Pakistan: Drunk Muslims beat up Christians in their own homes

Christian victims of a Muslim beating recovering in hospital in Pakistan.British Pakistani Christian Association

Seven Christians were injured and five hospitalised in Pakistan after they were attacked in their own homes with metal bars by a mob of angry Muslims.

The Christians were attacked in Samundri in Faisalabad after a woman asked a group of drunk Muslim men, who were being loud and boisterous in the street, to keep the noise down or move away from her home.

According to the British Pakistani Christian Association, these men took offence at the audacity of "ritually impure" Christians making demands on them.

They went away and returned with a mob of up to 40 men, entered the homes of the Christians and started beating the men, women and children indiscriminately.

"They shouted obscenities at the Christians and called them choorey (dirty sweepers), donkeys and insulted Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour – despite Jesus being referred to as a prophet in their Qur'an," reported Kanwal Amar of the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), who visited the victims in hospital.

The seven victims were named as Arif Masih, 48, Parveen Akhtar, 40, Zahid Masih, 35, Sharifaan Bibi, 35, Shahzad Masih, 34, Jamaal Masih, 50 and Akram Masih, 42.

Arif Masih said he had returned home after work and was waiting for dinner.

"A group of drunk Muslims came and were shouting loudly and saying lewd things to any young girls that were passing. My wife asked them to leave the area as they were disturbing locals and they started shouting obscenities at us, but left shortly after," he told BPCA.

"About an hour later they returned with a gang of around 15 people and started beating us with sticks and poles. They said all Christians should be killed, they said we were evil demons and made Pakistan impure. I thought I and my family would be killed it was very frightening."

A victim of the beating in hospitalBritish Pakistani Christian Association

Islam bans drinking alcohol.

BPCA has subsequently persuaded the police to register an incident once medical evidence is received. Police have already questioned some men about the violence.

Amar said the attack was not random violence but deliberately targeted Christians because of their faith. "I believe most Muslims in Pakistan hold a deep hatred for Christians that is easy to evoke just by a Christian being in their presence," he said. "Fear of an attack is an ever present fear in the minds of all Christians living here and our government is doing little to change this."

BPCA Wilson Chowdhry said: "The deep-rooted and festering malice towards Christians in Pakistan means that they are constantly living on the edge, waiting to be the next victims. These drunken Muslims were ogling women, shouting expletives and committing unprovoked violence.

"All of these acts made the Muslim perpetrators ritually impure yet they labelled the innocent Christians as ritually impure and beat them indiscriminately for the perceived evil within them. The lack of morality in this act of violence is obvious to most onlookers, but crimes like this continue to mar a country seemingly intent on fostering hatred and intolerance.

"As a UK tax-payer I am disgusted that Britain continues to fund Pakistan through foreign aid, especially the £225 million meant for holistic educational reform. The national curriculum in Pakistan continues to espouse hatred towards minorities, the result of which, is a worsening social pariah status for Christians in particular and other minorities."

The BPCA is seeking donations to help fund the treatment of the victims.