Cleric 'Framed' Girl to Rid Neighborhood of Christians
Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti was taken to court today
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2012 3:10 PM CDT
Updated Sep 2, 2012 3:34 PM CDT
Pakistani police officers escort blindfolded Muslim cleric Khalid Chishti to appear in court in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012.   (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

(Newser) – Witnesses say a cleric in Pakistan accused of planting evidence of blasphemy on a young girl did so because he wanted Christians like her booted from his neighborhood, the Guardian reports. Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti was delivered blindfolded and handcuffed to court in Islamabad today on charges of fabricating evidence—namely, adding Koran pages to a bag of ashes she was carrying. The charge of desecrating Islam's holy book is punishable by death.

"I asked him what he was doing and he said this is the evidence against them and this is how we can get them out from this area," says one witness. Chishti has openly criticized the community of several hundred Christians living in his poor area of Islamabad, and approved when most of them left amid outcry over the girl's charge. A prosecution lawyer still plans to press the case against her, but an activist says Chishti's alleged abuse is historic: "It will set a precedent against anyone else who tries to misuse [the blasphemy] law."

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Showing 3 of 68 comments
iq145
Sep 3, 2012 8:17 PM CDT
Are they insane? To be a christian and want to live there is a MISTAKE. Pakistanis want all people not muslim dead... (yet Pakistan has applied for membership in the to the United Nations... the global community)
Plato
Sep 3, 2012 5:43 PM CDT
coolsmoothla: Fundamentalism is the demand for a strict adherence to specific theological doctrines usually understood as a reaction against Modernist theology, primarily to promote continuity and accuracy. [1] The term "fundamentalism" was originally coined by its supporters to describe a specific package of theological beliefs that developed into a movement within the Protestant community of the United States in the early part of the 20th century, and that had its roots in the Fundamentalist–Modernist Controversy of that time.[2] The term usually has a religious connotation indicating unwavering attachment to a set of irreducible beliefs. The above is a definition of fundamentalist that I copied and pasted. Fundamentalist is the key word in my response to Sphinx. I take it he thought I was referring to all Muslims, which I was not. I do not approve of, or accept, religious rules concerning what I, or anybody, can believe or must believe "by faith alone", which is the agenda of religious fundamentalism. That is the very thing that the Pakistani cleric is using against the little girl, in my opinion unfair and despicable. Sphinx's rely to me does not unset me in the least. Bigotry is the state of mind or attitude of a bigot, defined by Merriam-Webster as "a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions. {also cut and pasted}. I do not feel that my opinions are rigid or permanently fixed, that's one reason I like Newser, it gives pause to reconsider some of my opinions. I am sure that my opinion as to whether some of your posts are bigoted or not is of no interest to you. Ignorant ? I am a lot more knowledgeable about some subjects than others, I don't know hardly anything at all about Hip Hop music, I admit I am "ignorant" about it.
saucier111
Sep 3, 2012 2:25 PM CDT
This has been going on for a very long time. Ever hear of the holy wars, or maybe the inquisition. Every religion believes they are the right one. It is coming to and end the people can not stay uneducated and believe all the bull shit that the churches try to brain wash us with.