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Thursday 26 September 2013

After the bombs.... more atrocities

Christians all over Pakistan have been demonstrating over the ongoing attacks on Christians, and in particular over Sunday's double suicide bombing of an after church meal in Peshawar.

However, we are receiving reports of violence against Christians as a result of these protests.  Gangs of Muslim youths are reported to have burned a church and Christian houses and properties in Karachi, and tried to burn a second church down before being stopped by Christian youths.

In Iqbal Town in Islamabad, Christians were protesting outside a Unitarian church, when seven or eight masked men rushed in and started beating the Christians.  Witnesses (anonymous due to fears for their safety) said that after the incident some of the protestors, including a pastor were missing.  Some also claim that police were involved, punishing Christians for holding protests on the main highway for several days.

There are also horrific, but so far unconfirmed reports that body parts and organs from the bomb victims in Peshawar had been stolen and were being put on sale, allegedly by local paramedics and criminal gangs.  If true, then here we have Muslim criminals making money out of the suffering of the Christian victims in a truly blasphemous and sacrilegious way, strongly reminiscent of the way that the Nazi's profited from the bodies of the Holocaust victims they massacred.

Meanwhile, in South West Pakistan a major earthquake has collapsed houses and left over 300 dead.  The earthquake was so powerful it created a new island off the coast.

On top of the barbarity of the bombings, and the reminder about the trade in body parts, stories emerged that tell of the medieval barbarity of parts of Pakistani society, namely the ongoing practice of  trial by ordeal / fire in some tribal regions as a form of justice.  These are popular because they are quick and cheap, unlike Pakistani's notoriously slow and expensive (corrupt) legal and court system.  Feudal lords and tribal councils, or jirgas still make rulings on disputes and crimes like theft, murder, and girls falling in love with inappropriate men, and in some cases the accused are made to walk across 15 foot long beds of burning coal.  If their soles are unmarked, they are declared innocent.

The extent of the depravity of Pakistani society has now also reached Israeli newspapers, with one writer highlighting the case of Kainat, a 13 year old girl who yearned to be a doctor, but who was drugged, kidnapped and gang-raped for four days before she escaped back to her family.  Instead of the usual custom of killing her in an 'honour' killing, the family fought for justice, a commodity hard to find in Pakistan in these cases.  Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised to learn that the police refused to act, because the rapists were powerful in their community.  It is common for powerful village men to rape girls and then kill them for having 'shamed' their family.  In this case, with the help of a pro-bono lawyer, the family managed to have the men arrested and in jail for three years, but the men managed to arrange for her supportive brother to be murdered, and the police quietly closed the murder investigation.  They also won their case, amidst supporters mobbing the court house shouting that 'Kainat is a whore'.  How?  They 'proved' that the thirteen year old married one of the rapists because her thumbprint was on a marriage document and there was a photo of them with Kainat smiling.  Even though such young marriage is technically illegal in Pakistan, the hideous sharia law prevailed, the rapists went free, with the 'bridegroom' demanding that the girl be returned to him.

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