I Beg to Differ


hypocrit-defined

Shamim writes of the Islamic moral hypocrisy in its application to Pakistan religious minorities, especially Pakistani Christians.

 

JRH 3/1/17

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I Beg to Differ

 

By Shamim Masih (Mahmood)

Sent 3/1/2017 8:53 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: Various cities in the upper parts of Pakistan were jolted by earthquake tremors on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. I heard one of my friend saying that God is angry with us and thus there are earthquakes and other natural disasters etc.  It is common practice in Pakistani society; especially Muslim prayer leader decry in Friday prayer sermon counting the possible reasons why God is angry and reasons of natural disasters. The major reasons quoted are: selling alcohol, committing adultery especially during Ramanza [aka Ramadan], Women going out for shopping in the markets, co-education system and youth using mobile phones and latest technology. These are botched up priorities and it is very painful to see the priority list of do’s and don’ts of the Moulanas.***

 

[***Blog Editor: As an American blogger, I was not certain what a “Moulana” was. Google-America was not cooperative. That search suggested alternative spellings. In the context of Shamim’s paragraph I am going to guess two Google alternatives: Maulana and Mawlānā.

 

Maulana (The Free Dictionary):

 

     n. Islam

 

  1. A Muslim man respected for his religious knowledge or scholarship.

  2. Used as a courtesy title for sucha leader or scholar.

 

Mawlānā (Wikipedia):

 

Mawlānā (/mɔːˈlɑːnə/; from Arabic مولانا, literally “our lord/master”)[1] is a title, mostly in Central Asia and in the Indian subcontinent, preceding the name of respected Muslim religious leaders, in particular graduates of religious institutions, e.g. a madrassa or a darul uloom, or scholars who have studied under other Islamic scholars. ***]

 

Looking analytically, what is agonizing is when mentioning sins, the sin of telling a lie, cheating, hypocrisy, bribery, killing poor and innocent people, injustice from bottom to top, child abuse even in Madrisas (seminaries), the religious leadership and elders of the society conveniently overlook adulteration of foodstuff and medicines. I am not a supporter to those mentioned above but we can realize that selling wine would be one or few persons, the rest are teetotalers. Fornication would be an individual act. So how comes so grave a sin in the whole society? These could be sins but major sins are overlooked and moulana sahib [Islamic titular veneration] straight away jumps to mention drinking, dancing, modern dressing and using cell phones etc. etc.

 

For those who believe, God is actually unhappy because of our botched-up priorities. Bribery is now accepted as norm, people give false testimony in sensitive legal cases like blasphemy and then proudly mention it to others. (It is pertinent to mention that in giving testimony usually an oath is taken on Religious books) Telling lies has become a regular affair and being truthful and righteous is considered a weakness. Discrimination and inequality are against a special segment of the society. And thus, God is unhappy and keeps warning us to sort out our priorities.

 

A Superiority complex and forced imposition have made this world hell. There is no peace, stability, security and equality in the society. Freedom of speech is merely seen in papers but claimed all over. The poor are becoming poorer and rich are more rich. Thus, poor especially religious minorities are at risk. Hundreds of individuals have been falsely accused because of property disputes or personal vengeance. Blasphemy laws put Christians and other religious minorities at risk. Discriminatory laws have restricted minorities’ representatives to grow in all avenues of life. Touching the Quran or any other book of Islam, expressing or publishing atheistic opinions and preaching of other religions are consider as crime in Pakistan. Christians are often falsely accused of participating in these activities, but in and of themselves these laws are unjust constraints on religious freedom.

 

Christians and other religious minorities should be free to exercise their religion without fear of unjust persecution. This has to end, we must not rest until there is peace, security and equality for Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan. This creates a stigma which condemns religious minorities to live under the permanent threat of death. The lives of the poor hang on a very thin thread.

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Mahmood

shamim-masih-pakistani-christian-journalist

 

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Journalist, Blogger and Social Reformer
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Edited by John R. Houk

Text embraced brackets and source links are by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Mahmood

 

Independence Day


August 14th commemorated Pakistan’s independence from British rule and the Muslim partition from India. Shamim Masih reflects on how this Independence Day has evolved for Pakistani Christians and other non-Sunni Muslims in general. Shamim does not say this specifically, but his description of the plight of Pakistani Christians is the result of Sharia Law and Islamic Supremacism.

JRH 8/16/15

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Independence Day

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 8/14/2015 11:51 AM

As a Sunni majority Pakistan is celebrating the 68th Independence Day, where religious minorities of the country are still living in fear. Pakistan came into being on the basis of the odd two nation theory. In spite of living together for centuries, the Hindus and the Muslims were unable to co-operate and co-exist with each other on the basis of religion. Thus the two nation theory was presented and pretended that there were two different nations living in the sub-continent, who have different religions, cultures and social values and back ground. And they can never merge with each other; whereas cultural and social values were mostly common other than religion. Therefore Muslim leaders demanded a separate homeland for them.

After years of struggle, Mohammad Ali Jinnah succeeded in getting a separate homeland for the Muslims of South Asia in 1947. On August 11, 1947. This was just three days prior to independence. Jinnah the founder of the country made a speech in the constitution assembly and called on Pakistanis not to interject religion into their public lives. The important role of minorities was enshrined in the national flag with a white bar. He said, you are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State.

Now you see that the founding father has set other religions minorities’ free and mentioned that religion, caste or creed has nothing to do with the business of the State. But after two decades, an ideological state established in the name of Islam lost its east wing. East Pakistan emerged on the world map as Bangladesh. Unfortunately Pakistan is not independent in true spirit yet; certain mindset persons dominate and rule [the nation]. After the partition of Bangladesh [from the central government in the west], later Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto started discrimination with religious minorities. He declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims and managed to sideline the religious minorities nationalizing Christian’s educational and health institutions.

Later a military dictator Gen Zia made strict blasphemy laws and since then more than 1500 blasphemy cases were reported. Sources confirm that 51 blasphemy accused were murdered before their respective trials were over. How can Pakistan be truly called independent when its religious minorities suffer? Asia Bibi, mother of five, Sawan Masih and a Christian Couple in Gojra and many others are still suffering in jail from a death sentence accused of blasphemy cases. If the constitution gives equal rights to all citizens; why were Christian colonies like Shanty Nager, Sangla Hill, Gojra and Joseph Colony and a Church in Mardan city all set ablaze? The Christian couple was burnt alive and churches in Bhawalpur [or Bahawalpur], Peshawar and Youhanabad, Lahore were attacked where hundreds worshipers were killed and many were injured. Christians along with other minorities of Pakistan faces discrimination and persecution by the State and fellow citizens. They are routinely been accused of blasphemy and attacked or jailed. Their homes and worship places are burned down. Young girls are kidnapped, raped and forcefully converted to Islam and married.

Nazir S Bhatti, president Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC) said Pakistan Christians are not free in a true sense, instead they are gone into slavery. They can’t worship freely and enjoy their life. He said rulers have bulldozed minorities’ basic rights and turned them into second class citizens of the country. Thus the independence day of the 14th August, does not represent a true spirit of freedom. Albert David, chairman Pakistan United Christian Moment (PUCM), while expressing his view on Independence Day said unfortunately the real freedom and real democracy could not prevail in the country. The government and private sector have failed to provide equal rights to minorities in Pakistan. We can even see the discrimination in the legislation. Top most offices in the country are banned for minority representatives. Doors of the President house, Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Chief of Army Staff and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are closed for religious minorities.

During Ramadan, all restaurants and other coffee shops are closed, not only this no minority member can eat or drink in an open space. The law is extremely hypocritical and prejudiced not only on a social level, but also on a religious level. It has been preached and a guarantee of equal rights to minorities in [our] Islamic [nation] as well as the constitution of Pakistan. Then why are religious minorities deprived to eat in restaurants or at offices or any other public place? Why [enforce Islamic religious obligations on minorities if] it is not their religious duty to fast during Ramadan? Enforcing respect of Ramadan by an ordinance is a violation of human rights. [Can you agree that] it is not a violation of human rights? Now the time has come that the people of Pakistan and the government have to realize that religious observance is usually a personal matter, not an insurance plan.

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

Correspondent,

Pakistan Today, (About Pakistan Today)

Blogger and Human Rights Activist

For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending money with this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

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Edited by John R. Houk

Text or links embraced by brackets are by the Editor for an American reading audience.

© Shamim Masih

We Want Justice


A member of the Pakistani Christian community holds a placard as he shouts slogans during a protest rally to condemn Sunday's suicide attack in Peshawar on a church, with others in Lahore September 23, 2013

Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws are a tool for the Sunni Muslim population to persecute Christians. The law of the land of Pakistan is actually used to persecute Christians for their beliefs. Most Pakistani Christians are highly aware of the danger they live in if they complain about Islam in earshot of any Muslim. Because of this most blasphemy accusations are fabricated as revenge or some other nefarious design by Muslims. BUT think of it – the Islamic faith’s religious texts specifically claim Jesus is not the Son of God; hence when a frustrated Christian was to embark on a moment of bravery and tell an insulting Muslim that Jesus Christ is the Saving Messiah Son of God who arose from the dead in bodily resurrection and thus Mohammed is not telling the truth – that Christian will be sentenced to death.

 

JRH 11/1/14

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We Want Justice

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 10/31/2014 10:33 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Lahore High Court – LHC judges have saved their skin and confirmed the death sentence of Asiya Bibi. Unfortunately, in [the] high profile case of Asiya Bibi, the radical groups are also tracking her case and their presences in the court have shown that they were willing to keep Asiya’s death sentence confirmed. I am just hypothesizing but I am sure that Justice Anwar ul Haq while deciding Asiya’s case at the LHC must be thinking about Salman Taseer (late) and Shahbaz Bhatti (late) and their own security.

 

Asiya Bibi was first sentenced to death in 2010, and now LHC upheld her death sentence. The mother of 5 was accused of blaspheming against [the] Prophet Mohammad following an argument with two Muslim co-workers during an incident in 2009 in one of her parent’s village.  There are dozens of these people waiting for their fate in different jails of Pakistan and many from the religious minorities were sentenced to death under 295-C PPC. The constitution of this country is:

 

 

295.

Injuring or defiling place of worship, with Intent to insult the religion of any class:

Whoever destroys, damages or defiles any place of worship, or any object held sacred by any class of persons with the intention of thereby insulting the religion of any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction damage or defilement as an insult to their religion. Shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

 

295-A.

Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting Its religion or religious beliefs:

Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the ‘religious feelings of any class of the citizens of Pakistan, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations insults the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both.

 

295-B.

Defiling, etc., of Holy Qur’an:


Whoever willfully defiles, damages or desecrates a copy of the Holy Qur’an or of an extract there from or uses it in any derogatory manner or for any unlawful purpose shall be punishable with imprisonment for life.

295-C.

Use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet:

Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.

 

Pakistani courts; under any circumstances are very strict to announce a death sentence to the accused of blasphemy from the people of religious minorities. And none of the judges from the senior court dares to remove the decision of a lower court. Likewise, we have seen with Asiya Bibi’s case, the LHC upheld her death sentence. If so, what about the section 295 A, which says, Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the ‘religious feelings of any class of the citizens of Pakistan, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations insults the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both.  [Blog Editor: Bold emphasis is mine] 

 

During the last few years, there are many incidents [that have] accrued of this kind; in Shinti Nagar, a hundred of the Holy Bibles were burnt by a mob. During the Gojra riots two churches and seven members of a family were burnt alive. Shanti Nagar, a Christian village with its churches was burnt, in Mardan, a hundred year old church with its old signs, pastor’s house and a school were turned to ashes. And in **Joseph Colony hundreds of the houses and two churches were burnt.  Alas! No one is being punished by the court. Many Muslims involved in riots were arrested and were released one after another. It is clearly seen here that JUDGES’ decisions seem biased here. When the constitution says whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of the citizen of Pakistaninsults the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished [Blog Editor: Italics added by me for emphasis]. Unfortunately the law is being imposed on minorities but the rest of majority is not punished.

 

**[Blog Editor: To make the anguish of Pakistani Christians clear, I have found a video of the aftermath of the Joseph Colony Muslim attack triggered by yet another revenge moment by a Muslim against a Christian – Sawan Masih:

 

VIDEO: Joseph Colony Christian Homes In Lahore After The Attack & Arson By Islamists

 

Published by DLX Area 1

Published: Jul 5, 2013

 

Thousands of angry protesters on Saturday set ablaze more than 100 houses of Pakistani Christians over a blasphemy row in the eastern city of Lahore, officials said.

Over 3,000 Muslim protesters turned violent over derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammed allegedly made by a young Christian, Sawan Masih, 28, three days earlier, police official Multan Khan said.

The exact number of houses in Joseph Colony, a Christian neighbourhood in Badami Bagh area, were not immediately known but police and rescue officials said they belonged to low to middle-class families from the minority community.

“Police arrested Masih, a sanitary worker, on Friday night while the incident actually happened on Wednesday evening,” Khan told AFP.

He said that the arrest was made when Masih’s barber friend Shahid Imran complained that he had made blasphemous remarks about Prophet Mohammed, adding that READ THE REST after the video]

 

Was Pakistan being made for this day? Unfortunately; [the] religious [Islamic] mind-set segment is ruling in [our] country and [they] have forgotten that this country was not partitioned from India to become a Muslim state. Primarily the founder of our nation – Muhammad Ali Jinnah – had conceived [Pakistan] as a democratic state for Muslims and all other minorities [as well], [so] they could live together in peace and harmony and can worship freely. Non-Muslims of the region have struggled for this country so that they could be forever protected and treated as equal citizens.

 

I think there is chance apex [Highest] court can overturn the death sentence of the blasphemy cases, despite pressure on judges from radical groups that are determined to see Asiya executed. In many cases, especially blasphemy cases, court decisions are influenced, either by ideology or threats, by local radical groups. In this regard, at least President Barack Obama, the Pope and other Westerners can play a positive role to convince the Pakistani government to ensure justice in blasphemy cases facing a death sentence.

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Masih

Diplomatic Correspondent, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, UN, F & S, MOST and CADD

 

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

Human Rights Activist

 

For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

______________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All links and text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Masih

New Ideas, New Players


pleasing-allah-by-burning-christian-homes

There may be Muslim nations with a greater population of Christians than Pakistan but that does not diminish the fact that Pakistani-Christians receive perhaps the most horrific amount of persecution by the Muslim majority than other nations. YET the Western media rarely delivers the news to raise the consciousness of this horrific treatment of Christians in Pakistan.

 

JRH 6/1/14

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New Ideas, New Players

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: May 31, 2014 3:19 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has arguably become the worst place on Earth for Christians while there are others like Sudan, North Korea, Afghanistan, Bhutan etc. Other nations persecute believers, but in Pakistan the entire country has spent generations forming a world view that values the torturing of those that claim the name of Christ. In 1973; when Islam became the national religion and Bhutto’s government seized Christian schools and replaced their teachers and curriculum. Than it was imposed that the Quran is required to be read and recited in all classes at all levels. Meanwhile, it is illegal for Christian to touch or own the Quran. Now, 40 years later, Bhutto, Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) chief’s plan was successful. Literacy in Pakistan is around 50%, but literacy for Christians is less than 10%. There is only a handful of Christians who work for the government at any level. Mostly Christians are reduced to living in slums, where they are routinely either demolished or their houses frequently set ablaze. But this is not the worst of what happens to Christians here.

 

The worst is that their children, particularly young girls are the targets of their violence. Girls are kidnapped, raped and forced to convert to Islam. Young girls that refuse to convert and marry are beaten, physically tortured and either killed or simply raped and left to die naked in the wilderness. It is unfortunate that Christians do not have access to the legal system in Pakistan. Police arrest them for any crime they are accused of and they are really only accused of one crime: blasphemy, which carries an automatic death sentences. Judges in Pakistan know that if they ever find a Christian innocent of blasphemy that the judge and his family will be murdered. In the last few years blasphemy charges against Christians have become more common. Christians are frequently falsely accused of blasphemy, arrested and their houses are seized. Judges don’t want to hear these cases, and lawyers are afraid for their lives.

 

Today in Pakistan, Christian’s children do not have access to read. They cannot afford the high tuition fee in private schools and government school curriculum is changed according to Islam’s teachings. It is nearly impossible for Christians to get an education, and there are no jobs for them. Parents are afraid to teach their children the basics of the gospel – out of fear that their children may say something that will get them killed.

 

In 2011 the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom completed a study of the educational structure in Pakistan [Blog Editor: PDF version of report]. They reported that “all” of the public school teachers they interviewed taught their students that jihad was the violent struggle against infidels and that is “compulsory” for Muslims to be violent toward Christians (see pg. 16 of that report). Pakistan is a nation where nearly all – if not all – of the teachers, at every level of education, teach their children to kill Christians.

 

Talent, Time and Treasure:

 

The threat matrix for Pakistan religious minorities has changed radically and it has become a useless routine to condemn the act of violence and injustice. So we need to bring change, bringing time, and talent and treasure altogether. Let’s it take in such a way, [the] two nation theory; we as a Christian; are totally different from Muslims. We pray in a different way, we believe in the trinity, our ceremonial way is different, we believe and respect God but in a different way [than] they do. We respect and honor prophets but we are not too rigid and thus Muslims believe that we have an insulting approach which is not true thus they consider it blasphemy.

 

With the passage of time, a new, talented and competent young leader [has been] raised up in this arena. Albert David is one young emerging politician with his platform “Pakistan United Christian Movement (PUCM)”. He has proven track record of his success in his field and ambition to bring change.

 

Sajid Ishaq, a young social activist and politician gives the impression to teach the youth for a better future. Sohail Johnson, chairman Sharing Life Ministry, a brilliant person, companionate and is doing wonderful job in humanitarian field. Farrukh H Saif, chief of World Vision in Progress (WVIP) has been rescuing the persecuted for years.

 

The Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC), a political party came in with new changes and working on unity. Tahir Naveed Chaudhry has recently formed a new political party. Naila J Dayal, chairperson Christian Progressive Movement, has been working for years. And there are so many human right activists and politicians working within their resources. The keystone for raising efficiency has to [be] tied up in [a] cord; often even the threat of competition spurs innovation, so allowing more players in is a win-win for all. Let’s face it, [they are] given the challenges that face Christians today in Pakistan.

 

Pakistan used to have a noticeable Christian presence. I urge these and others [to be] zealous for the protection of Christianity in the country. Let’s join hands together, putting our time, talent and treasure together and start to join [an] effort against this malice, injustice and discrimination in the society. I would humbly request to our religious leadership to act like Jesus [when He] gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. (Matthew 14:19). Once Jesus has blessed you and [then] now it’s your responsibility to give to the people. Please deliver:                 

 

_____________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Information and links enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

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My killer is my judge


Pakistani Christians Protest Blasphemy Laws

We Christians need to pray for the Christians of Pakistan. Muslims commit acts of violence against the Pakistani-Christian community with impunity. Those Christians affected by violent persecution then are subject to criminal persecution as well as the few Christians that have escaped Muslim violence. The criminal persecution is legal in Pakistan and that surrounds Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws. The Blasphemy Law is used as a false accusation tool against Christians to settle disputes between Christians and Muslims AND to cease the property of the few Christians that are owners.

 

Below Shamim Masih writes with the gloom Christians face in Pakistan. I can read between the lines in Shamim’s report to understand this gloom is taking a toll on him as well.

 

JRH 5/30/14

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Mera Qatil he mera munsif hy

(My killer is my judge)

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 5/29/2014 4:32 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: The threat matrix for Pakistan religious minorities has changed radically now after the Pakistan Muslim League (N) came in power. There was numerous blasphemy cases registered in the Punjab province during the rule [of the] PML-N regime in the past and the same practice [goes] on. A Christian family including children and women were burnt alive and the Christian colony was set ablaze in Gojra city in 2009. In the province of Punjab, Sangla Hill and Joseph Colony, Lahore; the same practice [was] seen, blasphemy cases were registered for their vested interests but no action is being taken against the forged complainants.

 

This is not the end, as soon as the PML-N government came to power in the federal [government], Islamabad slum settlements were cautioned to vacate and were considered [as] encroachment. The inhabitants [have been] there for four decades. Now officials in the capital of Punjab province, Agency, along with the police from different stations reached at the Katchi abadi [i.e. the slums] in Qaziabad and Gulshan-i-Ravi with bulldozers and excavators in the early morning. The workers began demolishing houses amid cries of women and children. The Punjab government seems in a hurry now to crush the Christians during their rule. The colony was reportedly built some 40 years ago and during the Nawaz Sharif’s first government, he then promised them that no one would force them to leave their houses. But during his rule he has lifted them all. In recent past; the Islamabad High Court’s Justice Shaoukat Aziz Siddique had directed Capital Development Authority (CDA) to clear the slum settlements from the Capital, Islamabad. Let me give you [some] Urdu poetry: Mera qatil he mira munsif hy, kia mery haq mein faisla dy ga (My killer is my judge, will he decide anything in my favor).

    

The case is not related to Christians only but others are suffering too. A university professor was entangled in a blasphemy case and his attorney was killed. A blasphemy case was registered against 65 protesters in his favor. Shaista Wahidi (Geo TV anchor), her TV owner and two partakers had to flee from the country due to this reason [i.e. the Blasphemy charge]. A man in a small district, Shariq pur; accused in blasphemy case was killed during his judicial investigation. A foreign national non-Muslim doctor was killed during his visit to Pakistan.

   

Pakistan is a country where the majority of its population is living below poverty the line. Unemployment, poverty, illiteracy and terrorism are common problems. But religious minorities face discriminatory laws and other issues as well. Christians in the country stand nowhere, if [they] live along seasonal drainage or a katchi abadi, it is considered encroachments. If [a Christian] takes a sip of water, they are considered untouchable and sent to jail for life imprisonment. [This] is the basic reason with Asia Bibi [who] has been suffering for years. Lahore High Court is hanging her case hearing with a lame-less excuse. Another pregnant woman was killed right under the nose of Lahore High Court, Lahore. The law and order situation is beyond control.

  

The problem with Pakistani Christians is unity. Fortunately or unfortunately; they are all born leaders and do not want to sit with others. I personally feel this is basic reason of their sufferings. During the last two decades; the Hindu minority have proven that they are the largest minority in the country. None of Christian parliamentarians has spoken even a single word for their favor in NA. There are two mummies seen who [are] always seen roaming about here and there during the session in the recent one year.

 

Unfortunately we don’t have any national level regular platform to highlight the issues. The national papers and private TV channels don’t give ample space for Pakistani Christians’ issues. Although there are some private TV channels running under Christian religious administration but again I would say, these people have made it family ownership and promoting their families instead raising real cause and issues Christians are facing and we can’t highlight the actual issues. Their agenda is totally different.

  

Religious leaders and social activists are running for their vested interests. Many Christian families are suffering in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. UNHCR is not paying heed to these asylum seekers. They have reportedly paid in hundred thousand [Blog Editor: I am unsure if Shamim is talking in terms of dollars, rupees or people] for immigration. Most of the Christians are shifting to other countries and the rest do not find any future in the country. Are we equal citizen; If not should we stand for our rights?      

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

__________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Content enclosed in brackets is from 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.

 

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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:
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Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:
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                JSBLPKKA
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        70008227
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Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
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        00010855
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Unhinged Society


Dhimmitude - 2 definitions

Shamim Masih has always written reports and essays with a tinge of optimism based on Pakistan’s founding past under Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Jinnah had a vision for a secular democratic nation in which the citizens lived in mutual respect of ethnicity and religion. Pakistan became independent on August 14, 1947 and Jinnah died September 11, 1948. Jinnah’s vision was widely spoken but not really ever effectively applied. In this essay Shamim demonstrates the beginning of the understanding that Pakistan’s Islamic Supremacist government standard will not alter and that the Pakistan minorities – especially the Christians – are doomed to misery unless a cataclysmic upheaval turns Pakistan’s direction. Personally I don’t see that happening in my life time.

 

JRH 2/10/14

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Unhinged Society

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 2/9/2014 11:53 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: The straightforward fact is, when I am writing these lines; I find no hope provision of justice and protection to marginalized portion of the society. I am representative of the most vulnerable community of the country, largely dealt under Islamic militancy. Until 2006, rape in Pakistan was a crime that was largely dealt with under Islamic law. Women had to produce four male witnesses to the crime. The failure to do so could mean being charged with adultery. On the other hand, anyone can be charged with blasphemy and be immediately detained without safeguards or the opportunity for bail. Under this law, the only evidence needed is one “reliable” man’s word. Ill-treatment and torture of the accused in the custody are common practice. Judicial proceedings can take years, resulting in innocent victims languishing in jails with pending trials or appeal. Judges become biased and legal representatives and care takers are threatened. Political leaders, police and officials in the judicial system often collude in the victimization of the poorest in society.

 

Because the blasphemy law is open to abuse it has become a powerful tool to ignite religious extremism, encourage hostility towards minority groups and give Islamic zealots opportunities to take the law into their hands. During the last few years many Christians have been falsely accused of blasphemy under this law – often mischievously by people with selfish motives and the number is rising. Pakistan’s tough blasphemy laws have attracted criticism from rights groups, who say they are frequently abused to settle personal scores.

  

According to a study by USAID, Pakistani courts roots in the British colonial system means that across much of the country they are viewed with considerable suspicion, and that skepticism has fueled doubts about their legitimacy. Questions about legitimacy are compounded by the low level of efficiency, the prevalence of delays, the inferior quality of legal training, corruption, and perception that the court system is a tool for the delay of justice, manipulated by rich and/or powerful interests in the society.

 

In the same situation; proceedings of the current blasphemy cases are interrupted. Attorney and caretakers are being threatened; pamphlets are dropped in their offices warning them to disassociate themselves from blasphemy cases dealings. Christians face a number of problems because of other laws concerning marriage, divorce, guardianship and inheritance. In cases of abduction of Christian women, the Muslim man can declare that his abducted wife has converted to Islam. Thus marriage, solemnized under the family laws of non-Muslims, can be dissolved with immediate effect.

 

In this situation; what we need to do, either to sit and wait for anyone to intrude or take some sold steps, to hold their horses. If Pakistan wishes to overcome its security issues, it must reject militancy in its entirety, even so-called freedom fighters. We have exhausted all options of talks; a military option seems like the only step to curb elements that destabilize the country. In the long term, the government needs to support efforts to promote interfaith harmony and generate dialogue that can find a middle ground on ideological divisions. The future of vulnerable minorities looks bleak in a country that is religiously sensitive and combustible to variance in ideologies. The state has failed to perform its primary duty of protecting its citizens. Meanwhile, the minorities remain in fear and fight for survival.

 

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 

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

Christians of Pakistan Under the Blasphemy Law


blasphemy_law

Lubna Thomas Benjamin, a Pakistani-Christian, writes about Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws are used as a weapon of persecution against Christians in Pakistan. Ms. Benjamin asserts that Pakistani-Christians are as patriotic as the Muslim majority and yet are often treated like second class citizens. In all truth that patriotic dedication among Pakistani-Christians is something that has been confirmed to me by another Pakistani-Christian that contributes posts to this blog – Shamim Masih. Such patriotism among Pakistani-Christians is quite the enigma in my book. However, if you think about it, what choice but to choose patriotism do Pakistani-Christians have? Most assuredly any Christian rancor against Islamic Supremacism would be greeted with extermination. Even here in Ms. Benjamin’s essay you can see how much dhimmitude has been brainwashed into to her persona. She writes of the Islamic prophet Mohammed placing in parentheses after his name the traditional Muslim phrasing given as holy respect – Praise Be Upon Him (often abbreviated as PBUH). Being a Christian living in America I cannot even imagine wishing the old PBUH on the guy who desired to eradicate all religions but the one he created – Islam.

 

JRH 11/21/13

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Christians of Pakistan Under the Blasphemy Law

 

By Lubna Thomas Benjamin, Journalist

Sent: 11/20/2013 5:04 PM

Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow 2011-12

 

Living in a land of 97% Muslims, the Christians in Pakistan have the fear of persecution all the time in the guise of threats, discrimination and hatred but one intimidation that hovers on them every time is the blasphemy law.

 

Pakistan got independence in 1947 from the British rule and the Christians living in the subcontinent decided to be the part of Pakistan although many have decided else and preferred to live in India.  After the independence and until now, the Christians have been serving the nation in different fields from military to education to medical and many other fields.

 

The Christians of Pakistan are as patriotic and committed to their country as any Muslim living there rather; the Christians are more despite the problems and hardships they have to suffer.

 

Yet, unfortunately the patriotism and serving the nation doesn’t make them a loyal and equal Pakistani as the Muslims living there are. The majority population – the Muslims – always call Pakistan their land and the land of Muslims. I would mostly argue with my colleagues when they commented on the cricket match: “God, give victory to our team as the Muslims are playing.” And I would ask them, “Were only the Muslims living in Pakistan and who was I?”

 

The way every matter in life from game to job and the list goes on, is affiliated with religion by majority restricting their thinking and minds from accepting and acknowledging the presence of the minorities living in Pakistan. The same way accusing and implicating Christians in blasphemy is very easy just like a toy in child’s hand.  It is just like a wish coming true to get rid of the Christian person you don’t like by charging him/her of blasphemy.

 

The blasphemy laws existed even during the British rule in the subcontinent making it a criminal offence not to utter the disrespectful words towards any religion. Whereas, in Pakistan, the late military dictator Mohammad Zia Ul Haq in 1982 made additions and amendments in those laws. The purpose behind introduction of these changes and additions was to make the society more tolerant and respectful towards the religion followed by the majority population.  But the history reveals that how intolerant and cruel the society has become after the introduction of specifically two sections in the legislation.

 

Two sections of the blasphemy law in Pakistan that make others offenders and are mostly manipulated to implicate others and especially the minorities.

 

Section 295-A clearly states that whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of the citizens of Pakistan, by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations insults the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both.

 

 “Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.” Section 295-C stipulates.

 

The National Commission for Justice and Peace reveals during the last 25 years, 1,058 cases of blasphemy were registered. Amongst the accused, 456 were Ahmadis, 449 were Muslims, 132 were Christians and 21 were Hindus. Whereas according to the report of the Asian Human Rights Commission 52 people have been extra-judicially murdered, for being implicated in blasphemy charges. Among these were 25 Muslims, 15 Christians, five Ahmadis, one Buddhist and one Hindu.

 

It is to mention here that from 1927 to 1986, only seven cases of blasphemy were registered in the subcontinent.

 

Being a Christian and a minority citizen of Pakistan, I can say that none of the minority citizen can even dare to say derogatory remarks against the Prophet Muhammad or even thinking of defiling the Holy Quran. The Christians while living in Pakistan are always fearful of what would happen to them that one day someone might implicate them in this offence they can’t even think of even without doing it. It’s not an adventure to do it and then spend the rest of life in prison or fleeing away from the country or if not then being killed by someone even though the case is under proceedings.

 

The plea given by the Muslims that look, we are also the target of this law. But if they are implicated then it’s easy for them to get free rather than a Christian or Hindu. As, a very simple reason the Muslim accused can be that – I can’t do it being a Muslim – and someone out of personal vendetta has done it. But this can’t carry any weight for the Christians, who are the biggest victims of this law keeping in view their meager population.

 

It is the matter, which brings together different sections of the Muslim population in Pakistan no matter how many differences they have based on the sects. Although, some liberal minded people opposed to this and even do it now but they are handful and even if they try to do something to abrogate it they are always stopped.

 

Rimsha a minor girl who was acquitted by the court after being charged of blasphemy proves many flaws in the way this law is used. It was a clear message for many ignorant people who use religion as a ploy to target and harass others, which is quite visible in Pakistan.

 

One fact I knew from covering the story of Rimsha that how truth remains forever and the false stories are forged to hide it. But the truth prevailed and it set Rimsha free. A poor soul never imagined how being a minor and going through a down syndrome would fall in the hands of sick-minded people.

 

I was moved to write this long article after reading another story in Pakistan about a Christian Pastor, Adnan Masih who is charged with blasphemy.

 

It’s in the hand of government to make amendments in this law, which is not possible to due to the strong resistance from the religious forces. Unless, the amendments rather the abrogation of the blasphemy laws are done, many more similar cases will continue to make the stories inside Pakistan and the unfortunate destiny of the Christians of Pakistan.

______________________

About Lubna Thomas Benjamin

 

I am a broadcast journalist with seven years of working experience in Pakistan. I have started my career in journalism with Geo Television, Pakistan’s leading news channel in 2006 and have done research, reporting, coordination and production. There are several reports I have made while working with Geo TV, which has created great impact and led to the solution of the addressed problems.


In production, I have produced the documentary on the assassination of the former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto.


I have also conducted an investigation on Rimsha, a Christian girl who was accused of blasphemy charges in August 2012.


I have also produced talk shows on the issues of youth highlighting the problems faced by them.


When the differences between Jamia Hafsa (religious extremist group) and the government got intensified, I was the first journalist to report from inside their territory.


With Pakistan Television Channel, I have worked for five months and have made numerous reports mostly on the political issues.


Besides, broadcast journalism I have also written articles and news stories both in Urdu and English.
READ MORE

 

© Lubna Thomas Benjamin

Edited by John R. Houk

Understand Dhimmitude to Understand Persecuted Christians in Pakistan


Muslims Persecute Christians banner

John R. Houk

© November 7, 2013

 

Lubna Thomas Benjamin writes about the plight of Christians in Pakistan. Ms. Benjamin does not use the word “dhimmi”. The infliction of dhimmitude is a way of life that is imposed on non-Muslims living in an Islamic dominated nation. In fairness most Muslim nations officially do not use the tenets of dhimmitude derived from the Quran, Hadith and Sira in their legal structure. Nonetheless dhimmitude is a practice of humiliating non-Muslims under the poor excuse of protecting their lives from Muslims.

 

You need to understand dhimmitude before you read Ms. Benjamin’s essay.

 

Dhimmitude: the Islamic system of governing populations conquered by jihad wars, encompassing all of the demographic, ethnic, and religious aspects of the political system. The word “dhimmitude” as a historical concept, was coined by Bat Ye’or in 1983 to describe the legal and social conditions of Jews and Christians subjected to Islamic rule. The word “dhimmitude” comes from dhimmi, an Arabic word meaning “protected”. Dhimmi was the name applied by the Arab-Muslim conquerors to indigenous non-Muslim populations who surrendered by a treaty (dhimma) to Muslim domination. Islamic conquests expanded over vast territories in Africa, Europe and Asia, for over a millennium (638-1683). The Muslim empire incorporated numerous varied peoples which had their own religion, culture, language and civilization. For centuries, these indigenous, pre-Islamic peoples constituted the great majority of the population of the Islamic lands. Although these populations differed, they were ruled by the same type of laws, based on the shari’a.

 

This similarity, which includes also regional variations, has created a uniform civilization developed throughout the centuries by all non-Muslim indigenous people, who were vanquished by a jihad-war and governed by shari’a law. It is this civilization which is called dhimmitude. It is characterized by the different strategies developed by each dhimmi group to survive as non-Muslim entity in their Islamized countries. Dhimmitude is not exclusively concerned with Muslim history and civilization. Rather it investigates the history of those non-Muslim peoples conquered and colonized by jihad.

 

Dhimmitude encompasses the relationship of Muslims and non-Muslims at the theological, social, political and economical levels. It also incorporates the relationship between the numerous ethno-religious dhimmi groups and the type of mentality that they have developed out of their particular historical condition which lasted for centuries, even in some Muslim countries, till today.

 

Dhimmitude is an entire integrated system, based on Islamic theology. It cannot be judged from the circumstantial position of any one community, at a given time and in a given place. Dhimmitude must be appraised according to its laws and customs, irrespectively of circumstances and political contingencies.

 

For books by Bat Ye’or, see www.dhimmi.org (The Status of Non-Muslim Minorities Under Islamic Rule; © Bat Ye’or 2001-2006; Dhimmitude.org)

 

The so-called protected status Islam provides via dhimmitude dates back to the second Caliph Umar that designed a pact for the People of the Book (i.e. Jews and Christians). Here is a brief description of the Pact of Umar from retired CIA officer Claire Lopez:

 

The basis of The Pact of Umar is Muslim supremacism over the populations of non-Muslim “People of the Book” (the dhimmis) whom they had defeated in battle. According to the Pact, the lives and property of vanquished peoples were forfeit by reason of their defeat—but their Muslim overlords would refrain from exacting the penalty of death, nor would they be required to convert to Islam, as long as they kept the terms of surrender laid out for them in the Pact. (‘PACT OF UMAR’ – Religious genocide Mohammedan style; Posted by Bare Naked Islam; 10/12/13)

 

Bill Warner summarizes how the Pact of Umar was to affect Jews and Christians (but Christians in particular because in Umar’s day Christians made up the majority of the people in land conquered by Islamic Imperialism):

 

Here is one dhimmi treaty with Christians:

 

1. We shall not build, in our cities or in their neighborhood, new monasteries, churches, convents, or monks’ cells, nor shall we repair, by day or by night, such of them as fall in ruins or are situated in the quarters of the Muslims.

2. We shall keep our gates wide open for passersby and travelers. We shall give board and lodging to all Muslims who pass our way for three days.

3. We shall not give shelter in our churches or in our dwellings to any spy, nor hide him from the Muslims.

4. We shall not teach the Koran to our children.

5. We shall not manifest our religion publicly nor convert anyone to it. We shall not prevent any of our kin from entering Islam if they wish it.

6. We shall show respect toward the Muslims, and we shall rise from our seats when they wish to sit.

7. We shall not seek to resemble the Muslims by imitating any of their garments.

8. We shall not mount on saddles, nor shall we gird swords nor bear any kind of arms nor carry them on our persons.

9. We shall not engrave Arabic inscriptions on our seals.

10. We shall not sell fermented drinks.

11. We shall clip the fronts of our heads. [An Arabic sign of shame, a beaten man]

12. We shall always dress in the same way wherever we may be, and we shall bind the zunar round our waists.

13. We shall not display our crosses or our books in the roads or markets of the Muslims. We shall use only clappers in our churches very softly. We shall not raise our voices when following our dead. We shall not take slaves who have been allotted to Muslims.

14. We shall not build houses higher than the houses of the Muslims. (The Dhimmi; By Bill Warner; Political Islam; 7/25/11)

 

I want you to understand dhimmitude as you read Lubna Thomas Benjamin description of how Christians live and experience life in Pakistan. Even if you are a person that is more secular than an observing Christian you must be outraged. BE OUTRAGED!

 

JRH 11/7/13

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The Persecution of Christian in Pakistan

 

By Lubna Thomas Benjamin

Journalist, Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow 2011-12

Sent: 11/6/2013 2:06 PM

 

It was just like any other Sunday of September 22, 2013 in the lives of all my Christian brothers and sisters in Peshawar, city located in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province of Pakistan, who went to church to offer prayer and worship the Lord and were unaware of what would happen with them afterwards. Twin suicide blasts happened when the people were coming out of church after the service ended.

 

The people who came to attend the church service in Peshawar had never even thought for a moment that it was their last time to worship, hearing the sermon, reading the Holy Bible and saying the congregational and personal prayer. The contentment and peace they had attained during the service would leave their families in a never-ending discomfort and pain as what would take place after the service.

 

I remember when I came to the US for the first time and the first observation I had outside the church that how it was different from my church in Pakistan. I had my friend from Fiji Island accompanied me and she asked me, “Why is [it] that you are looking so confused?” I told her that I was not confused but thinking that how would it feel to go inside the church and to perform the full service without security guards. “You have guards outside your church in Pakistan,” she asked me. “Yes, I replied, the guards are almost outside every church in Pakistan.”

 

Whatever happened in Peshawar has jolted every Christian [and other] minorities in Pakistan. I remember some of my friends would always relate any bad stuff with minorities with this justification that: “Oh, you know this happens with [the] majority too, so when they do [this] with us how would we expect them to be nice with you?”

 

Christians constitute 1.5 percent of total population of Pakistan as 98% of the population are Muslims. Ever since the inception of Pakistan in 1947, the Christians have been entangled in blasphemy cases mostly made on the basis of personal animosity. It goes like this – when a Muslim person goes to the police and just says that a Christian man or woman has said indecent remarks against prophet Mohammad, that is the end of life [for] many Christians as usually the case goes for a long time and sometimes the Judge gets shot or the accused is killed. This case brings ends [to] the lives of the families [after] accused mostly on the basis of personal vendetta. Unfortunately everyone around gets associated with it so emotionally, that no justification can support the victim as the religious affiliation of the people goes to extreme in such cases.

 

In Last August, when a minor Christian girl was charged with blasphemy and I was working on this story, at so many stages during the coverage I was asking myself what was my identity and honor in this country. That one day someone would charge me with blasphemy just because they don’t like me. How easy it is for any person to entangle a Christian on the basis of blasphemy case.

 

The Christians living in Pakistan have been paying a heavy price to live in the country they respect as their motherland. We have always served with [the] same enthusiasm and urge in every field of life. Again never do we [Christians] think that this is not our land. We serve our country considering it our home but the term we are associated with is [as a] minority. Our men have sacrificed their lives serving in the army; women serve the sick and teach the best values to children.

 

Despite all the services and sacrifices the discrimination against the Christians is soaring. From work to home and then to localities. I remember when we were searching for homes back in Pakistan for rent. We were denied just on the basis that we were Christians. The people hated Christians to live in their homes. To me, that was the extent of humiliation and rejection, which I will never forget during my whole lifetime.

 

Whatever happens with Christians is a big picture of what they have to go through every day in their lives in Pakistan. The humiliation, disrespect and now killings have raised the question for the Christians in Pakistan that how peace will come in their lives. If the land they are born in is no more giving them the place to live then where would they go?

____________________________

Understand Dhimmitude to Understand Persecuted Christians in Pakistan

John R. Houk

© November 7, 2013

____________________________

The Persecution of Christian in Pakistan

© Lubna Thomas Benjamin

 

Edited by John R. Houk

 

I am a broadcast journalist with seven years of working experience in Pakistan. I have started my career in journalism with Geo Television, Pakistan’s leading news channel in 2006 and have done research, reporting, coordination and production. There are several reports I have made while working with Geo TV, which has created great impact and led to the solution of the addressed problems.


In production, I have produced the documentary on the assassination of the former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto.


I have also conducted an investigation on Rimsha, a Christian girl who was accused of blasphemy charges in August 2012.


I have also produced talk shows on the issues of youth highlighting the problems faced by them.


When the differences between Jamia Hafsa (religious extremist group) and the government got intensified, I was the first journalist to report from inside their territory.


With Pakistan Television Channel, I have worked for five months and have made numerous reports mostly on the political issues.


Besides, broadcast journalism I have also written articles and news stories both in Urdu and English.

 

Fellowships /Awards

Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship 2011-12

 

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Another Blasphemy Case Registered – Christians are Under Threat


Christians Persecuted by Blasphemy Laws - noose

Shamim Masih reports on another Muslim accusing a Christian breaking the Blasphemy Law in Pakistan. Breaking the Blasphemy Law in Pakistan is a serious issue that can lead anywhere to incarceration to a death penalty. The preliminary accusation appears to be that Christian Tariq Yousaf in his side profession made firecrackers with Islamic verses on the inside. A person with the name of Khurram allegedly found the Islamic verses inside the firecrackers. Why does a person buy firecrackers then open them up to see what is inside them? Of course I don’t know yet but it sounds like a set-up to me which is a typical vengeance or exploitation play by Muslims against Christians in Pakistan. At any rate I pray Shamim keeps informed because we know the Mainstream Media in America could care less what happens to Christians in Pakistan.

 

JRH 11/3/13

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Another Blasphemy Case Registered – Christians are Under Threat

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 11/1/2013 10:02 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: On October 29, we celebrated our wedding anniversary. After the celebration, lying in bed on a lazy autumn late evening, something dark and nasty reached out to me, my cell phone ringing. One of my friends was on the other side said that there is another blasphemy case in Wazirabad Gujranwala, the situation is tense there. I picked my phone and made a call to the local police officer. The local police officer, Sami Ullah, the SHO, told me details of the incident and confirmed that there is an incident but (administration) is on the ground looking into the matter.

 

With a Muslim majority, the country’s Christian population is quite small. Even though Pakistan is a democratic country, but Christians are considered second class citizens especially in remote areas. Discrimination limits their work prospects and their influence in the country’s political and cultural matters.

 

Tariq Yousaf makes his livings by making firecrackers in Wazirabad Gujranwala. Wazirabad is famous for its cutlery items and Tariq works in cutlery factory with a low salary and works part time as well to make the both ends meet. On October 27, Khurram, (complainant) bought a few firecrackers from Tariq and found Islamic verses in it. He called on Tariq and beat him severely but with the intervention of the local elders, the issue was resolved. Later he [Khurram] went to the police station and registered the First Investigation Report FIR No. 533/12 in Sadar Police Station, Wazirabad. (Copy it attached). FIR No. 533-12 in Sadar Police Station, Wazirabad

 

Later on Friday, November 01, the situation became tense again, but with the help of the local administration, situation remained under control. Fazal –e- Haq, Assistant Superintendent Police – ASP and Sami Ullah, Station House Officer– SHO with police squad remained there till late hours. Christian leadership was also there to look into the matter.

 

According to Farrukh H Saif, accused of the blasphemy case are under police custody and World Vision in Progress – WVIP is handling the legal matters of the case.

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

_____________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

 

© Shamim Masih

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

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