WASHINGTON -- International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that the Taliban, emboldened by their success in Swat Valley and advance near Islamabad, have attacked a Christian neighborhood and executed two residents after Christians held a rally protesting graffiti ordering them to convert to Islam or die.
On April 20, residents of Taseer Town in Karachi woke up to find pro-Taliban messages chalked onto the walls of two churches. The messages included, "Long Live the Taliban," "Talibanization is our goal," and "Embrace Islam or Prepare to Die." The next day, the Christians residents staged a protest in the hopes of attracting the attention of the local government to provide protection. Officials, however, did nothing.
The night of the protest, April 21, more than 100 masked terrorists invaded Taseer Town with automatic rifles. The terrified Christian residents ran to their homes and locked themselves inside.
According to Asif Stephen, a Christian politician, one of the protesters said, "We were protesting peacefully and all of sudden, a few militants carrying the latest weapons rushed in. Some of the attackers entered homes and pillaged money and jewelry and abused the women and burned their properties. The elderly were injured and one child fell to the ground and died in my friend's arms."
The Taliban militants went door to door, breaking into Christian homes and dragging the elderly and the women out into the street by their hair. The Taliban leaders shouted, "You infidels have to convert to Islam or die. Why did you wash up warnings inscribed on walls of church and home doors? How dare you are to take out procession against Taliban?"
The terrorists sexually assaulted several women and physically abused dozens more with! clubs, iron rods, and whips. They set a number of homes on fire. When two Christians resisted, the militants killed them execution-style directly in front of their families. The identity of those killed has not yet been confirmed.
According to AsiaNews, police have arrested seven of the Taliban militants involved in the attack. However, they are unsure who was behind the incident.
Jeremy Sewall, ICC's Advocacy Director, said, "The Pakistani government has created an opening for terrorists to attack Christians indiscriminately by acceding to their demands in the Swat Valley. Formerly, Christians in the major cities of Pakistan experienced discrimination, but up till now they had not had to fear threats of forced conversion or execution on a wide scale. This attack is a harbinger of worse to come if the Pakistani government continues to cower in the face of Muslim radicals."
International Christian Concern