Christians in Pakistan Attacked for Religious Beliefs :: New Face of Terrorism

pakistan_christ_0804

 pic source : http://blog.familychristianmovies.com/2009/08/07/christians-killed-in-pakistan/

Persecution of Christians in Pakistan

Posted by: Maloy Krishna Dhar in his site on Saturday, September 5th, 2009

I learnt from Richard Aldrich, professor of International Security, University of Warwick and an eminent authority on intelligence, that inquisitiveness about what cooks in neighbor’s pot and under his quilt was one of the primitive ingredients that went in making the science and art of intelligence.

Besides Jihadist upsurge, Pakistan is beset with several other ailments which have plagued its civil society across the board. These ailments are not well publicized and only occasionally Pakistani media and to a very little extent international media pay attention to these malaises. Let us visit our favorite neighbor Pakistan what is usually cooked in its pot, other than Talibani and Lashkar and al Qaeda broth. The global community is not well informed of what’s really cooking on the other darker areas of Minority bashing by the religious fanatics in Pakistan. They take advantage archaic Blasphemy Act and other medieval provisions introduced by Zia-ul- Haq and perpetuated by the Ulama community.

Let us focus attention on the beleaguered Christian community of Pakistan. Minority persecution is a trademark for most Pakistani sectarian militant organisation, especially the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the Sipah Sahaba. When I say this, I equally castigate minority bashing by certain pro-Hindutwa chauvinists. But the scale of oppression against the Christians in Pakistan is appalling. This has developed as a pattern and all over Pakistan most minority religious groups; especially the Christians are systematically persecuted.

Recently I received three communications, one from NWFP and the others from somewhere near Lahore. The letters were from prominent Christians in two different provinces. I quote the letters sans the real names of the senders and their exact locations.

“I am feeling very pity and difficult from where should I start and for what I would start I/we are in such a vicissitudes which even have stuck the brain to think and act. You may find this email very strange! But I/we are in Trauma.

Dear you are very well aware about the circumstances we are going through particularly one can imagine as a minority what would be our situation in this time (state of war) and one even do not know for what reason he/she has been assassinated. Anyway we were and are not living but struggling to live or fighting for our survival. Every second day brings something new in our country and we get in new crises namely War against Terror, political, judiciary, water, power, food, fuel and blab blab…; the law n order situation is never ever under control. The Government supremacy is nowhere in the country and their transgressions have taken us further in worse situation. I would say this is totally a potpourri Govt. On the other end the inflation really has broken the back born of individual’s budget.

In the sequence of different issues raised the World Recognized Leader was assassinated in on 27 December 2007. Which was not only shocked me but even to the whole world. My very little daughter was about 3 years at that time and she said “Papa my friend (who even could not pronounce her name) Baibazeer Bhutto ki death hogai”. I do not why but whenever my little use to se Benazir Bhutto on screen, she use to say “she is my friend”.

Anyways, latter Tehrik Nafaz-e-Shariat brought another trauma in the country; obviously that was situation like state in the state. This killed hundreds of innocents who had nothing to do with and forced thousands to get displaced. On the other hands few anti Pakistani are having slogan for Azad Balochistan. And on this they are killing the innocents rather target killing the Punjabi’s.

christian_protest

Pic Source : http://www.thepersecution.org/news/09/salem0806.html ( read detail for Gojra incident under caption.. 

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community denounces violence against Pakistan’s Christian minority.)

Any one can tell such a Protest Procession appealing DON ‘ T KILL HINDUS IN PAKISTAN ??

( The above two pictures are not included in the M.K.Dhar’s original Article.)

You know I really get numb, stung by this, my grandfather came to XXX in year 1890 but yet we are not local of the area but domicile. I heard from my aboriginals that once the Christian delegation raised this issue in year 1972 to be given status of local to the Govt. but some so called “Son of the Soils” declined by asking to provide your real identity and contribution in the freedom of Pakistan. Anyways, many of the real patriots and true Pakistani know the contribution of the minority for this Country.

Being in this trauma from last five years I even have not taken my kids for outing rather would say simple outing i.e. for hotelling in the town to avoid any misshape, But for how long? Now we are getting sick. Every second day tell us that how insecure we are here by hearing a news of bomb blast and firing rocket launcher. When we do not here news of any Bomb blast, my daughter asks me “Papa Aaj koi Dhmaka Nahi huwa”

You know what? This is very first time that the schools have been closed for summer vacations from Aug 1 to 17. Usually it gets close in July every year. The main reason is that in most of the schools not even offering their National Anthem in assembly because they are threatened by some XXX army. And due to this Govt. close the school to avoid misshape. We are so week that even can’t celebrate our Independence Day. Most of the institutes have raised their boundary walls from 6ft to 10ft by taking preventive security measures.

So the Govt. just avoided the situation forced to give summer vacations in such a time so that we as a Nation in schools/colleges would not celebrates our Day of Independents on 14th August in particular Province. This all is ridiculous to me; I cannot take my kids out for enjoying the independence day, playing for anything; even before going to church one is also give thinking that we are putting ourselves in risk or not. I would not say who are but whoever is killing the innocents and killing against the name of racial discrimination is not right. Nobody think as a human being and what our religions tell us about Humanity. Christians are openly humiliated, their women abducted and their churches defiled. We are afraid of holding any open religious function. The rifle wielding goons threaten to loot our homes unless we pay them handsomely. We have to buy our breath, leave aside bread.

You must have heard the killing of innocents in Gojra, hundreds of home fired and many women were raped few of them yet missing (which not being highlighted in the news). The BIBLE was burnt, if QURAN is a Holly Book than Bible is too. Why they do not drag those who burnt the BIBLE. Why they do not apply blasphemy law on those. Are they supreme? I have not seen such Muslims in my whole life rather they are beasts. What Govt. was doing, neither Police nor any other force intervene and stop the so called Muslims to stop the killing and brutal act. What (ASAW PBUH) said “if we save one life we safe whole human being” and “if we kill one human being we kill whole humanity. I do not know that what I have written is having any sequential detail or not but I have one thing in my mind I do not want my family to live for survival but to live the life at the fullest….

…It seem quite awkward to say and ask such thing which might be beyond your limit but what to request. Dear living in this entire situation from years and years, I get tired and see no future of my family. Sending kids to school create worries if they would return home safe and sound. If visiting the market for grocery and commodities we fear to get the essential item and reach home as early as possible. But in the night while going for sleep again threats comes in mind if someone shoot rocket launcher “God forbidden” would lend on our home roof; than? There is one option left to get rid of this situation is to migrate; which again people/person like me cannot afford. But the Big Fishes of our Country easily move and having dual nationalities. I do not have money in the bank to show, I might would have it if would involved in Bribery.

So the only option left to me is to sale myself and my family (even in this country we have been sold to IMF/World Bank) to someone aboard. So that he/she can keep us as slave (we are here slaves and minority too) at least we would be secure. No fear of landing of rocket launcher, bomb blast. My kids would be able to play whatever they want and move freely elsewhere. I do not if this would be possible for you or not but truly asking you to kindly … kindly do forward this email to some major news papers, George W. Bush, Obama and Clinton and the parliamentarians and to some Churches too.

With Best Regards and God Bless You…”

Video added by #Alertpak#

I have edited this letter for ensuring safety of the writer. The other letter from somewhere near Lahore is more pathetic. In this case also I have edited heavily to protect identity of the sender.

“Sir, we read you regularly and derive inspiration. But village Korian on July 30 and in Gojra on August 10, 2009, where Christian homes were attacked, burnt, their women raped and nearly 15 Christians were killed including four women and children. All because, the Sipah Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Al Qaeda gangs alleged that we had burnt pages of the Koran. The raiders numbering 500 were armed with sword, Kalashnikovs, pistols and they fired in the air to scare the Christians. My neighbour ZZZ was dragged out from his home and was beheaded in front of his children. His wife was grabbed by some militants and taken away. We do not know about her as yet. The police standing nearby did not do anything. As you know this part of Punjab is the strongest hold of Jhangvi and Sipah Sahaba. They openly move with arms and threaten the Christians and Hindus. The real intention of the militants is to evict us from our land and grab the same. They looted 15 shops run by the Christians and took away four motorbikes.

One of the raiders threw petrol soaked torch on at least 5 homes of Christians. One woman of about 40 was raped on the open street. They raised slogans: Allha hu Akbar, Jiahil Christan murdabad, Pakistan for Islam etc…They plundered most valuables and desecrated the Holy Bible by urinating on them.

Video added by #Alertpak#

I am ashamed to mention that over 8 Christian women were raped in the open and a girl child who protested against molestation of her mother was killed with a spear. Punjab and Islamabad governments are giving only lip services. Sir, please bring our plights to the notice of the broader world as you have wider readership…”

What really happened on 10th August, 2009 was included in the letter vividly. To summarize, the Muslim militants belonging to Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah Sahaba came from Jhang side. The Jhang-Maghiana belt in Punjab is the cradle of jihadist Islam. This belt has now become a refuge for the Talibanis and al Qaeda cadres. The area is dominated by the Markaz-ud- Dawa and its militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba. Both the Jhangvi and Taiba outfits are intricately connected to Jaish-e-Mohammad (Multan area) and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and al Qaeda units in the province. Lahore and Islamabad may not agree, but the fact remains that most parts of Punjab has been radicalized and the militants are eager to either convert the Hindus and the Christians or drive them out.

A map of Gojra area, near Jhang and Lahore would show that it is not a remote village. It is on a main road and there are administrative infrastructures nearby.

gojra-location

Courtsey for more details please read : http://maloykrishnadhar.com/persecution-of-christians-in-pakistan

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2 Responses to “Christians in Pakistan Attacked for Religious Beliefs :: New Face of Terrorism”

  1. Gulistan Says:

    Gojra Massacre.

    Nearly two weeks before we’re set to celebrate yet another Independence Day, and people in this country still can’t learn how to tolerate members of minority religions in the country. Or maybe, in a weird, demented way, they were trying to recreate Partition for us.

    Via the BBC:

    Six Christians have been killed in religious unrest in Pakistan’s central Punjab, after days of tension sparked by the rumoured desecration of a Koran.

    The four women, a man and a child died as Muslim militants set fire to Christian houses in the town of Gojra, officials said.

    TV footage showed burning houses and streets strewn with debris as people fired at each other from rooftops.

    YouTube doesn’t have any videos yet of the footage that was aired on national news stations today, but having seen the live coverage from Gojra on half a dozen channels, it is not just appalling, but chilling, as to how, to quote Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, “a mob misled by Muslim extremists” set fire to a Christian-inhabited locality with multiple cameras capturing it on tape. MPA Saleem Khokhar informed me this afternoon that this is the fourth incident against minorities in Punjab in this month alone, and the Punjab police force has yet to provide security to the Christians in the area.

    For a history lesson, Wikipedia (yes, I was lazy) has a brief rundown of the major incidents involving persecution of Christians in Pakistan.

    I’m going to go cry now.

    see.. http://humaimtiaz.wordpress.com/2009/08/01/gojra-massacre/

  2. Siraj Patrick Says:

    Pakistan’s Minority Experience – Rotifan
    September 23, 2009 by Kalsoom

    In August, an angry mob set fire to 50 houses in Gojra, killing seven people, all Christians. The incident was indicative of the ongoing persecution against Pakistan’s minorities. According to Minority Rights Group International, Pakistan had the world’s highest increase of threats against minorities last year and was ranked the seventh most dangerous country for minorities overall. Below, a blogger by the name of Rotifan [she blogs at Kiss My Roti], discusses her own experience growing up as a Shiite in Pakistan, and how the Gojra burning impacted her:

    I didn’t know I was different from anyone else until I was seven. It was during lunchtime that one of my classmates began to make strange wailing noises and proceeded to beat her chest mockingly while telling everyone that this was what the kaffir Shiites did. I joined in the laughter only to realize later that she was talking about me. From that point on, I was aware that I was an outsider. The fact that I was religiously curious from a young age didn’t help either. When I was nine, I decided that I was going to go to attend mass at my Catholic school church just to see what it was like. The most interesting part of this wasn’t the mass; to be honest, I couldn’t understand a word. It was everyone else’s reaction.

    Upon my return, my Islamiat teacher declared that I had converted to Christianity. Soon after, all of my classmates started to ignore me. This was also the year that graffiti began to appear on the walls on my way to school proclaiming, Shia kaffir, Shia kutta (Shiites are infidels, Shiites are dogs). It boggled my mind that people I did not even know hated me.

    However, I soon moved to Canada and forgot everything. But all these experiences came back when I heard about the attacks in Gojra and the ongoing sectarian violence. As all of us know quite well, attacks on minorities in Pakistan are all too common. Despite the fact that there are between three-10 million religious minorities – both Muslim and non-Muslim – living in Pakistan, since 2000 there have been several large scale attacks leaving scores dead and hundreds injured.

    Minorities in Pakistan do not only face violence and intolerance, but also discrimination at both a social and political level. As the Minorities Watch’s report on Pakistan points out, the average literacy rate for Christian’s in Punjab is 34 percent, eight percent less than the national average of 46.56%. The average literacy rates among Hindus and Sikhs, Parsis and Buddhists are 34% and 17% respectively. According to Human Rights Commission on Pakistan (HRCP) suicide rates are high among impoverished Christian and Hindu communities. Among the approximately 1000 suicides committed in Sindh in the year 2000, 25 were committed by Christians and Hindus. For minority women, the situation is much more dangerous. The HRCP notes that Hindu and Christian minority women are much more likely to be raped than their counterparts for supposed religious and political outrage.

    While it is true that discrimination against minorities is institutional, it is not fair to only place blame on the legal and political spheres. The societal attitudes about minorities must change. The resounding condemnation following the Gojra attacks provides hope for a changed future, but condemnation is simply not enough. Genuine efforts must be made to integrate minorities into the public sphere on their own terms. This can only happen when there is a separation between the mosque and the state.

    The problem with Pakistan as an Islamic republic is that anyone not embracing the state sanctioned belief (Sunni Islam) cannot be an equal citizen to those that do. Elevating a religion to the state level not only provides it with both legitimacy and protection not available to other beliefs (aka Blasphemy Law). And as long as this is the case, attacks on minorities similar to Gojra will continue.

    The contribution is the sole opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the opinion of CHUP. If you would like to contribute a piece to CHUP, please email Kalsoom at changinguppakistan[at]gmail[dot]com. Pieces should be no longer than 800 words please. For past contributions, click here.

    http://changinguppakistan.wordpress.com/2009/09/23/pakistans-minority-experience-rotifan/

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