Religious violence is getting worse in Pakistan all the time, with attacks on the nation’s Shi’ite minority becoming a nearly weekly occurrence and now a massive attack on the Christian community in Lahore, where rioters burned hundreds of homes after the arrest of a Christian on charges of blasphemy.
The largest protests in the wake of the attack were in Lahore, of course, where the tone was much the same as Shi’ite protests, a mix of frustration at the worsening religious tensions and anger at the government’s unwillingness to do much of anything about such attacks. Police moved against the protesters, sparking clashes.
Other protests were reported in Karachi, Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The Karachi rally was said to have been infiltrated by people involved in the political violence in that city, which turned the rally pretty quickly into a round of politically-based attacks.
Pakistan’s blasphemy law has come under increasing fire for fueling religious hatred, and violent attacks against non-Sunnis arrested under the blasphemy law have become increasingly common, with hundreds being arrested annually.