Christian teenager beaten to death by fanatic Muslim family


Lahore: July 20, 2008. (Jawad Mazhar reports for PCP): The corpse of a Christian youngster Peter 19 has been hauled out of a canal after he was brutally beaten to death in an 'honour killing' for courting a Muslim girl of 19, whose name is kept secre

This gruesome episode took place here at Lahore, Pakistan, PCP has learnt through Christian family members. Interfaith marriages between Christians and Muslims are allowed by the Islamic sharia. But such interfaith wedlocks are totally unacceptable and strongly opposed by the fanatic Islamic clerics and common hard line Muslims, according to local customs. The relationship of love developed between them through mobile phone chatting. One day Peter went out without his cell phone. When Muslim girl rang Peter’s mother received the call and discovering that her son's life was at immense risk, she tried to thwart him from further getting into this dangerous situation. Peter’s mother met Muslim girl's parents and informed them, too, so that they could nip the association in the bud. This deteriorated the circumstances of her son, as they issued a stark warning to Peter. They cautioned Peter's parents that they would not permit a Christian man to scandalize Islam, and in jeopardy to kill Peter if the relationship sustained. Muslim family became ruthless with Peter’s mother. They decided tie girl’s knot with a Muslim man, as soon as possible. By utilizing Muslim girl’s innocent love, they rang Peter and forced the girl to call him at some desolate place. He at once hired a motorbike and went to that secluded place – to his death, where girl's two uncles and her father manhandled him brutally. Christian family told PCP. Joseph Francis of CLAAS (Center for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement), which gives legal support to persecuted Christians in Pakistan , said: "They took Peter by force. They trussed him and tortured him for almost two days. Peter could not bear the severity of the torture and died eventually." And this was for merely talking to an intolerant, hard line Muslim neighbor's girl on the phone. Was it such a severe matter that he had to disburse a grave cost of it? CLAAS lawyers say the police rejected to report the case as murder and are insisting on registering the reason of bereavement as suicide. "The police were prejudiced, because it was a matter of religion," says Joseph Francis. CLAAS has now engaged in the case with the establishments and is imperative for justice for Peter's family. "Sadly, all too often, Christians in Pakistan are treated as substandard citizens with few civil liberties under the law. They face religious chauvinism in rare and disdain for the worth of human life. That prejudice is tinted here by the obvious negative response by the police to see that impartiality is done – regardless of religion. We should pray for Peter's family. May God give awareness to Pakistanis and moderate their third class conceptions that divide the human beings in different classes. Ferhan Mazher Chairman of ‘Rays Of Development Organization (ROD),’ condemned the killing of Christian Youth for merely talking to a Muslim girl on cell. He further added that ROD is doing its best to build society with interfaith peace, love, tolerance and harmony. Mazher went on saying that ROD is also toiling to eradicate all sorts of honour killings from the Pakistani Society, where people of diverse faiths co-exist. He also said that honour killing is a menace for Pakistani Society. Ferhan Mazher chief of ROD said that in future ROD plans to impart messages of mass interest against the honour killings and its victims. He also appealed to the government high-ups to intervene in this regard and take proper steps to obliterate the hostile attitude against the religious or ethnic minorities of Pakistan .

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