11 Year Old Pakistani girl accused of Quran burning could face death penaltySubmitted by go213mph on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 11:19
Religions of tolerance, peace, and love? Stories like this make me even more proud to be an Atheist!
An 11-year-old Christian Pakistani girl could face the death penalty under the country's notorious blasphemy laws, after she was accused by her neighbours of deliberately burning sacred Islamic texts.
Rifta Masih was arrested on Thursday, after complaints against her prompted angry demonstrations. Asif Ali Zardari, the president, has ordered the interior ministry to investigate the case.
As communal tensions continued to rise, about 900 Christians living on the outskirts of Islamabad have been ordered to leave a neighbourhood where they have lived for almost two decades.
On Sunday, houses on the backstreets of Mehrabadi, an area 20 minutes' drive from western embassies and government ministries, were locked with padlocks, their occupants having fled to already overcrowded Christian slums in and around the capital.
One of the senior members of the dominant Muslim community told the Christians to remove all their belongings from their houses by 1 September. "I don't think anyone will dare go back after this," said one Christian, Arif Masih. "The area is not safe for us now."
A few brave souls have stayed behind, but shopkeepers have refused to serve their Christian neighbours or supply them with water. Locals say only about 10% of families in the area are Christian, renting cramped houses from Muslim landlords. They tend to do dirty, menial jobs such as sewer maintenance.