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Religious violence by mobs is more in Pakistan than any other country: Reports

Mob violence and state-enforced criminal blasphemy cases are more frequent in Pakistan than anywhere else, according to a report by United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Amidst political instabilities in Pakistan growing with every passing day, reports have appeared in various media houses in which it is said that the religious violence in Pakistan is more than that in any other country in the world. Imran Khan’s government is failed to curb the religious violence in Pakistan. Lynching, beheading, and misuse of blasphemy laws are common phenomena in Pakistan.

According to a report by the New York Times, lynching over offenses to Islam are not new in Pakistan. In fact, blasphemy is a punishable offense in Pakistan. Religiously motivated mobs in Pakistan often exploit anti-blasphemy laws to take matters into their own hands.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom mentioned in the report that instances of mob violence, and state-enforced criminal blasphemy cases, are more frequent in Pakistan than anywhere else in the world. In recent years these episodes have risen to an alarming level in Pakistan, with increasing cases of fatal violence.

The New York Times also quoted the incident of mob lynching of Muhammad Mushtaq who was accused of burning pages of the Quran inside a mosque in central Pakistan. The mob gathered at the mosque to kill him had sticks, bricks, and axes. Muhammad Mushtaq was dragged out of the mosque. He was tortured for hours before he was killed and his body was hung on a tree.

Tahira Abdullah, a human rights activist situated in Pakistan, said that “The lack of political will and commitment has always stood as the biggest obstacle to prevent the abuse, misuse, and exploitation of blasphemy laws.”

She further said, “Mr. Khan’s government is no different from its predecessors in promising to tackle the menace of religious violence. But it is too cowardly to confront influential religious parties in Parliament and the rampaging militant extremist groups outside Parliament.”

The report also tells that around 90 percent of the people involved in blasphemy violence are between the age of 18 and 30. According to the Center for Social Justice, a Lahore-based minority rights activists group, at least 84 people faced blasphemy accusations in courts and from angry street mobs in 2021. The incidents of vandalizing Hindu temples and neighborhoods, the burning of police stations by angry mobs are the direct results of the blasphemy allegations.

In December 2021, a Sri Lankan man Priyantha Kumara was tortured and burnt to death by an irate Islamist mob that believed rumors of blasphemy. A video of the horrifying incident had gone viral on Social Media.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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