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Religious Minorities in Pakistan

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    Religious Minorities in Pakistan

    Gen Musharraf has pledged that religious minorities enjoy full rights under the 'letter and spirit of true Islam.'
    While this will be welcomed by many it remains to be seen how Pakistn plans to implement this policy. We are becoming an increasingly intolerant nation. People that can not tolerate their own diversity are unlikely to tolerate other cultures and religions. Personally I blame this on mullahs and the religious factions that present a corrupt version of Islam.

    The Blasphemy laws in Pakistan should be abolished. In order to provide freedom of speech you have to be willing to tolerate the comments of the other side. If we want Pakistan to be the land of the free then let us start by sending a message to minorities that their message will not be crushed because we disagree with it. We will just voice our opinion to counter their just as loudly.

    Were their not believers of other faiths during the time of the Prophet? Did they not say vile things to him? Did he go around having them killed? If he is our example then we must be tolerant against all those who say things against Islam. If we don't, we deserve the label of being extemists and fundamentalists.

    Christians, Shias, Hindus, Ahmadis, Qadianis should be offered protection under the law and constitution. The Ammendments in the constitutions against such groups should be revoked. How contradictory that we have freedom of speech and religion in one sentence but with notable exceptions for certain groups.

    If we start now to change this destructive method of thinking, we may be lucky that the next few generations will become tolerant of others like our beloved Prophet was, and our Quiad.

    Imad Khan
    Senior Market Strategist
    Aegis Financial, LLC

    Imad Khan
    Senior Market Strategist
    Aegis Financial, LLC

    Dear IKHAN,

    These are the sentiments of the majority of Pakistanis, only a few are against this idea. Let’s hope that the nation will be a lot more tolerant and accepting of diversity in the next millennium. If we can learn to appreciate our differences, we can find common grounds that connect us, than to exploit the contrariety and find reasons to appertain. I personally believe that Pakistan is ready for being a place for all to live in peace and prosper together.

    Thanks for sharing your commendable thoughts!


      A well thought out post. One of the best I ever seen on this forum.

      It does provoke a mind boggeling quaestion. Are we ready to answer it yet? May be the next Millenium like bhaii NYAhmadi said.




        asalaam o alaykum

        Blasphemy is defined in section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code in the following words: "Use of derogatory remarks, etc, in respect of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) by word, either spoken or written or by visible representation or by importation, innuendo or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiling the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life, and shall be liable to fine..."

        This concept of blasphemy and the prescribed punishment are both contradictory to the Qur'aan and the Prophet's conduct. The Qur'aan prescribes restraint, and distancing from the blasphemous persons or situations. The emphasis is on restraint and forgiveness. A study of the following verses should bear this out.

        04:140 When ye hear the message of Allah held in defiance and ridicule, ye are not to sit with them unless they turn to a different theme.

        28:55 and when they hear vain talk, they turn away therefrom and say: 'To us our deeds and to you yours: peace be to you'.

        07:199 Hold to forgiveness, command what is right, but turn away from the ignorant.

        73:10 Have patience with what they say and leave them with noble dignity.

        25:63 And the servants of Allah . . . . are those who walk on the earth in humility and when the ignorant address them, they say 'peace'.

        16:128 Allah is with those who restrain themselves

        09:74 . . . but they uttered blasphemy. . . . if they repent, it will be best for them, but if they turn back, Allah will punish them.

        I have been able to identify 57 more verses having a direct bearing on this subject and more than 250 others which emphasise forgiveness, forbearance and compassion.

        In his lifetime, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was subjected to verbal and physical humiliation. He narrowly escaped assassination by migrating to Madina. He was accused of forgery '. . . nay he forged it' [21:5], was stigmatised as a man 'possessed' [23:70] and 'mad' [68:2]. His personal reaction, as also the reaction of all his devoted companions, both while in and out of power, was impeccable adherence to the Qur'aanic teachings. One of his regular tormentors, a woman (wife of Abu Lehb) once had to break this daily ritual on account of ill-health. In obedience to Qur'aanic injunctions, he called on her to offer his services in her household chores.

        Does our blasphemy law touch even the outer fringes of the letter and the spirit of the Qur'aanic position on the subject? I am afraid the answer is in the negative. As a result the religious minorities and the oppressed will continue to suffer and groan.


          Dear Baykhatr,

          First of all, it’s not a very good choice of words to equate peoples’ fears as ‘groaning’.

          Secondly, is that not an argument to get the religion out of judicial system? Perhaps a good law will be where the name ‘Mohammad (PUBH) is substituted by [any person having religious significance to its followers regardless of their religion]. But that will be too much to ask, and might be referred to as ‘groaning’.

          The people who come up with these Laws don’t realize (A) people calling Mohamad or anyone else names will not belittle the status of the Prophet, (B) They wholeheartedly believe that theirs is the right interpretation of the Shariah laws. I don’t think any extrinsic or exogenous views are even considered by them. A good Law is flexible and evolutionary in nature so it can be adjusted to take the changes in environment into account. Shariah Laws don’t offer such alacrity.