Alleged Blasphemy: Mob Nearly Executes Woman in Pakistan Over Arabic-Printed Dress Mistaken for Quranic Verses


An enraged mob in Pakistan accused a woman of blasphemy after mistaking the Arabic calligraphy adorning her dress for Quranic verses.

As reported by the BBC, the woman was rescued by police, who escorted her to safety as hundreds gathered around her.

Religious scholars confirmed that the dress’s Arabic calligraphy was not Quranic verse. The dress featured the Arabic word “Halwa,” meaning “sweet,” printed on it.

According to Assistant Superintendent Syeda Shehrbano, police received a call around 13:10 local time (08:10 GMT) on Sunday about a crowd gathering around a woman at a restaurant in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province.

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By the time police arrived, approximately 300 people had crowded outside the restaurant. Videos circulated on social media showed the woman visibly scared, shielded by officers amidst the charged crowd demanding she remove her shirt.

Ms. Shehrbano described the difficulty in calming the crowd and ensuring the woman’s safety. She negotiated with the crowd, assuring them that the woman would be held accountable according to the law.

“Nobody actually knew what was written on the shirt,” she said.

“The major feat was to try to get that woman out of the area in order to ensure that she was safe.”

Ms. Shehrbano added that she had to “negotiate” with the crowd.

“We told them we would take the woman with us, her actions are going to be taken into account and we’re going to hold her responsible for whatever crime committed as per the law of the land.”

Ultimately, police escorted the woman, now covered in a black robe and headscarf, to a police station.

The woman apologized, stating that it was a mistake and expressing her devoutness to Islam.

“I didn’t have any such intention, it happened by mistake. Still, I apologise for all that happened, and I’ll make sure it never happens again,” she said, adding that she is a devout Muslim and would never commit blasphemy.

On the other hand, Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, a former advisor to the prime minister on religious affairs, suggested that the men in the crowd should have apologized instead of the woman.

Blasphemy laws in Pakistan originated during the British colonial era and were expanded in the 1980s. In August last year, scores of churches and homes were burnt in Jaranwala after two men were accused of damaging the Quran. Blasphemy carries a death penalty in Pakistan, and individuals have been lynched before their cases went to trial. #Pakistan

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