.

Torture and Murder Ignored: Burma Falls Toward Ghastly Depravity

Jimmy February 18, 2014 7:38 am (Pacific time)

Tim, did you read the article?

Jimmy I edited the article from top to bottom, and I make it a point to cover this anti-Christian madness in Pakistan almost every single day, but it does not reflect upon an entire religion.  The Rohingya Muslim people are being slaughtered in Burma every single day, in that case they are total victims.  People all over the world use religion to persecute including Buddhists; but using it to brand an entire people however is the wrong way to go.  The problem is human behavior and false interpretation.  Peace and wisdom.

Jimmy February 17, 2014 11:44 pm (Pacific time)

Such a peaceful religion.

Yes I know you like to blame acts on religions Jimmy, thanks.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.