Christian nurse falsely accused of blasphemy in Pakistan
Morning Star News reports that nurse Sakina Mehtab said she was stunned to see videos of her Muslim colleagues marching on hospital premises in Lahore, Pakistan last week, shouting Islamist slogans and accusing her of blasphemy.
Mehtab had shared a video on WhatsApp of a Pakistani Muslim in Paris criticizing the response of Pakistani people and officials to a European Union Parliament resolution – an issue unrelated to any religious element, but her Muslim colleagues mislabeled it as critical of Islam.
Hours after she shared the video, a large group of Muslim nurses and paramedical staff, some armed with clubs and sticks, staged a protest rally. Witnesses said the protestors intimidated Christian workers in hospital wards and repeatedly tried to provoke them into fights. There are about 345 Christians in the 600-strong workforce.
The protestors then stormed into a hospital auditorium that Christian staff members and patients use for worship and prayer, desecrated Bibles and other property and asserted that there would be no more Christian prayer gatherings there, she said.
On the 9th of April, two Christian nurses complying with a supervisor’s orders to remove stickers at a government hospital were arrested in Faisalabad after a Muslim employee attacked one of them with a knife over the removal of a sticker bearing Koranic verses.
Nurse Mariam Lal and student nurse Navish Arooj were charged under Pakistan’s blasphemy statutes against “defiling the Koran” after an Islamist mob demanded “death to blasphemers” inside Civil Hospital, their attorney said. Conviction under Section 295-B is punishable by up to ten years of imprisonment. The two Roman Catholic nurses are in judicial custody while their families have gone into hiding out of fear of Islamist mobs.