Sargodha Mob Violence: Christian Family Targeted Over False Blasphemy Accusations

Farrukh Saif

May 25, 2024

A photo of Naveed Masih being attacked by the mob.

The situation in Sargodha, Pakistan, is deeply disturbing and tragic. A violent mob, incited by radical Islamist groups like Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), brutally attacked Nazir Gill Masih, a Christian owner of a small shoe factory in Mujahid Colony, Sargodha. After falsely accusing him and his son, Sultan, of blasphemy over a financial dispute with a Muslim.

This horrific act of mob violence is one of the highlights of the grave dangers faced by Pakistan’s Christian minority due to the country’s draconian blasphemy laws and the prevalence of religious extremism.

The Details Are Chilling:

Nazir Masih was attacked by the enraged mob, while his son Sultan also faced blasphemy accusations. The Local Muslims had grievances with them for a few years. And today, on 25th May 2024, they were accused of Desecrating the Quran by tearing its pages. The mob set fire to the house and factory, and Nazir was severely beaten and injured. The police arrived and rescued Nazir, but not before he was badly hurt. The police have taken the family into their protection and moved them to the Police Line Hospital, where Nazir has received medical treatment and is now out of danger.

Mob Attack:

While the police were rescuing Nazir a violent mob attacked the ambulance and police. As a result, the police have arrested around 20 violent mobsters in connection with the arson and creating a law-and-order situation.

Since last year, the tension between Christians and Muslims has been on the rise in the Sargodha district of Pakistan. Such false blasphemy allegations are often weaponized to settle personal scores or target religious minorities like Christians, who live under constant fear of reprisal attacks. The situation in Sargodha remains extremely volatile, with Christians fleeing the area amid rising tensions and threats of further violence. Police have cordoned off the Mujahid Colony to avoid any unpleasant incident. This incident appears to have been motivated by religious hatred and possibly some personal grudges.

These tragic incidents highlight the urgent need for reforms to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, which have repeatedly been exploited to persecute religious minorities and enable acts of vigilante violence by extremist mobs. The safety and security of Pakistan’s Christian community, as well as other religious minorities, must be a top priority for the authorities.

Please Pray for the Safety of Christians in Pakistan.

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Farrukh Saif

Farrukh H. Saif, a courageous Christian human rights activist, established the Farrukh Saif Foundation in 2009 to confront religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, and bonded slavery in Pakistan. His dedication to liberating bonded laborers from brick kilns and advocating for blasphemy victims and asylum seekers has garnered international acclaim. Despite encountering threats and fatwas, his impactful work persists in supporting marginalized communities. In 2018, the foundation merged with The Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved, enhancing its global outreach.

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