Christian protesters, police clash in Pakistan
LAHORE, Pakistan — Hundreds of Christians clashed with police across Pakistan on Sunday, a day after a Muslim mob burned dozens of homes owned by members of the minority religious group in retaliation for alleged insults against Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
Government spokesman Pervaiz Rasheed promised the government would help the Christians rebuild their houses, but the protesters expressed dissatisfaction with the way the government was handling the incident.
“I have been robbed of all of my life's savings,” said Yousuf Masih, standing outside his burned home. He said the government's announcement that it would give 200,000 rupees ($2,000) compensation to each family was a joke.
Police official Malik Awais said the protesters were demanding the government raise the compensation amount from 200,000 rupees ($2,000) to 1 million rupees ($10,000).
Christians are often the target of Pakistan's harsh blasphemy laws, which rights activists say are frequently used to persecute religious minorities or settle personal disputes. Politicians have been reluctant to reform the laws for fear of being attacked by religious radicals, as has happened in the past.
The latest incident began Friday when a Muslim in the eastern city of Lahore accused a Christian man of blasphemy. The next day, hundreds of angry Muslims rampaged through the Christian neighborhood, burning about 170 houses.
No Christians were hurt in Saturday's attack in Lahore because they had fled. But police were criticized for failing to prevent the mob from attacking the Christians' homes.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- France supports renegotiating Greek debt
- Hong Kong protesters return
- Iraqi libraries ransacked
- Fighting rages in Ukraine as peace talks fail
- Milan Expo 2015 tightens security
- Nigerian troops repel Islamic terrorists attacking Maiduguri
- Egypt releases, deports Australian reporter; fate of 2 others unclear
- Upcoming speech to Congress stirs backlash in Israel
- Obama trip to India yields series of modest proposals on trade, investment
- Leaders mark Auschwitz liberation 70 years on without Putin
- Jordan agrees to ISIS swap, releasing suicide bomber to get pilot back