Islamabad: Pakistani police have arrested
a Muslim man and booked him under the controversial blasphemy
law for allegedly tearing up a copy of Bible in a church in
Punjab`s provincial capital Lahore.
Akhtar Hussain allegedly tore up the Bible at Saint
Joseph’s Church on Lawrence Road yesterday, saying his action
was a reaction to recent the burning of the Quran by two
He also tried to burn the Bible.
Hussain is a resident of Chiragh Shah Town in Kasur
and an employee of a factory located near Suey Asil.
Police officials said security guards at the church
caught Hussain and handed him over to police.
A case was registered against Hussain at the Civil
Lines police station under the blasphemy law. If convicted,
Hussain could be jailed for 10 years.
According to the FIR, Hussain bought the Bible from
Yuhnaabad, a Christian-majority area, and came to Lahore to
During questioning by police, Hussain confessed that
he offered prayers at the Masjid-e-Shuhada and then went to
the church located a short distance from the mosque.
Police officials quoted Hussain as saying that he
preferred to be killed for the sake of Islam.
He told investigators that he had committed the act
in retaliation for the burning of the Quran in the US and the
Pakistan government’s "silence" on the issue.
Masiha Millat Party chief Aslam Sahotra told
the media that Hussain committed the outrage to hurt the
sentiments of Christians.