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Pakistani fanatics threaten to kill 12-year-old mentally handicapped girl for burning the Koran

August 21, 2012 - Andrea Johnson
I know that it's unrealistic to expect other countries to hold to American ideals of free speech, but some of the fanaticism that exists around the world does make me fear for the sanity of the human race.

The Washington Post reports this week that a 12-year-old mentally handicapped Christian girl in Pakistan is in jail, charged with blasphemy, because she allegedly burned a Koran. All the facts of what happened are in dispute, but her family is in protective custody. Fanatical Muslims are calling for this little girl, who may well have had no more idea of what she was doing than a toddler might, to be burned and for her family to die. Local authorities apparently believe she's safer behind bars.

The Post reports that Pakistani law allows for a life sentence for people who have defaced the Koran and the death penalty for people who defame the prophet Mohammed. Other area Christians, fearing a Muslim backlash, are fleeing for their lives.

Less seriously, last week a Russian court sentenced a group of three young women to two years of hard labor in a Russian penal colony. The official charge was "hooliganism" but it seems to have actually been blasphemy. The group calls itself "Pussy Riot" and disrupted a Russian Orthodox church service with an obscene protest song against Russian leader Vladimir Putin. The most they probably deserved was a fine and community service.

Compare and contrast this with the Supreme Court ruling that allows a loathsome group called the Westboro Baptist Church to protest at the funerals of fallen soldiers because they believe that God hates gays. We honor freedom of speech and of religion even when it hurts the most.

Thank God for that.


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