A Pakistani Christian has died after being subjected to a savage acid attack. But the alleged motive for the horrific assault is even more disturbing.
According to Asia News, Faraz Ahmed Badar was a 26-year-old pharmacist who worked at the DHQ Hospital in Gujaranwala. Before his death, he had been harassed relentlessly by a Muslim colleague, who was reportedly jealous that Badar was in a more senior position than him at work. The understanding was this – if you are a Christian, you should never be allowed to rise above a Muslim at work. And it was this prejudice that resulted in Badar’s untimely death.
On 5 September, the pharmacist was preparing for his shift when he was brutally attacked with acid by a group of men who were wearing face masks. The suspects are still at large. Badar was rushed to a local hospital, where he spent 10 days, before succumbing to his injuries and dying on September 15.
According to the British Pakistani Christian Association, hospitals that treated Badar noted that his body was “littered with signs of torture,” indicating that he was attacked further after the lethal chemical was sprayed on him.
“Many Muslims believe that all Christians should be scavengers, not managers,” Badar’s father, said in the wake of his son’s death.
“There was a lot of jealousy at his place of employment,” he added. “We live in a dog eat dog culture where often Christians become the victims because of their vulnerable status.”
“My son was regularly abused by Muslim’s who could not stand the fact that a Christian man was in a position senior to them. Our country is bigoted and many most Muslims believe all Christians should be sweepers not managers, they call us Chura a name that means untouchable cleaner.”
“I cannot believe my innocent son was killed,” added Bibi, Faraz’s mother. “He did nothing wrong except for adhering to the Christian faith.”
She continued: “He was a committed volunteer of our church and he was nearing the age of marriage which was very exciting for our family – he did not get a chance to live a full life.”
Faraz’s father also revealed that this was not the first time his son had been attacked.
“Only a few months previously Faraz was attacked by another group of unidentified men wearing masks telling that as a Christian he was not fit to lick their boots, they even shoved their boots in Faraz’s mouth,” he said.
“They threatened him with death unless he left his employment telling him that his ritual impurity meant he was contaminating the health of ‘pure Muslims.'”
#Pakistan – #Gujranwala – Reports: #Acid attack results in death of #Christian minority man Faraz Badar- worked as hospital manager – attacked by men on #motorcycle. R.E.A.L.: #ReligiousFreedom part of #HumanRights #UDHR #Article18https://t.co/eEFdFuVHInhttps://t.co/52Yb8mcr3h pic.twitter.com/nJ5O7zvQvp
— R.E.A.L Human Rights (@realhumanrights) September 19, 2018
Wilson Chowdhry, the Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, lamented that Badar was executed for “nothing more than adhering to the principles of his faith.”
He also highlighted a similar incident that took place last year. “It was only a year ago that a similar petty jealousy led to the death of Sharoon Masih a young Christian child at school who was excelling above his Muslim colleagues,” Chowdhry said. “Later his murderer was set free in a huge miscarriage of justice.”
As for the problem of Christians being forced out of good employment opportunities in favor of their fellow citizens of the Islamic faith, Chowdhry said the authorities must do more to rectify this.
“The lack of desire for police to investigate these attacks leads to a sense of impunity and stifles the progress of Christians who are bullied and harangued out of senior positions and forced to live in poverty rather taking about roles they rightly deserve,” he said.
“Pakistan as a nation claims to be a meritocracy and democracy but continues to behave like a theocracy.”