Pakistani Christian Teenager Beaten To Death By Muslim Students In Classroom

A Christian teenager  who achieved academic excellence despite years of institutional discrimination and peer bullying, was killed by Muslim pupils whilst in a classroom environment in Vehari District in the Punjab.

Against all the odds Sharoon Masih gained the highest scores at his former school named Chack 461 EB, eponymous with its geographical location. So convinced were the Christian teachers that Sharoon would be a successful individual that they challenged his poverty-stricken parents not to put him to work but to encourage him to pursue higher education. His father Elyab Masih (35 yrs) saved some money from the work he undertakes as a labourer on a brick kiln, paid for the admission for Sharoon to join ‘MC Model Boys Government High School Burewala and District Vehari’.

Sharoon was isolated from the very first day he joined his new high school a consequence of being the only Christian within his form. His parents told BPCA officer Mehwish Bhatti that he suffered targeted abuse from the day he started on 25th August 2017.

Sharoon’s mother Riaz Bibi (30 yrs) told us Sharoon was warned by his peers not to mix with Muslims at school. One boy is believed to have said ‘You’re a Christian, don’t dare sit with us if you want to live’. Many boys called Sharoon a ‘chura’ which is a very derogatory term against Christians. Moreover there were repeated attempts to convert him to Islam, Sharoon however, never quit his faith to the chagrin of the Muslim children around him exacerbating his pariah status.

Though it must have been very difficult attending a school in which you enter as anathema, Sharoon used the segregation imposed on him to study and was noticeably one of the top performers in his classroom, even within the few days he had been at his new school.  His academic prowess however, only added to the disdain for him felt by other pupils. Even then Sharoon Masih could never expect the brutality that led to his death on 27th August 2017.

On the day of the incident, whilst in a classroom, Sharoon was brutally beaten by many of his fellow students on only his fourth day at the school. The violence was of such sickening ferocity that poor Sharoon died where he was in the classroom.

Early pupil reports suggest that the teacher overseeing the classroom ignored the brutal mauling of a despised Christian. However the teacher has since claimed he was reading a newspaper and did not notice the attack. Later the head teacher stated that the attack occurred between classroom sessions and that one teacher was late on arrival allowing the incident to occur without notice.

All the reports state that as Sharoon was beaten a cacophony of insults were shouted at Sharoon, in what must have been a nightmarish last moment of life for the Christian teenager. Questions are being asked about the inactivity of ‘the classroom teacher’ and the duty of care of other teachers in the vicinity. Especially considering not one of the teachers reacted to the noise emitted from the melee.

The School’s governing body has already taken action against the head teacher who has been dismissed from his post.

Reports about the trigger factor for the brutal murder vary, however a main culprit Muhammad Ahmed Rana has already confessed and has been arrested and detained by local police. Sadly few other students feel any remorse for killing a Christian and no-one is willing to implicate the other murderers by naming them. The parents of Sharoon believe the wall of silence reveals the contempt that these students have for Christians and the low value placed on their lives.

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SOURCE: British Pakistani Christians
Wilson Chowdhry

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