LAHORE, Pakistan — A Christian widow tasked with cleaning a school’s storeroom is jailed for blasphemy for allegedly burning pages bearing verses from the Quran.
Morning Star News said the woman, Mussarat Bibi, and a Muslim gardener, Muhammad Sarmad, were told to clear the storeroom at Government Girls Higher Secondary School in 66-EB village in Pakistan’s Punjab Province. In doing so, the two burned scrap paper and other items in a fire April 15.
After noticing that some papers that were burned were “holy pages,” a group of students and teachers complained to school administration.
The principal and other staff members defended the woman and gardener, knowing that both individuals could not read and, therefore, had burned the pages unintentionally.
Four days later, a local Muslim complained to police, accusing only the woman. The complainant also organized a mob that protested outside the school.
An attorney told Morning Star that police arrested Bibi and Sarmad to avoid unrest.
Another attorney noted that the statute under which the two are charged carries a sentence of life imprisonment.
Pakistan is No. 7 on Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.
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