Originally Published in The Richmond Times-Dispatch
Christians have endured persecution for so long in Pakistan that it may rightly be considered commonplace. Therefore, I had little hope for a pending case against Rimsha Masih — a 14-year-old Christian girl, who is also mentally ill, charged with allegedly burning the Quran.
But to the relief of Rimsha and people around the world, the high court recently cleared her of all charges. The problem of blasphemy, however, remains as Rimsha was exonerated not because Pakistan’s blasphemy laws were deemed unjust but because of Rimsha’s age and mental illness. A competent adult could still be charged under the blasphemy laws. Rimsha’s case, the lawyers argued, was special.
Pakistan, therefore, must pursue the real culprit — the cleric who actually framed this innocent girl. Pakistan must rid itself of these draconian laws. Until it purges itself of this sadistic regime, Rimsha will, sadly, remain the exception.
– Sardar Anees Ahmad. Richmond.