“Two Christian Women Were Beaten and Publicly Humiliated by an Angry Mob in Pakistan Over Apparently Frivolous Blasphemy Allegations”

“[S]ubsequently, the duo, along with the family, has gone in hiding over fears of being killed.” So reports Karachi News.Net, and adds:

According to the family, the blasphemy allegations stemmed from a dispute between a Muslim woman and her sister-in-law, who is a Christian, in an East Lahore locality.

A day after the two got into an argument, the Muslim woman walked out onto the street and started shouting that her sister-in-law had abused the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

A short while later, a group of men forced their way into the house and started slapping the Christian woman, said another of her brothers.

“Other men and women from the neighbourhood started gathering at the house too and they beat up my sister and mother. They were the only people in the house,” he added.

A participant in the beating said that the women’s faces were blackened, and that they were made to wear necklaces of shoes and paraded around the locality on donkeys to humiliate them. The women denied blaspheming and repeatedly touched their feet, seeking mercy, he added.

A member of a religious organisation, with which Taseer’s assassin Malik Mumtaz Qadri is also associated, said he was very proud that his wife beat the Christian woman “more than anyone else[.]”

What strikes me as especially troubling here is the participation of ordinary residents from the neighborhood, and not just of some preexisting extremist organization. Such an organization may well have been involved — the Press Trust of India account reports that the “group of men” was “led by Muhammad Sameer, a member of a religious organisation ‘keen on raising its sectarian profile'” — but apparently many neighbors felt no compunction about joining in. And this in a nuclear power, the 6th-most populous nation in the world, and a crucial American ally.

Thanks to commenter Neo for the pointer.