Sunday, August 18, 2013

Another shocking piece of Pakistani 'justice' as court drops charges in Rimsha 'blasphemy' cleric case

Muslim imam, Khalid Jadoon, was arrested after being in accused of framing a young Christian girl, and now free

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

PAKISTAN (ANS) -- In another shocking case of Pakistani justice, a court in this predominately Islamic country, has dismissed charges against a Muslim cleric who had been arrested on suspicion of framing a Christian girl accused of blasphemy.

Rimsha Masih's arrest picture
The imam, Khalid Jadoon, had accused 14-year-old Rimsha Masih, an illiterate Christian girl, who had been scouring the area for paper that could be used for heating and cooking in her poverty-stricken home in a Christian conclave of Islamabad, the Pakistani capital city.

Rimsha was arrested on August 16, 2012, and accused of burning pages from the Koran. The bewildered teenager spent several weeks in prison before being freed.

Fearing for her life, she has since fled to Canada with her family.

According to the BBC, Jadoon was never formally indicted, as witnesses have now withdrawn their accusations and he has been freed.

"It had been claimed that he planted pages of the Koran in a bag containing ash which was seized from the girl, who is believed to have learning difficulties," said the BBC story.

Mr. Jadoon's attorney and a prosecution lawyer told BBC Urdu that a district court accepted there was no case to be heard against him.

Khalid Jadoon at his arrest
Shortly after Rimsha's arrest, Pakistan Today reported that a witness came forward and claimed that the cleric who played a major role in framing the charges of burning pages of the Koran, had fabricated the evidence by placing Koranic pages in the ash brought to him by the complainant.

Recording his statement before a magistrate in Islamabad, Hafiz Zubair said he and two other people were present in the mosque for Aitekaf [meditation] during the month of Ramadan in the mosque - situated in front of Rimsha's house.

That was when Malik Ammad, the complainant in the case, came to the mosque's imam Khalid Jadoon with a plastic bag that he claimed contained the ashes of a Noorani Qaida [a basic learning book of the Koran] allegedly burnt by Rimsha.

Zubair said Jadoon brought some pages of the Holy Koran from inside the mosque and mixed them with the ash.
A man, who said he was an eye-witness, said at the time, "I asked Jadoon why he was fabricating the evidence. He said that this would ensure a strong case against the girl and would ultimately help them in evicting the Christians from the locality."

Pakistan Today said the man added that the other two people present in the mosque at that time had also asked the imam not to place false evidence against the girl.

Khalid Jadoon has now gone free
On September 22, 2012, police investigating the case declared that prayer leader was guilty of the crime, adding that there was no evidence against Rimsha and that he had framed her.

Eventually, on Tuesday, November 20, 2012, as the worldwide community began protesting this case, there finally came some good news for the poor girl when the Islamabad High Court (IHC), ordered that the case against her be thrown out and she and her family had to go into hiding after receiving death threats and have since been given asylum in Canada.

But then, as the police continued their case against the imam, it was thrown into disarray after the three witnesses who had testified against him, then withdrew their testimonies, and now, after Rimsha Masih's life was changed forever, he is free and no punishment has been given him for what he allegedly did.

But I guess we shouldn't be too surprised, as this seems to be typical of Pakistani "justice" against the Christian community, and also other members of minority religions, when the controversial blasphemy laws come into play.

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