Tag Archives: Muslim

Muslim leaders to hold summit on protecting non-Muslims

Meeting thought to be first of its kind in almost 1,400 years and is expected to attract more than 300 people

 

By Shehab Khan@shehabkhan

Muslim scholars will meet in Morocco to discuss how to protect non-Muslims living in their communities.

The summit is the first of its kind in almost 1,400 years and is expected to attract more than 300 Islamic leaders from Muslim majority nations, including Iraq, Turkey and Egypt.

The key aim of the conference is to release a new decelaration, rooted in Islamic Law, to reaffirm the rights of religious minorities, the Washington Post reported.

“The prophet was religiously persecuted, so he knew first-hand what it was to experience religious persecution,” Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, co-founder of Zaytuna College, the first Muslim liberal arts college in the US, told the newspaper.

“His religion ensured the rights of religious minorities.

“We want to counter the idea that Muslims and non-Muslims can’t live together. This is not who we are or who we want to be.”

The summit is not exclusive to Muslims and non-Muslims will also be heading to Marrakesh. Representatives from the Vatican, as well as religious leaders from Hinduism, Sikhism and Judaism have all been invited.

Courtesy: INDEPENDENT
Read more » http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/muslim-leaders-summit-protecting-non-muslims-morocco-a6830871.html

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Cow is safer in India than a Muslim: Shashi Tharoor

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor today quoted some “Bangladeshi friend” to contend that a “cow is safer in India than a Muslim” to suggest “growing intolerance” in the country.

Participating in the debate on intolerance in the Lok Sabha, he said the Modi government cannot promote ‘Make in India’ while there is “hate in India”.
Read more » The Economic Times
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/cow-is-safer-in-india-than-a-muslim-shashi-tharoor/articleshow/50002191.cms
Read more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/50002191.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

I had to take off my Hijab because society refused to accept me

By Ayesha Umair

Out of the 50 Muslim majority states in the world, Pakistan ranks second in the list with a Muslim majority population of 97 per cent. And it was among these Muslims that I felt discriminated for donning a hijab.

I began the practice of hijab during my second year in art school. Initially, most of my friends did not pay attention to my additional piece of clothing and encouraged the practice. Eventually, however, I realised that while all my relatives, friends and acquaintances professed to be Muslims, very few supported my choice to wear a hijab.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/29961/i-had-to-take-off-my-hijab-because-society-refused-to-accept-me/

Lord Shiva was Muslims’ first prophet, says Jamiat Ulema Mufti Muhammad Ilyas

By ABP News Bureau

Ayodhya:  Jamiat Ulema’s Mufti Muhammad Ilyas is being criticized by Muslim groups for saying Lord Shiva was Muslims’ first prophet.

He also said that all Muslims were the followers of Sanatan Dharma.

“All religions are preaching the same message. We are Indians first and our message is of peace, harmony and brotherhood. The way people in China are called Chinese and in Japan are called Japanese, similarly we are called Hindustani,” Ilyas said.

“India is our birthplace and roots of our religion. Lord Shiva was Muslims’ first prophet. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are our creators and parents which is a reality,” he added.

Read more » ABP
See more » http://www.abplive.in/india/2015/02/19/article506324.ece/Lord-Shiva-was-Muslims-first-prophet-says-Jamiat-Ulema-Mufti-Muhammad-Ilyas

Islamic radicalisation in UK frightening: Prince Charles

By PTI

London: Britain’s Prince Charles has described as “frightening” the growing radicalisation of British Muslim youth who have been joining the Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq, partly due to “crazy stuff” available on the internet.

The heir to Britain’s throne said the radicalisation was “one of the greatest worries” that could not be swept “under the carpet” but expressed his hope to build bridges between different faiths in an interview to the BBC broadcast today.

Asked about the radicalisation of young people in the UK, Prince Charles said: “Well, of course, this is one of the greatest worries, I think, and the extent to which this is happening is the alarming part. And particularly in a country like ours, where you know the values we hold dear.

“You think that the people who have come here, (are) born here, go to school here, would imbibe those values and outlooks.

“The frightening part is that people can be so radicalised either through contact with somebody else or through the internet, and the extraordinary amount of crazy stuff which is on the internet,” he said.

Read more » Hindustan Times
See more » http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/islamic-radicalisation-in-uk-frightening-prince-charles/article1-1314896.aspx

Is India getting messed up like Pakistan?

Modi under pressure over minister’s tirade against non-Hindus

By Reuters

NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is under growing pressure to sack a minister over a tirade she made against religious minorities, as his outraged opponents disrupted parliament for a second day on Wednesday.

Niranjan Jyoti, the junior minister for food processing industries, asked whether the country should be governed by “the children of Ram (a Hindu god) or the children of bastards” at an election rally.

The comment was widely believed to have been an attack on the legitimacy of the country’s Muslim and Christian minorities.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1148524/modi-under-pressure-over-ministers-tirade-against-non-hindus

Guided by History, a Jew Tries to Unite Two Faiths Divided by War in Gaza

NEWARK, Del. — Shortly after the latest cease-fire expired in Gaza on Friday, Jacob Bender gingerly climbed the steps of the mimbar, the pulpit at the Islamic Society of Delaware here. A Jew in a mosque, his hands palpably quivering but his reedy voice steady, he read some brief comments to close the afternoon’s worship service, called Juma’a.

Mr. Bender offered both hope and censure, twinned: Muslims and Jews could still be “partners for peace and justice,” he said. Israel and Hamas bore shared responsibility for the current carnage, he added, and more hatred would lead to more violence, while love would lead to reconciliation.

Read more » The New York Times

Empires Of The Indus by Alice

Many of the proselytizing saints who arrived in Sindh from Iran or Middle East gave their mission a boost by putting down roots in ancient Hindu places of worship, or even by allowing themselves to be identified with Hindu gods. Sehwan Sharif, where Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s tomb is located, is the site of an important Shiva centre. The name Sehwanistan, as it was known untill recently, derives from Sivistan, city of Shiva, and the modern faqirs still dress like Shaivite yogis, in torn clothes, with matted hair.

Lal Shahbaz Qalandar also used to be called Raja Bhartari by hindus ; and when I visit his shrine I see, flashing in red neon Urdu script above his tomb, the words Jhule Lal, one of the many Hindu names for god of water. At least untill the nineteenth century, it was believed by Muslims and Hindus that the Indus waxed and waned according to Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s whim.

Courtesy: Empires Of The Indus by Alice

PAKISTAN: Two young scheduled caste Hindu women were raped by Muslim landlords; one of them was later murdered

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION -Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-150-2013

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that two scheduled caste, Hindu women were raped by their Muslim landlords before their family members. Later on, one of them was murdered in revenge for making a report to the police. She and her mother were abducted by one of the landlords from outside the clinic of a doctor in broad daylight, close to the police station, and she was shot dead in front of her mother. The Shadi Pali Police Station of Umer Kot district, Sindh, took time to register the First Information Report (FIR) in order to give the rapists time to abscond. The family members of the victims are displaced from their village and are living on the roadside in the cold nights but the police and authorities have refused to help them. In providing protection to the rapists, the police and notables of the area forced the victims to reach to a settlement and give amnesty to the rapists. Once again the police have shown their efficiency to get approval from judicial magistrate so that perpetrators are freed.

Read more » ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-150-2013#.Up95-1OgQkw.facebook

Via Facebook

Hyderabad 1948: India’s hidden massacre

By Mike Thomson Presenter, Document, Radio 4

When India was partitioned in 1947, about 500,000 people died in communal rioting, mainly along the borders with Pakistan. But a year later another massacre occurred in central India, which until now has remained clouded in secrecy.

In September and October 1948, soon after independence from the British Empire, tens of thousands of people were brutally slaughtered in central India.

Some were lined up and shot by Indian Army soldiers. Yet a government-commissioned report into what happened was never published and few in India know about the massacre. Critics have accused successive Indian governments of continuing a cover-up.

The massacres took place a year after the violence of partition in what was then Hyderabad state, in the heart of India. It was one of 500 princely states that had enjoyed autonomy under British colonial rule.

When independence came in 1947 nearly all of these states agreed to become part of India.

But Hyderabad’s Muslim Nizam, or prince, insisted on remaining independent. This refusal to surrender sovereignty to the new democratic India outraged the country’s leaders in New Delhi.

After an acrimonious stand-off between Delhi and Hyderabad, the government finally lost patience.

Continue reading Hyderabad 1948: India’s hidden massacre

Religious tension in Pakistan as Muslims dig up Hindu grave

ISLAMABAD: (Reuters) – A crowd of Islamic fundamentalists dug up the grave of a Hindu man in Pakistan, police said on Tuesday, in the latest sign of growing religious tension in the increasingly unstable province of Sindh.

Shouting “Allahu Akbar”, or “God is greatest”, the crowd dug out the body and dragged it through the streets of the southern town of Pangrio in a dispute over the location of the grave.

“Tensions are still running high, but we are in control of the situation,” district police chief Shaukat Ali Khatian said.

“The incident was caused by some clerics of the extremist outfit of Ahle Sunaat Wal Jamaat, but later other Muslims joined in and dug up the body and threw it away.”

Hindus and Muslims have lived side by side and shared graveyards in Sindh for centuries, but tension has been on the rise recently as extremists make increasingly aggressive inroads into the rural parts of the province.

Sindh is home to most of Pakistan’s small Hindu community, which numbers about 2 million among a population of roughly 180 million.

Pakistan’s rocky relationship with neighboring India, a predominantly Hindu country, has fed tension between the two communities in smaller towns, such as Pangrio.

The Hindu man, Bhoro Bheel, 30, had died in a road accident and was buried on Saturday, in line with caste tradition. The subsequent desecration sparked demonstrations and forced police to step up street patrols.

“Even our dead are not safe anymore in their graves,” Narayan Das Bheel, a member of the Hindu community, told Reuters.

(Reporting by Syed Raza Hassan; Editing by Maria Golovnina and Clarence Fernandez)

Courtesy: Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/08/us-pakistan-hindus-grave-idUSBRE9970EF20131008

Pakistan: Hundreds of Muslims and Christians form human chain around St Patrick’s church in a symbolic gesture of solidarity with those affected by the Peshawar Church bombing.

Religions unite to protest Peshawar church bombing

Hundreds show interfaith solidarity by forming human chain in Karachi. Muslims, Hindus and Christians form a human chain around St Patrick’s Cathedral in Karachi, Sindh.

Hundreds of Christians and Muslims joined hands in Karachi on Sunday to form a human chain in a rare show of unity in the wake of the September 22 terror attack on a church in Peshawar.

At least 85 people were killed and more than 140 wounded when two suicide bombers blew themselves up at All Saints Church in Peshawar immediately after Sunday Mass in what has been described as one of the most deadly attacks on the beleaguered religious minority in Pakistan.

Read more » http://www.ucanews.com/news/religions-unite-to-protest-peshawar-church-bombing/69358

The partition story ~ Kuldip Nayar

Partition of the Indian subcontinent is 66 years’ old. On August 14, 1947, the states of India and Pakistan came into being in the wake of division. Even today they have not settled down as neighbours, much less as friends. Borders are bristling with troops and clashes are inevitable. A few days ago, five men from the Indian army were killed. The Pakistan army may not be directly involved. But it helps the jihadis and even the Taliban in their plan to destablise India. It looks the Pakistan army is not interested in conciliation between Islamabad and New Delhi. One incident or the other always takes place before the talks between the countries begin.
What surprises me is that no front-rank politician, historian or any other person of eminence has given me a cogent reason, much less a convincing one, to explain why the two communities, Hindus and Muslims, separated after having lived together for more than a thousand years.
The radicals may claim that they maintained peace because they were the rulers. Yet the fact is that Hindus and Muslims had developed a composite culture which recognized the mingling of two civilizations and which had overcome the pulls of polarization. Social contacts were regular and festivals of the two communities were celebrated jointly. Still it did not take the articulators of religious identity to tear the fabric apart from the thirties. Was pluralism only a cover to hide differences? And in reality, the two communities had never occupied the common ground and had remained distant from each other.
Had this been the case, why the exchange of population was ruled out when the separation was contemplated? Even Muslims on their own did not raise any objection that those left behind in India would number more than the ones in the Muslim homeland, Pakistan. Hindus left Pakistan and Muslims from Punjab and a few other cities in the north. It was a forced eviction.

The legend of Sindh: Jai Jhulelal

Jhulelal
Jhulelal

‘Beyond Hindu and Muslim’:

Rethinking Iconographic Models and Symbolic Expressions in Sindh, A Case of the Tradition of Rama Pir1

By Sohail Bawani

Images, signs and symbols have always been significant intermediaries between the world and its representation before individuals. These images, signs and symbols portray more than just graphical facts, figures and forms; they are a means towards construction of human perception of ‘reality’: the ‘meaningfulness’ of the material world through the same (Lichty 2003: 1). Similarly, iconography, particularly portraying religious images, had played an important role in understanding and describing human interpretations about things beyond human imaginations, for example the matter of the creation of the universe.

The valley of the Indus River, since the time of its civilization’s peak and through local inhabitants and arrival of Muslims, including the Sufi saints, has been rich in its symbolic expressions and materials related to ‘image writing’; more specifically, within the context of the interaction between ‘Hinduism’ and ‘Islam’ in the Indian subcontinent (Khan 2004: 30). Moreover, not much has been written through the iconographic perspective about the cultural heritage in shape of sacred symbols among the various religious traditions in Sindh today.

Continue reading The legend of Sindh: Jai Jhulelal

Muslim mob targets Christian locality in Gujranwala ‘for disrespecting Islam’

LAHORE – In a renewed attack on minorities, a violent Muslim mob attacked a Christian locality in Gujranwala on Wednesday, damaging shops, houses and vehicles belonging to the local Christians following a clash between the youths of the two communities last night, Pakistan Today has learnt.

According to initial information, a group of Christian boys was snubbed by a local cleric for playing music on their cell phones while passing by a mosque on Tuesday evening.

“Our boys were passing the mosque when the prayer leader objected to their playing music on cell phones. The boys turned off the music at that moment but switched it on again after covering some distance. The cleric raised a clamour and accused the boys of showing disrespect to Islam. As word spread of the incident, we immediately went to the police post in our colony and shared our security concerns with them. The police told us not to worry and assured us that they would contain the situation but no measures were taken,” Pervaiz, a resident of Francis Colony in Gujranwala, told Pakistan Today.

Continue reading Muslim mob targets Christian locality in Gujranwala ‘for disrespecting Islam’

What we can learn from Turkey

Smokers’ Corner: Cold Turkey

By Nadeem F. Paracha

I’ve twice been to Turkey in the last three years. My second trip there coincided with the 2011 election. Recently I have come across various conservative and pro-establishment personalities, politicians and media men in Pakistan praising the Turkish model of democracy and economics.

For example, Imran Khan just returned from Turkey and sounded extremely impressed by that country’s people and politics.

The reason why you might now be hearing more and more Pakistanis singing praises of Turkey is due to the fact that a determined political party with an Islamist background has been winning elections and forming governments there ever since 2001.

It is a good sign that to some of our conservatives the Turkish social and political model now seems more charming to emulate than the puritanical authoritarianism of certain oil-rich Arab states. However, the fact is they may really be over-romanticising their Turkish experience. Either they haven’t understood the dynamics of Turkey’s political and social milieus, or they are only seeing what they want to see: i.e. a conservative Islamist party at the helm in what was supposed to be a secular country.

Only recently I heard a TV commentator suggest that Turkish prime minister, Recep Erdogan’s AK Party, has been winning elections due to its popularity among the rural and semi-rural Turks. This is a rather simplistic understanding of what is actually a complex consensus that the AK Party has struck with almost all sections of Turkish society.

Erdogan’s multiple electoral successes have more to do with his emphasis on economic growth, reform and his all-out efforts to help Turkey become part of the European Union (EU) than on the usual stern moralistic and anti-West stances that most Islamist parties are stuck with in most Muslim countries. During my trip to Istanbul when the campaigning for the 2011 elections was in full swing, not even once did I hear Erdogan (whose wife adorns a hijab) mention the word Islam.

Continue reading What we can learn from Turkey

Some misconceptions about Badami Bagh

By Omar

Today a charged mob” set fire to about 150 poor Christian homes in Badami Bagh Lahore. see pictures here.

The order of events was pretty standard.
Wednesday: A Christian sanitary worker (yes, they clean gutters and sweep roads) argued with a Muslim Barber at a snooker game. At some point after this he accused the Christian of having blasphemed he who must not be named.

Friday: “Enraged Muslims” marched into Joseph colony looking for the blasphemer. They beat up his father (age 65, very much in the “beatable” age group) and did some property damage. Police arrested the accused that night. They also advised the local Christians to clear out since more “rage” may be on its way.

Saturday: Thanks to the timely efforts of the Punjab police, no Christians were home when the rage returned on Saturday. 178 houses were burnt, as was one church. No one was killed since no one was there.

Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif has suspended the local police officers and promised to rebuild the houses. He has also said the trial of the blasphemy accused will be held in prison and it is looking possible that the trial will be quick and he may be set free (unlike Aasia bibi, who remains in prison).

“Civil society” has reacted with outrage and the President and the PM have condemned this outrage. Most of the outrage is probably genuine. But I noticed some common misconceptions too.

1. This outrage is new and shocking and marks a “further deterioration” in how things are done in the Islamic Republic….In this case, NOT true. This event is small scale compared to the assault on Shantinagar in 1997.

There have been many other blasphemy accusations and mobs between then and now. The outrage is outrageous, but neither new nor out of proportion to “usual practice”.

2. The mobs are led by misunderstanders of Islam. Actually the mobs are led by people who know what they are doing with remarkable clarity. Blasphemy and apostasy memes (memes, not laws…no law is needed if the meme is firmly in place, since they allow for freelance action) are the twin pillars on which Islamism is built. See here for details. 

Continue reading Some misconceptions about Badami Bagh

British Pakistani Christian Association – In memory of Shanti Nagar

Today is the 16th anniversary of the sacking of Shanti Nagar. In memory of this, we publish the relevant section of a new report on Pakistan we plan to publish quite soon.

Shanti Nagar is a predominantly Salvation Army village in the Punjab province, founded in 1916, of around 25-30,000 people. Apart from about 15 Muslim families – for whom the other villagers built a mosque – the inhabitants are Christian. Hard work in farming meant the village was relatively prosperous. On 17th January police raided the house of a 60 year old Christian, claiming intelligence of alcohol-drinking and gambling going on. The police regularly raided the village on such pretexts – usually about every fortnight, probably because of jealousy over the Christian village’s prosperity. They would harass the villagers, and because the villagers were rich enough to bribe the corrupt police, they always came back for more. Anyway, despite, as ever, no gambling or alcohol or anything else illegal going on there, they searched his property, and amidst the ransacking a box with a bible fell out. The police deliberately kicked and desecrated the bible, and took the man to the police station, even though they had found nothing illegal, and were trying to get a large bribe from him. The residents of the village protested the raid, the false arrest and the desecration of the bible, and also the numerous false blasphemy accusations that had been made against villagers. They asked for charges under article 295 to be brought against the policeman responsible. Even after police investigations found the charge to be true, the police refused to act until sustained pressure resulted in a promise to suspend the officers responsible and take them to court. Then the police pressured the village for the matter to be settled out of court, but they refused and the senior police officer threatened to act in way that meant they would not be able to stand on their own feet for at least 50 years. On 3rd February, a general election day, he posted the policeman who had kicked the bible to Shanti Nagar as security officer. This made the villagers even more angry as it proved the promises by higher police officers to take action was a lie, and they protested even more, so the police hatched a plot. Two days later, a Muslim man went to an abandoned mosque 2km from Shanti Nagar and found – so he said – torn pages of the Quran with blasphemous words and the name and address of the Christian from Shanti-Nagar who complained about his bible being desecrated, along with several others. He took it to the police station of the nearby city of Khanewal, a stronghold of an Islamicist group with ties to Bin Laden called Harkat-ul-Insar. Within 30 minutes of registering a case (and several Christians being arrested), mosque loud speakers from the city and all the Muslim villages around about were calling all faithful Muslims to wage jihad against Shanti Nagar, using word for word identical language. City church priests rushed to warn senior officials of the impending attack, and were promised that all appropriate measures would be made, but that too was a lie. Late that night, mobs started attacking churches, Christian homes and shops and medical dispensaries in Khanewal, setting them and their contents on fire. The next morning, the mob attacked the Catholic church just outside the city Council buildings. Bibles and other books were gathered from churches and burned, and the Holy Communion bread thrown on the floor, statues and the like were systematically smashed. 100’s attacked the priests’ house and burned all the parish records. Pleas for police help went unheeded, they just stood by and watched. The mob attacked a Christian boys school. Many fled, but about 50 of the youngest hid under their beds. The mob set fire to mattresses over them, and they had to flee for their lives, several being carried out unconscious. They burned all the school records and furniture. They then attacked the Salvation army church and pharmacy, and re-attacked the Church of Pakistan building they had attacked the night before. Christians in local shops and homes fled for their lives, but those who were caught were severely beaten. Again the police did nothing. The mob only retreated when Christians started throwing bricks and stones to defend their homes.

Continue reading British Pakistani Christian Association – In memory of Shanti Nagar

Religious bigotry and Pakistani Christians

If you dare to raise your voice against the hostilities and ill-treatment Christians are enduring, it would either be declared as ‘blasphemous’ or you would be labelled as an agent of the firangi

by Adil Shahzeb

I have received tremendous feedback for my last article, “Pakistan, the game of religious bigotry” (Daily Times, November 10, 2012), but one email in particular has compelled me to touch on the challenges faced by the Christian community in Pakistan. I had mentioned Christians just once in my last article, but not enough about the biased and highly unfair treatment that they face throughout their lives. In Pakistan’s religious bigotry, the most deprived of all are the Christians, the ‘minority’ that only gets media attention if accused of ‘blasphemy’ or as a Muslim convert. According to the UK-based Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement, “Christians in Pakistan are illiterate, suffering in extreme poverty and unemployment among Christians has increased to an unprecedented level.” The statistical data indicates that only six percent have primary school education; four percent of Christians have high school education, one percent of Christians have college education, and next to no presence in higher studies and professional education.

I had no idea that my article in Daily Times would take me right back to my childhood to reflect upon the ills of our society. Now that I am writing I am reminded of a classmate, the most bullied child at school, who was not even allowed to sit with the other children or to be precise, no other pupil would prefer to willingly share a desk with him unless as a punishment by the teacher for not doing his homework. He was the only Christian child in the entire school who would stand with his lunch box in a corner of the playground during recess and was never allowed by the other children to play with them. For obvious reasons he failed all of his exams three years in row until he was forced to leave. Back then I never understood how deprived he was, but now I really feel for the mental torture and the traumatised childhood he endured. Of course it does not matter at all in Pakistan what Article Five of the Universal Declaration of Human Right states: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

It is not only how an underprivileged Christian child is treated at school. When he grows up in our highly radicalised society he is told: the only job that suits you is to clean the streets of Pakistan as that was how your forefathers served this country. And it does not stop there; you also will not have a say in the country’s mainstream affairs including politics; you would hardly be considered for any white-collar job, and last but certainly not the least, all your life your ‘non-Christian’ friends would look down upon you, and you would most probably be the victim of bullying forever. Even though your educational institutions and the broken society would only groom you as the next generation of lowly worker, if you somehow manage to grow up with a good education and competence, most of the jobs that you would opt for would be for non-Christians. However if despite that, you do manage to secure a decent job, you could face a similar hostile work environment that you went through at your school.

Continue reading Religious bigotry and Pakistani Christians

Another February 24

By Amar Sindu

Today is February 24. Last year, on the same date, Rinkle was picked up from her house. Her house was left in a state that suggested that a burglary had occurred and valuables were stolen. Her dupatta and her chappals were left lying on the doorstep.

When she was first presented in a court in Mirpur Mathelo, she requested to be returned to her parents. The court, instead of listening to her, replied that she ‘was confused’ and therefore, should spend time reconsidering the predicament and handed her back to her abductors. It was as if the court was confused itself.

She was presented in court again on Feb 28, where, in her statement, she recited the kalma and became ‘Faryal Bibi’ from Rinkle. The entire process took less than 10 minutes. Her conversion to Islam was greeted by aerial firing by her captors who had brought her to court surrounded by armed guards. This was a new victory for them.

‘Faryal Bibi’ was then taken to Dargah Bharchondi’s seat-bearer and PPP’s Mian Mithu, while the gunfire echoed across the town. She was his guest and was taken to and from court surrounded by his guards. Actually, this victory was not the only feather in the dargah’s cap. The dargah’s deeds, ranging from the Manzalgah mosque that became famous for its role during the pre-Partition communal riots in Sindh to the assassination of the singer Bhagat Kunwar Ram of the Hindu faith, were oft repeated. The dargah commonly converted non-Muslims to Islam before the Partition and this exercise continues steadily today.

Continue reading Another February 24

Pakistan accuses ambassador to U.S. of blasphemy

Pakistani man accuses ambassador to U.S. of blasphemy

By Asim Tanveer, MULTAN, Pakistan

(Reuters) – Pakistani police registered an accusation from a businessman on Thursday that the country’s ambassador to the United States had committed blasphemy, a crime that carries the death penalty, in connection with a 2010 TV talk show.

The accusation against Ambassador Sherry Rehman is the latest in a string of controversial blasphemy cases in Pakistan, a largely Muslim nation whose name translates as Land of the Pure.

According to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, anyone found to have uttered words derogatory to the Prophet Muhammad can be put to death. Those who are accused are sometimes lynched by mobs even before they reach court.

Rehman has already faced death threats from militants after calling for reforms to the country’s anti-blasphemy law, according to court documents. Two politicians who suggested reforming the law were assassinated.

Continue reading Pakistan accuses ambassador to U.S. of blasphemy

Canadian PM unveils religious freedom office

Andrew Bennett named to head Office of Religious Freedom

Ambassador for religious freedom is a Catholic dean and former civil servant

By CBC News

Andrew Bennett has been named ambassador for Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today. “Around the world, violations of religious freedom are widespread and they are increasing,” Harper said In a speech at the Ahmadiyya Muslim community centre and mosque in Vaughan, Ont. ….

Read more » – CBC

Link – http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/02/19/pol-ambassdor-office-religious-freedom-announced.html

Shia Genocide: connect the dots

Omar AliBy: Omar

…… Pakistan has to become secularized to survive as a multi-religious state. Otherwise, the plan is clear. It is to become a Sunni Jihadi state. And everyone else has to live under those rules, or will face their wrath.

The army and the police cannot control these people while supporting and using their ideology. They cannot give up that ideology until they suppress/forget/ignore the dream of a pure Islamic state and its international jihadi armies.

They lack the will and the ability. The will more than the ability.

Courtesy: Brown Pundits

Link – http://www.brownpundits.com/2013/02/16/shia-genocide-connect-the-dots/

Pakistan: the land of irony

By: Luavut Zahid

All Pakistanis are equal, but some Pakistanis are more equal than others,especially if they’re Muslims

Literary folk would have a field day explaining the stuff that a good irony is made of, if they could see the potential that Pakistan has as the poster child for all that is ironical. The nation that was created to protect the rights of a minority i.e., the Muslims in India, but has some of the worst statistical data to its name for crimes against marginalised groups (specialising in the persecution and demolition of minority rights).

Adding to the pretty paradox that is Pakistan, Hafiz Saeed (amongst others) has now offered Shahrukh Khan – not a mistreated common man, but a Bollywood giant – refuge from his harsh life in India. He’s looked into the biggest and most comfortable spots in his dust trodden and bug infested heart and opened his arms to Khan, promising comfort, security and respect. Hafiz is joined by a number of Pakistanis chanting their alhamdullilahs and astagfirullahs in Khan’s favour. But before Khan can actually make a decision on whether or not he wants to live in Pakistan he will first have to figure out just what kind of a Muslim he is. And while in India his biggest problem is being a Muslim, within Pakistan he will have to declare what sect he’s from – being a Muslim in Pakistan is no small affair. It would be interesting to see who protects him from people like Hafiz Saeed if he declares he’s Shia or Ahmedi.

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Pakistan turmoil deepens as court orders PM’s arrest

By Mehreen Zahra-Malik & Matthew Green

ISLAMABAD | Agency: Reuters – Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered the arrest of the prime minister on Tuesday in connection with an alleged corruption scandal, ratcheting up pressure on a government locked in a showdown with a cleric who has a history of ties to the army.

The combination of the arrest order and a mass street protest in the capital Islamabad led by Muslim cleric Muhammad Tahirul Qadri raised fears among politicians that the military was working with the judiciary to force out a civilian leader.

“There is no doubt that Qadri’s march and the Supreme Court’s verdict were masterminded by the military establishment of Pakistan,” Fawad Chaudhry, an aide to Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, told Reuters. “The military can intervene at this moment as the Supreme Court has opened a way for it.”

Thousands of followers of Qadri camped near the federal parliament cheered as television channels broadcast news of the Supreme Court’s order to arrest Ashraf on charges of corruption, who took over in June after judges disqualified his predecessor. Pakistan’s powerful army has a long history of coups and intervening in politics.

These days it seems to have little appetite for a coup but many believe it still tries to exert behind-the-scenes influence on politics. The ruling coalition led by the Pakistan Peoples’ Party has weathered a series of crises with the judiciary and military over the last few years and hopes its parliamentary majority will help it survive until elections are called within a few months.

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Woman Is Charged With Murder as a Hate Crime in a Fatal Subway Push

By MARC SANTORA

A 31-year-old woman was arrested on Saturday and charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime in connection with the death of a man who was pushed onto the tracks of an elevated subway station in Queens and crushed by an oncoming train.

The woman, Erika Menendez, selected her victim because she believed him to be a Muslim or a Hindu, Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney, said.

“The defendant is accused of committing what is every subway commuter’s nightmare: Being suddenly and senselessly pushed into the path of an oncoming train,” Mr. Brown said in an interview.

In a statement, Mr. Brown quoted Ms. Menendez, “in sum and substance,” as having told the police: “I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up.” Ms. Menendez conflated the Muslim and Hindu faiths in her comments to the police and in her target for attack, officials said.

The victim, Sunando Sen, was born in India and, according to a roommate, was raised Hindu. …..

Read more » The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/30/nyregion/woman-is-held-in-death-of-man-pushed-onto-subway-tracks-in-queens.html?_r=1&

Pakistan: A country created & being destroyed in the name of religion – by Aziz Narejo

It was not long ago when some Indian Muslim leaders had gathered in Lahore and had adopted a resolution at their meeting to demand a brand new country in the name of religion. They systematically created a mass frenzy in the support of their demand and finally achieved what they wanted – ‘a brand new country in the name of religion’. It was born in a pool of blood and was accompanied by the misery and the mass migration on a scale never seen before in the Sub-Continent.

But creating hysteria and dividing population in the name of religion was very easy compared to running and managing a new country. The leadership failed at all levels – and in all sections of the society. The rot started early. They couldn’t bring the country to the people. Couldn’t keep it together. Couldn’t agree on a Constitution or a form of government. First it was Mullahs, feudals and bureaucrats. They were soon joined by the military, which lost no time to enslave everybody else. It became the ‘praetorian masters’, the ‘powers that be’ and the ‘establishment’. The military became the ultimate master of the destiny of the country.

To stop the people from getting their due rights, the establishment created a fake ‘ideology of Pakistan’. When pressed to accept demands of the people, especially from the eastern wing and the smaller provinces, it first created One Unit and then encouraged the rightists to fight the progressive elements and the people of various nationalities demanding their rights. The religious right and the establishment would readily dub them unpatriotic, anti-state, anti-Islam and enemies of the country.

What was the result? They lost half of the country in just 24 years. They still didn’t learn. Created some more monsters in the name of religion and ethnicity. Today everything seems out of control. The rightist groups, which were supported in the name of religion to fight the nationalist and progressive elements in the country and to wage proxy wars on the borders and in India and Afghanistan, have started working on their own agenda. They now think they are in a position to claim the whole pie – ‘why settle for less’?

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Lahore Pakistan Mob sets girls’ school on fire over ‘blasphemy’

Mob sets girls’ school on fire over ‘blasphemy’

LAHORE: A large number of students, their parents and other people on Wednesday protested against a school administration for “distributing a blasphemous essay sheet among students”.

The protesters later set Farooqi Girls High School in Ravi Road area on fire.

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