By Areeba Kamal
Eight months ago, Rimsha Masih innocently told reporters, “I love Pakistan. I won’t ever leave my country.”
Little did she know that after being accused of a crime she did not commit, under laws that were inherently in favour of her accuser, she will be forced to flee the country she held dear, despite how little it offered to non-Muslims like her.
Today, Rimsha and her family have been forced to seek asylum in Canada.
Rimsha was accused of burning pages of the Holy Quran by her neighbour, Khalid Jadoon in August 2012. She was detained in a maximum security prison for several weeks before the courts discovered that Jadoon himself had burnt pages of the Quran to vent a personal grudge against 14-year-old Rimsha who was suffering from a possible mental impairment.
Jadoon, a grown man and religious leader, faced no consequence for committing the same crime – defiling the Quran. Hypocrisy at its finest indeed!
It is nothing short of ridiculous that in a country where terrorists, militants and suicide bombers roam free and uninhibited, the maximum security prisons have been occupied by underage children like Rimsha whose only fault was that their religion did not correspond with the majority.
It is even more frustrating that while Jadoon roams free in spite of attempting to frame an innocent victim, Rimsha was exposed to incessant death threats by religious fanatics.
Even the support of leading political parties was insufficient for Rimsha to find respite.
(Courtesy Express Tribune)