Saddique Azam, a senior school teacher who was posted as headmaster in a primary school of Pernawa village, near Phool Nagar in Kasur, Pakistan, was severely beaten Oct. 6 by radical Muslim colleagues over a promotion.
According to a source, the extremists called him “choora,” a belittling term used against Christians by Muslims in Pakistan to identify them with the “sweeper” or “untouchable’ caste.”
“You are a ‘Christian Choora,’ so how can you be headmaster and given seniority over us,” said the angry Muslim teachers, who then began beating the Christian headmaster.
Saddique was appointed headmaster three months prior to the reported violence.
Extremist teachers protested before the District Education Officer’s (DEO) office in Kasur. They simply asked, “Why is a Christian appointed to our head post?”
Saddique was hassled and pressured for two months to resign from his position and give the headmaster post to another Muslim teacher or face the consequences.
According to eyewitness staff members, the assault incident occurred in the morning at the school.
While explaining the situation, the victim said, “Three Muslim teachers entered the school, went into my office and waited there for me. When I entered the office, I was alarmed to see them. I asked them the reason for the visit. They launched a tirade of warnings against me to resign as headmaster. They were relentless in their demands and threats, which became increasingly fierce. “
Saddique sternly denied their demands and was soon beaten. He received a severe injury to his left eye. When others became aware of the commotion, the staff members rushed into his office and rescued him from the three teachers who would simply not stop beating him.
It was not long before the police were called and the three teachers were arrested. The police demonstrated reluctance to register an official report of the incident.
· For the community in Kasur, which is already tense from ongoing persecution of Christians
· Christians will be able to reach out to members of the Muslim community with forgiveness and with no grudges
· The protection of Saddique as well as his family while the police decide what to do with investigation into the incident
· That no one will bring up a blasphemy accusation in order to assure the end of the headmaster’s career.
Pakistan is ranked #8 on the Open Doors 2015 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.
Complied by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Katie Rouse at 678-410-9575 or Christy Lynn Wilson at 770-401-9842.