Aug 16, 2009

Gojra: A Collective Shame for all of us

Earlier this month fanatics attacked and burnt alive peaceful citizens of Gojra, a christian town in Punjab in Toba tek Sing district. This is not an isolated incidence but another depressing chapter in persecution of minorities in Pakistan. Complete BBC Report

Daily Times, Pakistan leading newspaper, reported on earlier organised attack on christian community in Pakistan, "In 1997, the twin villages of Shantinagar-Tibba Colony 12 kilometres east of Khanewal, Multan Division, were looted and burnt by 20,000 Muslim citizens and 500 policemen acting together after an incident of alleged desecration of the Quran was reported. The police first evacuated the Christian population of 15,000, then helped the raiders use battle-field explosives to blow up their houses and property. Sipah Sahaba was also blamed by the Christians for that holocaust.

In 2005, the Christian community of Sangla Hill in Nankana district in Punjab experienced a most hair-raising day of violence and vandalism. After allegations of desecration of the Quran, a mob of 3,000 led by the local elected politician and police burnt down three churches, a missionary-run school, two hostels and several houses belonging to the Christian community. Lahore’s archbishop stated that the attackers had been brought there by buses from outside."
(Daily Times Editorial)

We should ask ourselves that how the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are able to incite people in the name of religion.

ANAA has condemned all laws enacted with an intent of legislating one person or community beliefs over another person or community. We would want to emphasize two recommendations at this point:

1. All Sharia laws including Blashphemy, Hudood and other should be repealed as these laws give an excuse to fanatics to intimidate and harass the women, minorities and other segments of the society

2. Our educations system needs a comprehensive reform as it has been systematically radicalised by Muslim fanatics. Education that should impart critical thinking to a learning mind has become a tool of indoctrination by extremists. We should strive to create a rational, curious mind rather than teaching intolerance against other people.

Christian Fair: Extremism and Pakistan Education system
Gojra and Education

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