Pakistani Boy Accused of ‘Blasphemy’ Relates Ordeal
October 18, 2012
Our friends at Morning Star News have given us permission to share with you the following exclusive article concerning Ryan Stanton, a teenager who was accused of sending a blasphemous text message and the fall out after this event took place. This story is especially interesting in light of the recent news with Rimsha Masih. Please keep these families in your prayers.
Special to Morning Star News
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, October 17 (Morning Star News) – When 16-year-old Ryan Stanton and his father returned to their home in the middle-class area of Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Karachi, the night of Oct. 8, they were stunned to see the local mosque leader and about a dozen other furious Muslims waiting for them.
“We saw about 10-15 locals led by Khursheed Alam, the main complainant in the case, and Pesh Imam Qari Ghulam Qadir, prayer leader of the colony’s mosque, standing at our door – they were visibly angry,” said the latest Christian youth in Pakistan to be charged with blasphemy. “They told my father that some people in the residential-cum-office compound of SSGC [Sui Southern Gas Company] had received a blasphemous text message from my phone number. Their tone was very aggressive, and it seemed they were fully poised to kill me.”
Ryan said the men showed his father a text message allegedly sent from Ryan’s phone to the cell phone number of one of his neighbors.
His father, Bryan Patrus, told Morning Star News that the imam’s threats became increasingly harsh as the group built up pressure on the boy to admit to sending the text message.
“He told them that it was a big misunderstanding and someone had misused his phone, but they weren’t ready to listen,” Patrus said.
As resolution nears in the case of Rimsha Masih, a 14-year-old girl accused of desecrating the Koran, the accusation against another Christian youth has sent a shockwave through Pakistan’s Christian community.
In hiding while his attorneys attempt to get charges against him dismissed, Ryan was accused of sending a text message on Oct. 7 mocking Islam’s prophet, Muhammad, to several people, including his Muslim friends. The next night enraged Muslims ransacked the boy’s house in the SSGC compound and set fire to their furniture.
Making derogatory remarks about Muhammad is punishable by death under Section 295-C of Pakistan’s internationally condemned blasphemy laws, and Mobina Town Police also charged him with violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act and Section 29 of the Telegraph Act.