American Muslims call for release of Pak girl held on blasphemy charges

Friday, August 24, 2012
[PHOTO: Marlith
Washington/Islamabad: A prominent Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization called on the government of Pakistan to release Rimsha Masih, a 11-year-old Christian girl who is being held on blasphemy charges after she was accused of burning pages from a textbook that included verses from the Quran. Human rights organizations report that the girl, who is a minor, may have Down syndrome.

In a statement issued to the press, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said, "It is imperative that the government of Pakistan immediately release Rimsha Masih and ensure her safety and that of her family and their community. The arrest of such a young person, especially if she has a mental disability, is a serious violation of Islamic principles.”

CAIR asserted that “human rights violations like this must be condemned and challenged not only because of their great injustice against vulnerable people”, but also because they are “falsely committed in the name of Islam.”

The organization also asked Pakistani officials to investigate reports of an angry mob playing a role in inciting this arrest.

"In this incident it is not the girl who violated Islam's teachings but the extremists who seem to have fueled this unfounded anger. We recognize that President Zardari has ordered local officials to explain the arrest, but we urge more concrete actions to protect minorities and other vulnerable members of society," the statement further said.
Next Post »