Pakistani and Christian Refugee Rimsha Masih Finds New Life in Canada
Pakistani and Christian girl Rimsha Masih moved to Canada after she was falsely accused of burning pages in the Koran.
Masih, who is believed to be 15 or 16, settled in Toronto with her family four months ago after they were granted asylum.
Canada’s immigration minister Jason Kenney, who had been following Masih’s plight, originally offered her and her family asylum in January.
“I said absolutely, if they could get her out,” Kenney said. “So a number of people did some very dangerous, delicate work to extricate her and her family from Pakistan, and we provided the necessary visas.”
Masih and her family can even apply for permanent residency, according to Kenney.
Neighbors originally surrounded Masih’s house in Pakistan and accused her of ruining the holy book. Though an imam known as Khalid Jadoon Chishti later confessed to placing the book in her bag to frame her, she narrowly escaped the death penalty.
In Pakistan, the small percentage of Christians are often targeted under blasphemy laws and are commonly victims of assassination and other retaliation.
The young girl’s case was recently under consideration for reopening, after the man who accused her petition the Pakistani Supreme Court to rehear the case. The man insisted that he saw the burned book in Masih’s backpack.
However, it is unclear whether or not the case will regain support.