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Will the West Abandon Asia Bibi to an Execution in Pakistan?


Save Asia Bibi - VOM appeal mercy

John R. Houk

© October 17, 2014

 

Islam is peace – NOT. With Islam there is no compulsion of religion – NOT. So-called Moderate Muslims (like CAIR, IST and ISGOKC for example) claim Sharia is compatible to the U.S. Constitution – NOT.

 

In 2009, Asia Bibi—a Pakistani Christian and mother of five—drew a cup of water from a Muslim’s well and incurred the wrath of villagers who accused her of slandering Islam. Convicted under Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which is often used to punish Muslims as well as religious minorities, Asia Bibi has languished in jail as she tries to overturn her death sentence. (For Blasphemy, A Death Sentence; From book review on Daily Beast of Blasphemy: A Memoir: Sentenced To Death Over A Cup Of Water; 8/30/13)

 

Asia Bibi has been imprisoned by Pakistan found guilty of breaking that Islamic Supremacist nation’s Blasphemy Law. Her accusers became agitated that a Christian would drink from a well designated for Muslims. The Muslim gals at the well decided to solidify their segregationist agitation by screaming Asia had responded by saying unpleasant things about their pseudo-prophet Mohammed.

 

As is typical in Pakistan prejudice and greed are the primary reasons Muslims use against Christians not liked. Asia is a victim of this prejudice. She denies she made any slurs; however even if she did – SO WHAT! By expressing any kind of displeasure with a religion that denigrates Christianity in its holy writings you receive a death sentence for expressing any displeasure Islam. After some intimidation by Muslim mobs Asia was convicted with a death sentence. Some Pakistanis including Muslims saw the irrationality of this conviction and have made a public case for Asia. Asia’s lawyers have fled. Judges have postponed and/or proceeded with the death sentence legal procedures out of fear from Muslim mobs threatening the Judges and their families. One Pakistan official was even assassinated for the near success of getting Asia Bibi released.

 

On October 16, 2014 Asia Bibi’s appeal was officially denied, placing her on the fast track to be the first Pakistani convicted (one of many convicted or accused) under the Blasphemy Law that will be put to death.

 

 JRH 10/17/14

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Death Sentence Upheld for Christian Mother Asia Bibi in Pakistan

 

By Morning Star News

October 16, 2014 06:39 PM EDT

The Gospel Herald

 

LAHORE, Pakistan - In spite of protests within Pakistan and abroad against the country’s blasphemy laws, the Lahore High Court today upheld the death sentence for a Christian mother accused of insulting Islam’s prophet.

 

Aasiya Noreen, commonly known as Asia Bibi, is the first woman to be sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan. Arrested in June 2009 after Muslim co-workers in a berry field 60 miles west of Lahore beat her when she refused to convert to Islam, her death sentence was announced in November 2010.

 

Bibi’s husband, Ashiq Masih, told Morning Star News that they were hoping for some relief, but that the verdict had devastated the family.

 

“I met Asia in prison a month ago,” he said. “She’s fine and was hoping to hear good news, but, alas, our ordeal is not over yet.”

 

Bibi’s lawyer, Naeem Shakir, told Morning Star News that Justice Anwarul Haq and Justice Shahbaz Ali Rizvi had rejected her appeal even though there were glaring contradictions in the witnesses’ testimonies.

 

“I pointed out the conflicting accounts of the prosecution witnesses, as each one of them had a different narrative regarding the exact location where the local village council was convened in which Asia had allegedly confessed that she had spoken ill of Islam’s prophet and sought forgiveness from the villagers,” Shakir said. “There is also discrepancy in the number of people present as each witness gave different figures.”

 

In addition, the court did not take into account the fact that the First Information Report (FIR) against her was registered six days after the alleged incident, “which clearly shows that the case was a premeditated conspiracy against the Christian woman,” he said.

 

The lawyer said that the complainant in the case, Qari Salem, was not even present in the berry fields where the alleged incident had occurred.

 

“One of the witnesses, a female co-worker of Asia named Maafia, used to study the Koran from Salem’s wife, and we believe that she is the one who provoked Salem, a prayer leader of the village’s local mosque, to lodge a case against Asia as she and her sister, Asma, had an altercation with Asia in the berry fields over drinking water from the same bowl,” Shakir said.

 

Bibi’s appeal had been delayed several times, but he had been confident that the verdict would be overturned, he said.

 

“I was shocked when the judges decided to uphold the sessions court decision,” he said, adding that the court had said that Noreen’s “confession” before villagers was sufficient evidence while ignoring that any such confession might have been coerced by Muslim mob.

 

“We will appeal the decision in the Supreme Court,” he said.

 

Given huge backlogs at the court, however, Christian rights lawyers said it would probably be at least three years before the appeal would be taken up.

 

Islamists Rejoice

 

The courtroom was packed with clerics and members of Islamist extremist groups who supported the prosecution, and they erupted in celebration upon hearing the two-judge panel’s decision to dismiss Bibi’s appeal.

 

“Let us celebrate by distributing sweets!” said one cleric who recited verses from the Koran throughout the almost two-and-a-half-hour court proceeding.

 

“I am very happy,” said Salem, the complainant. “The judges have given a verdict on merit, and Asia deserved it.”

 

Salem’s lawyer, Ghulam Mustafa said the court’s decision, was correct.

 

“Asia’s lawyer tried to prove that the case was registered on a personal enmity, but he failed to prove that,” he said.

 

David Griffiths, Amnesty International’s deputy Asia Pacific director, called the ruling a grave injustice.

 

“Asia Bibi should never have been convicted in the first place – still less sentenced to death – and the fact that she could pay with her life for an argument is sickening,” he said in a press statement. “There were serious concerns about the fairness of the trial, and her mental and physical health has reportedly deteriorated badly during the years she has spent in almost total isolation on death row. She should be released immediately and the conviction should be quashed.”

 

The ruling is the latest chapter in a long ordeal for Bibi, whose case has focused international attention on how Pakistan’s blasphemy laws have become a weapon against religious minorities.

 

While Bibi’s death sentence led to international protests, the possibility of overturning it provoked outrage within Pakistan. Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer was slain by his bodyguard on Jan. 4, 2011 because of his support for Bibi and his criticism of the blasphemy law; the bodyguard believed Taseer, a Muslim, had blasphemed by criticizing the law.

 

Meeting with Bibi after her sentencing in 2010, Taseer had told her he believed the charges against her were fabricated and promised to recommend a presidential pardon. He called Pakistan’s blasphemy statutes “a black law” and called for their repeal.

 

Former Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti, the first Christian, cabinet-level minister, was shot and killed on March 2, 2011 for calling for reforms to blasphemy laws following Bibi’s trial.

 

“The laws are often used to settle personal vendettas – both against members of minority religious groups and Muslims – while individuals facing charges are frequently targeted in mob violence,” Griffiths said. “Those who speak out against the laws face terrible reprisals. However, the blasphemy laws violate international law and must be repealed or reformed immediately to meet international standards.”

 

Death sentences have rarely been carried out in blasphemy cases, but that is in part because such allegations have frequently led to deadly vigilante attacks on the accused or their lawyers. Pakistan is nearly 96 percent Muslim, according to Operation World, and religiously charged court cases commonly involve clamoring crowds of Muslims and other pressures coming to bear on lawyers and judges. Christians make up 2.45 percent of the population.

 

Mother of two children and stepmother to three others, Bibi was convicted under Section 295-C of the defamation statutes for alleged derogatory comments about Muhammad, which is punishable by death, though life imprisonment is also possible. Pakistan put a de facto moratorium on executions into place in 2008, though one person has been executed since then.

 

In the harvest fields of Ittan Wali in June 2009, her co-workers objected to her touching the container for the water she had fetched, saying that her Christian faith made it impure for them, and they told her to convert to Islam, according to her husband. Her objections were taken as blasphemy, and they beat her before dragging her to a police station, he said.

 

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has stated that Christians and Ahmadis, a minority sect within Islam, are vulnerable to Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy law, according to The New York Times. More than 20 men have been sentenced to death under the blasphemy law, most of them Christians, though none have been executed, human rights groups say.

 

Pakistan’s blasphemy laws have been routinely misused to settle personal scores with false accusations. Police have found most blasphemy accusations to be false during investigation, but accusers can make innocent victims suffer months in jail with quick and easy registration of such cases.

 

Of 5,000 cases registered between 1984 and 2004, only 964 people were charged with blasphemy, according to the Pakistani newspaper Dawn. A recent study by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) found that from 1953 to July 2012, there were 434 people blasphemy “offenders” in Pakistan, including 258 Muslims, 114 Christians, 57 Ahmadis and four Hindus.

 

Those acquitted of blasphemy charges also face threats from homicidal vigilantes. Of 52 people extra-judicially murdered after being charged with blasphemy in Pakistan, 25 were Muslims, 15 were Christians, five were Ahmadis, one was Buddhist and one was Hindu, according to the CRSS report.

 

Most blasphemy case acquittals take place at the appellate level, after courts have denied bail so often that the accused spend years in jail, as lower courts tend to decide based on fear of violence by Islamist groups rather than on merit.

 

Section 295-B of Pakistan’s blasphemy statutes makes willful desecration of the Koran or a use of its extract in a derogatory manner punishable with life imprisonment. Section 295-A of the defamation law prohibits injuring or defiling places of worship and “acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class of citizens.” It is punishable by life imprisonment, which in Pakistan is 25 years.

 

Blasphemy charges against Rimsha Masih, a girl whose mental age was determined to be less than 14 years old, were dismissed on Nov. 20, 2012 after a judge ruled that they were baseless (see Morning Star News, Nov. 20, 2012). She has since been relocated to Canada.

 

The original article was published on Morning Star News

________________________

Will the West Abandon Asia Bibi to an Execution in Pakistan?

John R. Houk

© October 17, 2014

______________________

Death Sentence Upheld for Christian Mother Asia Bibi in Pakistan

 

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Sunday Services in Pakistan


Pakistan Church Burning

Intro to ‘Sunday Services in Pakistan’

Edited by John R. Houk

August 16, 2014

 

Shamim writes about the incredulous hypocrisy of Pakistan’s school system especially as it affects religious minorities and worse – the girls of those minorities. I believe I found a decent website that explains how education works in Pakistan. The information was put together by a Pakistani whose name is Umbreen Sabir Mian. I find it fortunate he put together the data in English. Mian’s website info is based on a presentation he put together in 2011. Here are some excerpts that will provide a framework for Shamim’s report:

 

The educational system of Pakistan is among the least-developed in the world. The system was based on the British colonial educational system, which lasted until 1947. In that year, Pakistan gained independence as a result of the partition of the Indian subcontinent into the states of India and Pakistan. The colonial system was elitist; it was meant to educate a small portion of the population to run the government. Despite changes since independence, the Pakistani educational system has retained its colonial elitist character, a factor preventing the eradication of illiteracy.

 

Structure

 

There are 3 main sectors of education system in Pakistan.

 

 

>Formal Education

 

>Informal Education

 

>Religious Education

 

The provincial Education Departments are headed by their respective Provincial Education Ministers. The civil servant in charge of the department is the Provincial Education Secretary. The provinces are further divided into districts for the purpose of administration. The head of the Education Department in a district is Executive District Officer (EDO). Literacy Department functions separately in case of Punjab and Sindh only it is headed by Executive District Officer (EDO) literacy. In the Provinces of NWFP and Balochistan, literacy is the part of Education Department. The hierarchy then runs down to the District Education Officer, Sub-district Education Officer, Supervisors or Assistant Sub-district Education Officers.

At the grass root level (the union council level), Learning Coordinators (LCs) provide academic guidance as well as supervise the schools. The administrative structure has been decentralized under the Devolution Plan. Village Education Committees (VECs)/ School Management Committees (SMCs) have been set up in the provinces at grass root level.

 

Performance

Despite the intentions of the Pakistani government, the educational system has failed to eradicate illiteracy in the post-independence era. It has also failed to train an adequate number of professionals to meet the needs of the country in different fields, which has been a major hindrance to the nation’s economic development. …

 

…  The government privatized the schools nationalized in the 1970s. It also reversed the process of promoting Urdu as the language of education and encouraged a return to English language in the elite private schools. Finally, the government emphasized Pakistani studies and Islamic studies as two major fields in the curriculum. This was a shift from colonial education’s emphasis on British history and English culture and literature.

 

 

The government of Pakistan recognized that education is the basic right of every citizen; therefore, access to education for every citizen is crucial for economic development and for poverty alleviation. …

 

 

… The targeted groups for EFA goals belong to disadvantaged communities with minimal opportunities. These groups are highly vulnerable, without access to learning facilities, or public sector facilities, which are functioning at sub-optimal levels.

 

Female Education

The Pakistani educational system has demonstrated a discriminatory trend against women. This bias is evident in the pattern of literacy, which shows a strong correlation between gender and literacy rates. …

 

 

Despite all shortcomings of private education mentioned above, PIHS survey indicates that enrolment rates in public schools have declined since 1995-96 particularly a large decline has been observed in rural areas. It is generally perceived by parents that quality of education in private schools are better than the public schools, therefore, those parents who can afford prefer to send their children to private schools. These trends indicate that the public education system is unable to meet public demand for providing quality education in the country.  (Education system of Pakistan; Pakistan – Higher Education System)

 

 

I realize this was a quite lengthy intro to Shamim Masih’s report on the lack of education opportunities for Pakistani Christians. Many might even feel this is superfluous info and as such unneeded. The Pakistani who put the data together not unsurprisingly failed to mention anything about religious minority discrimination let alone Christian discrimination.

 

Actually the treatment of Christians in Pakistan is symptomatic of all Christians throughout the entire Muslim world. So read and become enlightened to what the Western World has been sticking their heads in the sand for quite some time. AND PLEASE SUPPORT SHAMIM MASIH WITH YOUR GENEROSITY.**  

 

JRH 8/16/14

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Sunday Services in Pakistan

Plight of Pakistani Christians

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 8/15/2014 7:08 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: When Church bells are ringing and you hear worship songs all around your surroundings on Sunday services, it sounds good. But it is only possible in a Christian country not in Islamic Republic of Pakistan. In Pakistan, on Friday, you will find that people block the roads for Friday prayer near and around the mosques. Although it is said that mosque is not for prayer but a base for recruiting Muslim youths to engage in terrorist activities. It sounds that Pakistan has become the hub to control religious extremism and discrimination.

 

On the other hand, religious minorities have been targeted; colonies, villages were being burned, accused in false cases of blasphemy, victims of intimidation, forced marriages, and force conversions is seen in this country. New church buildings are restricted unconstitutional, and you cannot arrange religious gathering at your homes even. During the last few weeks; we started Sunday service at our home but our landlord asked me to stop this service because we live in Muslims’ surroundings. According to the report, the greatest levels of social hostilities toward religion felt in Pakistan. Social hostilities include armed conflict, terrorism, sectarian violence, harassment, intimidation or abuse motivated by religious factors. Harassment against Christians has been increased in the recent decade.

 

Government has imposed unannounced restrictions on religious minorities’ which include political restrictions, limit preaching, and construction of the new church buildings. On the other hand when a Christian is accused of blasphemy, the people of a neighborhood gather to punish the accused, burning him alive or lynching him. The police and the government have never punished such acts.

 

Education is basic right of every child and [the] state is responsible to provide basic rights to every citizen. Ninety percent of the Christian girls remain uneducated and indulged in household jobs.  They are being sexually harassed and then being forced to convert to Islam. If girls from the minority go to school they face discrimination. They are not only forced to study Islamic studies but forced to do manual jobs like cleaning in the schools while other girls remain in the class rooms. Iffat Nasim, headmistress of the Government Khadija Girls High School in Rawalpindi, is reportedly involved in extra-educational activities by indulging the Christian students in cleaning/washing classrooms, toilets, verandas/corridors for hours and preparing burgers/buns from Muslim students for earning money for her.

 

Parents of the different Christian students submitted an application to the District [Executive] Education Officer (EDO) Qazi Zahoor ul Haq. He conducted an inquiry but it was not in letter and spirit, rather [it was] swept under the carpet. Parents provided rotated clips and pictures even then no prompt action is being taken. The above mentioned activity not only depicts her interest in education, but also shows her discriminatory attitude towards the Christian community. This is not the end; discrimination against religious minorities is seen in every walk of life in Pakistan.

 

Request: I want to make a documentary on the plight of the Christian women in Pakistan, please support me, if you can. **

 

[**Blog Editor: The information enabling you to support and/or donate to Shamim Masih is below.]   

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Edited by John R. Houk

Text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian (PakBiz.com description) & Channel – 5

Human Rights Activist

 

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist
 

Secretary General of Information

Pakistan Christian Congress

 

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

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We Need Visionary Leaders


Albert David

Albert David

 

Intro to ‘We Need Visionary Leaders’

Edited by John R. Houk

July 8, 2014

 

This is not the first time Shamim Masih has written about corruption and/or political inactivity of leaders who claim to represent the Christian minority in Pakistan. In this report Shamim contrasts the failed subservient leadership of Julius Salik with Pakistani Christian leader Albert David the Chairman of the Pakistan United Christian Movement (PUCM).

 

Most of what I discovered on Julius Salik is in a positive manner pertaining to Christian activism in Pakistan. Shamim’s can be summed up in this paragraph:

 

There was something ironic about 11 August this year. I saw the biggest joker of Christian rights in Pakistan Julius Salik join the election campaign of Advocate Ashraf Gujjar for NA 48. Yes he is the same Gujjar who garland Mumtaz Qadri and who feels he must be released. He is the same Mumtaz, who took law into his own hands and killed Salman Taseer before his blasphemous guilt could be proved. This is an ugly side of one of our leaders who is a self-proclaimed champion of human rights while he has done nothing practically for their rights. I found Basharat Khokhar better helping Christians in Islamabad then this leader. J Salik arranged commiseration for Qazi Husain Ahmad after his death but not spoken a single word for Shahbaz Bhatti. Qazi Husain Ahmad was the chief of Jammet e Islami – JI, a fundamentalist religious organization. (Bold Print MineConstitution Avenue Will Remain Quiet Until you Sleep; By Shamim Masih; Salem-News.com; 8/26/13)

 

Here are some glowing words about Albert David from a 2012 post:

 

 

Unfortunately many so called Christian leaders are still shaking their tails behind them, thus not knowingly they became the part of it. I have been writing for the need of unity among Christians of Pakistan. Years back I asked J. Salik (Ex. Federal Minister), Col. (R) S K Tressler (Ex. Federal Minister), and Prof. Mushataq Victor (late) (Ex. Federal Minister), to unite Pakistani Christians, but they have been playing their own cards for own sake.

 

 

I along with many other social and political activists have been desperately looking for someone who could conscientiously lead the Christian nation with conviction, determination and above all love and care. Albert apparently ticks all these boxes but will have to convince and prove through his actions only then he would be able to muster support for the new political initiative “PAKISTAN UNITED CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT (PUCM)” [SlantRight Editor: PUCM on Facebook] that he and his team have announced to launch.

 

… READ ENTIRETY (Shamim Masih Emails; email - Chosen Vessel of Christ: Albert David; By Shamim Masih; SlantRight 2.0; posted 11/19/12 – email 10/25/12)

 

JRH 7/8/14

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We Need Visionary Leaders

We Need Wise Leaders and Wise Followers

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 7/7/2014 1:31 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Let us not talk of an ideal condition but there should be a balance and fair situation. We fool ourselves if we think we can hide behind masks and maintain a double personality. All insincerities will kick back.  They will come back to haunt us and make our true intentions plain for the entire world to see. Since my school life, I have been following former federal minister Julius Salik, then he was elected member of the parliament for the first time. I ran his election campaign, seeing him as a revolutionary leader but once he became a legislator, he neither brought reforms nor took solid steps to strengthen the community, so I stopped following him.

 

Currently there is a battery of Christian social and political leaders on the horizon currently, some have been there for decades but with a blank list of achievements, some from the most recent past have a tainted record with vested interests, and some are emerging as fresh blood, energetic, clear vision and not only aware of the socio-political issues of non-Muslims in the country but also an intellect approach towards their solution. Healthy self-esteem is important because some of us think too little of ourselves; on the other hand, some of us overestimate ourselves. However the key is an honest and accurate evaluation. When our leaders at any level are accused, discredited, denounce and charged with failure the word “impeach” begins to emerge. If a leader unable to do what he was placed in office to do by election or appointment, he becomes worthless and useless, this is a situation when public impeachment should be considered.

 

I could be wrong, but what I have seen during the last decade, a majority of Pakistani Christian leadership political, social or religious is self-centered. Reforming or leading a nation is not a game for armatures, it needs solid commitment, professional attitude combined with a national and international exposure and ability to represent the masses at all levels. When I look around there are a very few personalities that fit into the above criteria and one example I would like to share is Albert David MBE, Chairman of Pakistan United Christian Movement (PUCM). Albert has a proven and accomplished professional background, national and international exposure and experience of dealing with human rights issues, a strong grip over and awareness of socio-political issues whether related to the religious minorities or the country’s national issues and above all a vision and road map for non-Muslim Pakistanis to integrate into the national main stream, political and social. Albert strongly believes in social harmony and cohesion and advocates nationalism. I had a chance of going through his profile and would like to share a few of his achievements:

 

o   He is the first Pakistani Christian to be conferred MBE (Honorary Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in recognition for outstanding services and contribution on issue of forced marriages.

 

o   He was invited by the White House as representative of Pakistani Christians for breakfast with President Barak Obama, an annual event to promote interfaith harmony between different religions in Feb, 2014.

 

o   A speaker and panelist at News Week’s conference “Women in World”, New York 2012, where he shared the stage with Foreign Secretary, Hillary Clinton and Angelina Jolie.

 

o   He was also the speaker and panelist on a debate jointly organized by BBC World service trust and BBC Urdu on the issue of forced marriages, honor killings and Gender Equality.

 

Locally he has served as the Member of the Provincial Minority Advisory Council, actively involved in the campaign against torture, a vibrant role in the promotion of child rights and leading on the advocacy campaign for Pakistan to accede to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Child Abductions. Another of Albert’s achievements was his role in signing of a Protocol between Judiciaries of Pakistan and UK on the issue of Child Abductions.

 

Along with the above mentioned and a very clear political agenda of prosperity coupled with intellectual thinking and prolific speaking skills in a number of languages, In my opinion he is emerging as one the more capable non-Muslim political leaders in Pakistan.

 

America and the West have a policy of ignoring the persecution of the Christians claiming it to be an internal affair but for some reason focus on individuals, however these individuals do not present a true picture here. Some local Christian politicians, civil rights activists and religious leaders have been making money on the pretext of safeguarding minority rights but these financial resources are being used in getting positions in other political parties and for their vest interests instead of spending those funds for achieving Christian prosperity.

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

__________________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian (PakBiz.com description) & Channel – 5

Human Rights Activist

 

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist 

Secretary General of Information

Pakistan Christian Congress

 

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

Editor: For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending to a Western Union agent in Islamabad.

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         70008227
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527

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FOR GBP TRANSFER.
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Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         00010855
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
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FOR EURO TRANSFER.
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Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         10847
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UN and U.S. wake up to protect Ahmadiyyas


Abram & Melchizedek meeting

Intro to ‘UN and U.S. wake up to protect Ahmadiyyas’

Editor John R. Houk

July 6, 2014

 

Pakistani Christians are the ignored minority in Pakistan. Shamim Masih writes about Western governments and Western Christians being more concerned about the plight of other non-Muslims minorities and of Shia Muslim minorities more than Pakistani Christians. Ignoring Christians in Muslim majority lands is a heinous act founded upon political correctness and the Left Wing denigration of the Christian faith to rid the world of the Biblical world view that used to be the mainstay of Western culture.

 

The Ahmadiyya (Ahmadi, Qadiani or Lahori) consider themselves to be Muslims yet the majority Sunni Muslims in Pakistan have legally declared them to be non-Islamic. For Sunnis this places Ahmadis on the same level as Shias. Shia Muslims don’t like Ahmadis for the same reasons the Sunnis do not. Since all three groups consider themselves Islamic, I can imagine all hold Christianity in disdain. Ahmadis seem to be more peace oriented Sunni or Shia Islam yet they still consider Christianity a devilish religion. They just don’t embrace the convert or die principle of the two largest sects in Islam.

 

Here is an excerpt about Ahmadis which really began as a late 19th century movement originating in present day Pakistan but then was British ruled India:

 

The Ahmadis are a Muslim sect which was founded in Qadian, Punjab, in the nineteenth century. Its founder was Mirza Ghirlam Ahmad, a Muslim who claimed prophetic status as the Mahdi or Messiah, in succession to Krishna, Jesus Christ and Mohammed. The Ahmadis accept four of the five basic principles of Islam, namely prayer five times a day, the Ramadan fast, the Pilgrimage to Mecca (Haj) and alms-giving. They do not accept the fifth principle, that of the Jihad or Holy War against non-believers. Many Muslims regard them as heretics and refuse to accept them as a legitimate part of Islam.

 

Today Ahmadis are found all over the world but the core community is in Pakistan: estimates vary from half a million to six million people out of a total population of over 96 million, but three million to four million is the most commonly accepted figure. During British rule of undivided India many were employed in government service and after partition many crossed the border from Indian Punjab into Muslim West Pakistan, where they continued to play a prominent part in the civil and diplomatic services and in industry and commerce.

 

Like many successful minorities the Ahmadis attracted hostility. It was felt by many that their influence in society was READ THE REST (Ahmadis of Pakistan; FAQs.orgWorld Directory of Minorities; Copyright © 2008 – Advameg Inc. – Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.)

 

 

JRH 7/6/14

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UN and U.S. wake up to protect Ahmadiyyas

 

By Shamim Masih

7/5/2014 8:29 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: We learnt the story from The Bible, when Abram heard that his brother (Lot) was taken captive, He brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people. Genesis 14: 14-16 (KJV)

 

14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.

15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.

16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

 

When Abram learned that Lot was a prisoner, he immediately tried to rescue his nephew. It would have been easier and safer not to become involved. But with Lot in serious trouble, Abram acted at once and rescued him. The U.S. based organization “The Human Rights Watch” reportedly asked Sri Lanka not to deport members of Pakistan’s minority Ahmadiyya community until the UNHCR had full access to them and determined their need for international protection. At least 142 Pakistanis, mostly Ahmadiyyas, arrested in police sweeps in Sri Lanka in June 2014 are being detained and are at risk of deportation, the Human Rights Watch said. “Sri Lankan authorities are threatening Pakistani minority group members with deportation at the very time when persecution of these groups is escalating in Pakistan,” said Bill Frelick, refugees’ director at Human Rights Watch.

 

It is good to know in the prevailing situation when the persecution on the basis of faith is reaching a high degree. A U.S. organization raised its voice to protect Pakistani minorities, but why they [did] particularly mentioned the Ahmadiyyas? Let me [be] clear [about] this; it is not the first time that U.S. people raised their voice for Pakistani minorities especially Ahmadiyyas not Christians. It’s common practice that the UN and U.S. ignore Pakistani Christians. Christians from Gojra, Kurian village, Joseph Colony, Lahore, Peshawar and other cities are seeking asylum in different countries but their applications were rejected. Despite registering with UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, these Christians have been given a shut-up call. Most of [the Christians] went [tried to go to other nations] or [are] willing [to leave], to save their lives and avoid future persecution. During the Gojra, Joseph colony and Lahore incident – [attacks on Christians], none of the survivors were given protection or IDPs [International Displaced Persons] status from UNHCR, neither [has the] U.S. has raised any voice for this poor segment of the society. On the other hand, hundreds of the Shia Hazara [Pakistan’s Shias Under Attack] community and Ahmadis are travelling to Europe, Australia, America and UK on regular a basis. Hundreds of the families were displaced during Rimsha blasphemy case and many of them are still living in tents in Islamabad slum area. They were not given the IDPs status at that time.

 

I have given the example of Abraham; he went there to save his nephew Lot, we as Christians are brothers. When we accept Christ as savior thus we become the sons of Abraham (father of the nations). But U.S. Christians (especially talking about the ruling class) has never been lenient towards Christians. The U. S. government and USAID have always been adding aid to the Muslim world, which means adding fuel to fire. While poor Pakistani Christians are still in pitiable conditions. In response these radical Muslims in [the] shape of Taliban are attacking [Christians]. Let me make it clear that all U.S. people are not in favor of Muslims; recently U.S.

congressman Rohrabacher has asked to ban aid to Pakistan for persecuting Christians.

 

Pakistani Christians have been facing discriminatory laws and persecution for the last two and half decades. The law and order situation is getting worse day by day. One can imagine; when Pakistan has failed to save its own sensitive installations from the hard-core terrorists, how come they protect the weak segment of the society when they are not even willing? The situation becomes more pathetic when the foreign office disowns refugees “detained” in Sri Lanka. Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam [Foreign Affairs Spokesperson] was unsympathetic to the plight of the detained refugees in Sri Lanka, saying: “These people (asylum seekers) obtained asylum in Sri Lanka by badmouthing Pakistan. If they are in trouble, I have noTasnim Aslam Khan - Pakistan Foreign Affairs spokesperson idea.” “I don’t know of any operation being conducted by Sri Lankan authorities against Pakistani refugees,” she added. [No Respite]  

 

In this situation, Christian countries should know and realize the sensitivity of the issues Pakistani Christians are facing. UN, U.S. and EU should honor its international obligations and allow their institutions to ensure that no Pakistani Christian is deported to face the risk of persecution or torture. Sometime we must get involved in a messy or painful situation in order to help others. We should be willing to act immediately when other need our help. 

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

____________________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All info enclosed by brackets is from the editor. All links not enclosed by links are from shamim Masih.

 

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Christian MPA Shot Dead in Provisional Capital


Quetta, Balochistan

 

Intro to Shamim Masih: ‘Christian MPA Shot Dead in Provisional Capital’

Editor: John R. Houk

June 14, 2014

 

Shamim Masih reports that yet another Christian has been shot dead in Pakistan. Handery Masih was shot by his own body guard. There seems to be a question as to whether this was an accidental murder or an overt assassination of another influential person that had a decent image as a human rights activist for Pakistani Minorities which of course includes one of most persecuted groups in Pakistan which are the Christians. Handery Masih was a selected member Balochistan’s Assembly as a minority representative from the National Party (NP). Minorities are rarely elected outright in Pakistan rather Minorities are allotted representation by law based on a minority’s population.

 

You can tell from Shamim’s report that there are numerous condemnations that stretch from Christian human rights activists to Muslim politicians of the murder. Many of the condemnations are based on the assumption a Muslim bodyguard killed a Christian MPA for Handery Masih’s faith. I have found a couple of reports in which the local police chief believes that the personal bodyguard was a dedicated member of bodyguard staff for quite a number of years. The police chief’s story line is that bodyguard Ghulam Mohai-ud-Deen had gotten into some kind of dispute with Handery’s nephew and a brawl ensued. As Handery came out of his residence to break up the fight Ghulam Mohai-ud-Deen was preparing to shoot the nephew, Handery was shot in the crossfire and died on the way to the hospital. Nothing has been confirmed yet. It would not be the first time the local police in Pakistan concocted a story to aid a Muslim attacker. Time will tell.

 

According to AFP, Abddul Razzaq Cheema, the city’s police chief, said: “The bodyguard had some personal dispute with Masieh’s nephew and both had a brawl outside the residence of the lawmaker.

 

“The bodyguard opened fire on the nephew as Masih came out of his home to stop him. He was hit in the neck and died on the way to hospital. “Cheema added that the bodyguard was “loyal” and bore Masieh no personal enmity.

 

Another police official in Quetta confirmed the killing and added: “Masih’s nephew was also wounded in the attack. “It was the latest killing of a serving lawmaker in Pakistan. (Balochistan minority MPA shot dead in Quetta; By AFP and SYED ALI SHAH; Dawn.com; Updated: 2014-06-14 18:20:39)

 

According to available details, Hendery Masih, a provincial lawmaker belonging to governing National Party was leaving his home when a policeman deployed with him as security guard for past 13 years opened fire on him. He was immediately rushed to the hospital but could not survive the fatal attack.

 

Abdul Razzaq Cheema, the city’s police chief confirmed the incident and said that killing is result of some dispute between policeman identified as Ghulam Mohai-ud-Deen and nephew of Hendery Masih.

 

“The bodyguard had some personal dispute with Hendery Masih’s nephew and both had a brawl outside the residence of the lawmaker. The bodyguard opened fire on the nephew as Masih came out of his home to stop him. He was hit in the neck and died on the way to hospital.”

 

Masih’s nephew also sustained injuries in the attack. (Christian Lawmaker Hendery Masih Gunned Down in Quetta; By Azhar Nadeem; Pakistan Tribune; 6/14/14)

 

JRH 6/14/14

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Christian MPA Shot Dead in Provisional Capital

Handery Masih 2 - Member Balochistan Assembly killed

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 6/14/2014 6:21 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: Handery Masih [also Masieh], a Christian Member of the Balochistan Assembly, was shot dead in Quetta on Saturday noon.

 

According to details, Handery’s personal security guard sprayed bullets on him outside his residence in Quetta. He was immediately shifted to the nearest hospital but unfortunately he could not survive. His nephew was also injured in the shooting incident. The National Party selected him as provisional assembly member on minority reserved seat in the last year May, 2013.

 

According to sources, Ghulam Mohi-ud-din, his security guard was arrested; however the motive behind the attack could not be ascertained as yet. Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif took notice of the incident and directed the authorities to take stern action against the killer. Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, speaker National Assembly, senior officials and clergy condemn the killing of the Christian member.

 

Sohail Johnson, chairman Sharing Life Ministries Pakistan (SLMP), Farrukh H Saif, chief of World Vision in Progress (WVIP) and Farrukh Saif Foundation, Sajid Ishaq, chairman Pakistan Interfaith League (PIL), Basharat Khokhar, and Christian Human rights activists around the country have condemn the incident and demanded the government to take precautionary measures to secure the minorities in the country.

 

Albert David, chairman Pakistan United Christian Movement (PUCM) and Nazir S Bhatti, president Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC), both politicians said its government’s responsibility to ensure security of the minorities, while the officials have failed to do so. They urged the high officials to investigate the matter on an urgent basis otherwise we will stage a protest against the killing of the minorities in Pakistan, Albert added.

 

Earlier Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian Federal Minister was shot dead in Islamabad and still the case is hanging on [unresolved].  

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

______________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Brackets indicate editorial additions – all links by the Editor

Please support the Christian Human Rights efforts of Shamim Masih – Details Below

 

© Shamim Masih

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Religious Leadership or Land Mafia Operating throughout Pakistan


Bishop Dr  Ijaz Inayat

Bishop Dr. Ijaz Inayat

 

Shamim Masih writes about the injustice and persecution leveled against Christians in Pakistan. Shamim begins by referencing a previous post, “Self – Esteem and Dignity lies in Mutual Respect”. With this post he continues these thoughts, but there is some emphasis on some members of Pakistan’s Christian leadership using their clerical positions to exploit the Christian laity rank and file for self-aggrandizement of wealth and power.

 

Shamim uses Sadiq Daniel as an example. The scoop on Daniel is that he rigged a pastoral election to attain the Office of Bishop (See Also HERE) of Karachi then proceeded to sell off Church property (he evidently had ordained minister accomplices – See Also HERE) and placed the proceeds of the sales in his own pockets.

 

In some of the links above Bishop Dr. Ijaz Inayat is a Christian hero trying to reverse the curse of insidious Church leadership in Pakistan. Shamim mentions this in the report below.

 

 

JRH 6/7/14

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Religious Leadership or Land Mafia Operating throughout Pakistan

 

Shepherd’s Staff

Wolf in sheep

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 6/6/2014 5:21 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Earlier I posted that healthy self-esteem is important because some of us think too little of ourselves; on the other hand, some of us overestimate themselves. The key to an honest and accurate evaluation know the basis of our self-worth – our identity. Evaluating yourself by the worldly standards of success and achievement can cause you to think too much about your worth in the eyes of others and thus miss your true values in God’s eyes.

 

Many Christian right activists are working in our country; some of them have vision to save Christians facing problems others are looking for Western donors and thus creating ambiguity among the workforce. Even religious leadership stands in the same queue. In my college days, I was a drastic religious activist but later I found that most of religious leaders made their wealth via the very avenues they publicly condemned as being anti-environment. What I realized is that they “got theirs” but didn’t want anyone else to get the same. It’s not that I now think that all these leaders are good and not harmful to the environment, but if you are going to point accusative fingers you’d better make sure the shit is cleaned from your nails first.

 

Clergy who are members of either denomination could be subject to disciplinary measures. There are many actively involved in massive misappropriation of church properties, under various fraudulent pretexts while holding posts forming part of the pious and respected institution in Christian community, but the so called Bishop Sadiq Daniel from Karachi dioceses from the Church of Pakistan thereby further tarnishing the image of the Christian community at large. Although it is settled a principle of law that once a trust property, always a trust property; thus, no change in its status is permitted in any manner whatsoever. But this man is involved in selling church properties. And finally [the] chief of “Church Property Bachao Tehrik, Pakistan” Bishop Dr. Ijaz Inayat filed an application in the Sindh High Court, and luckily the court is considering it an urgent matter, has accepted the petition and set a date for its hearing.

 

Christianity is still regarded as a problem and a threat by both the government and local people in the country. Christians are still being imprisoned for their faith often constrained in shackles or stocks and torture is endemic. The most common form of persecution involves high level pressure to abandon their faith, with sanctions commonly including forced eviction, denial of service and social exclusion. Despite all this, and due to the amazing witness of local believers, the church continues to grow.

 

Fanaticism, mob violence, death threats, bombings, and institutional discrimination are just some of the dangers. Christians are often denied places in schools, are forced to accept only menial jobs, and are viewed with [the] low cast. Certainly, in this situation; we should stand against these evils in the society to save our future. They are either ordained to guard them or to sell them to thieves in few coins.

____________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Text encased in brackets are added by Editor           

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

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Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

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Threats – a Juvenile Prank or Serious Issue


Basharat Khokher - UNHCR Entrance

Shamim Masih writes about religious minorities fleeing Pakistan. Shamim enlightens us that after fleeing Pakistan their refugee status often is a harrowing experience in itself.

 

I added a couple of explanatory links that was not a part of Shamim’s original submission. As I was looking for further information I found some information I found interesting. I am going to add these as a kind of addendum after Shamim’s financial support information.

 

JRH 4/17/14

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Threats – a Juvenile Prank or Serious Issue

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 4/15/2014 10:34 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Religious persecution is not the only reason which compels Pakistanis to seek asylum elsewhere. Many a time, Pakistanis are forced to flee from their country because of their affiliation or lack of the same thoughts. I always wonder, was the country made only for single Muslim school of thought, who always attack on other faiths and threaten them to leave the country? No not, Pakistan is just as much a home to Christians, Hindus, Ahmadis and Shias and nobody has the right to expel anyone from their homeland. However, expulsion continues to take place at gun point and many a time over the lifeless bodies of loved ones. In fact we always think that misfortune always falls on other people and somehow we always stay away from such things until the violence strikes at our home.

 

I see many Pakistanis are seeking asylum in foreign countries and most of them instigate violence themselves and ignite the fury of others so that they can seek political or religious asylum in foreign countries. Many Christian families are living in UK, USA, Canada and other European countries. Seeking asylum is not easy and people who say that people do it deliberately should go to see, where many asylum seekers from different countries work day in and day out to feed their families. Seeing their faces will make you understand that what they have chosen has been the lesser of two evils as a last resort.

 

According to the sources, around 8000 families are seeking asylum in Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia. Most of the asylum seekers who leave Pakistan in hopes of a better and safer future reached destitute or have meager funds which only last for a very small period of time. Most of them have to accept odd jobs and work at less than minimum wage until their resident status is approved by the immigration authorities. But I don’t see any positive response from the authorities or United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The Colombo Gazette reported that there are around 600 Pakistani Christians that are currently seeking asylum in Sri Lanka.

 

Many of the families have sold their houses and lost their job in hopes of a better and safer future, told Basharat Khokher after his visit to Thailand, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. According to Basharat Khokhar some Human Right Champions are involved in human trafficking in the name of asylum in different countries. He condemns this act of Human Right Organization instead being supportive they are playing with their future. He said he met with many families there and now some of them are [desiring return] to rejoin their jobs, realizing the situation and bleak future.

 

He mentioned Pakistan European Christian Association – PECA and few others, I tried to call on the given number and have left messages but there is no response so far.

 

Nazir S Bhatti, President Pakistan Christian Congress – PCC have expressed his concern over the unprecedented delay shown by UNHCR offices in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Thailand in processing applications for thousands of Pakistani Christian asylum seekers. The PCC chief appealed to UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon that cases of the Pakistani Christians in these countries be considered on a priority bases for refugee status. He said they are living in miserable human conditions for years and have been waiting for their applications to be considered.

 

Refugees have no right to work legally, and it is difficult to find employment, even in the informal sector. Most urban refugees in Thailand live a precarious existence: unable to work, often unable to send their children to school, they are typically financially stressed, dependent on ad-hoc charity to survive, at risk of exploitation and constantly worried about being arrested and indefinitely detained. Most of them reached there with a genuine passport and tourist visa. They are usually exhausted most of their savings to come to Thailand. Once their tourist visas expire, under Thai law, they are considered illegal migrants. As a result, they are at constant risk of arrest and extort refugees and then release them, but arrest can also result in indefinite detention. Pakistani Christians often face harassment and discrimination in churches from the Thai community. Many were unaware how difficult conditions would be in Thailand before they came, often having been misled by “agents or people-smugglers.”

 

Even if refugees obtain refugee status, their chances of being resettled outside of Thailand are not high, and they face serious ongoing protection problems while they remain in Thailand.

 

I left their shops and homes with a very heavy heart, fervently praying that Pakistan would once again become a tolerant and progressive society where people can enjoy equal rights.

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

________________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Brackets indicate editorial additions of the Editor.

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian (PakBiz.com description) & Channel – 5

Human Rights Activist

 

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist 

Secretary General of Information

Pakistan Christian Congress

 

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

Editor: For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending to a Western Union agent in Islamabad.

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         70008227
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527

Top of Form

IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
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Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
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**************************************

Another exodus of refugees from Pakistan

 

BANGKOK – It has been a year since 14-year-old Samantha moved with her parents, elder sister and elder brother to Bangkok. She still does not clearly understand why they left their home in Lahore and moved to Thailand. All she knows is that her father was in trouble back in their hometown and some bad people wanted to kill him to avenge what they said was his unruly behaviour and remarks that he supposedly made at his workplace that resulted in a fight. In Bangkok she spends her time playing games on computer and playing with a large number of young children also from Pakistan and some Thai children that also live in the same compound. She has picked up a number of Thai words and proudly claims to be an expert in conversation with local Thai people.

Talking to this scribe the other day Samantha said she was very happy but missed her school. “Uncle nothing has changed as we eat the same Pakistani food and go to church every Sunday. I am leader among the youngsters here and they all call me deedi (elder sister),” she proudly said.

The scribe has been living with Pakistani families seeking asylum and refugee status in Thailand for more than two weeks. …  This report, however, is just based on findings in Thailand where these people are referred to as urban refugees and are mostly living in the suburbs of Bangkok.

 

Pakistani Christians in the last two years have moved in large numbers to Thailand. The problems they face at the hands of extremists are just beginning of their ordeal. Their first test comes at Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad airports. They are asked hefty amounts to board the plane by immigration officials. On average one family of four people pay $800 to $1,000 for embarking on the plane. Mrs Sarfaraz Jacob who moved from Lahore in January with her daughter, son and daughter-in-law was offloaded for not paying the bribe. The next day she again tried and was able to negotiate their exit for $800. The officials do not take bribe in rupees and demand payment only in dollars. “I pleaded with them that the money I had was my pension and gratuity of public sector service as a teacher. They paid no heed to my requests and said I was going to seek asylum abroad,” she said. Interestingly all the travel documents and visas of these people are genuine and the authorities have no right to stop them.

 

When they arrive in Bangkok the real test begins. After filing for asylum they have to wait for nearly three to four months for call from UNHCR. They are given asylum seeking certificates. But during this period they are at risk of getting caught by local police as their visas expire after two months. They have to pay hefty amounts as bribe to cops to escape detention. After getting asylum seeking certificates then begins the wait for second call for interview which usually comes after one year, 18 months or after two years. During this period if they fall sick they can be treated at some designated hospitals after getting clearance from Bangkok Refugee Centre (from where they also get medicines for common diseases and illnesses). BRC medical unit is …

 

During the period of their application if some person falls sick and dies it becomes very difficult to bury the dead. A child of one Javed died soon after birth. It cost 1,800 bhat to get him buried. No welfare organisation helped in the burial. Sharoon Gill was a civil engineer in Pakistan. His mother passed away last December after renal failure due to depression and loneliness. His mother’s body was cremated and sent to Pakistan for burial. “My daughter and son were school going in Pakistan. Their only complaint was of not wearing uniform and attending school. They would look at Thai children in envy and used to ask me when they would go to school. Thank God now they attend school as I and my wife teach at this refugee school,” he revealed. There is donor fatigue and the local churches have also stopped supporting the asylum seekers and refugees.

 

Life is not easy for those who leave Pakistan and dream of finding peace again. Bangkok is an expensive city and they have to look after themselves for nearly three years before their refugee process is complete and they may be given the option to settle in third country by the UNHCR. They have to pay for food and lodgings. The last ordeal comes when they are ready to leave Thailand. According to local law the family must live in Immigration Detention Centre for seven days before leaving. They can escape detention by paying fine of 20,000 bhat each.

 

 

“In Thailand there are about 120,000 refugees in nine camps. Then there are about 1,000 Rohingyas. For the urban refugees we have to differentiate between asylum seekers and refugees. All asylum seekers seek refugee status but not all get that. We do individual refugee determination, which is also why it takes so long even after they get registered. It is a very intensive process. You get called in for first interview. Then it is very in-depth process, where we find out as to why did the person leave his home country.

 

 

Considering the situation it is high time for the Pakistan government to take up this issue and end the woes of minorities and ethnic groups who are persecuted by extremists in the name of religion or for their own vested interests. The solution to Pakistani refugees’ problems needs to be explored by the Pakistan government to end their medical insurance exploitation. (Another exodus of refugees from Pakistan; By EMANUEL SARFRAZ; The Nation; 3/19/14)

+++++++++++++++++++

PAKISTAN: Legalising prostitution — the Wisdom of the UN?!

 

According to a research, modern day trafficking, aka slavery is a $32 billion annual industry and according to the U.N. about 2.5 million people around the world are ensnared in the web of human trafficking at any given time.  The usual victims of atrocious crimes of sexual and gender based violence, including rape against women & girls (young, adolescents and teen) are poor, uneducated, rural and trafficked ones.

 

 

… According to a news report published in the Express Tribune (Pakistan) on 24, February 2014, the country may join the group of some 44 countries already on the ‘Tier 2 Watch List’ as human trafficking is rising in the country at an alarming level – the number of most-wanted human traffickers in the country has jumped from 89 to 141 in the last four years.

 

 

Ps: I want to quote Ms.Nasreen Azher, former member of the National commission on the status of Women, a renowned and highly respected woman rights activist of Pakistan who while responding to my email on this issue to some important human rights, child rights and women rights network in Pakistan wrote “I agree Rakhshanda. That the UN is even considering legalizing prostitution is outrageous. It shows how the market is ruling the world and corrupting human values and causing human suffering. The pimps, exploiters and, of course, the traffickers, as well as  those who buy sexual services should be penalized.  Thanks for sharing. Regards.Nasreen” (PAKISTAN: Legalising prostitution — the Wisdom of the UN?! By Dr.Rakhshinda Perveen; Asian Human Rights Commission; 3/25/14)

 

++++++++++++++++++++++

REPORT: AT LEAST 700 CHRISTIAN WOMEN FORCED INTO ISLAMIC MARRIAGES YEARLY IN PAKISTAN

 

A new report reveals that at least 700 Christian women are kidnapped and forced into conversion to Islam and Islamic marriages in Pakistan each year.

 

According to the Fides agency, the Solidarity and Peace Movement, a coalition of non-governmental organizations, associations, and institutions, including the Justice and Peace Commission of the Pakistani Bishops, has prepared the alarming report. The report also revealed that about 300 Hindu women experience the same fate each year in Pakistan.

 

The authors of the “Forced Marriages and Forced Conversions in the Christian Community of Pakistan” report have cautioned, however, that the number of women cited is the official number of reported cases; “the true extent of the problem is probably much bigger, since many cases are not reported.”

 

The report explains that the Christian and Hindu women cited are between the ages of 12 and 25, from poor families and lower social classes. Many of the kidnappings are never filed as complaints due to fear of threats. In the cases that do make it to court, the women are often abused and intimidated, then claim they have converted and married freely, leading to the dismissal of these cases.

 

“Under the custody of the kidnapper, she may suffer sexual violence, forced prostitution, domestic abuse and beatings, if not human trafficking,” the report notes.

 

… (REPORT: AT LEAST 700 CHRISTIAN WOMEN FORCED INTO ISLAMIC MARRIAGES YEARLY IN PAKISTAN; By DR. SUSAN BERRY; wahdat News; 4/11/14)   

High-handed Leadership


Muslims Persecute Christians banner

Shamim writes about how Islam has transformed Pakistan from a secular State at its founding to a Muslim State dominated more and more by Islamic intolerance. Islamic intolerance in Pakistan has corrupted those who are considered leaders in Pakistan’s ever decreasing Christian population into kowtowing to the Islamic Supremacists that appointed them.

 

JRH 3/9/14

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High-handed Leadership

 

By Shamim Masih

3/9/2014 3:27 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: Religious minorities are widely viewed as beleaguered or under attack since Z. A. Bhutto’s regime. Even then Pakistani Christians follow his ideology. At the time of partition in 1947, around 23 percent population was comprised of non-Muslims citizens. Today, the proportion of non-Muslims has declined to approximately 3-4 percent. Religious minorities such as Christians, Hindus and Ahmadis have been the targets of suicide bomb attacks, several incidents of violence and intimidation were reported including abduction and subsequent forced conversion of girls. Worship places and graveyards of Christians and Ahmadis have not been spared. Regular reports of graves being excavated and vandalized appear in the press and via community reports. 

 

General Zia brought in rules and regulations which were supposed to bring Pakistani law more in tune with the Sharia, or at least the Sharia as interpreted by him and his cohorts. These laws, which included the infamous blasphemy law, had a long term impact on Pakistan’s minorities. Since then there has been a steady rise in incidents involving attacks on both Christians and Ahmadis during the last two decades. Blasphemy law has targeted religious minorities on a regular basis. In spite of the case’s dismissal by the court, Rimsha and her family had to be kept in a safe house to prevent vigilante action against her and finally Rimsha and her family shifted to Canada.

 

During the British era, blasphemy laws were used infrequently and were reserved for prosecution of clerics, authors and preachers who caused inter-communal violence by attacking other faiths. But since 1982, any individual can be charged with blasphemy, leading to vigilantism and frivolous accusations against Pakistan’s minorities, especially Christians. Before 1986, only 14 cases of blasphemy had ever been reported, whereas between 1986 and 2012 around 1300 people had been charged.

 

I believe that all Christians are not saints but human beings and often make mistakes but I certainly believe that there is even limits to telling lie. Bhutto nationalized Christians’ institutions and since then Christian students are out of educational institutions. Even now Christian students are being expelled from missionary institutions due to the lack of sources. But Paul Bhatti’s claimed that he has supported 4000 Christian students and funded 15 Christian students for higher studies abroad and 100 million provided for rehabilitation of worship places. I didn’t see any support for Christians during his time. This huge fund is beyond the total grant to the Harmony Ministry from the government, which is around 20 million per year. During the vigil mark slain minister Shahbaz Bhatti’s third death anniversary, I heard people claiming, and they are promoting his vision; I try to recall, what Shahbaz Bhatti or his followers have done for the community but found nothing but this scandal. Sitting as federal minister in government, if he delivered a statement in the favor of persecuted women is not worthy to take credits. He was elected through the democratic process but was selected by a big Muslim political party. Candidates appointed to reserved seats are not real representatives as they do not get their votes. The selection system adopted for minority members has opened the doors of corruption, says Albert David- Chairman PUCM. Thus he was not a public representative. When a majority of fellow Christians are going through sufferings we are not worthy to take any credits. Nazir S Bhatti, president PCC declared joint electorate conspiracy against religious minorities. The PCC has filed a writ petition in the IHC against this system.

   

Besides flagging the incidents, the HRCP report laments the failure to do away with discriminatory laws including the constitutional provision barring non-Muslims from key government positions. Instead of abandoning the promise of revising and improving the law, the government should create consensus on the need to reform it. Educational institutions, Technical training centers and women empowerment is required to empower the Christian community.

 

If I look around and I could hardly find few passionate Christians, who delighted to extend their hands to all affected areas and people in need. There is a lot of information regarding the recent and past Christian persecutions that sway Pakistan over and over. Scientists say that a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can create a tornado in Texas a week later. Clearly, in today’s deeply connected Christian world, truthful unbiased and unfiltered news about realities of persecution is a basic need to address. Christian persecution news coverage is pitiable in Pakistan, but reminding the Christians around to unite, remain prayerful and patient so that we can ripple Christian love and concern through our own individual lives and the consequent lives we inevitably affect around us.

 

But unlikely there are many so called Christian leaders wasting the resources shaking up with Muslim ullmas [Blog Editor: I could not find a reference to “ullmas”. Perhaps in the context of sentence the reference is “ulema,” “ulama” or mullah] and contributing in main political parties. The Islamists are prevailing in the battle of ideas. Secular voices have been either physically eliminated or removed from the mainstream by judicial means. Therefore, it is in the interest of neighbors and the international community to support the minority communities in Pakistan and to support the voices of those Pakistanis who refuse to give up the idea of a pluralist society.

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

_______________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Bracketed content is added by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian (PakBiz.com description) & Channel - 5

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Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

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A Boy in a Rickshaw


Kidnapped, raped, converted & married

In Muslim nations it is typical to kidnap Christian girls to force conversion to Islam then forcibly force the girl to marry. On the other hand if a Muslim girl willingly and voluntarily decides to marry a Christian man in many cases it is illegal and in all cases Islamic rabble rousing will most likely occur to reclaim the Muslim girl to her family.

 

The Muslim dominated nation with the largest population of Christians is Egypt. Kidnapping of Christian girls for forced conversion and forced marriage is an epidemic in Egypt where the Christian population is about 10%. Wherever there are non-Muslim minorities in a Muslim nation dominated by an Islamic legal structure kidnapping, conversion and marriage occurs frequently as well. I get updates of Muslims oppressing Christians from Christian Human Rights Activist and journalist Shamim Masih frequently. Pakistan also suffers just as Egypt from Muslims kidnapping Christians. Shamim relates the report of how Muslims threaten rioting and murder for a Muslim girl and a Christian young man falling in love and against the will of both sets of parents elope.

 

 

JRH 2/18/14

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A Boy in a Rickshaw

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 2/17/2014 8:26 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: The formation of Pakistan (as religious extremist think) and the search for an Islamic identity are inextricably linked of the wider issues of global politics and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism has been a side-effect, and religious intolerance places the minorities of the country in a shaky position.

 

On February 11, young Christian Asim Saleem 22, (rickshaw driver) went to see his girlfriend, Sunair 20 of a Muslim background. He intended to marry her but his parents kept thwarting him and demanded that he should avoid her. The couple decided to take the bold step of cross-faith marriage a dangerous ambition in Pakistan, and got married that same day in the local court. Asim didn’t involve his parents while marrying the girl. So the couple eloped and travelled away from their families. On the very same day, religious leaders informed of the marriage by Sunair’s family went to the Christian community where Saleem lived and demanded recovery of the Muslim girl. Saleem and other community members were unaware of the elopement and marriage and requested some time to investigate, but they couldn’t find them during the given time period. Muslims under the leadership of Qari Sohail returned and warned the local people that if they could not produce the couple; a Muslim mob would return and sat ablaze their houses. They warned the residents that people would be executed in retribution.

 

A few terrified Christians found courage to inform the police about this critical situation and the rest fled to escape to the nearby place to save their life and their loved ones. The Police became alert and ready to suppress any violence. On Friday, 14 February, after Jumma prayer [Friday prayers in Islam], a large mob travelled to the Christian enclave intending to vandalize Nazarat Colony. However the local police surrounded the Christian houses of Nazarat Colony. Christian inhabitants of the said colony had already fled the homes for safety as soon as a precaution against further attempts.

 

In a bizarre twist of events, the police have filed a case against Asim Saleem, First Investigation Report (FIR) [Editor: A Google search turns up info about “First Information ReportHERE is the explanation] 114/14 under the section of abduction and enforced matrimony, PP 265-B. A further allegation has been made against him for theft of 54000 Rupees and 5 grams of gold. However these allegations are reportedly false. The police also arrested two Christian men, Bashir Masih 45 and Shaukat Masih 35 who are the cousins and the father of the accused. Both were allegedly tortured and forced to make a confession admitting to be involved in taking hostage the Muslim girl. The father of the accused died of a heart attack whilst in custody. The Investigation Officer (IO), Mohd Shabbir stated that the police kept these two for their own good and wellbeing. He advised that all action taken was for the safety of Christian community; for they have to show them that the administration has kept them to convince the extremists. Later they were released, with sore bodies.

 

Christians and Hindu girls are abducted, forcefully converted to Islam and married to influential Muslims, but police do not file any cases against [abducting] Muslims. Even the court does not support in this matter [of abduction and forced marriage]. But if a Muslim girl marries a Christian boy willingly, extremists arrive to vandalize the Christian communities. Is not this inhuman? 

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

__________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Brackets in Shamim’s narrative indicate editorial additions including links.

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian (PakBiz.com description) & Channel - 5

Human Rights Activist

 

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist 

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Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

Editor: For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending to a Western Union agent in Islamabad.

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         70008227
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527

Top of Form

IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         00010855
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR EURO TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:                         MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:         MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:                         JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:                 JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:         10847
Title Of a/c                                Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:                 405527
IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227
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Looking for Role “Model”


Shamim and Najma Masih 2

Shamim & Najma Masih

Intro to “Looking for Role ‘Model’”

By Editor John R. Houk

© February 15, 2014

 

Shamim Masih is a regular contributor to SlantRight 2.0 and other blogs that I manage (NCCR & Ubiquitous8Thoughts). He has told me the funding for his family situations are lower than usual and his missed critical payments of important bills. Shamim did not want me to go into detail, but I feel compelled to intercede for this Christian activist that often ministers to the needs of poverty stricken Christians in Pakistan. Pakistan has become a nation devoted to Islam and Sharia Law which means ALL non-Muslims are receiving the modern version of dhimmitude which is essentially oppression. This oppression is Islamic Supremacism at its worse. The American Mainstream Media (MSM) is deficient in reporting the civil human abuse that Christians and other non-Muslim people receive in Pakistan. In other Muslim nations where this oppression against Christians is rampant there may be an infinitesimal amount of reporting; however in Pakistan the lack of exposing of violence and abuse is appalling.

 

At the end of Shamim’s Op/Ed style of reporting I have provided information on how to send a one time and/or a regular interval of support to Shamim. From experience the best way to send money to Shamim is via Western Union which converts dollars or euros into Pakistan Rupees upon pick-up. However if you wish to help Shamim you can use my Paypal donation button BUT just be sure to designate the donation for Shamim Masih so I can distinguish the funds for Shamim from the funds that support NCCR. At which time I will send the funds via Western Union to Shamim Masih.

 

Shamim’s Op/Ed pertains to Taliban persecution and the weak-kneed better off Christians that have a tendency to function as “yes-men” for officials dedicated to Islamic Supremacism than as a Christian Brother for the lesser-to-do-well Christians of Pakistan.

 

JRH 2/15/14

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Looking for Role “Model”

If Taliban Rules

 

By Shamim Masih

2/14/2014 5:40 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: If you ever get a chance to spend a night in a common Christian family living in slum areas. And if you can picture the issues they face in their daily life. And the most important; is to remember the sufferings, if you ever get a chance to become in power at any level. I am particularly talking about Pakistani Christians leadership. Many of the Christian political leaders originated from a common background, but it is practically observed that once they got some power in our hands. We simply forget the real cause and track is change.

 

Former Federal Minister for minority affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, founder of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliances – APMA started working for the noble cause; and reportedly work for vested interests. Later he was killed in Islamabad in March, 2011; he was receiving threats to his life for his defense of speaking out against the blasphemy law. The killers were arrested and released due to lack of the evidences and interest of the supplicant. Later in September 2013, two suspected terrorists were arrested; Adil was picked up after a car full of explosives was found at his house. And later Hammad Adil and Umer Abdullah were charged with the murder of Bhatti. The trial is underway at the Anti-Terrorism court in Adayala Jail, Rawalpindi. On January 22, the two eye witnesses were produced in court during the hearing. They saw the two accused, one whom was driving the car that day and the other man who was throwing pamphlets on the road after Bhatti was shot. The court was adjourned till February 06, 2014. Rana Abdul Hamid, the attorney spoke to me that he will be back in Islamabad on February 06 for the hearing of Shahbaz Bhatti case, but on the said date, he didn’t appear before the court and the court was adjourned to meet again on 22nd February, 2014.

 

Later Paul Bhatti reportedly was threatened; Dr. Paul Bhatti told BosNewslife he had been in Italy while receiving a threatening letter from groups linked to the 2011 assassination of his younger brother, and fellow Christian, Shahbaz Bhatti, who was minorities minister at the time.

 

Dr. Paul pledged to leave Italy and return to Pakistan despite receiving death threats from Islamic militants. He is trained surgeon, and runs his business there. He can afford to live there as his another brother lives in Canada. My question is; what about others who used their association with Shahbaz Bhatti as opportunity to get out of Pakistan? Many of the Pakistani leaders run off to other countries like Europe, USA and Canada. Why is no one speaking about the rights of poor segment of the society? The fact is; the poorest have no such option.

 

Many of them are sitting in other countries and seeking asylum. No one asks them about their performance while they were in power. I don’t [want to] blame but Bhatti’s “performance” reportedly has a question mark? How many educational/technical institutions were set up during the mean time? What solid steps were taken to empower the youth or for their economical growth? How many students were sponsored for higher studies? Even the current sitting minister doesn’t have any plan to support the talented ones of this era. He is only the “Yes Man” to his bosses. Why do these Christian leaders forget their origination?  It’s an alarming situation all around and they should present the real picture to the West while representing the government.

 

The Pakistani Taliban has announced an armed struggle against an indigenous tribe and Ismaili Muslims. They warn the Kalash, who are thought to number only 3500, to convert to Islam or face death. The spokesman said, “By the grace of Allah, an increasing number of people from Kalash Tribe are embracing Islam and we want to make it clear to the Kalash tribe that they will be eliminated along with their protectors, the western agents if they don’t embrace Islam”

 

Unfortunately the constitution theoretically protects freedom of speech, and the media is seen as having taken great strides in recent years. But certain subjects, particularly criticism concerning the all-powerful army and spy agencies, remain taboo. There is an urgent need for greater equality and social justice and for peace. In reference to the ongoing persecution and discrimination suffered by Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan, notably Ahmadiyyas and Shiite Muslims.

 

And nonetheless, the time is gone, let’s pray for those who do leave to at least support them to uplift the poor, since they can easily set up new, ongoing rich lives in the West.

_______________________________

Intro to “Looking for Role ‘Model’”

By Editor John R. Houk

© February 15, 2014

______________________________

Looking for Role “Model”

 

All the links within Shamim’s Op/Ed are supplied by Shamim. Anything enclosed in brackets are additions by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian (PakBiz.com description) & Channel - 5

Human Rights Activist

 

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist
 

Secretary General 

REAP

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

Editor: For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending to a Western Union agent in Islamabad.

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:
                        MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
                JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
        70008227
Title Of a/c
                               Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
                405527

Top of Form

IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:
                        MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
                JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
        00010855
Title Of a/c
                               Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
                405527
IBAN #
                                       pk80jsbl9530000000405227

FOR EURO TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:
                        MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
                JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
        10847
Title Of a/c
                               Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
                405527
IBAN #
                                       pk80jsbl9530000000405227 Bottom of Form

 

 

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