A hospital in Lahore is forcing Christian paramedics to recite verses from the Holy Quran

Published: May 3, 2017
Hospital administration forces its non-Muslim staffers to either recite verses from the Holy Quran at morning assembly or be marked absent for the day. PHOTO: REUTERS

Hospital administration forces its non-Muslim staffers to either recite verses from the Holy Quran at morning assembly or be marked absent for the day. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: Reports suggest that there is a hospital administration in the city that forces its non-Muslim staffers to either recite verses from the Holy Quran at morning assembly or be marked absent for the day.

The Mian Mir Hospital, run by the City District Government Lahore, was named after Sufi saint Hazrat Mian Mir who rose to prominence during the time of Mughal emperor Jehangir. The saint himself was a big proponent of interfaith harmony.

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The matter came to light when Mian Mir Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Muhammad Sarfraz allegedly slapped a Christian paramedical staffer for not attending the assembly. Following the incident, all paramedical staff protested against the MS and other hospital administration by shutting down all functions of the medical facility.  “This act of the MS is a violation of the Constitution of Pakistan,” commented a Christian paramedical staffer named Marshal.

Talking to the media, he asked religious scholars to sort out the issue as the administration of the hospital was pressurising them to leave their jobs.”

Another paramedical staff member of the medical facility, Fahad Ahmed, said both Muslims and Christians were working in harmony. “It is professional workplace; I don’t know why the administration is forcing our Christian brothers to do this. This is totally unacceptable.”

Center for Social Justice Chairman Peter Jacob told The Express Tribune that religious freedom is guaranteed to all under Article 20 of the Constitution of Pakistan. “This act goes against the constitution and should be dealt with accordingly,” he commented.

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A paramedical staffer also agreed with this notion. He urged authorities to thoroughly investigate the matter and “question the MS over the incident”.   Despite several attempts and text messages, MS Mian Mir Hospital Dr Muhammad Sarfraz was unavailable for comment.

However, CDGL Health CEO Dr Muhammad Saeed assured a high-level committee had been formed to look into the matter and a strict departmental inquiry would be initiated against anyone found guilty.

Experts said extremism was creeping into public hospitals and was a massive concern for law enforcement agencies. A senior law enforcement official, requesting anonymity, said the phenomena of extremism among doctors and other paramedical staff was nothing new. He urged the health department to frame a code of conduct to avoid any such incident in future. “The issue of Mian Mir hospital is just a small manifestation and also serves as an alarm bell,” he concluded.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2017.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • nasir
    May 3, 2017 - 1:56PM

    This abuse to minorities by hospital staff should be stopped.Recommend

  • M Ali Khan
    May 3, 2017 - 3:07PM

    The same doctor, if he were in West, would cry religious discrimination if he were forced to attend a Christian ceremony there. Then again, the West abstains do religious ceremonies in non-religious public places.Recommend

  • fahim
    May 3, 2017 - 3:45PM

    Islam and constitution are both against forced worshiping Recommend

  • Christopher Shahzaad
    May 3, 2017 - 9:31PM

    To fahim: Islam is not against forced worship. If you read the Koran, Hadiths, and study the history of Islam, you will understand that Islam demands the subjugation of non-believers (aka kafirs/infidels). I encourage you to read chapter 9 of the Koran as it is one of the last chapters and abrogates much of the peaceful and tolerant verses that were written before.

    I do agree that the constitution is against forced worship. I applaud the colleagues that stood with the victim in this case. Bravo!!! The doctor should be counseled and placed on probation. Any repetition of such inappropriate behavior should lead to his job being terminated.

    I live in the United States and am seeing how the African Americans were treated prior to the Civil Rights Movement. I am seeing Christians and other minorities in Pakistan living under similar circumstances as the African American lived back then.

    Love and respect to all my brothers and sisters of all faiths who stand united against discrimination and hatred of others’ differences.


  • one citizen.
    May 4, 2017 - 11:00AM

    Both Pakistan and India are in the throes of intolerance. Independence of Pakistan and later of Bangladesh is proof of this deep malaise that afflicts the people of the Sub-Continent. When the vast majority of people have some other ways to of focusing their minds, hate, intolerance, towards other fellow beings will decrease. Politicians, clerics, social leaders, have to realize this and use their influence, to preach unity, tolerance, acceptance, humanity, empathy towards fellow beings. This is the only way forward, when there is subjugation under any form there is no progress. Recommend

    May 7, 2017 - 2:37PM

    Intolerable behaviour by a jahil in authority. This guy must be sacked, he should also be jailed for common assault and discriminatory behaviour amounting to hate crime Recommend

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