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(UPDATED) Disabled Pakistani Girl Imprisoned For Blasphemy: VIDEO

[UPDATE: Turns out that the girl in the following story was very likely framed by a local cleric. Read more here.]

Here is a link to a very disturbing CNN story. It starts bad --

A Pakistani court postponed a hearing Saturday on whether to grant bail to a Christian girl accused of burning pages containing Quran verses in a case that has heightened religious tensions.

Muslim lawyers demanded she remain in jail during a tense hearing that included a shouting match with the judge. They provided a list of reasons she should be detained, including questioning whether the girl gave her lawyer the power of attorney.

A judge ordered investigators to get more details on her power of attorney, and postponed the hearing to Monday. Before Saturday, a decision was supposed to come Thursday, but was deferred so authorities could answer questions about her medical history.

"All these are the delaying tactics by the lawyers of the complainant to keep the girl in jail," said her lawyer, Tahir Naveed Choudhry.

Quran-- and gets worse.

The girl, it turns out, is desperately poor -- from such a backwards neighborhood that authorities can't tell if she's eleven years old, sixteen years old, or some age in between. Nobody else seems to know, either. (I get the impression the author of the CNN article thinks she's fourteen.)

Also: The girl's not being accused of burning the Qur'an pages out of some kind of anti-Islamism. She was trying to start a cooking fire, as many in her corner of the world must, with scrap paper.

Also: The only evidence that she did actually burn pages from the Qur'an come from eyewitnesses. As of yet, no physical evidence has been presented.

Also: Even if the girl actually did burn pages from the Qur'an, she wouldn't know it. She's illiterate.

Also: The girl is mentally disabled, and may have Down's Syndrome.

From CNN:

The court faces a difficult decision amid concerns that if she is released on bail, she could be at risk from Muslims angered by the allegations against her.

Choudhry, a leading member of the Christian community, said the girl is too young to stay in prison and would be safer joining her relatives, who are in hiding.

"She was crying in the jail and missing her parents," he said.

Choudhry suspects the girl's trial could take up to two years. If convicted of blasphemy, the disabled, illiterate young girl could face life in prison.

For obvious reasons, CNN hasn't named the suspected blasphemer. AFTER THE JUMP, see CNN's Reza Sayah discussing the story from Islamabad.


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  1. I need to get a hold of a quran and wipe my ass with it.

    Posted by: Otkon | Sep 1, 2012 4:20:36 PM

  2. Most of the Islamic world is stuck in the 8th century. They are where Christianity and Judaism were a thousand years ago.

    Posted by: andrew | Sep 1, 2012 4:25:59 PM

  3. @Andrew: ...and desperately want to return to.

    There, fixed it for ya! :)

    Posted by: Marc C | Sep 1, 2012 4:41:00 PM

  4. I have to question the competence of the lawyers. Instead of trying to get evidence, they're making arbitrary whining points. If you don't know if she has a lawyer, you're completely incompetent!

    Posted by: Garst | Sep 1, 2012 4:51:30 PM

  5. Die you fu*king idiots. Just die.

    Posted by: Alejo | Sep 1, 2012 4:58:13 PM

  6. @Garst: They all are together in it. They're doing it deliberately. Just the thought of the girl might being 11 years old and in prison is painful. I can only imagine what it would be for her.

    Posted by: Alejo | Sep 1, 2012 5:00:47 PM

  7. AWFUL!!! This is who Christians need to be worried about- not the fact they might have to live next door to a gay married couple with kids- who might be Christians too!

    The true extremism in this world needs to be called out and fought. I just wanna slap these townspeople and say," If you have nothing better to do than watch a poor Down Syndrome kid try to start a fire and then have her arrested, terrorize her, threaten to jail her or execute her- you have too MUCH F*CKING time on your hands!!!!!"

    Why we need to severely limit or curtail foreign aid. I'm a big believer when people act like human beings and dont try to kill each other over being OFFENDED.

    Posted by: scott | Sep 1, 2012 5:20:09 PM

  8. @Marc C: Dispite what some bible thumpers in the USA want the Western World will not tolerate their going back. The problem with Islam is that it doesn't even seem to be inching forward and they have centuries and centuries to go.

    Posted by: andrew | Sep 1, 2012 5:27:40 PM

  9. Islam is just another religion that is used by the powerful to maintain the social order and keep certain people at the top while exploiting many- there are a lot of christians that do this too, and people of other non-abrhamic religions. The fact that they were at one point conquered and had Islam foisted on them is not the real issue, the real issue is compared to the rest of the world many areas of pakistan stopped advancing past the dark ages and no one ever saw getting their society to be a better place as a priority.

    Let's not forget that while europe was busy destroying science and technology in the middle ages the entirety of what would become the field of moderns medicine was being kept alive by muslim countries. Case in point- Avicenna

    It's not the religion, it's the culture that the religion is in. To say islam its self breeds backwardsness is demonstrably false

    Posted by: MaddM@ | Sep 1, 2012 5:29:37 PM

  10. @MADDAM: Its the Quran that breeds the culture. Surely you have read it and realize what a primitive collection of nonsense it contains. It is much like the bible. However, most of us in the Western World have learned to ignore most of the biblical nonsense. Those in the Muslim world still want to kill or imprison people who "defame" their primitive book.

    Posted by: andrew | Sep 1, 2012 5:49:53 PM

  11. And yet they live in such a poverty and misery that if someone wished them any bad would be pointless. I would fall for the “I they were well enough fanaticism wouldn't be so blatant” speech, but proof is that rich Muslim countries can be as equally barbaric.
    The best we can do is to try to avoid their fanaticism to permeate among us, along with their older brothers, the Christian fanatics.

    Posted by: SayTheTruth | Sep 1, 2012 6:51:24 PM

  12. Pakistan An American ally in the fight against terror? I think not.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Sep 1, 2012 7:16:05 PM

  13. Just to get the facts right, there is some disagreement as to whether the girl is mentally disabled - some Pakistani news sources claimed that while the police apparently stated otherwise. She is, according to the media, illiterate, and there appears to be no disagreement about that.

    It's hardly reasonable to convict her of a crime if she can't read, regardless of any disabilities.

    Posted by: Bill | Sep 1, 2012 7:48:09 PM

  14. You cannot reason with these people...They are simply incapable of critical thinking...Think white Southern Evangelicals times a million...It just gives me the heebee jeebees...these people are freaking cavemen!

    Posted by: Sue | Sep 1, 2012 8:10:09 PM

  15. Every single day, I loose faith in humanity... we are the worst animal that has roamed this earth...

    Posted by: Carlos | Sep 1, 2012 9:35:49 PM

  16. I have a hard time with an illiterate (possibly with Down Syndrome) 14 year old being labeled a Christian. If she's illiterate and mentally challenged, how is that possible????

    Posted by: RJ | Sep 1, 2012 10:01:30 PM

  17. If she is innocent of purposeful blasphemy because of illiteracy and mental incapacity, God will take care of her, whatever people may do.

    Posted by: gregory brown | Sep 1, 2012 10:23:35 PM

  18. RJ: it's mostly Protestants of some kind who say that informed choice is necessary to become a "Christian" (putting aside any notions of "salvation". Catholics baptise fetuses sometimes, and add those to the count.

    Posted by: gregory brown | Sep 1, 2012 10:27:50 PM

  19. Ah, the Religion of Peace proceeds apace...

    Posted by: ludovico | Sep 1, 2012 10:38:42 PM

  20. You know, I've been following this story on NPR for over a week. And I've been really interested to hear what happened. But it's funny how one little turn of phrase can turn me off: "the most disturbing CNN story you'll read in months".

    Don't tell me what's disturbing to me. Just don't, Brandon. WTF.

    Posted by: Scot Colford | Sep 1, 2012 11:33:54 PM

  21. This is definitely atrocious and raises all the same fears and accusations against Islam. But let's not pretend that Christianity got past this point in the 8th century. Anti-blasphemy laws were enacted in nearly all the original American states just over 200 years ago and countless good people were hunted down, railroaded, and imprisoned for "blaspheming" the Christian God. Even today, Christian pastors publicly call for the execution of gays for "choosing lifestyles" that "blaspheme God." Yes, the event in Pakistan is so much worse in that it involves an innocent child. But, many U.S. Christians seem to advocate returning to the days when people were imprisoned and executed for something they consider similar.

    Posted by: belo | Sep 1, 2012 11:50:41 PM

  22. No comment from Little Kiwi on this topic. Very interesting.

    Posted by: andrew | Sep 2, 2012 12:02:27 AM

  23. Scot Colford:

    You're right. I don't like that line, either. Sorry -- blogs are usually first drafts, and some bum sentences make it through. I've changed that particular bum sentence to something less presumptuous.

    Thanks for reading,
    - BKT

    Posted by: Brandon K. Thorp | Sep 2, 2012 12:54:53 AM

  24. From the BBC: "Pakistani police have arrested an imam accused of planting burnt pages of the Koran in the bag of a Christian girl accused of blasphemy, officials say."

    The sad thing to see is how the leadership of Pakistan and influential Westerners condone this behavior. The Pakistani High Commissioner to the UK was on the BBC last week peddling excuses for why the blasphemy laws haven't been changed and he essentially said that they couldn't do it without 100% support in the legislature. In other words, his government refused to change the law on their own even though they have a legislative majority. The BBC presenter (another Pakistani) made no question of his response. Sickening.

    Posted by: Petes | Sep 2, 2012 2:32:13 AM

  25. Scot Colford, you are an idiot. It's a blog for chrissakes, not the New York effing Times. If you don't like it, piss the hell off!

    Brandon, there's no need to kowtow to imbeciles. I'm a grown up--even if I think you're hyperbolizing, I can still form my own opinion after reading your post.

    Posted by: Asher | Sep 2, 2012 3:45:25 AM

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