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On the Rise: Islamists Scapegoating Children for Blasphemy

Rimsha Masih

The proof of imam complicity appears in the case of a young Pakistani girl with Downs’s syndrome, Rimsha Masih, arrested and detained for weeks in August for setting fire to papers that contained Quranic verses. The resulting mobs caused over 600 Christians to flee the area to the forests in fear. As it turned out, the local imam had falsely accused the girl as a pretext “to expel the Christians from the area.” The imam has since been released on bail, while Rimsha and her family remain in hiding.

There is also indication that blasphemy charges instigated the abduction of a young boy, Samuel Yaqoob, an 11 year old from Christian Faisalabad, several days after Rimsha’s arrest. Samuel was brutally tortured and burned to death. In the Egyptian Coptic children’s case, a local Islamist leader, Shamardal, insisted that the “two boys could not have acted alone and that they must remain in custody until they confess who incited them.” Raymond Ibrahim has documented the distribution of leaflets in Egypt calling on "all brothers and sisters" to "kill or physically attack the enemies of the religion of Allah—the Christians in all of Egypt's provinces, the slaves of the Cross."

Samuel Yaqoob

These campaigns against Christians and Buddhists are not new, and have been ongoing long before the latest parody of Islam video. Although initially posted to YouTube in July 2012, it was appropriated only in September by the Egyptian Islamists. Islamist clerics continually strive for ever more creative ways of inciting violence and causing intimidation amongst unbelievers; and currently accusing children is "all the rage." It stands to reason that more such instances will be forthcoming as long as Islamist religious leaders encourage violence in a bid to ensure the dominance of Islam.


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