PAKISTAN – Christian man charged with blasphemy ‘for insulting Muhammad’ in Whatsapp poem
A Christian man, Nadeem Masihm, is on the run in Pakistan after he was charged with blasphemy for allegedly sending his Muslim friend an offensive poem on WhatsApp. The friend accused Nadeem of insulting Islam, claiming the poem was derogatory about the Prophet Muhammad and other Islamic holy figures.
A local law enforcement official confirmed “Police have registered a case on blasphemy charges against Nadeem Masihm and are searching for him as he has fled his home.” Another police official said Mr Masihm’s relatives had been taken into “protective custody.”
In the meantime, security had been increased in Christian neighbourhoods in the town of Sara-e-Alamghir in Punjab province because of local tension following the allegation. Previous allegations of blasphemy have spawned mob violence and vigilante attacks on Christians.
Critics of Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws say they are often abused by individuals to settle petty grievances and to persecute minority faiths. The blasphemy laws impose the death penalty for insulting Islam or Mohammed.
Although a majority-Muslim state, Pakistan has a Christian population of more than two million.