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The two faces of religious persecution in Pakistan

Aug 08, 2012

The blame for religious oppression in Pakistan, contrary to the conventional account, lies not with the weak and ineffective state, but with much of Pakistani society that refuses to extend religious freedom to others even as they themselves seek its benefits abroad, says Dawood Ahmed who is pursuing a doctorate in international law at University of Chicago.

It’s a horrible time to be a Christian, Hindu, an Ahmadi or any other minority group in Pakistan.
For starters, let’s recount a few reported incidents of persecution carried out to “safeguard Islam” these past few days: minarets destroyed at Ahmadi mosques, mentally unstable man burnt alive for blasphemy, Ahmadi leader gunned down.

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Not only is such persecution in contravention of many of Pakistan’s international human rights law obligations but it could not exist without the socially sanctioned public hypocrisy that breathes life into it.
That is, major blame for religious oppression in Pakistan, contrary to the conventional account, lies not with the weak and ineffective state that is unable or unwilling to protect minorities, but with much of Pakistani society that refuses to extend religious freedom to others even as they themselves seek its benefits abroad.

Pakistani and other Muslims living in the United States and Europe fully enjoy the religious rights granted to minorities in those states – without fearing for their life or property – whilst refusing to reciprocate when religious minorities back home are deprived of those same rights.

We allege blasphemy when others worship according to their beliefs yet we freely peddle doctrine that could very well be deemed blasphemous and certainly very offensive to orthodox Christian beliefs, for example, the view that Hazrat Isa/Jesus Christ was simply a prophet and not divine.

We build grand mosques, open faith-based schools, and disseminate religious literature and convert others to Islam – yet no one – neither the state nor its people -  threatens to injure or kill us for doing so.

Yet, when the question of religious freedom in Muslim countries is raised, say, the treatment of Ahmaddiya Muslims in Pakistan or the fact that churches aren’t allowed in Saudi Arabia or why people should be killed when they wish to leave the Muslim faith, the perspective suddenly changes. It is not unusual to find a barrage of people ready to jump over each other to justify the Janus faced oppression.

For complete article click here. 

Source: Dawn

Tay says:
Oct 26, 2012 12:50 PM

I am glad to see how great work has been done so far on this website, its very ivpmssiae and collective approach to bring positive impact of Pakistan, and showing the world real inside of the country, not like showing by Inner Media and international perception to take terrorism and extremism.I believe on one that , extremism in any thing like individual is not good for anyone, especially when we living in 21th century and word become to small inside the global Village and social Networking.Regards,Abdul M Chaudhary

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