(Voice Of The Persecuted) On Jan 7th, Islamic gunmen forced their way into the secular satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris and carried out the massacre shouting “Allahu Akbar” meaning “God is most great” during their attack, which ended with 17 killed, four at a kosher supermarket. The weekly often pokes fun at all religions, not only Islam. It publishes caricatures of everyone, religious and political.
Over 40 world leaders attended the Paris unity march and linked arms with the French President as they led millions who had gathered to take part in the march. France pledged to battle terrorism with “a cry for freedom” at the historical rally.
While many in the world vehemently denounced the Paris massacre, Muslims around the world protested against the magazine demanding an end to free speech when it concerns satire or criticism of Islam’s founder. Violence erupted during the protests in Niger that came against many churches and other buildings. Christians were killed in the mob attack.
PAKISTAN: Thousands attended protests in Pakistan against Charlie Hebdo, the secular satirical weekly. Speaking at a protest, the leader of Jamaat-e Islami, stated, “The path that the West has chosen will take the world to a third world war.” Jamaat-e Islami, is a leading influential Islamic revivalist movement and Pakistan’s oldest religious party.
In Pakistan insulting the prophet can carry the death penalty.
Multiple outlets reported that 200-300 Muslim students stormed a Christian school during rallies held on Monday against the French magazine. The students from local Islamic seminaries were among those at the rally in the town of Bannu. Some ran into the Christian Panel High School for boys telling the students to leave and demanding closure of the ‘school for infidels’. A stampede resulted injuring four students. The protesting youth also damaged the property and smashed windows. Some have claimed a few of them were carrying guns. School administrators called off classes the following day.
Though violence was not seen against Muslim institutions, the District police authorities are claim it was not thought to be an anti-Christian attack. Naturally, Pakistani Christians remain cautious. Many feel it’s not a matter of if they will be targeted, but when. Schools in high tension areas are requesting security and preparing children for a possible attack by holding drills.
There are those who are feverishly working to end freedom of speech on a global scale. Recently a Pakistani cleric called for the UN to establish a global Blasphemy law. We can’t remain silent on this, as there are many who risk death every day in Pakistan alone for this Blasphemy law. One sister Asia Bibi is awaiting a death sentence for accusations of Blasphemy. While the world finds excuse after excuse to attack Christians and minorities we must unite in prayer and voice for those in these countries and those fleeing. Please join us in prayer and support for those remaining in Pakistan.