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Perspectives

August 3, 2009
Muslim extremists target Christians in Pakistan

Christians account for only about 1.5 percent of Pakistan’s 167 million people.

In Pakistan on Monday, members of the minority Christian community staged protests after eight Christians were killed over the weekend in an unusual wave of violence against them by Muslim extremists.

The violence took place in the eastern city of Gojra when hundreds of Muslims stormed a Christian neighborhood after reports that a Quran had been desecrated. Dozens of houses were burned in the rampage. Six people died in the fires and two others were shot to death.

On Monday, Christian schools were closed throughout Pakistan to protest the violence, while hundreds of people took to the streets to demand justice. Christians account for only about 1.5 percent of Pakistan’s 167 million people.

Faisal Kapadia, a Worldfocus contributing blogger, condemns the violence and urges Pakistani Muslims to speak out against the attacks:

I am ashamed, we are always worried about our image these days and the image of our country […] We tout the fact that Islam is a religion of peace, we scream to the rafters when a hate incident against Muslims takes place anywhere in the world, are we going to stay silent when our own countrymen are slaughtered in the name of Islam?

This is not what Pakistan is or should be known for […]Let us unite and stand with the christian community in gojra and other minorities who face persecution for what is their right, to pray to whomsoever they wish.

Pakistani Frederick Masih, a Christian himself, comments hopefully on a post about the violence at “All Things Pakistan:”

Of course this incident has left all of us dejected and heartbroken. But I am heartened by the reactions and comments and ordinary Pakistanis, mostly Muslims, reacting with such compassion. I think that is true for the overall reaction in the country. Maybe the tide is changing. As a Christian who grew up in power, most of my memories of childhood were pleasant and nice. But being a minority anywhere is not easy. I hope this incidence will help all of us Paksitanis to realize that we must do to others what we want for ourselves. Tolerance and goodwill to all.

Adnan Siddiqi comments on the same article, writing that if Christians indeed desecrated the Quran, they too should be punished:

Those minority champs should realize that EVERY RELIGION must be respected; be it followed by minorities or majorities. Just like one does not have right to offfend Bible or any other religious book similarly no one has right to offend Quran either. One can’t say,”Oh they are minorities, let them offend Quran”. Those who have burnt these Christians and those who have really offended Muslims’ Holy book MUST BE punished.

“Adonis” comments on the “Pakistan Politics” blog to blame Pakistan’s justice system:

If there were an effective blasphemy law, there would have been no protests in gojra. People take to the street only and take law into their own hands when they are certain that the authorities are not going to take any action against the culprits.

The fact is that no one has ever served sentence for blasphemy in Pakistan. Even if someone is convicetd in lower courts, during appeal either the culprit is given bail during proceedings when he is whisked away to some western country or the case is withdrawn.

If people are certain that if somebody really commits blasphemy, then nothing would save hin from punishment and if someone falsely accuses anyone else for blasphemy, he would also be severely dealt with, then we would not have things that are happening in gojra.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user leeno under a Creative Commons license.

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3 comments

#3

Pakistan (MNN) — The Taliban is directly threatening Christian Believers in northeastern Pakistan’s Punjab province. 
Jonathon Racho with International Christian Concern (ICC) says they’ve learned that on October 6, members of the Taliban sent threatening letters in Sargodha, Pakistan, warning Christian leaders to convert to Islam or face dire consequences.
A copy of the letter obtained by ICC warns Christians to convert to Islam, pay Jizya tax (an Islamic tax imposed on religious minorities), or leave the country. Racho says the letter warns, “If the Christians do not do any of the three, then they will be killed, their property and homes will be burned to ashes, and their women will be treated as sex slaves. And they themselves would be responsible for this.”

#2

Adjustment(s) To The Previous Text (#1):

“about
what you discover…

–in the Heights
to which you soar…
and
–in the Abyss
to which you plunge…

…concerning Human Nature”

#1

“Six people died in the fires and two others were shot to death.”

We all die
in the fires…
of our own Mortality.

The shootings
(done…
to sooner
produce
deaths
that
already
occur
…anyway…
later
among Humans
due
to
something
called…
Mortality)
are proven
…daily
and
nightly…
to remain
…utterly…
redundant.

And words
…such as these…
that may
trip over
themselves
may continue
to do so
because…

Why?…

[Because] they
describe the
repetitive
Human Actions
tripping
over
the same
repetitive
things…

…endlessly.

Go, then!
tell
Ecclesiastes
to hold:
another…
Round of
Negotiations
another…
Series of Talks
another…
Parade of Unrequited
Diplomatic Overtures
(…all while
waiting for…
the
Mozartian
or
Beethovenian
or
Sophoclean
or
Aristophenian…
Juvenalian:
Grand…
–Opera
–Play
–Tragedy
–Satire
to begin…)
with King Solomon
to see just how
much in agreement
he (Ecclesiastes)
remains
with the King
and in
how much
a mode of
non-contention
and
Gandhian
non-violence
(with themselves)
Humans
…really…
–ever have been
–are now
and
–ever shall be.

Then?

Let
your Self
and
your self
know:
what you find out
and try not
to
let your
Self
and your
self
hotly argue
about
what you discover…

–in the Heights
to which you soar…
–and the Abyss
to which you plunge…

…concerning Human Nature
for such argument
might lead
to many
Civil War-like
inner Battles
or
to (yet another)
outer Civil
or
external
World War.

But I think
Abraham Lincoln…
and
Franklin D. Roosevelt…
would like to
continue
(among many other
wartime leaders)
to…
rest in peace.

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