Rimsha Masih’s Unending Nightmare

After being acquitted in January 2013 of blasphemy charges, Pakistan’s Supreme Court has now reopened the case against Rimsha Masih, a 14-year-old Pakistani Christian girl believed to suffer from mental disabilities.

Rimsha’s case had drawn international attention as well as corresponding outrage after the young girl was arrested  at her home in August 2012 and charged with blasphemy upon being accused by a Muslim neighbor of allegedly burning pages from a Koran.

It should be noted that running afoul of Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws can earn sentences of death or life in prison for those convicted of desecrating Islam’s holy book or insulting its Prophet Muhammad.

For her part, Rimsha, who worked as a maid at the time, denied through her attorney any blasphemous wrongdoing, claiming she was simply burning garbage and “did not know a Koranic book was among the papers because she cannot read.”

Moreover, Pakistan’s Minister for National Harmony, Paul Bhatti, said that given Rimsha’s mental disorder, it was unlikely the young girl had “purposefully desecrated the Koran.”

Unfortunately, Rimsha’s illiteracy and mental impairment were not persuasive enough arguments in which to prevent Pakistani police from incarcerating the young girl for the alleged heretical act.

Yet, in September 2012, Rimsha’s case seemingly took a turn for the better when Pakistani police arrested a local Muslim cleric, Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti, and charged him with planting the burned Koranic pages in an effort to frame Rimsha.

According to a police official Chishti “put pages into the ashes, showed them to the people of the area, and gathered them to attack the girl’s house.”

Those charges were corroborated by three officials from Chishti’s mosque who told a judge that Chishti’s attempt to incriminate Rimsha was part of a broader plan by the cleric to oust Christians living in the poor Mehrabad neighborhood of Islamabad where Rimsha and her family lived.

Of course, that revelation most likely raised few eyebrows given that Pakistan’s blasphemy statutes are often used and abused to either settle personal scores or as weapons in which persecute religious minorities, such as Christians, Hindus and Ahmadis.

Still, the officials testified that they had urged Chishti to not go through with his plan, efforts which apparently had little effect on the Imam who reportedly replied, “You know, this is the only way to expel the Christians from this area.”

Unfortunately, Chishti’s plan almost worked to perfection.  Soon after the accusations were levied against Rimsha, an angry Muslim mob numbering in the thousands gathered outside Rimsha’s house, where they threatened to burn down Christian homes in the neighborhood if police did not arrest the young girl.

To that end, over a thousand Christians in the area were forced to flee their homes, seeking shelter in church compounds or sleeping outdoors, a move which at the time, according to the head of a Pakistan-based human rights group, was “the largest reallocation of Christians from any area of Pakistan.”

To this day, many of those same Christian families have yet to return to their homes, fearful of Muslim reprisals. Included in that exiled group is Rimsha, her parents and relatives, all of whom have been in hiding since Rimsha was released on bail in September 2012.

Rimsha’s flee to safer confines was certainly understandable given that in Pakistan, those accused of blasphemy, more often than not, never see their cases settled by a Pakistani court but instead are forced into hiding or killed by mobs before they even stand trial.

Since 1990 at least 60 Christians accused of blasphemy have been killed extra-judiciously by enraged Muslim mobs or individuals.

For his part, Chishti, who has been out on bail since October 2012, has denied the allegations levied against him. Moreover, the prospect of Chishti paying any judicial price for his misdeeds seem fairly remote given that the witnesses who testified against him have since recanted their statements.

Despite that, the case against Rimsha appeared to have been settled in November 2012 when the Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed the blasphemy charges against her, finding that there was no evidence that she had been seen burning the Koranic pages.

Rimsha, however, was still not out of the Pakistani judicial woods as shortly after the IHC ruling, the neighbor who had initially accused Rimsha of blasphemy, Malik Ammad, filed an appeal to Pakistan’s Supreme Court, claiming that “the police had shown bias in investigating the charges against Rimsha.”

Yet, in January 2013 Pakistan’s Supreme Court upheld the IHC decision when it voted to acquit Rimsha of all charges of blasphemy, a decision which presumably ended all further legal challenges in her case. As Rimsha’s attorney, Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, said at the time, “The SC’s decision has put an end to future contentions on the case.”

As for the fate of Rimsha and her family, Chaudhry said “we will now seriously consider relocating them to some other city so that they can resume their normal lives now that the case has reached its logical end.”

Unfortunately, that pronouncement has been proven woefully premature as the Pakistani Supreme Court voted at the end of March to reopen the case after receiving an appeal from a police investigator who claims he “was pressured by the government to drop charges against her after an international outcry.”

So now Rimsha Masih once again faces the prospect of life in prison for a crime she clearly did not commit, a fate that perhaps only a deafening international outcry can prevent from happening.

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  • Mary Sue

    freaking Pakistan.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    What I find most disgusting in this fraudulent charge is that Muslims routinely blow up Mosques
    with Islamists inside holding thier holy Koran and it is ho hum just another day in thier endless
    killing of each other. Some freak with a grudge against this child or her family or just because
    they are Christians accuses her of something only his demented mind could come up with
    and she is taged simpleminded. Well how about all of these people being in need of serious
    therapy and not the ravings of a seventh century madman……………….William

  • Grocer

    The only reason we should not pull out of Pakistan post haste is to make it stronger to resist the Pakistani elites. Many Afghans may hate us, but they do not want to be rules by other groups beyond their borders.

    After our pull out we should cut aid to Pakistan & let their economy suffer. then they can reap the whirlwind.

  • BS77

    Anyone having to live in a hell hole like Pakistan, Sudan, Somalia etc etc would have a mental disorder. How could anyone live in these horrible places without going mad?

  • Mel

    What Pakistan's SC is doing is unimaginably cruel. It is malevolence at its worse. It gives a whole new meaning to the word "savagery". What kind of people can punish a child with a disability for a so-called "crime" she did not commit? Are these Islamic leaders so insecure, so weak, so childish that they have to take out their vindictive venom on a helpless child? Shame on Pakistan! Shame on these Islamic leaders and the ignorant mobs who follow them.

  • LindaRivera

    Mega millions of dollars, plus hundreds of millions of British pounds are gifted to Pakistan:

    telegraph.co.uk: Why are we giving aid to Pakistan?..The big winner was Pakistan which is now on course to become the biggest recipient of British foreign aid – some £450 million per year by 2015….

    Theresa May, the Home Secretary, elucidated it most clearly in a speech to police officers (who proved an unreceptive audience):

    "If you get aid right in certain parts of the world, such as Pakistan, it will reduce the possibility of terrorism on the streets of the UK," she said… http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/robcrilly/10020

    The money ENCOURAGES and REWARDS Pakistan for their satanic persecution of Hindus and Christians. Non-Muslim suffering is ignored by our ruthless ruling elites.

    Western leaders have a MORAL obligation to rescue innocent, terrified Rimsha and her family, plus all of the Christians, Hindus and Sikhs out of hell-on-earth Pakistan. Instead, God-hater Western leaders have colonized our countries with MANY MILLIONS of Muslims eager to OBEY commands in the Quran and mosques to wage jihad against hated non-Muslims and conquer our countries. There are MASSIVE numbers of infidel-hater Pakistani Muslims in Britain.

    INHUMAN, demonic Muslim monsters continue subjecting Britain’s non-Muslim children to extreme physical and sexual violence. Britain's children suffer severe persecution because they don't worship the deity Muslims call Allah.

    In OBEDIENCE to the Quran, devout Muslims are waging war against Britain and Europe and waging RAPE WAR against British children

    Muslim Gangs Drug & Rape Children All Over The UK – Britain Finally Starts To Wake Up http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embed


    THERE IS NO ONE TO HELP THE CHILDREN! That is why we desperately need Paul Weston’s new political party, Liberty GB! http://libertygb.org.uk/v1/

    British Schoolgirl’s Testimony – Muslims Threaten Children With Violence & Rape Outside School Daily http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embed

  • john spielman

    wow what an evil government / court system. That a countryengaged in an out right civil war between the army trying to hold the country together and the taliban and other groups trying to tear it apart, would be concerned about investiaging ,nay persecuting this poor wopman for of all the ridiculous charges -blasphemy.

  • Lan Astaslem

    As much as the multiculti crowd tries to convince us otherwise, yes Virginia, some cultures ARE better than others.

  • kaz

    perhaps before they stone her the peaceful muslims will explain just why a christian girl ever had posession of a muslim crime manual to begin with. perhaps her peaceful muslim neighbors put it in her trash? nah, couldnt be a set up by peaceful members of the most evil gang of criminals to ever roam the earth. no way peaceful muslims would lie to cleanse the infidel from their precious crimeland. this once again demonstrates the great benefits we will gain from importing members of the religion of peace to our country.

  • Tom Stafford

    Religion of peace my behind. How did the pages of the Koran end up in the garbage in the first place? It seems like the folks she was working for would be to blame. But, it goes a long way toward demonstrating who these Moslems are in their hearts.