Christian woman refuses to leave home to protect neighbors after Muslim mob accuses her of blasphemy

A Pakistani Christian woman accused of blasphemy refused to leave her home to protect her neighbors from being targeted in her absence.

Members of the Pakistani Christian community hold placards and wooden crosses during a demonstration to condemn the death of a Christian couple in a village in Punjab province on Tuesday, in Islamabad, November 5, 2014. | Reuters/Faisal Mahmood

Sonia Gill, 23, could have fled from her home when she was accused of blasphemy, just as other Pakistani Christians who have also been previously accused have done. However, she chose to stay at the Christian Town settlement near Gujrat despite angry demonstrations held outside her house, the World Watch Monitor details.

Because Christian settlements are often attacked, and other Christians are murdered in the wake of blasphemy accusations, Gill stood firm against the allegations. Eventually, the accusations against her were withdrawn.

"If I flee, what would happen to my Christian neighbours and their houses?" said Gill at that time.

Sharjila Komal (Poma), Gill's neighbor, had accused her of using a banner with Prophet Muhammad's name as a floor covering. The Christian woman denied the accusation, saying the banner only bore politicians' names, and said her neighbor had malicious intent against her.

Gill recalled how Komal's sister-in-law eloped with her cousin Khalid three years ago. Although a case was filed against Khalid and the issue was settled later on, Komal reportedly held a grudge against Gill's family.

A crowd of about 70 people came to Gill's home and demanded the banner in question to be given to them. She invited them inside to have the ad banner inspected, but the protesters left saying they have to discuss the matter in their mosque. Afraid that the mob would return to attack them, Gill called the police and asked for assistance regarding the issue.

Earlier this month, Morning Star News reported about another blasphemy issue in Pakistan wherein an accused Christian was beaten up by Muslims and thrown in jail. Usman Liaqat, 32, had complained to the police after Muslims beat him up for trying to stop them from teasing girls. However, he was arrested because one of his attackers filed blasphemy accusation against him.

Inside Christian Daily