Christian schoolboy's alleged lynching over glass of water sparks calls for curriculum change

The alleged lynching of a Christian schoolboy over a glass of water has sparked condemnation and calls from lawmakers to revise their country's school curriculum to include teachings of inter-faith harmony among students.

(REUTERS / Shannon Stapleton)A glass of tap water is served at a restaurant in New York June 10, 2009.

On Aug. 27, Sharoon Masih reportedly received a deadly beating from his Muslim classmates at the MC Model Boys Government High School in Burewala after drinking water from the same glass that the other boys used. Authorities had arrested one of the Christian teen's classmates named Ahmed Raza in connection with the attack, The Express Tribune detailed.

On Sept. 12, Khaliq George of the National Assembly of Pakistan brought up the incident and demanded for the strict punishment of the person responsible for what happened to Masih. He also called for a reform in the school's curriculum, saying the Christian boy was allegedly beaten to death as his teachers watched and did not lift a finger to help him.

"Our school curriculum needs to be revised to reflect interfaith harmony," said George.

In addition, George said the government ought to rename MC Model Boys Government High School after the Christian boy. Asad Umar of Pakistan's Tehreek-e-Insaf, meanwhile, said the government ought to take care of members of the minority in the country.

In a separate incident last month, 18-year-old Christian boy Asif Massih was arrested over blasphemy charges. He was accused of burning pages of the Quran outside a Muslim shrine, Al Jazeera reported.

Police official Pervaiz Iqbal told the AFP news agency that around 200 men came to a police station and demanded that the Christian boy be handed over to them. He added that they had to secretly transfer him to another place because of the crowd.

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan chairman Mehdi Hasan told Al Jazeera that the country's blasphemy law was being misused to settle personal conflicts. Because of this, there have been calls from activists to either amend or abolish the controversial law.