Pakistani police arrest woman for claiming to be Islam’s prophet
Pakistani police arrested on Friday a Muslim woman on charges of blasphemy after she allegedly claimed she was an Islamic prophet, a charge that can carry the death sentence under the country’s laws.
The woman was taken into custody from her home in the city of Faisalabad in eastern Punjab province, shortly after a mob had gathered outside demanding that she be lynched after news spread of her alleged claims of prophethood, senior police official Nasir Ali Rizvi said.
Rizvi identified the woman as Sana Ullah and said two other people were arrested with her. He said she would be brought before a judge to face the charge against her.
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Meanwhile, video footage circulated on social media showing the woman wearing a headscarf, or hijab, which is considered a sign of piousness.
Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws proscribe that anyone found guilty of insulting Islam or the Prophet Muhammad can be sentenced to death or life in prison, though the country has yet to carry out capital punishment for blasphemy.
However, just mere allegations of the offense are often enough to provoke mob violence and even deadly attacks. International and domestic rights groups say that accusations of blasphemy have often been used to intimidate religious minorities and settle personal scores.