A few days ago we heard about a young teenaged boy named Nabeel Masih from Chak 66, Bhai Peru, District Kasur. He was arrested and charged under Sections 295/295 A under the Pakistan Penal Code.

His 'blasphemous act' had been to like a picture of Khane Kaaba on Facebook. Though the information was vague, it seemed it might have been a photo-shopped picture.

What has come to light however is that Akhtar Ali had taken Nabeel’s personal phone from him and started scrolling through his personal Facebook. The photo-shopped picture had appeared on Nabeel’s newsfeed.

Someone else had posted it.

Someone else had created it.

Nabeel had not clicked ‘like’ on it.

In fact, someone else had seen it too, not even Nabeel. How is that blasphemous? How many times have we seen material that we thought objectionable on our newsfeed? How many times have we seen things we did not approve of?

Should everyone be booked for blasphemy too then?

The police at Bhai Peru have still not submitted the Initial Investigation Report to the magistrate’s court. This means that Nabeel is presently just stranded in jail. He is only 16 years old.

From the start, he has denied any wrongdoing. Nabeel repeatedly said that he had had no intentions of hurting anyone’s emotions, or to offend anyone.  He had done nothing.

This is till the police intervened and beat him enough times to make him ‘confess'. Without meaning to offend anyone, we are sadly quite familiar about how certain confessions are extracted in our part of the world.

Again, someone else posted it; someone else scrolled through Facebook and some else saw it while Nabeel languishes in jail for it.

If we the people let the little teenaged kid be booked for blasphemy, we are saying that every time anyone anywhere even comes across objectionable material, we should all be booked for blasphemy, even if we don’t even see it ourselves.  Is this the precedent we want to set?

I think it is high time that we started actually doing things to make a difference. Right now the noose is on someone else’s neck and the way things are going, tomorrow it will be our neck.

Maybe because we heard something in a song. Or someone said something in another country and we read about it.  It could be anything.

People keep using and abusing the Blasphemy Law to suit themselves and they get away with it too while the (wrongly) accused either gets murdered or rots in jail for something he did not even do.

If you want to save Nabeel’s life and his family who are still in hiding, and correct this wrong, please call and/or text the following people. His FIR No is - 487/16

DPO Ali Nasir Rizvi: +92 (0) 322 4440512

Investigating Officer Mhd Hasan: +92 (0) 301 4703233

Also use #SaveNabeel on Twitter and Facebook to make more and more people aware of it.

Nabeel Masih has done nothing wrong. He should be saved.

“And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely.”