'Blasphemy' Threats Send Pakistani Worker, Married Couple Into Hiding

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

By Joseph C. DeCaro, Worthy News International Correspondent

BAHAWALNAGAR, PAKISTAN (Worthy News)-- Accusations of "blasphemy" in two Pakistani provinces have sent several people into hiding, according to Compass Direct.

In Chishtian, Bahawalnagar district, Muslims accused Tanvir Masih of New Christian Colony with blasphemy after he was found using a broom whose handle was covered with advertising cards bearing a verse from the Qur'an that read, "God is the best healer!" Masih was accused of defiling Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, and the Qur'an, by covering part of his broom with the ads.

Masih tried to explain that the cards he was given were written mostly in English, a language Masih didn't understand.

A representative of a pharmaceutical company confirmed to Compass that some of the firm's ad cards carry a small Qu'ranic verse.

After the matter was brought to Masih’s employer, it was determined that he had not committed blasphemy against Muhammad, the Qu'ran or Islam. However, when Masih emerged from the meeting, irate Muslims were waiting for him, so he ran for his life; Masih and his family have not been seen since.

In Karachi, Muslims threatened to charge a 33-year-old Christian with blasphemy as well as kill his Muslim wife, Mehwish Naz, for "apostasy" after he refused to divorce her, according to Compass News.

Shahbaz Javed said that one month after they married, his wife's Muslim parents threatening to kill her.

"Her parents said it would be much better for them to kill her rather than give her hand in marriage to a Christian youth's hand," Javed said.

When last heard, the family was still moving from one rented home to another to avoid being killed, or charged with apostasy.