In Pakistan, Christian student drops out of school for fear of false blasphemy claim
12/30/2021 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Earlier this month, a Christian student at a medical school in Lahore, Pakistan, was forced to drop out after suffering intense harassment from her Muslim classmates.
Ayesha Masih was studying at a medical school in Lahore when she began to experience intense harassment from her Muslim classmates in late November. The harassment began when Masih was confronted by Muslim classmates while taking an Islamic studies course.
“A Muslim girl sitting behind me asked me about my religious background,Masih told International Christian Concern (ICC). “I proudly told him that I am a Christian.“
“The Muslim girl did not like my answer and objected to me studying Islamic studies because I am not a Muslim,Masih continued. “I clarified that I had been studying this subject since ninth and tenth grades and that I had always obtained excellent results.“
“The next day she refused to shake my hand in the morning,”Masih said. “The girl said she didn’t want to touch a non-Muslim. His attitude scared me a bit, however, I ignored him as I just wanted to focus on my studies.“
Weeks later, in December, the harassment Masih faced became more serious. It got to a point where she feared for her personal safety.
“I had to quit medical school because I was afraid my Muslim classmates would accuse me of isolating Islamic books,”“, explained Masih.”One day, I left the classroom for the cafeteria and returned to see a group of girls gathered around my desk. They started mistreating me for allegedly insulting Islamic textbooks by putting my backpack on the ground.“
“I refused this allegation because I did not put my backpack on the ground,Masih continued. “However, none of them listened and they started beating me.“
Masih’s parents filed a complaint with the administration of the medical school, but the administration did little to investigate the situation. Fearing that Masih could be falsely accused of blasphemy by a Muslim classmate, Masih and his family decided that dropping out of medical school was the safest option.
In Pakistan, false accusations of blasphemy are widespread and often motivated by personal blood feuds or religious hatred. The accusations are very inflammatory and can trigger mass lynchings, killings of vigilantes and mass demonstrations.
For interviews, please contact Addison Parker: [email protected]