'Blasphemy Girl' Family Fears for Lives

Christian family in hiding after her release on bail
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2012 12:23 PM CDT
Pakistani police escort Rimsha from prison last week.   (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

(Newser) – The young Pakistani girl accused of desecrating the Koran may be free on bail, but she and her family members fear for their lives and are moving from place to place, reports the BBC. The parents of the Christian girl known as Rimsha say the 11-year-old has always been slow. They say she had to lock herself in the family's bathroom when a local mob came for her, egged on by an imam who said she burned pages of the holy book. (The imam has since been arrested and accused of concocting the whole story.)

"A woman hit me and slapped my face," says Rimsha's mother. "People started running into the house to catch my daughter. I was scared they might kill us. We were all crying. My daughter was very upset." Her parents say they have no reason to keep Islamic texts in their home, because the whole family is illiterate. That hasn't stopped angry Muslims in their neighborhood from threatening to burn the family alive. Pakistan has strict anti-blasphemy laws that have led to the deaths of more than 30 people in the past two decades, Christian leaders say. (Read more blasphemy stories.)

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