Text 'B' for Blasphemy

Pakistan's relentless persecution of Christians takes another twisted turn.

[](/sites/default/files/uploads/2013/07/cross.gif)On the evening of July 21, 2013, another blasphemy case was registered against the Christian couple in Gojra City in Punjab province.

From our contact in Pakistan:

Shafaqat Masih and his wife Shagufta Bibi were accused of blasphemy and arrested on July 21, 2013. The First Investigation Report (FIR) (No. 40713) was registered under 295-B and C against “anonymous.” The police had taken a cell phone and SIM card into custody. The phone was later found to be owned by Shagufta Bibi, wife of Shafaqat Masih. Police recorded the statement of the couple declaring their ownership of the phone and moved them to an unknown place for further investigation.

After taking necessary action and keeping the sensitivity of the issue in mind, the police sent the couple to Gojra Jail.

Earlier, Rana Mohammad Fiaz (complainant) informed the police that he had received a blasphemous text message from a private cell number. After the investigation, police found the phone’s SIM card data and once having the details, arrested the couple.

Background: The family is living in a pathetic situation, as the couple has four young children; the youngest one is 6 years old. Shagufta Bibi was working in a mission school and had sole responsibility for taking care of her children, as her husband is crippled and unable to earn a living.

Gojra City is known to be a very sensitive area in such cases. Earlier in 2009, radical Muslims set the Christian colony there ablaze and eight family members were burned alive. The fire was started from the Korian village district. Toba Tek Singh and so far hundreds of houses were turned to ashes there. Much family had left their houses and shifted to other areas of the country.

Sajjad Masih was sent to jail for life imprisonment in the same sort of text massage case. The city police of Gojra, in association with some fundamental Muslims, baited the Christian boy. The case was sent to the court of Main Shahzad Raza, Additional Sessions Judge Gojra, for trial.

The prosecution had failed to prove the case against Sajjad Masih. Even then Main Shahzad Raza, Judge of the Court, announced his judgment on July 13, 2013 and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

The Gojra area is known as a safe haven for the banned militant organization, Lashkar e Jhangvi. It was reported earlier that the local government is backing up this organization. And the case of Shafaqat Masih and his wife Shagufta Bibi is the continuation of the tragedy in Gojra.

We have not been able to understand the situation with the Pakistani courts; the text message/SMS is taken as sole evidence against the accused in blasphemy cases, whereas DNA test reports, which are an authentic proof of rape, are not acceptable according to Islamic Sharia law.

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