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Pakistan: How good deed of Christian man Nazir Masih led to his lynching by Islamists over ‘blasphemy’

The victim's nephew Sajid told Swarajya, "My uncle was only trying to do a good deed by cleaning the street, but see what it did to him."

On Saturday (25th May), an elderly Christian man named Nazir Masih was lynched by a frenzied Muslim mob over dubious allegations of Toheen-e-Mazhab (blasphemy). The incident took place in Mujahid Colony in Sargodha city in Punjab province of Pakistan.

The Muslim mob vandalised Masih’s house, looted his factory and set him ablaze over rumours that he burnt pages of the Quran. In reality, the victim was acting out of goodwill and that cost him his life.

While speaking about the matter to Swarajya, the nephew of the victim Tariq Sajid said that a massive storm swept through their neighbourhood in the intervening night between 24th May and 25th May.

As a result, debris accumulated on the street in Mujahid Colony and made it difficult for people to commute. The elderly Christian man swept the street and collected the garbage near an electricity pole, without knowing that it contained a box full of pages from the Quran.

Nazir Masih then set the garbage on fire. A Muslim passerby saw the victim burning the debris and concluded that he intentionally burnt the holy Islamic text. This gave rise to a rumour that the Christian man deliberately committed blasphemy.

Sajid told Swarajya, “My uncle was only trying to do a good deed by cleaning the street, but see what it did to him.” He added that the contents of the box (known as Muqaddas Quran) must have accidentally fallen into the trash during the storm.

Reportedly, the radical Islamist outfit Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) put up boxes on street corners across Pakistan so that people can keep discarded holy texts in them instead of garbage bin.

According to Sajid, a jealous woman must have triggered the Muslim mob by falsely accusing Nazir Masih, a well-to-do Christian, of blasphemy.

“I’ve been observing blasphemy cases since the 1980s, and in ninety per cent of the cases, personal jealousy is the driving force behind rumours of blasphemy against members of minority communities,” Sajid told Swarajya.

“Sometimes, something as simple as a Christian wearing a nice suit can be enough to incite them to plot our downfall,” he concluded.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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

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