Tags: pakistani | woman | facebook | blasphemy | killed

Pakistani Woman's Facebook Post Leads to Angry Mob Killing: Report

Image: Pakistani Woman's Facebook Post Leads to Angry Mob Killing: Report
This photograph taken on July 27, 2014 shows an angry mob after they set fire to household items belonging to a minority Ahmadi Muslim resident in the low-income Arafat Colony of the eastern city of Gujranwala. (AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 09:20 AM

Three Pakistani women were killed by a mob over the weekend after one of them allegedly posted a blasphemous photo on Facebook, The Associated Press reported.

The rioting in the city of Gujranwala erupted late Sunday after claims that a member of the minority Ahmadi sect had posted a blasphemous photo of the Kaaba — the cube-shaped structure in the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which observant Muslims around the world face in prayer five times a day, police official Zeeshan Siddiqi said. He said the photo allegedly contained nudity.

The victims — a woman and her two granddaughters — died of suffocation after the mob lit several homes on fire, Siddiqi said, adding that another woman miscarried during the riots and was in a hospital.

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Like other Pakistani minorities such as Christians, Hindu, and Sikhs, Ahmadis have long been persecuted by Islamic extremists. They follow the self-proclaimed prophet Ghulam Ahmad and consider themselves Muslims, though Pakistani law forbids them from identifying themselves as Muslims.

In May, two Ahmadis, including a visiting American cardiologist of Pakistani origin, were shot and killed.

Siddiqi said the Gujranwala incident started when the son of a local prayer leader said an Ahmadi boy had posted the Kaaba photo on Facebook. A group of residents went to the boy's house, a brawl erupted and a bullet was fired, wounding the prayer leader's son.

Pakistani TV channels aired footage showing a mob armed with sticks, cheering outside Ahmadi houses set on fire in Gujranwala.

Blasphemy is a crime in Pakistan and those convicted of it can get life sentences or the death penalty. However, crowds or individuals often take the law into their own hands.

This climate of fear makes it difficult to prosecute blasphemy cases. Judges often hold court sessions inside jails because they are considered the only safe places for the proceedings. Witnesses are reluctant to testify in defense of people accused of blasphemy, fearing they also could be targeted.

In May, gunmen in the city of Multan killed a lawyer and a human rights activist who was representing a university professor on trial for blasphemy. The professor is also accused of posting blasphemous material at Facebook.

Blasphemy cases, which have been on the rise in Pakistan, are also often used to settle personal scores.

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Three Pakistani women were killed by a mob over the weekend after one of them allegedly posted a blasphemous photo on Facebook, The Associated Press reported.
pakistani, woman, facebook, blasphemy, killed
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2014-20-29
Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 09:20 AM
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