googletag.pubads().setTargeting('kvcontentid', 'ie_204812'); googletag.pubads().setTargeting('kvkeywords', ['inskin_yes']);

Christian girl held by police over suspected blasphemy

Pakistani authorities arrested a Christian girl and are investigating whether she violated the country’s strict blasphemy laws after furious neighbours surrounded her house, a police officer said yesterday.

The arrest of the girl and outrage among the local community demonstrates the deep emotion that suspected blasphemy cases can evoke in the conservative Muslim country, where rising extremism often means religious minorities live in fear of persecution.

In Pakistan, anyone found guilty of insulting Islam’s Prophet Mohammed, or holy book, the Quran, can be sentenced to death, although they are rarely, if ever, executed.

A Pakistani police officer, Zabi Ullah, said the girl was arrested after hundreds of neighbours, angry over reports that she had burned religious papers, gathered outside her house in an outlying district of Islamabad.

There was confusion on the girl’s age and whether she was mentally disabled. Ullah said she was 16 while other officials have said she was either 12 or 11.

“About 500 to 600 people had gathered outside her house in Islamabad, and they were very emotional, angry, and they might have harmed her if we had not reacted,” said Ullah.

“Some Muslims claim the girl had burned pages of the Quran. We are investigating, and we have not reached any conclusion,” he said.


Interiors voyeurism will never go out of style – not least when we’re all confined to barracks and eyeing up neglected corners of our own residences that could do with TLC.Home of the Year: Three doors swing open tonight to offer us a welcome distraction

With (hopefully) better weather on the way along with the longer evenings, gardening and nature offer a nice distraction to the news cycle.Podcast Corner: Green fingers and creature comforts

From Kaia Gerber to Oprah Winfrey, why not let a famous face choose your next read?The 4 best celebrity book clubs to virtually join

The tips and home treatments to stop your skin from backsliding.The Skin Nerd: How can I maintain my skin results at home?

More From The Irish Examiner