Mentally Ill Man Stoned to Death for Blasphemy in Pakistan

FAISALABAD, Pakistan, JULY 8, 2002 ( A mentally ill Pakistani who said he was «the last prophet of Islam» was stoned to death by a crowd incited by a prayer leader at a mosque.

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Zahid Shah, 40, was stoned to death on Friday in a village near Faisalabad, in central Pakistan, international press agencies reported.

Maulvi Faquir Mohammed, who led prayers at the mosque, instigated the crowd outside, through the temple’s megaphone, to stone him.

The death comes about a week after a Christian was sentenced to death in the country for alleged blasphemy against Islam, Compass Direct reported.

Augustine Ashiq «Kingri» Masih, 25, was convicted June 29 by the Faisalabad District and Sessions Court on charges of slandering the Muslim prophet Mohammed. Under the Pakistan penal code, Masih must be hanged for the alleged offense.

Masih was jailed in May 2000 on accusations that he made derogatory remarks against the prophet Mohammed, while some Muslim acquaintances were questioning him about changing his religious faith.

He is the second Christian so sentenced by Faisalabad’s lower courts in the past two months.

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