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Welcome to Canada, Rimsha Masih!

06/27/2013 05:44 EDT | Updated 08/27/2013 05:12 EDT
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(FILES) In this photograph taken on September 8, 2012 Rimsha Masih, a Christian girl accused of blasphemy sits in helicopter after her release from jail in Rawalpindi. A Pakistan court on November 20, 2012 threw out all charges against a Christian girl accused of blasphemy in a case that drew international condemnation, lawyers said. Rimsha Masih spent three weeks on remand in an adult jail after she was arrested on August 16 for allegedly burning pages from the Koran in a case that prompted worldwide condemnation. AFP PHOTO/FILES/Farooq NAEEM (Photo credit should read FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP/Getty Images)

It's not just the breaking news; it's also the big news now that a persecuted teen girl, Rimsha Masih from Pakistan, has arrived in Canada.

Welcome to Canada, Rimsha Masih!

A family member of mine spotted her in our neighbourhood and brought it to my attention. I immediately contacted The International Christian Voice Canada, the organization that was working for her safe exit from Pakistan.

The organization confirmed her arrival in Canada. She arrived here couple weeks ago, I learnt further.

Maybe the organization was not releasing the news in the wake of security issues.

But this poor girl made worldwide headlines last August when she got arrested by Islamabad police on accusations of burning pages from Koran.

A Pakistani court evidence later that Imam Mosque, Khalid Jadoon Chishti, had allegedly desecrated Koran pages himself and who trapped little Rimsha in blasphemy law.

Pakistan's newspaper Dawn reported, "Mohammad Shahzad and Awais Ahmed, said they had urged Chishti (Imam) not to interfere with the papers but he told them it was the only way to expel the Christians from the area."

He was subsequently released on bail.

Khalid Jadoon Chishti is free in Pakistan now. Other Imams -- and their aggressive mobsters -- are still unleashed in Pakistan as well.

The attack on Joseph Colony in city of Lahore Pakistan last March is another brutal example of religious intolerance in the country. More than 3,000 aggressive mobsters burnt down about 200 houses in Joseph Colony.

"It has been the same way since I was born," said Masih, 61, a resident of the 100 Quarters Christian colony in Sector F-6/2. "The only reward for us in this country is either the Muslims call us "kafir" (infidel) and burn our homes, or call us a "choora" (dirty) when we clean their filth," quoted in The Express Tribune Newspaper.

In the same report, Rehana Hashmi of the Sister's Trust Pakistan is quoted saying, "If the government had done anything to punish the murderers of Salmaan Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti, we wouldn't be seeing this Lahore incident."

Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti were murdered by Islamic extremists in Pakistan over criticizing blasphemy law that has made lives of millions Ahmadies, Shias, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and even dissident Muslims miserable in the nation.

Unfortunately, new Pakistani government has abolished ministry of National Harmony and merged it into religious affairs ministry.

Chairman All Pakistan Minorities Association (APMA) and former Minister National Harmony, Dr. Paul Bhatti has shown his serious concern over merger of ministry of national harmony into religious affairs

"With the merger, the ministry of national harmony would lose the purpose of its creation--to ensure protection of minorities' rights," said Dr. Paul Bhatti in a news conference.

Meanwhile, there is another sad report from Pakistan that says, "three Christian women were attacked and paraded naked by a mob with the support of the ruling party, said a press released issued by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)."

International Christians Voice Canada has reacted to this report, stating in a press release: "Attacks on Christians and other religious minorities of Pakistan are increasing day by day more than ever before. We demand President & Prime Minister of Pakistan and Chief Minister Punjab to take concrete steps to protect the Christians and other religious minorities of Pakistan," said Chairman ICV, Peter Bhatti in Toronto.

"In the wake of such situation in Pakistan, we welcome Rimsha Masih and her family's safe arrival in Canada and we thank Canadian Government and Minister Jason Kenny for facilitating their safe journey to Canada," said Asma Mahmood, Secretary General Progressive Muslims Institute Canada.

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