Earlier this month, Judge Javed Iqbal Bosal sentenced brothers Qaiser Ayub and Amoon Ayub to death for posting blasphemous material on the Internet. The Ayub brothers are Christians, and if the death sentence wasn’t enough, Judge Bosal also imposed a fine of ₹100,000 (Pakistan Rupees) (around $720.00).
My readers are probably shaking their heads and thinking, “That Mustang! This isn’t news! It happens all the time!” And, of course, whoever believes such a thing is absolutely correct. It does happen all the time. In fact, according to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), Pakistan is the world’s most pernicious prosecutor of Christians.
No one suggests that the Pakistani government receives money from Saudi Arabia for each Christian murdered, but it is certainly easy to come to such a conclusion — because no other country in the world tortures, rapes, or burns alive more Christians. Such behavior has become a national pastime — particularly when the Pakistani people find Christian words, expressions, or beliefs objectionable. Which, to be clear, is nearly everything. Something to remember before booking your next vacation to Pakistan.
What did the Ayub brothers post to the Internet that was so offensive? Good question. We don’t know because no one in Pakistan will offer detailed information about the allegations or the proof. Here’s what we do know: one of the brothers was dating a Moslem woman.
They argued. She, in a fit of rage, began searching her former boyfriend’s blog for some evidence that her (former) boyfriend violated Islamic law. She found the evidence she was looking for embedded in a blog he created on 9 June 2011 — and then promptly filed charges against him alleging blasphemy. Whatever it was, the evidence was enough to warrant (in the mind of a Pakistani judge) the death penalty. There is probably a lesson in this — for someone.
Pakistanis regard Christians as second-class citizens: they are discriminated against in every aspect of society — which is, by the way, a caste society. Church leaders are subject to arrest if they refuse to do what local religious police tell them. Generally, the arrests are warnings that worse things are not only possible but likely. In one recent example, Pakistani officials notified Christians that COVID-19 inoculations were only possible after converting to Islam. Worse, Pakistani medical officials placed unprotected Christians into COVID wards.
In February 2022, the Center for Social Justice (CSJ) surveyed the social, political, and religious situation of non-Muslim groups in Pakistani society. The CSJ report highlighted four areas of concern to Christians in Pakistan — primarily blasphemy and the forced conversion of Christians to Islam — (or death, as these Christians are free to choose).
The only purpose of the Pakistani blasphemy law is to abuse Christians. Quite literally, the Pakistan government files dozens of cases of blasphemy against Christians and then uses the legal system to murder them. The official numbers are low, but when adding to those statistics, the number of capital punishments by religious vigilantes and zealots, the numbers of Christian deaths is extraordinarily high.
So far in 2022, Pakistani Imams have forced 38 Christian women to convert to Islam — and, since there are no repercussions for doing such things, Islamists continue to assault Christian women. In the past decade, the Christian population in Pakistan decreased from 8.3 million to 7.8 million. How is this possible? False accusations of blasphemy lead to mob violence, kidnappings, forced marriages, and conversions.
Here’s the rub about Pakistan and its relationship with the United States. First, Pakistan is (and has always been) a client state of Saudi Arabia. Pakistan not only gave aid and comfort to Osama Bin-Laden, but it also provided tens of thousands of unemployed/unemployable Pakistani and Arabian fighters to Taliban and Al Qaeda forces operating in Afghanistan. One wonders why the United States treats the Pakis as friends rather than enemies.
Of course, I’m no attorney — but if the Ayub brothers ask me for my recommendation vis-à-vis their recent conviction, I will advise them not to pay the ₹100,000 fine.