Pakistan: Islamic extremists call for beheading of Christian couple acquitted in blasphemy case

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Islamic extremists in Pakistan are publicly calling for the beheading of a Christian couple and their attorney after the Lahore High Court quashed the couple’s 2014 conviction for alleged blasphemy and ordered their release from prison, Morning Star News.

Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel were convicted under Pakistan’s notoriously harsh blasphemy laws for allegedly sending text messages that were disrespectful to Islam, MSN said. The couple were in prison for seven years before the Supreme Court overturned their conviction on June 3 this year.

In a statement to MSN, the couple’s attorney Saif Ul Malook said religious-political extremists have publicly called for “beheading the heads of Shagufta, Shafqat and myself.”

Adding that social media has been flooded with hate posts against himself, the couple, and the two judges who overturned the conviction, Malook emphasized: “The lives of all of us involved in the case are at great peril. These messages from influential clerics belonging to various religious parties are prompting millions of Pakistani Muslims to kill us so that ‘they may go to paradise.’ It’s incentives like these that prompt poor Muslims to commit murders in cold blood.”

The Lahore high court decided to hear Shagufta and Shafqat’s appeal shortly after the European Union Parliament passed a resolution in April expressing particular concern for the lack of evidence in the couple’s case specifically, and noting the “alarming increase in the use of blasphemy accusations in the country.”