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The Barbarism Continues in Pakistan

Caution: This story may make you sick to your stomach, especially the description of the mutilation of a young Christian boy in Pakistan. The barbarians there are not just trying to burn an 11-year old girl for blasphemy, they’re actually chopping up little kids.

Detectives in Faisalabad, around 60 miles from Lahore, said they were investigating whether accusations of blasphemy had also been made against the boy.

Human rights campaigners condemned the killing of Samuel Yaqoob whose burned and tortured body body was discovered on Eid, the celebration which marks the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

His lips and nose had been sliced off, his stomach removed and there was evidence that his legs had been mutilated too.

The boy had been missing since Monday when he left his home in the town’s Christian Colony to visit a local market. His relatives identified his body from a distinctive mark on his forehead.

Now here’s the part that seems really odd to me:

Yaquub was reported to be an orphan but in local newspaper reports his mother Asia Bibi was quoted denying he had been accused of blasphemy. “We neither received any phone call for ransom nor were we told that Samuel had committed blasphemy,” she said.

Could this really be the son of Asia Bibi, a woman accused of blasphemy herself? Last I knew, she was still in jail while appeals are heard of her own death sentence for blasphemy, and her family had gone into hiding. I hope subsequent reports will clear that up.

Things like this leave me feeling very gloomy about our whole species. I simply don’t understand how any human being could actually do something like this. How is it that so much of our species remains so utterly barbaric and cruel that they could mutilate and kill a child who has done nothing to harm them? My mind can’t grasp such hideousness. It just can’t.

Comments

  1. blf says

    There is what seems to be some good news about the young girl, Pakistani Muslim leaders support Christian girl accused of blasphemy:

    Unprecedented move comes after 11-year-old thought to have Down’s syndrome charged with desecrating the Qur’an

    Islamic leaders in Pakistan on Monday came out in support of a Christian girl with learning difficulties who is being held in prison, in an unprecedented public denunciation of the blasphemy law by hard-line mullahs.

    The All Pakistan Ulema Council, an umbrella group of Muslim clerics and scholars, which includes representatives from fundamentalist groups, joined hands with the Pakistan Interfaith League, which includes Christians, Sikhs and other religions, to call for justice for the girl, Rimsha, who is accused of blasphemy. They also demanded that those making false allegations be punished.

    Tahir Ashrafi, the chairman of the council, warned that the “law of the jungle” was gripping Pakistan, with police routinely pressured by baying mobs to register blasphemy charges, as happened in the case of Rimsha, which has made headlines around the world.

    There is still an awful lot of wrong in that case — starting with the concept of “blasphemy” — but this “unprecedented public denunciation of the blasphemy law by hard-line mullahs” seems like a good sign.

  2. says

    I’m not an isolationist, but I really think this incident should be taken as an opportunity for us to question what the US is accomplishing, or hopes to accomplish, in this mess of a failed state. If enough congresspersons make a huge stink of this, in the context of an actual proposal to make significant policy changes toward Pakistan, then maybe the attention it draws to events like this could do some good, at least by embarrassing whatever “government” pakistan has and maybe nudging them to take a stand against violent religious extremism.

    I know such radical proposals could inflame matters more — but things are already getting more inflamed each year, so is walking on eggs and donning multiple layers of kid-gloves really doing any good here?

  3. raven says

    I’m not going to read it for the reason Ed suggests. I’m way over my quota of barbarism and murders this week and it is only Tuesday.

    To state the obvious, Pakistan seems to be a boiling cauldron of ethnic and religious hate.

    1. There is a group of Moslems the Almaddiyahs that they’ve been persecuting for decades.

    2. The xians of course.

    3. There are a lot of Sufis. There are a lot of Sufi haters. They occasionally attack Sufis.

    4. There is a low level civil war between the Baluchis and the rest of Pakistan.

    5. There are battles between the Pashtuns and the rest of Pakistan.

    6. Of course, when they get bored with all those, there are the Indian Hindus. They’ve had three wars and every once in a while, there is another battle in Kashmir.

    Probably there are more.

    1. Is Pakistan a failing nation state? Got me, but it might be.

    2. How long can a nation without rule of law and high levels of murderous violence survive? Got me again but it didn’t work so well in Afghanistan or Somalia.

  4. jasonfailes says

    Whenever someone threatens hellfire, or real violence, or just defriends me on Facebook after learning I’m an atheist (or atheist+ nowadays), I always make sure to say/write:

    “Congratulations, you’ve just chosen an imaginary friend over a real one.”

    It’s on an entirely different scale here, of course, but the same choice is being made. The freedom, well-being, and lives of real flesh and blood people are seen as nothing to the whims (and evidently fragile ego) of an imaginary friend.

  5. Sastra says

    Terrible. Just terrible.

    When all REAL value resides in God — and human beings can only have the significance God grants them — then human beings are rather beside the point.

    I not only have trouble understanding incidents like this; I also have trouble understanding how some people can think that increasing faith and worship of God could be the solution.

  6. raven says

    I’ll add here that a lot of people consider Pakistan the greatest long term threat to world peace.

    1. They have around 100 nuclear warheads.

    2. They are making them as fast as they can.

    3. There have been 4 attacks by fundie Moslem militants on Pakistani nuclear installations. It’s not stated but we can assume they are trying to steal nuclear bombs.

    4. The country seems pretty fractured and unstable.

    It’s hard to say who the Pakistani fundie Moslems hate the most. Xians, Hindus, or each other.

  7. Reginald Selkirk says

    His relatives identified his body from a distinctive mark on his forehead.

    Harry Potter dead, again?

  8. Michael Heath says

    I perceive the amount of hatred for Muslims in this country remains enormous and unfortunately continues to increase. Fox News is stoking the fires. This story will not help; unfortunately because it will not help promote secularism and human rights as a reaction but instead promote Christianism over Islamism with all their shared bigotries, determined ignorance, xenophobia, and nationalistic fervor.

  9. interrobang says

    How is it that so much of our species remains so utterly barbaric and cruel that they could mutilate and kill a child who has done nothing to harm them?

    Ask John Wayne Gacy. Then ask yourself what happens if you get a society that provides perfect cover for John Wayne Gacys to flourish.

  10. says

    Could this really be the son of Asia Bibi, a woman accused of blasphemy herself?

    Christian Telegraph and some other news services are clarifying that it is not the same Asia Bibi.

  11. slc1 says

    Re raven @ #7

    I’ll add here that a lot of people consider Pakistan the greatest long term threat to world peace.

    Even greater then Mr./Ms. raven’s favorite bete noir, Israel, which may have as many as 600 nuclear devices.

  12. slc1 says

    It would not surprise me if some ignorant douchbags in Pakistan think that Ms. Bibi is somehow related to Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu.

  13. Arkady says

    The state of that country is thoroughly depressing. A pakistani friend (liberal, Dawkins-reading, doing a PhD in the UK) lost another friend last week, this time shot 4 times in the back of the head (the previous friend he lost, a couple of years ago, was killed in a suicide bombing outside a courthouse). His friend was another liberal, reform-campaigning and exactly the kind of person that country needs. It’s unknown yet whether he was killed for his activism or just a general victim of the violence.

    My friend is also exactly the kind of person Pakistan needs, but on a personal level I hope he never has to go back there long term.

  14. says

    “How is it that so much of our species remains so utterly barbaric and cruel that they could mutilate and kill a child who has done nothing to harm them? My mind can’t grasp such hideousness. It just can’t.”

    It’s simple really.
    Religion.

  15. typecaster says

    How is it that so much of our species remains so utterly barbaric and cruel that they could mutilate and kill a child who has done nothing to harm them? – Ed Brayton

    It’s simple really. Religion. – Evolouie

    That’s a big reason, but far from the only one. This case reminds me very much of Emmett Till. It remains to be seen whether it has the same sort of anti-lynching effect that Till’s case had here in the States, although I’d bet against it at this time.

    And these sorts of events do remind me of the lynching sprees (or pogroms, if you want to be more traditional) in the old South – both events are done to keep outgroups in their place, too afraid of the ingroups to make any trouble. Outgroups can be defined in all sorts of ways, religious certainly, but also racially or by language groups or some other criteria.

    As a species, we’re very inventive.

  16. laurentweppe says

    How is it that so much of our species remains so utterly barbaric and cruel that they could mutilate and kill a child who has done nothing to harm them?

    That’s the whole point: kill’em beore they grow and become capable of fighting back.

    ***

    Whenever someone threatens hellfire, or real violence, or just defriends me on Facebook

    Arson!
    Murder!
    Defriending!
    How dare they!

  17. birgerjohansson says

    Pakistan also committed atrocities in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) raping more than one million women, after a regional opposition party in East Pakistan won the election.
    A flood of ten million refugees crossed the border of India, and India finally intervened, crushing the Pakistani military.

    Afterwards, the Pakistani army also brutally suppressed an independence movement in Baluchistan.
    Pakistan has no cohesion, it is a jigsaw of different peoples only held together by military force. General -and president for life- Zia Ulhaq favoured Islamicists to make religion a uniting factor, an attempt that failed spectacularly.

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