FAISALABAD: A Christian street sweeper saved by a Muslim Human Rights activist from the hands of a raging mob alleging him to have committed blasphemy.
Mansha Masih, young Pakistani Christian has been earning bread by scavenging the streets of Hajweri- a town of District Faisalabad. Mansha has been working for 15 years now and is illiterate. As the story unfolds that one day as he was picking up litter and leaves from abandoned houses in a street when a young Muslim named Billu accused him of defiling pages of the Holy Quran.Soon a raging mob rallied against the Christan street sweeper that was ready to carry out an extra judicial judgement upon the accused Christian, brutally beating him.
As revealed later that the pages were ripped up by two students. Following the rumours of a probable case of blasphemy committed by a Christian had promptly circulated in the town and a fanatical crowd was ready to punish Mansha even after the confession of two young men who had actually committed the crime. As reported the crowd was not willing to consider the plea of innocent Mansha Masih, who repeatedly stated that he was “illiterate” and “had done nothing wrong.” He claimed that he did not know the content of the verses printed on the papers.
As the mob was ready to kill him, a 26- year old Muslim Human Rights Activist Farhan Sadiq stepped forward and saved the innocent blasphemy accused from being killed. This young activist belonged to a network of pro human rights organization Human Rights Defenders Network. He seized the wounded Mansha from the hands of zealous mob and safely took him home. Later on he carried on an independent investigation to verify the facts presented by the accuser Billu. After careful investigation he was able to find out that the pages containing sacred verses were “desecrated” by two underage students in the area, who did not want to go to the local mosque and so they burned the books and most importantly Mansha was uneducated unable to read or write.
Suneel Malik- Director of Peace and Human Development Foundation ( Phd ) in an interview to an international news agency elucidates this incident as A “success” story with a happy ending thanks to the intervention of ” a Muslim activist, who saved the life of an innocent young Christian” who “is not even able to read”. He expressed hope that social and communal tolerance will increase in the Pakistani society in the days to come; specially the level of tolerance towards religious minorities living in Pakistan.