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Pak Christian held for burning Quran

Pak Christian held for burning Quran

Author: Report
Publication: Rediff on Net
Date: June 29, 2005
URL: http://in.rediff.com/news/2005/jun/29pak.htm

Police have arrested a Christian man in northwestern Pakistan after complaints that he tore pages from the Quran and set them on fire, an official said Wednesday.

Police detained Yousaf Masih, 35, late Tuesday in the town of Nowshera after his neighbors reported that he was burning the Quran in a street close to his home, said Wajid Ali, a policeman, adding that burned pages of the Quran were found nearby.

About 300 Muslims took to the streets in Masih's neighborhood after his arrest demanding a quick punishment, Ali said.

Some people in the crowd pelted a nearby Hindu temple with stones thinking wrongly that Masih was a Hindu, but police controlled the violence and arrested five people for rioting, he said.

Insulting Islam, its prophet Muhammad or the Quran can be punished with death under Pakistan's blasphemy laws.

Christians and Hindus are minority communities in Pakistan, a deeply conservative Muslim nation of 150 million people.

Christian and human rights groups have demanded that Pakistan's blasphemy laws be scrapped, alleging Christians have been persecuted under those laws.

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