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Bangladesh and Pakistan: where minorities fear to walk

Bangladesh and Pakistan: where minorities fear to walk

Lee Jay Walker – The Modern Tokyo Times

Radical Islamist and hatred
Radical Islamists and the persecution of minorities

In modern day Bangladesh and Pakistan you have constant persecution of non-Muslim minorities and also minority Muslim communities are being killed in the name of radical Sunni Islam in Pakistan.  Therefore, Ahmadiyya Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Shia Muslims, Sikhs, and others, face daily persecution and hatred in Bangladesh and Pakistan respectively.

On August 11th this year it will be “Minority Day” in Pakistan, however, Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti of the Pakistan Christian Congress announced that they will be observing ‘Black Day” because of the constant persecution of minorities in Pakistan.

Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti states “How we can celebrate Minority Day in Pakistan when our innocent brothers are being killed by Islamic militants and our women are being gang raped and enforcedly converted to Islam.”

It is clear that the partition of India led to chaos and hundreds of thousands of people were murdered.  After this chaos divisions would emerge between East Pakistan and West Pakistan and further bloodshed would occur, with the outcome being the sovereign nations of Bangladesh and Pakistan.  However, while India remains to be multi-religious, the opposite is happening in Bangladesh and Pakistan because religious minorities are facing the brute reality of radical Sunni Islam.

To make matters worse both Bangladesh and Pakistan would witness the gradual Islamization of their societies, notably Pakistan, and massive corruption and persecution of women would continue.  The Islamization of both nations was especially traumatic for Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan and for Hindus and Buddhists in Bangladesh. Not surprisingly, this Islamic persecution of minorities in both nations re-awakened anti-Islamic feelings in India.

Christians in Pakistan also began to feel the brunt of radical Sunni Islam and the same applies to Ahmadiyya Muslims who suffer greatly.  At the same time you also have growing divisions within Sunni Islam and the usual Sunni-Shia divide led to many massacres and terrorist attacks.

However, unlike the destruction of Buddhism and Hinduism in Afghanistan which happened centuries earlier because of Islamic conquests, forced conversions to Islam, systematic persecution, and controlling all leverages of power; the Islamization of Bangladesh and Pakistan took place in the twentieth century and continues today.

Yet why are Buddhism and Hinduism being allowed to be destroyed in both nations?  After all, Buddhists in Bangladesh were a small minority and they could never threaten Islam; the same applies to Hindus in Pakistan.  Despite this, the international community remains very silent.

Therefore, why did other nations remain quiet when massive religious persecution was taking place?  After all, nations like France, the United Kingdom and America were espousing ‘democracy’ and liberals were glorifying multi-faith societies and stating that Islam was a religion of peace.  At the same time major institutions like the Commonwealth, which espoused global human rights, remained quiet despite religious persecution and pogroms in Bangladesh and Pakistan.

In Pakistan the destruction of Hinduism and persecution of Hindus took many forms.  The first path was the massacre of Hindus during partition and forcing Hindus to leave via coercion.  However, over the last 50 years the destruction of Hinduism in modern day Pakistan was based on past Islamic global conquests and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed who sanctioned the persecution of non-Muslims.  For the Prophet Mohammed had told his followers to ‘Fight those who believe not in God nor the last day . . . Nor acknowledge the religion of truth (Islam) . . .’ Therefore, the followers of Hinduism were to be subdued in accordance with the teachings of Islamic Sharia Law, the Koran and the Hadiths.

Given this, Hindus were now a subdued minority, like Christians in Pakistan, and they were unequal in law and status in accordance with the teachings of Islam.  At the same time Hindu temples were often converted into Muslim mosques or destroyed, and ancient Hindu architecture was left to collapse and fade away.  The choice for many Hindus was either to convert to Islam in order to escape persecution, flee to India or to accept that they were second-class citizens in Pakistan.  Not surprisingly, the Hindu population in Pakistan continued to decline and this civilization was being eradicated by Islam.

The situation for Buddhists in Bangladesh was different, for Buddhism had survived countless Islamic conquests in one region because of terrain and other factors; therefore, Buddhists and other faiths had survived in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.  However, the increasing population of Bangladesh led to many problems and the government of Bangladesh hoped ‘to kill two birds with one stone.’  This applies to moving millions of Muslim people to remote parts of Bangladesh, notably the Chittagong Hill Tracts, while at the same time this new Muslim migration would crush the mainly Buddhist tribal opposition in this region.

Therefore, millions of Muslim migrants were moved into the Chittagong Hill Tracts and the mainly Buddhist tribals (some are Christian, Hindu or follow traditional beliefs) became embroiled in a civil war.  Islamic radicals also moved into this region and many Buddhist priests were killed, including some being beheaded.  At the same time hundreds of Buddhist temples were destroyed and the Bangladesh army took part in many massacres, and some Buddhist women were gang-raped by both Islamic zealots and the Bangladesh army.

In time the mainly Buddhist tribals were overwhelmed by the armed forces of Bangladesh and Muslim migration because this was a clear dual policy based on Islamization and control.  Their situation, however, went unnoticed in the West and Islamic nations obviously remained silent.  To make matters worse, the mainly Buddhist tribes had no nation supporting them and no major world leader to draw attention to their plight.  Given this, the government of Bangladesh continues with this policy and Buddhists and other minorities face the ongoing Islamization of the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Therefore, the destruction of thousands of years of Hindu/Buddhist civilization in these nations is being destroyed and the world remains largely silent.  It is clear that mainly Buddhist nations like Japan (and Shinto), Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and others, should form an organization to help their co-religionists; with Japan being the main financial power to raise awareness of Buddhist persecution.  However, sadly this is not happening and India clearly did not do enough in order to protect or raise the issue of Hindu persecution in both Bangladesh and Pakistan.

If global silence continues then Buddhism will one day be eradicated in Bangladesh.  However, the global community did condemn the Taliban in Afghanistan for destroying Buddhist statues and art, yet the same global community remains quiet when Buddhist tribes are being systematically persecuted.  Does this mean that Buddhist art in Afghanistan is more important than the persecution of Buddhist communities and the gang rape of Buddhist women in Bangladesh? 

Surely the Hindus of Pakistan and Buddhists in the Chittagong Hill Tracts deserve better?  If the international community remains silent about this crime, then soon these lands will be Islamized and religiously ‘cleansed.’ 

The ongoing silence is an international disgrace and because of this Islamists are now killing Ahmadiyya Muslims and Christians in Pakistan.  After all, the world remained silent when Hindus and Sikhs faced massive persecution in Pakistan and the same applies to the constant destruction of Buddhist tribal villages in Bangladesh.  Therefore, the persecution of all minorities is getting worse in modern day Pakistan.

The most vulnerable and ‘voiceless’ in Bangladesh and Pakistan have been abandoned by the international community.  Why?

Lee Jay Walker

http://themoderntokyotimes.wordpress.com

http://islamicpersecution.wordpress.com

 

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PAKISTAN and ongoing Christian persecution

Pakistan and Ongoing Christian Persecution

 

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent  -  THE SEOUL TIMES 

 

Christians in Pakistan

Christians and other minorities in Pakistan continue to face enormous discrimination and persecution, and in extreme cases, but not rare cases, many Christians have been killed by either Muslim mobs or by state sanctioned policies. Therefore, the endless suffering and discrimination in Pakistan must come to light and the international community must put more pressure on the government of Pakistan to act, and to rescind brutal laws.

Pakistan is currently in crisis and much of the current crisis in self induced because it is clear that Pakistan supported radical Sunni Islam in Afghanistan and Kashmir for decades. Now the very same Sunni Islamic radicals who were supported by the security services in Pakistan have decided to turn Pakistan into another radical Sunni Islamic nightmare. Therefore, the ongoing “year zero Islamization” is leading to more hatred and this hatred is also being aimed at all minorities.

Even worse, for Christians, and other minorities like the Ahmadiyya Muslims and Hindus; they are suffering at the hands of radical Sunni Islamists, institutionalized laws which discriminate against minorities, government indifference, police bias, and every day discrimination where individual Muslims can abuse their power.

Emmanuel Y. Mani wrote an article on 11/10/2009 which was published on http://www.asianews.it and he stated that the “Blasphemy laws include Article 295, Sections B and C, and Article 298, Sections A, B and C, of the Pakistan Penal Code. These laws were incorporated into the criminal justice system between 1980 and 1986 by then President of Pakistan Zia-ul-Haq, supposedly to ensure respect for the Prophet Mohammed, his Companions and the Holy Qur‘an. These laws are unique in the contemporary world because they allow dubious charges to be brought against people who have been subjected to extra judicial killings, arson and destruction of their property.”

“From 1986 to October 2009, at least 966 persons were accused under the blasphemy laws, 50% were Muslims, 35% Ahmadis, 13% Christians, 1% Hindus and 1% with no known religious background. At least 33 persons have been killed extra judicially after allegations were made against them; 15 were Muslims, 15 Christians, two Ahmadis and one Hindu.”

This law is not only being used against Christians, Hindus, and Ahmadiyya Muslims, but it is also being used by the dominant Sunni Islamic sect in Pakistan in order to crush all alternative voices or the law is being manipulated on any grounds in order to bypass real justice.

Last year on September 15th a young Christian male called Robert Fanish was found dead in his cell. Of course, the usual mantra was stated and a cover up was started from the start but clearly he had been tortured and victimized. The National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) which is a Catholic-led advocacy group, however, stated that the brutal death of Robert Fanish was an “extra-judicial murder.”

Therefore, in modern day Pakistan this Sunni Islamic madness continues and now they are killing each other in the north of the nation, while causing mayhem in Afghanistan. At the same time, they are killing minority Christians, Shia Muslims and Ahmadiyya Muslims. It is like a state of madness with no end game apart from complete Sunni Islamization and then an internal Sunni Islamic war on the grounds of who is the most radical.

This madness led to 6 Christians being burnt alive last year and numerous other attacks. More recently, we have a 12 year old Christian girl called Shazia Bashir who was raped and tortured to death according to local Christians and advocacy groups.

Shazia Bashir was employed in the household of a wealthy Muslim lawyer and like many poor Christian domestic workers in Pakistan, she suffered abuse, however, her abuse would lead to her death but will justice be done in Pakistan?

A Protestant NGO, Sharing Life Ministry Life (SLMP), gave details about the young Christian girl. They stated that she had been working for eight months and that she had suffered constant stress and had been treated harshly before her death. This applied to ill treatment, verbal abuse and other forms of mistreatment.

SLMP chief coordinator Sohail Johnson commented “….that 99 per cent of Christian girls from poor families are hired by wealthy Muslims, and are often physically, psychologically and sexually abused.” He continued by stating that “In some cases, their employers marry them off to Muslim servants, and forcibly convert them to Islam.”

Sohail Johnson also mentioned about the failings of the government of Pakistan in protecting Christian girls. He states that “These vulnerable Christian girls do not have any state protection. We urge the government to ensure protection of these disadvantaged girls.”

Therefore, in 2009 we heard about Christians being burnt alive in Pakistan and many other cases of violence which was aimed at Christians and other minorities. Sadly, the same pattern is continuing but this time it is the brutal murder of a young Christian girl and many Christians doubt that justice will be done.

In Pakistan it is clear that Christians, Ahmadiyya Muslims, Hindus, and others, face an uphill struggle and death and persecution is never far away. However, what makes the situation worse is that it is not only radical Islamists who are persecuting all minorities but it is also the state apparatus of Pakistan.

The cycle of violence, intimidation, and persecution, can only be imagined from a distance. Yet the daily terror caused by Islamists and the betrayal of the institutions of Pakistan means that this nightmare is ongoing. However, will the international community just “turn a blind eye” or will outside pressure be put on Pakistan?

LEE JAY WALKER

http://www.leejaywalker.wordpress.com

leejayteach@hotmail.com

 

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PAKISTAN must abolish the blasphemy law

Pakistan Must Abolish the Blasphemy Law

 

By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent  – THE SEOUL TIMES

 

Pakistani Christians in a Christmas Mass

The nation of Pakistan faces many internal problems and minorities reside in fear because political leaders have been in self destruct mode. This applies to the role of Pakistan in fostering and spreading radical Sunni Islam to regional nations. At the same time the internal legal system is openly espousing hatred and creating mayhem by maintaining the blasphemy law.

This was clearly visible when Christians were burnt alive by radical Sunni Islamists, therefore, now is the right time to eradicate this dangerous law which is sowing discord and hatred. Both internal and external pressure is needed in order for Pakistan to start afresh. The same applies to crushing radical Sunni Islamic institutions and networks which are causing mayhem.

However, will the current leadership deal with this crisis and tackle rogue elements within both the political system and military? After all, the role of the security services in Pakistan is clearly a major issue because they have given a free reign to Sunni Islamic radicals to kill at random in both Afghanistan and Kashmir (India). More recently, this external export is now trying to challenge the state internally so the stakes are clearly high.

Turning back to the blasphemy law it is abundantly clear that this issue is being manipulated by radical Sunni Islamic forces within Pakistan. Therefore, many innocents have been put in prison on the grounds of blasphemy and this law threatens the Christian community, Ahmadiyya Muslims, and anyone deemed to have blasphemed against the Koran and Islam.

It is clear that the blasphemy law can be used by Muslims in order to crush both the minorities of Pakistan or to accuse so-called enemies of Islam or on the grounds of having a grudge. Therefore, many Christians and Muslims have been victims of this terrible law and the fear of being accused of this is great.

Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti, President of the Pakistan Christian Congress, has demanded openly and with a firm conviction that the government of Pakistan must “repeal the blasphemy law.” Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti is also calling for the “arrest (of) the culprits before August 11, 2009.”

According to an article written in the Pakistan Christian Post (http://pakistanchristianpost.com) by Joseph Keenan “The culprits belonged to a banned Sunni Muslim extremist group – Sipah-e-Sahaba….” This applies to the attacks on Christians in Gojra town which led to many Christians being burnt alive by Sunni Islamic zealots.

The article by Joseph Keenan also highlights how the brutal blasphemy law was implemented and strengthened. He states that the “Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC) said Section 298-A added in an amendment in 1980 stated that use of derogatory remarks, respect of holy personages, 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 any wife or member of the family of prophet Mohammad, subject to three years imprisonment.”

The article continues and shows you how the legal system became even more brutal and harsh against all minorities in Pakistan or against any person who supports freedom or liberty.

For “In 1982, another amendment was made and section 295-B was added in PPC, punishable with imprisonment of life.” Then the most controversial part was added in 1986 because “section 295-C, was added, the most serious, controversial and presently invoked amendment was made, a capital punishment of death penalty.”

Therefore, in modern day Pakistan you can be killed on the grounds of blasphemy according to the judicial system. Of course the blasphemy law is about Islamizing Pakistan and crushing all minorities or people who disagree with Islamization.

After all, in the past “fear,” Islamic Sharia law and “dhimmitude” was part and parcel of Islamization and the same applies to laws which always favour Muslims versus non-Muslims during legal cases. Therefore, the blasphemy law is about stifling religious minorities and of course it panders to radical Islamists who desire to kill and persecute all minorities or any deemed enemy.

Joseph Keenan further comments that “There have been many arrests of Christians under section 295-B & C in Pakistan. Some have been brutally murdered in day light from (the) hands of radical Muslims, some killed in jails and police lock ups.” He also makes it clear that fairness and protection is not happening and clearly the treatment of people accused of blasphemy is brutal and harsh.

Therefore, I hope many people join Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti because a “Black Day” will be observed on August 11, 2009, in order to highlight the ongoing suffering of Christians in Pakistan and the recent brutal murders which took place in the town of Gojra.

All information can be found at http://pakistanchristianpost.com The Pakistan Christian Post. Therefore, it is clear that “Black Day” is a way to raise a very important issue because does Pakistan want to modernize or Islamize?

Also, “the soul of Pakistan” is being blighted by hatred and moderate Christians, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, or whoever, must stand up and be counted because freedom and liberty is under assault and dangerous forces want to impose radical versions of Islam on the masses.

If the government of Pakistan wants a bright future for all citizens in this nation then real changes must be implemented and the forces of radical Sunni Islam must be crushed. Pakistan is “at the crossroads and on the abyss” because in parts of this nation it is a failed state because government control is being challenged by radical Sunni Islamic fighters.

Yet the real tragedy for minorities in Pakistan, irrespective if Christian, Shia Muslim, Ahmadiyya Muslim, Hindu, or whatever; is that minorities face systematic persecution at the hands of both radical Sunni Islamists and the central government. It is time for a new way in Pakistan and repealing the blasphemy law would be a good start and after the recent brutal murders of Christians, I clearly support Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti and other leaders who want the legal system changed.

LEE JAY WALKER

http://www.theseoultimes.com

http://www.leejaywalker.wordpress.com

leejayteach@hotmail.com

 

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