London: (By Hannah Chowdhry ad Juliet Chowdhry) A rampant crowd of Muslim students destroyed college property after a teacher was accused of blasphemithe companions of MuIn video footage obtained from Facebook, students can be seen destroying school buses, chairs, marching through college property chanting Allah-hu-akbar (Allah is the greatest) and ramming huge poles against the colleges boundary fence.
Students as young as 16 could be heard calling for the extrajudicial lynching of the teacher.
Police have arrested and detained the suspect accused of a blasphemy who is yet to be named and he will now be trialed through the newly hardened blasphemy law 295A (read more about stricter law here).Please sign our petition calling for an end to UK foreign aid budget to Pakistan which is ostensibly funding schools exhibiting extremism (
A faculty member of Peshawar Model Degree College has been accused of blaspheming against the companions of the prophet. A crime that will be now be scrutinized under the recently hardened blasphemy law 298A meaning that the teacher could be sentenced up to 10 years and receive a fine.
The incident occurred on 3rd February 2023 at around 11am after an enraged pupil allegedly found something religiously offensive written on an examination paper. An enraged riotous mob of over 3000 then began storming through the school chanting Allah-hu-akbar. Other students rioted throughout the grounds of the school smashing, tearing down, and breaking anything they could, as their fanaticism took on an ugly form.
The most disturbing aspect of the riots was the number of young people calling for the lynching of the teacher, for the glory of Islam.
The enraged mob then vacated the college compound and staged a protest at Jamil Chowk at Peshawar cities ring road (major circumferential highway), and demanded that police and the judiciary take swift and sever action against the teacher. Tyres were burnt and roads blocked while the protest ensued causing major congestion. Many other people from the community by this time had joined the student protest and it is estimated over 5000 people at least were involved.
The berserk students were much later placated by local police, only after the police informed them that the teacher had been arrested and would be investigated for a blasphemy. After which the protesters vacated the road and the huge congestion caused by the blockade began to dissipate.
A statement was later issued by Peshawar Model Education System (PMES is the group responsible for the college), which assured students and the public that a a thorough investigation would be taken by the college, who were assisting the police. The college also intimated that blasphemy was not acceptable at the college, and that they would take appropriate action against anyone found involved in any sacrilege against the companions of Muhammed.
Students were not exempt from condemnation by the college themselves and PMES also expressed their strong resolve to identify and expel all students who instigated the riots and were driving forces behind the chaos at the college and the destruction of college premises and property.
Their statement added:
Peshawar Model Education System, is a reputed group of institutions that have imparted a high quality education for over five decades.
“We have never been found guilty of anything that could be deemed controversial.
“The college syllabus used is in complete conformity with the approved course and text books used by the Board of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“Allegations that the course was amended is baseless and completely untrue.”
Police have registered an First Information Report (click here) and have started a probe into aspects of the allegation. It is not known yet whether the accused teacher wrote the offensive exam paper or whether he was simply involved in exam management. It is n0t even known whether the question a student found offensive is even deemed to be blasphemous and we are sure Ulema Council’s (bodies of Muslim scholars trained in Islam and Islamic law) in Pakistan will soon be asked for their opinion.
British Asian Christian Association, is alarmed that such a student riot could occur at a Paksitani School. Over the last two decades the British Government has been ploughing millions (up to £225m per year) into the Pakistani Education System. The Department for International Development foreign aid grants were provided in order to improve education and root out extremism. It seems such funds may be funding a new generation of hardline Muslims. BACA believes, that this funding must be terminated until Pakistan can prove that more is being done to remove the radicalism agenda in their schools and can evidence a change in their poor human rights record.
In 2016, the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom, wrote a report on the repeated addition of offensive texts in Pakistani text books, that demonized or caricatured Christians and other minorities. The report highlighted how following a 2013 report of defamatory text, 50% was removed by an equally horrendous amount of new text that met the same levels as previous was added to the textbooks. Read more (here).
Only a few weeks ago, Pakistani Christian security officer Samina Mushtaq uncovered the bare reality of how easy it is to make a blasphemy allegation in Pakistan, and how it is being used as a tool for control and persecution. She videoed a senior official at the Civil Aviation Authority in Karachi, as he threatened her while smuggling a vehicle into a restricted cargo area. Read more (here).
Please sign our petition calling for an end to UK foreign aid budget to Pakistan which is ostensibly funding schools exhibiting extremism (click here).
You can help us to support a Christian School project in Kasur. The project will enable hundreds of brick kiln slave children to become literate and free their families from the bondage of slavery (here).
uliet Chowdhry, Trustee for British Asian Christian Association, said:
“It is disgraceful that an educational facility could be vandalized by rioting students in any country – it’s an act rarely seen across the globe.“Riots last year at a London school involved minor disruptions, missed classes and the throwing of water bombs (click here).
“The riots at the Pakistani college have taken on an entirely more pernicious and ugly manifestation.
“The debacle exposes the levels of fanaticism and extremism pervading through Pakistan’s predominantly Muslim society.
“Moreover, it highlights that radicalization is already well established by the time Muslim students become teenagers.
Mrs Chowdhry, added:
“The teacher at the school will now have to enter a long process before he is released from prison.
“The incident could be caused by a typo, misunderstanding or simply based on a students personal vendetta.
“Either way section 298A of the Pakistan Penal Code has recently been hardened, so the confused and frightened educator could now serve 10 years in prison and/or pay a 1 million Pak-Rupee fine (£2986).
This whole debacle refocuses the worlds attention on Pakistan’s increasingly hard line society.
“What an extremely poor indictment of their miserable human rights record.”