Violence against Hindus

Published: November 9, 2011
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Hindu community had been a target ever since three Hindu men were accused of sexually assaulting a Muslim girl. PHOTO: AFP

Hindu community had been a target ever since three Hindu men were accused of sexually assaulting a Muslim girl. PHOTO: AFP

While the rest of the country was feasting, three Hindu men were shot dead in cold blood in Shikarpur district on Eid day. The men who were killed were pillars of their community — a doctor and two businessmen. The unfortunate fact is that crimes against members of minority communities are often not investigated. The motivation for this crime seems pretty clear and so, if the police has the will, it should make arrests and convictions. The Hindu community had been a target in the area ever since three Hindu men were accused of sexually assaulting a Muslim girl, and it was only a matter of time before the tension spilled over into violence. Sadly, when a crime is committed by a minority against someone in the majority community, it usually leads to collective punishment. It goes without saying that this should not be allowed to stand.

Such murders will continue to occur and go unpunished as long as there is persecution of the Hindu community at the official level. A recent study by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom found that hatred for Hindus is instilled in official Pakistani textbooks. The study said that “Hindus are repeatedly described as extremists and eternal enemies of Islam whose culture and society is based on injustice and cruelty.” From a young age, Pakistanis are taught that being Hindu equates to being Indian, while the cultural and economic role played by the community in Pakistan is ignored.

Repression against the Hindu community is especially acute in Sindh. In recent years, young Hindu girls have been kidnapped and forced into marriage after being unwillingly converted to Islam. Local clerics claim that the girls willingly converted and so no crime was committed. In fact, they welcome the supposed ‘conversions’ for bringing more people to the Muslim fold. In Balochistan, too, where Hindus have been part of the community for centuries, they are now being forced to flee out of fear for their lives. All of this is taking place with officials turning a blind eye, even if they are not actually sanctioning it. The hope would be that the murders on Eid would be the last straw. Unfortunately, the history of violence against Hindus would make that diagnosis far too optimistic.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • Wise guy
    Nov 9, 2011 - 9:21PM

    It’s a shame that moderate Muslims have never stood up for violence/atrocities against non-Muslim. Shame on you for not standing up- when Auregzeb murdered millions of Hindus, shame on you for not standing up when millions of Buddhists were killed in Afghanistan when your religion was spreading by sword, shame on you for not standing up for those innocent girls who didn’t even know what sex was but got raped. Nothing against the religion, but you moderate Muslims need to raise your voice so others don’t completely lose the faith on your community. Recommend

  • Alok
    Nov 9, 2011 - 9:38PM

    Wonder what happened to those madrassa boys who had beaten up little muslim school girls with iron rods. Were they shot and killed? And what about the semi-clad girls in Lollywood movies, are all the ogleing audience members killed during/after the show?

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  • Tamil Arasan
    Nov 9, 2011 - 9:50PM

    Great going if this rate of elimination of minority goes then soon after some years there won’t be any so called infields left in Pakistan to take your anger away, and after that your militants are going to attack with more vengeance on those moderate Muslims who believe in western system and equal rights to women, I wonder who said Islam is a peaceful religion…For all this violence the media in Pak is also responsible – you have so many good images to portray about Hindus but see what the editor has chosen!!!

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  • arif majeed
    Nov 9, 2011 - 10:07PM

    this persecution of atheists,gays,ahmadis,hindus,freethinkers must end.no society can flourish where difference of opinion is met with bullets.To be atheist,agnostic,ahmadi,gay or hindu has become a crime in today’s pakistan,you might as well walk with a bullseye on your back.

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  • Bilal
    Nov 9, 2011 - 10:49PM

    Killing of any innocent human being is wrong. If he is hindu, it is wrong too.

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  • Pundit
    Nov 9, 2011 - 11:24PM

    Brave and valid editorial.

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  • Its the Economy Stupid
    Nov 10, 2011 - 12:05AM

    In US and other civilized world when a muslim assults a white local girl non muslim, only that accused man is dealt with by the law. Other members of the Pakistani communities are not killed for guilt by association. Are Pakistani muslims setting a presidence?

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  • John B
    Nov 10, 2011 - 1:16AM

    The reason for founding Pakistan was fear of persecution by majority Hindu, at least that was the stated reason. Christians, Buddhists, Jains, SiKhs, Zoroastrians, Jews and other minority sects did not have that fear in India.

    Now what happened to Hindus in PAK? Who is persecuting whom is self evident.

    It is a sacred obligation of majority to protect the minorities.

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  • Sahil
    Nov 10, 2011 - 1:18AM

    As we read about this incident, neighboring country India recently passed verdict against hindus who burnt muslims alive during religious riots. It seems hatred runs in both the sides of community but moderate hindus in India have at least taken a lead on making sure that culprits get punished, irrespective of religion. Can moderate muslims on the other side of border can do it, thats the question?

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  • Rizwan
    Nov 10, 2011 - 1:29AM

    Kudos to Tribune for a brave editorial. It saddens me greatly that we in Pakistan have become used to so much hatred against minorities, and yet not a lot of us have the courage to raise our voices against these killings of Hindus or any other minority. We have to be the most racially and religiously charged society/country in the whole world. At the right we are going, pretty soon there are going to be no minorities left in the country and then we will turn against each other–we already are doing that to a great extent. I hope we return to sanity before its too late.

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  • Gul Khan
    Nov 10, 2011 - 9:51AM

    Violence not only against minorities but also against Muslims in Pakistan.

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  • al
    Nov 10, 2011 - 11:31AM

    This editorial image shows what Pakistanis think of Hindus. Highly insensitive!

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  • Nero
    Nov 10, 2011 - 12:05PM

    @Gul Khan: Please pardon me for asking this, but are you really FOOLISH not to differentiate between deliberate hate crime and a crime only for money?

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  • sharif Lone
    Nov 10, 2011 - 12:17PM

    I just read that USA says text books in pakistani schools teach intolerance toward Hindus and other minorities. “Teaching discrimination increases the likelihood that violent religious extremism in Pakistan will continue to grow, weakening religious freedom, national and regional stability, and global security,” said Leonard Leo, the chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.
    And then I find following texts in school books:”Hindu pundits were jealous of Al Beruni,” according to a Social Studies textbook for Class VIII (Punjab Textbook Board, page 82). “The Hindus… had always been opportunists,” reads another one (Social Studies, Class VI, Punjab Textbook Board, page 141). And yet another one: “The Hindus have always been an enemy of Islam” (Urdu, Class V, Punjab Textbook Board, page 108). It is not hard to figure out the direction in which Pakistan is headed. The indoctrination and hate start right from school, and are not just limited to madarssas, but also spread out to what are known as English-medium schools. It has now gone viral.
    There is no alternative to tolerance towards those who think differently. It is time we put pressure on those responsible for these texts to be dismissed and these texts taken away from books. If this is official policy, just imagine what people talk to each other when the press is not around. I feel ashamed for this intolerance.

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  • harkol
    Nov 10, 2011 - 3:05PM

    The primary reason India will never accept a Independent Kashmir (let alone Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan), is because of the historic & Systematic ethnic cleansing of Hindus by Muslims once they gained independence. Pakistan & Bangladesh had between 15-20% Hindus at the end of British raj, and today have abysmal 1%. While Indian muslim percentage grew from 11% at independence to 14% today.

    The number speaks for itself. If the subcontinental muslims had shown better tolerance, perhaps India wouldn’t have had a moral leg to stand on in Kashmir.

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  • Sanity
    Nov 10, 2011 - 3:53PM

    The main problems are as follow, arranged in order of importance:

    1- Forced conversion of Hindus, specially girls. It must stop. Otherwise, allow Muslims to convert to other religions as well.

    2- The blasphemy law should either be abolished or modified.

    3- Kidnapping for Ransom

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  • Tahir
    Nov 10, 2011 - 6:58PM

    @Tamil Arasan:
    ” I wonder who said Islam is a peaceful religion…” dear Tamil the killing of three Hindus is condemnable crime. We all agree on that. Our thoughts are with the victims’ families.

    I just want to clear one point that we should n blame relegion straight way for any misfortune. You have quoted two three incidents and then concluded that Islam is not a peaceful religion. I can quote several incidents from our neighboring India and can easily link them to Hinduism or Sikhism. I wont mention here specifically. So remember one thing don’t be so quick in your conclusions and judgements.

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  • Waqas
    Nov 10, 2011 - 11:58PM

    @ Tahir

    Islam is not tolerance religion either, it doesn’t grants rights to atheist/gays/lesbians/non-muslims and freethinkers or liberals.. and until Pakistan remains a theocracy there wouldn’t be freedom left for freethinkers or non-muslims..

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