A Christian widow in Pakistan who was recently acquitted after a false blasphemy charge has fled her home and the community after receiving several death threats
Musarrat Bibi was acquitted along with Muslim gardener Muhammad Sarmad on Dec. 8 after they were charged with desecrating pages of the Quran while cleaning a storeroom at the Government Girls Higher Secondary School in 66-EB village, Arifwala tehsil of Pakpattan District, Punjab Province, on April 15.
Bibi was suspended from work after she was taken into police custody, and the school administration has refused to take her back even after her release on bail nearly a month now.
Speaking with Morning Star News over the phone, the 45-year-old widow said “when I returned home after bail on May 12, I began receiving threats from unknown persons that even though the court had freed me from jail, I was still guilty of committing blasphemy and they will not spare my life. I had no other option but to flee the village with my daughter. It’s been nearly seven months now that we are on the run, constantly changing our locations to avoid being traced.”
Bibi said it was impossible to get her job back due to the stigma and risk attached to blasphemy accusations in the 96-percent Muslim country.
“But I’m praying and hoping that God will make a way for me to get the same job in some other district,” she said. “The false accusation has ruined my life, forcing me to seek refuge in different locations since the time I was freed on post-arrest bail on May 12.”
She worked as an office worker at the school and also operated a private shop there to supplement her income, The Christian Post reports.
“I was given the government job in place of my deceased husband, Barkat Masih, who was a teacher,” said the mother of two married daughters and an eighth-grade student who has been forced to drop out of school due to the case. “Everything was going on well till the time I was implicated in this fake case.”