Pakistani law prescribes the death penalty for blasphemy, though there has been a de facto moratorium on carrying out such sentences for the last few years. Which means it may be preferable to fall into the hands of the government rather than being caught by an angry mob of fanatical Muslims, as this story demonstrates.
An enraged mob beat a Christian couple to death and burnt their bodies in the brick kiln where they worked on Tuesday for allegedly desecrating a copy of the Holy Quran, police said.
The incident took place at the town of Kot Radha Kishan, some 60 kilometres southwest of Lahore, and is the latest example of mob violence against minorities accused of blasphemy.
“A mob attacked a Christian couple after accusing them of desecration of the Holy Quran and later burnt their bodies at a brick kiln where they worked,” local police station official Bin-Yameen told AFP.
“Yesterday an incident of desecration of the Holy Quran took place in the area and today the mob first beat the couple and later set their bodies on fire at a brick kiln,” he added…Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in the country, with even unproven allegations often prompting mob violence. Anyone convicted, or even just accused, of insulting Islam, risks a violent and bloody death at the hands of vigilantes.
Let us call this what it is, which is outright barbarism. It’s the kind of viciousness and cruelty that can only result from either psychopathy or ideological commitment, often, but not always, religious (witness the genocides carried out by communists and fascists).