Pakistan 'blasphemy' teacher in hiding
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||3 November 2012|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Pakistan 'blasphemy' teacher in hiding, 3 November 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/509b8b1228.html [accessed 12 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
November 03, 2012
Pakistani students of Farooqi Girls' High School wave placards as they stage a protest in Lahore on November 3, demanding the reopening of their school after it was set on fire by an angry mob.
A Pakistani teacher at the center of a blasphemy dispute has been forced into hiding after a furious mob stormed a girls' high school in the eastern city of Lahore.
The mob was angry at a homework assignment that Arfa Iftikhar assigned that allegedly contained derogatory references to the Prophet Muhammad.
Her school management denied all responsibility for the "dirty act" and called for her to be punished.
The school said Iftikhar had been fired, despite telling the principal she had copied the offending passage by mistake.
However, school headmaster Asim Farooqi has been remanded in custody for 14 days on charges of blasphemy, which can result in the death penalty.
Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive issue in Pakistan, where 97 percent of the population is Muslim.
Based on reporting by ADP and dpa