Mass conversions: For Matli’s poor Hindus, ‘lakshmi’ lies in another religion

Published: January 21, 2012
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The mosque of Bait-ul Islam seminary in Matli, where many families live after converting to Islam. PHOTOS: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

The mosque of Bait-ul Islam seminary in Matli, where many families live after converting to Islam. PHOTOS: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

The seminary has a ‘hospital’ along with a 24-hour doctor and free medication. PHOTOS: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS Children and adults inside the madrassa recite the Holy Quran as some learn it by heart after converting. PHOTOS: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS The mosque of Bait-ul Islam seminary in Matli, where many families live after converting to Islam. PHOTOS: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS The madrassa records all the information about the people who have been converted to Islam, their new names, village, and the amount of debt the group has paid off for them. The seminary has a ‘hospital’ along with a 24-hour doctor and free medication. PHOTOS: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS
MATLI/TM KHAN: 

Money, jobs and a debt-free life: It sounds like a sweet deal for many of the Hindu labourers in Matli, but it comes with strings attached — convert to Islam.

Hundreds of Hindus in the area have converted to Islam in the past few years, courtesy seminaries, mosques and self-styled preachers.

Switching religions comes with an upgrade in social status and material benefits – Hindu converts said they could easily get Watan Cards and National Identification Cards, aid, and were given land and assistance by the organisation helpfully walking them over to the other side.

But these material benefits aren’t available for everyone. For the Hindus of the Bheel caste, who were converted by the Barelvi group Tanzeem Ulema-e-Islam, life is still restricted to the land that they are squatting on in Tando Mohammad Khan.

Abdul Hameed, who was once known as Pyaro, still works as a labourer and earns a pittance. He was converted by Maulana Taj Mohammad Kamboh via an introduction by Jan Mohammad, a small-time landowner who has been ‘preaching’ to Hindus for almost 15 years.

Jan Mohammad is insistent his proselytising isn’t tied to material benefits. “We did not want to publicise this. I just want these families to get Watan Cards or some money,” he says. “We were told by the National Database and Registration Authority in Matli that it would be easier to get this done if these people were Muslims.”

The same motivations are cited by Maulana Taj Muhammad Kamboh who has been playing a leading role in the conversions. “They had no place to live in,” he told The Express Tribune. “I am trying to get a plot for them and will construct houses for them with the help of my friends. I don’t want to see them as beggars.” He insists that now that they are Muslims they should live their lives according to their own will. “We will not impose anything on them,” he adds. “They are also free of any sect.”

The converts shrug. When their minders are out of earshot, they say their life hasn’t changed much. Pyaro, for example, points out that he was already following many Muslim practices and as far as being a Hindu was concerned, he had never been to a temple or studied any of the religious texts. “Our nikahs were conducted by a Muslim. We ate chickens slaughtered by a Muslim.” His relatives in Mirpurkhas and other districts in Sindh have also converted to Islam, and had encouraged him and his wife Nazira (formerly Koraan) to also convert.

Another convert, Abdul Rasheed (previously known as Haroon), pointed out another advantage. “Now there is no difference between our friends’ traditions and culture,” he says, admitting, however, that it will take time to learn the ropes. But here too, the underlying economics surfaces: “We need a permanent shelter now and without that it would be hard to concentrate on the new religion.”

In order to press them in this direction are men like Hafiz Asadullah Memon, who heads the Tanzeem Ulema-e-Islam in Matli. He wants them to start saying their namaz regularly and reading the Quran.

Seven children from the converted families are now being taught basic religious lessons at a mosque on the property. Seven-year-old Aziza, who is being schooled at the Deedar-e-Mustafa mosque, rattles off the Kalima. “Yes, we are Muslims now but my friends still call me by the same name, Appi,” she says. “I remind them again and again that my new name is Aziza.”

The young boys wander around the plot in their new green prayer caps. “These children study happily,” says their teacher Hafiz Mashooq Ali. “I don’t hit them or anything.”

With new Muslim names and a vow to adopt religious rites, they are only hoping that someone will be impressed enough to offer them land and social security.

These desires have been fulfilled at the Madrassa Baitul Islam, a Deobandi seminary in Matli which meticulously maintains a log of the conversions. The first entry is dated November 1, 2009. The most recent is December 22, 2011, when they converted the 428th Hindu to Islam.

The seminary – which has received kudos from religious-political parties including the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and is affiliated with the Darul Uloom in Karachi – also pays off the debts of Hindus converting to Islam. Based on the entries in its records, this can range from a few thousand rupees to over Rs50,000.

The Bheels who live in the lower parts of Sindh, including Tando Muhammad Khan, Umerkot, Mirpurkhas, Tharparkar, Badin and Thatta, are considered to be peace loving and humble, and are rarely found involved in crime. “We don’t have money or land, so what would we fight with anyone over or who would make enemies of us? We have to do our own work,” explains Allah Bux Shaikh, a fresh convert in his mid-30s.

In a classroom, dozens of children rock back and forth as they recite the Holy Quran, and Ali Ahmed, a Hindu convert, is brought out as a model student. He has already memorised five Siparas of the Holy Quran and aims to become a hafiz. “His family will get a stipend of Rs200,” seminary teacher Qari Abdullah tells The Express Tribune. Students, including converts and Muslims in neighbouring areas, are provided lodging and expenses.

The register also notes the caste of the converts, as well as how much of their loan has been paid off. A newly converted family is given Rs5,000 as well as a copy of the Holy Quran, and housing for three to four months. During this time, they are given a religious education and taught how to live their life according to the Islamic code. There is an on-call doctor and a hospital on the premises and an ambulance is available to move serious patients. Another seminary in the city educates female converts.

“When we were Hindus, we were nothing,” say converts Khan Mohammad and Hawa Bibi. But as they begin to share about how their life hasn’t really changed, two Muslims walk in, and they fall silent.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2012.

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Reader Comments (75)

  • Jan 21, 2012 - 4:08AM

    Whatever is better for you.

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  • Mard-e-Haq
    Jan 21, 2012 - 4:37AM

    Is this real conversion? It seems to be done based on converts’ fear and material benefits.

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  • Jeshaan
    Jan 21, 2012 - 5:31AM

    ha ha Hindus will convert to any religion for lakshamii :):)

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  • Vin
    Jan 21, 2012 - 5:48AM

    Good For Hindus…They deserve this….Anyways Hinduism is no religion perse…I proclaim and challenge that 99% of Hindus in India have not even read Geeta or Ramayan or Mahabharat….

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  • Milestogo
    Jan 21, 2012 - 6:02AM

    This is so kind!

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  • arif khan
    Jan 21, 2012 - 8:11AM

    changing religions just for money,watan cards,national identity cards means they will change religions once again if some other religion’s ppl offered them a better deal.this isn’t changing religions,it’s just taking the monetary benefits that come with being in the religion that 97% of pakistan follows.

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  • Irshad
    Jan 21, 2012 - 8:56AM

    Shame on Pakistan. This kind of discrimination only exists in muslim countries and muslims all over the world cry about their mistreatment. Just imagine how muslims will react if they were treated like this in India.

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  • Indian
    Jan 21, 2012 - 9:01AM

    Dear Pakistanis,
    Before you bother about the state of Muslims in India (who by the way are better off than an average Pakistani although lesser than an average Indian), kindly bother of your fellow countrymen unless off-course you think non Muslims to not at all be Pakistanis..
    Hope this incident opens your eyes..

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  • Raj
    Jan 21, 2012 - 10:31AM

    It’s a sensible deal. The state is for Muslims and people are realizing what they should do in order to get the benefits. When in Rome do as Romans do. You just can’t disobey the will of majority of your country who wish the state to be ‘pure‘ and the benefits to be for Muslims only.

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  • Ali Khan
    Jan 21, 2012 - 10:48AM

    Finally something good is happening in Pakistan. One day will come when everyone in Pakistan will be a muslim. What are we going to do after that? I wonder.

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  • John B
    Jan 21, 2012 - 10:53AM

    So, to get a national identity card, and watan card (what is it) one has to be a Muslim? This is state sponsored blackmail and coercion. Everyone will now want to be a Muslim, otherwise their lives are doomed.

    If only PAK had shown this much zeal in educating her masses, PAK would have been a different nation.

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  • Observer
    Jan 21, 2012 - 10:57AM

    @Mard-e-Haq:

    “Is this real conversion? It seems to be done based on converts’ fear and material benefits.”

    Throughout history, people converted to Abramhamic religions out of fear, for material benefits or other coercions. While Christians reformed, the Islamic world still hangs on to the old medieval edicts. Let’s admit the truth that minority religionists have no chance of survival as equal citizen in Islamic countries.

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  • AD
    Jan 21, 2012 - 11:02AM

    Frankly speaking most of Pakistani are ex-Hindus.Some got converted by force,some by sword,some by paying off their debt.This trend will continue in Islam.End of the day God will decide whether one was good human being in his life or not.There he won’t count your debt cause you got converted to Islam.

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  • Ind-o-Pak
    Jan 21, 2012 - 11:12AM

    Hordes of Hindus convert everyday to Christianity due Western Funding, why not try any religion who change their life for the better. After all Muslims in India give their daughters to Hindus for the same reason, right? In Pakistan, India and Bangladesh poor converting to Christianity in thousands for the same reason. But in this case it’s the Lower Cast Hindus who are trapped by their Low Cast and have to get out. Many such Hindus when convert to Christianity in India, get their houses and villages burned by high cast Hindus.

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  • Sachin Arora
    Jan 21, 2012 - 11:23AM

    Comments from Vin & Jeeshan, clearly states the intolerance of other religion that have been steeped into mindset of some pakistanis. Self glorification of one religion is route cause of extremism and terrorism whether Islamic or Hindu Terrorism. God bless people of south asia from this mindless ldeology.

    Regards,
    Sachin Arora
    Punjab, India.

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  • Jan 21, 2012 - 12:37PM

    MASHALLAH
    keep it up

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  • Ali Tahir
    Jan 21, 2012 - 12:54PM

    THIS IS ALL PROPAGANDA, Miss Saba i am ready to go to this area with you to prove you are wrong. Last year 2011 in december when i met with many people they said they are converting because of the reason that Hindu religion is not authentic at all…. inspired by the preaching of the scholars.

    I just finished my call to Matli and i have more than 500 people who said they are ready to prove this article is wrong and biasedRecommend

  • Zeeshan
    Jan 21, 2012 - 12:55PM

    This article is very tendentious. Is the whole process of converting/reverting (depending on where you stand) to Islam the problem or the elevation of the minority socioeconomic status only by becoming the majority the problem? Which one is this?

    If it is about the former then it’s worth asking why when Hindus in Pakistan embrace Islam, it is seen as problematic (especially by our liberal crowd)? While it’s crucial not to force anyone to embrace Islam, Islam will not be spread without preachers, thinkers and rulers. You and I are Muslims today because our forefathers decided to be Muslims (Indians believe we were converted by swords and that we have “Stockholm Syndrome” without extending this thinking to their own identity). Many Pakistanis, especially Kashmiris, still carry with them last names such as Pandit, Butt, Bhat, Dar which all speak about past history of being “Brahmins” which is the highest caste among the followers of Sanatana Dharma. These are the same devout people who are spreading Islam to others by building schools, teaching Holy Quran etc. They do this for the love of God and Islam. We have obligations to help new reverts. Remember that our zakat is also allocated for new reverts to Islam to start life afresh. This is the privilege given by Islam to the new reverts. Depending on where you stand, this privilege could be seen as either “bait” or “kindness to our new brothers/sisters”.

    But if it is about the latter, go to Muslim “ghettos” in many part of the world and listen to the demand for “assimilation” being brought up by the majority to the minority Muslim. Once we agreed that assimilation, absorption and destruction of the minority identities due to hegemonic majority is a problem throughout the world, then we could judge Pakistanis. But when the majorities elsewhere who have the same demand for minorities is not seen as problematic, then it’s about singling out Pakistanis and fitting them to the larger narrative of “intolerant people”. Ask Swiss why they banned minarets and why Westernized Muslims become their “good Muslims” and their favorite native informers.

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  • Zeeshan
    Jan 21, 2012 - 1:00PM

    @Observer,

    What? Were that the only reasons people embrace “Abrahamic religion”? I thought you are still going around and telling the world that “Christians are bribing Indians to convert” in your country. How did people convert to post-Vedic religion then? Enlightened us with your wisdom.

    @Indian,

    The fact that you weep a bit for these people showed which side of the fence you are. That’s the same feeling why Pakistani Muslims care about what you are doing to Indian Muslims.

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  • Indian
    Jan 21, 2012 - 2:13PM

    @Zeeshan:
    “what you are doing to Indian Muslims.”
    Hmmmm…
    Now that my friend is the information you have received from a certain fellow in your media whom your so called intelligentsia follow with out a pinch of inquisitiveness to find out the truth. God bless your knowledge and your logic!!

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  • BS.Detecter
    Jan 21, 2012 - 2:49PM

    @Irshad:
    They are treated far worse in India. Forgetting Kashmir, Gujarat Bihar?

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  • Indian
    Jan 21, 2012 - 3:45PM

    This is shocking! Is this what pakistan is? Such intolerance is possible only in pakistan.i pity for these fello hindus. This is heights of extreamism.

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  • G. Din
    Jan 21, 2012 - 5:33PM

    “A bowl of rice for your soul” conversion!

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Jan 21, 2012 - 7:27PM

    My busniss partner is from Tando jan Muhammad area and i been many time in Mir Pur Khas
    and i have seen these things happend but with the peoples choice not by forced and these peoples are very poor and very humble very kind no matter they are Hindus or Muslims by faith.

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  • Onlooker
    Jan 21, 2012 - 7:33PM

    Survival of fittest!! And if one can only become fit to survive in Pakistan after converting into Islam then HIndus of Pakistan have taken a wise decision.Recommend

  • usmanx
    Jan 21, 2012 - 7:52PM

    These are not benefits from the govt., these are private seminaries providing assistance and conversion. The govt. in this case is not providing benefits to muslims but not non-muslims. Our govt. is equal opportunity in not providing anything to ALL people!

    This type of conversion happens everyday in India so our cross-border friends should relax.

    With all that said, a religious institution should help all people in need without asking for anything in return. sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world.

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  • Chulbul Pandey
    Jan 21, 2012 - 8:04PM

    It looks like the atmosphere is not conducive to living with dignity in Pakistan if you do not practice Islam religion. Minorities are openly discriminated against and are killed with no fear of law.

    To top that, such conversions are praised by the members of majority as is evident in some of the posts above.

    If anyone still has any doubts about how tolerant and just Islamic people are, here is a link to a sorry story of a Christian student, published in The Friday Times: http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta2/tft/article.php?issue=20120120&page=8

    Please excuse me if I am not willing to buy the much touted line: Islam is a religion of peace.

    Sincerely!

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  • Waqas
    Jan 21, 2012 - 8:22PM

    Only in Pakistan happens minorities converts to Islam to get watan card or to get respected/rights! People claims there is equall rights for minorities, wich is actually a big lie!

    People are allowed to convert to the Islam, are people in Pakistan allowed to leave Islam and converts to other religion? I really doubt about this, and then they claim Islam is religon of tolerance? LOL.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Jan 21, 2012 - 9:47PM

    Chulbull pandey
    It is sad indeed but problem is we need more colleges of this kind and others and about discrimination it is happend every where little for example in america there is thing called vetren quota and its exist in the jobs and amission.,Recommend

  • RajX
    Jan 21, 2012 - 11:51PM

    @Jeshaan: Many definitely do. Your ancestors conversion is the undeniable proof. Now don’t tell me you of “Arab origin”.

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  • Ian
    Jan 22, 2012 - 12:13AM

    Hindus should treat Muslims the same way in India.

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  • Mandeep
    Jan 22, 2012 - 1:31AM

    With such treacherous and deceptive practices muslim and christian missionaries converted my ancestors and spread their ideology.Recommend

  • usmanx
    Jan 22, 2012 - 3:28AM

    This happens in India every day.

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  • Chulbul Pandey
    Jan 22, 2012 - 7:05AM

    @Ali Tanoli:
    Tanoli Mian, You have a valid point More colleges are needed. However, one cannot justify the discrimination by simply saying that it happens elsewhere too. Also, 20 extra points for learning the holy book? For a medical college admission? Seriously?
    Hopefully, sanity will prevail, thats all I can say as a good neighbor.
    PS. Congratulations on the Test win against England :)

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  • Singh
    Jan 22, 2012 - 7:34AM

    Ali Tanoli,
    “for example in America there is thing called veteran quota and its exist in the jobs and admission”
    You are big fool . Veteran Reservation for Ex servicemen not based on religion. Don’t fool your self by lie. Check your spelling also.
    Singh

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  • Indian
    Jan 22, 2012 - 8:31AM

    @Ian:
    Come and see for yourself how Muslims in India live. I bet you will get disgusted of your media.. Such degree of misinformation especially of India and so called mistreatment!!! And unfortunately people trust them! It is so easy to blame your faults on others and play the ostrich. Right?

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  • Sajida
    Jan 22, 2012 - 8:33AM

    What??!!! This is happening in Sindh??? Under a secular government…easier to get Watan cards if Muslim??? Disgrace!!!!

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  • Indian
    Jan 22, 2012 - 8:46AM

    @usmanx:
    Rather than listening to your media and trusting their propaganda, you might very well come to India and see what the truth is. It is the Hindus who are converting to other religions and out of choice to Christianity (lure by christian missionaries of a better material life in poor areas in the form of loans) and sometimes Islam (those who are impressed by the teachings of the quran).
    And it is not the same as in Pakistan where in the minority is literally pushed into Islam as mentioned in the article. You will hardly ever find a minority converted (Muslims and Christians) to Hindu by force because the constitution of India protects everyone from such atrocities.
    Nevertheless intolerane and fanaticism can still be seen in pockets here and there but the intensity and frequency is the least now since India’s independence…….

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  • Babloo
    Jan 22, 2012 - 8:51AM

    The converted Hindus shoud now be declared of Arab origins.

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  • Babloo
    Jan 22, 2012 - 8:57AM

    I would say this is nothing new considering overwhelming majority ( atleast 90% or more ) are converts.

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  • KFC_KA_CHICKEN
    Jan 22, 2012 - 10:47AM

    “I proclaim and challenge that 99% of Hindus in India have not even read Geeta or Ramayan or Mahabharat….”

    As opposed to the 99% of Pakistanis that have read the Quran and don’t practice a word of it.. Hmmm.. the claim kinda seems hollow!Recommend

  • Letstellthetruth
    Jan 22, 2012 - 11:57AM

    @Zeeshan:

    Lot of hot air. What you forget is that all non-Islamic democracies have enshrined in the constitution the right to one’s own religion and equality of all under the law. Let’s admit it, non-Muslims in Pakistan have been constitutionally condemned to be second class citizen.

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  • Letstellthetruth
    Jan 22, 2012 - 12:04PM

    @Zeeshan:

    It is a fact that there are a lot of Christian organizations do offer financial incentives to convert in many countries.

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  • hind
    Jan 22, 2012 - 12:47PM

    @Jeshaan:
    that is why ur grandparents converted

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  • Kafir
    Jan 22, 2012 - 1:36PM

    Pakistan itself is a nation of converts. Reading comments of some pakistanis here seems highlly entertaining in this lightRecommend

  • Jan 22, 2012 - 5:50PM

    This is not right. Why are the people offering incentives to non Muslims in the hopes they will become Muslim? This shows us how intolerant and biased these people are. This is discrimination at it’s worst. This is the same thing that is done by many Christian based groups. They bribe poor uneducated fools into converting or they go into home ehere the familay members are fighting/quarreling among themselves and rather than trying to make things better, these “Christians” make it worse by converting some of the family members.

    I know from history that lives of people who have converted either by sword or by incentive to Islam or Christianity have not always got better, while some people may have profited and were welcomed by the religious community the converted into, and were allowed to continue their ancestral languages, customs etc, other suffered wanton discrimination and abuse at the hands of the people who converted them.

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  • Truth From Pakistan
    Jan 22, 2012 - 5:51PM

    The only way it can be accepted it is if this is done at people’s own free will, not under duress or not for greed. If they converted because of any other reason than free choice, that’s not true conversion!

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Jan 22, 2012 - 10:58PM

    @ Pakistani hindu . Be proud to be a hindu .

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  • The Flying Object
    Jan 23, 2012 - 12:13AM

    @Indian

    Yes we know about the Muslims in India. The whole world knows what has happened to Muslims in the Indian Occupied Kashmir for over 60 years.

    Has that been the case with Hindus in the ‘Pakistani Occupied Kashmir’…

    The hardest thing to see is the one right under your nose :P

    Leave the Hindus alone here in Pakistan. At least they have not been butchered like the Muslims of Gujrat…

    Do u want more examples my friend…

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Jan 23, 2012 - 1:14AM

    come & see how minorities of native peoples lives south american christian countries.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Jan 23, 2012 - 1:18AM

    Sachar comitee rucomendation are all lies is not it and few months ago full articles of indians
    muslim conditions in NYT was lies too..

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  • Vin
    Jan 23, 2012 - 2:17AM

    I am a Hindu…and I say again… How many Hindu Parents have ensured that their kids read Geeta even once?…I bet not in 1%…the parents themselves would not have read Geeta in its entirity even once….So how can Hindus even respect their own religion?… Additionally inline with our scriptures we teach our kids that God is everywhere and in every atom of the universe and that all religions/paths are a way to God…So why do Hindus object to their kids being converted to Islam/Christianity?…Isnt Islam/Christianity just another path to God ?..
    Either teach you kids that other religions are false (as the Abrahminic religions do with a conviction) or BE HAPPY WHEN YOUR KIDS CONVERT TO ISLAM/CHRISTIANITY.Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli
    Jan 23, 2012 - 3:55AM

    @chulpul pandey
    Thank u sir for Mubarak for test cricket i do watch and like sachin tandulker too any way the
    reason behind that was kids learning in Madrassa based schools dont let stay behind others
    and also memorizing all book in one year is not easy in my family my two cousins memorized
    the holy quran and schools give one year leave too for doing this.

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Jan 23, 2012 - 11:26AM

    Converts will revert when they will realize the fact that muslims are the most unsafe and self contradicting community on the earth . The the term Ummah is merely a hollow term . NOW NO MUSLIM COUNTRY IS READY TO GIVE OIL TO PAKISTAN IN CTEDIT ,

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  • Murali Kumar
    Jan 23, 2012 - 4:15PM

    @Vin: Indians dont need to read , GEETA , RAMAYAN or Anything else to become a hindu.
    Hinduism is not a religion , Its a way of life. Its a philosophy. Its hard for any monotheistic religious person to understand something as complex as india.
    Every state has different culture. There are many cultures with in the states itself.
    Its too diverse to be understood by your little brain.

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  • ravi
    Jan 23, 2012 - 6:40PM

    hindus have no one to blame but themselves. the ones who are filthy rich refuse to share their wealth, uplift people out of poverty, or pay a decent living wage to their lower class hindu servants and workers. then when poor hindus convert to christianity and islam they all act surprised? “what? why would they reject a religion where their fellow hindus don’t help them with food, clothing, and shelter??”

    start using your wealth to help out others instead of buying material possessions you don’t needRecommend

  • Jan 23, 2012 - 6:55PM

    @Vin:
    Dude if come to the context of the article – The discussion is how moral is it to convert a person from one religion to another on a wrong pretext.

    If you read and understood the article properly, what it means is you don’t give constitutional rights for a ‘minority’ or ways for them to achieve prosperity and then you offer them this so called panacea – ‘convert to Islam and all your problems will be taken care off!!’. Don’t you think that some poor fellow’s basic right to follow his preferred religion is being quashed by offering him to have bread if he accepts what you say (in this case convert to Islam)??? That is plain blackmailing….

    How do you expect people to respect your ideology when you shovel things into their throat??? Somehow after i have entered into reading articles in Pakistani newspapers, i must admit i am thinking of the word ‘ideology’ with a stigma attached…

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  • Abishek
    Jan 23, 2012 - 9:55PM

    The Problem with Pakistan is as follows

    1 It was based on a faulty 2 nation theory meant to serve vested interest of few.

    2 The root cause of all the problems in Pak is largely because of this faulty theory.

    3 To support this theory the History books have been distorted

    4 A whole generation has been brain washed into thinking that Muslims of Indian
    subcontinent are superior race and are different from Hindus

    5 Their has been obsession amongst section of Muslims to convert the non Muslims.

    6 These conversions just show
    a The poor plight of Hindus in Pak.
    b Ignorance amongst the converts about their previous (Hindu) religion which is based on
    tolerance and universal brotherhood of all religions
    c. Apathy of state towards minorities.

    Recommend

  • sri
    Jan 24, 2012 - 12:27AM

    @Jeshaan: you need to understand islam is only 1400 years old , so with a very high probability your ancestors were hindus and were converted at point of sword by some mullahs…

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  • Country First
    Jan 24, 2012 - 1:08AM

    Declare pakistan a pure sharia state. Those who do not follow pure saudi style islam are kafirs. all those basking in glory at these conversions deserve sharia. sharia is the only way for pakistan to grow and be successful

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  • Vin
    Jan 24, 2012 - 3:20AM

    @Murali Kumar….

    I think you have sepent ur entire life blowing Murali only…..If Hindus dont need to read Geeta then what the Hell did Krishna come to earth for? RAAS LEELA?

    Its cause of nincompoops like you that Hindus dont even know their Religion ….

    Who the dumb says that Hinduism is a WAY OF LIFE?

    On the contrary Hindu Scriptures do not lay any tenets on the WAY of life…It only talks of how human Soul could unite with God through Yoga and Meditation…. How many Brahmins and Hindu priests in temples teach Yoga and Meditation? …

    By the way many Hindus will say..Yoga is an excercise….yet another example of LOST DUMB HINDUS…… They dont even know that Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means UNION (Yog) of Soul and Body(Matter) whereby practicing the same the Soul EXPERIENCES FIRST HAND the Particle and GROSS nature of the body….further realizing that I am NOT only gross body of atomic particles but a seperate entity called SOUL of …

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  • John B
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:05AM

    Any one who is seriously interested in knowing God, should start reading in this order.

    The basic tenets of :
    Hinduism as it relates to Brahma and duality of man and god
    Buddhism concepts of singularity of man and god
    Greeko Roman Mythology/ theology
    Zorasterianism
    Jewish philosophy and history – as it is written in old testament bible
    Judeo-Christian philosophy as in new testament bible.
    Quran and Hadith
    And read geeta and Upanishads at the end.

    You will understand God, that is if you really seek. Then one will know the modern world we live in.

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  • Giri
    Jan 25, 2012 - 1:11AM

    Agree with @Vin. Hindus are too liberal and lazy in India. In USA, where i live, the kids have a strong sense of knowledge of Gita and the religion, because the parents help them read. In India, that is completely missing. Hinduism may be away of life, but the religious aspects of Sanata Dharama, can only be understood after reading Gita, Upanishads, Bhagavatam etc.. You don’t have to read the original books. The ones i read are from great scholars like Ranganathaachary (from Ramakrishna Mutt). He is an excellent scholar and his books are of pure jewels. Ordinary souls, who don;t read any of this think the religion is only about worshipping stones and trees. This is the only religion that has produced so many saints and philosophers.

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  • shilpy
    Jan 25, 2012 - 9:15PM

    truly deplorable. when the enlightened people in the prosperous part of the world are embracing the hindu lifestyle of yoga, meditation, equal respect for different spiritual ways, and even vegetarianism, the poor hindus caught in a bind in the wrong places and because of their helplessness are subject to this duress that fundamentally alters their being. pakistan would not happen to be an islamic country, would it?

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  • Arya
    Jan 25, 2012 - 9:44PM

    @ Babloo

    The wittiest and funniest comment on this message board. I am still laughing.

    Pseudo Muslims with pseudo ethnic identities is what the Pakistan of Quaid E Azam a Gujarati Shia Muslim with a non Muslim wife has turned into. He must be turning in his grave.

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  • Babar Cyprus
    Jan 27, 2012 - 3:40AM

    I used to dislike conversion of any religion to any other religion for better life, but then I see other people want to convert my people to their belief system. I also realize there is no ground left to hold just by taking a stand on it, you have to push-on with your beliefs. Hinduism is a way of life as compare to Abrahamic religions, why? Because in other religions you have to bring yourself into strict order and discipline to properly follow the religious beliefs. Where as Hinduism it look very natural and easy.

    As far as old Indian Practices of yoga, meditation, tolerance and vegetarianism are getting popular has nothing to do with the standard of living of Low Cast Hindus in Pakistan, India or Bangladesh. The above mentioned practices are being followed by increasing number of Muslims and Christians but still it don’t make a dent in the Misery that Cast System has inflicted on lower cast Hindus daily life.

    My worry is if we don’t have minorities, who’s right will we trample next__ women, different skin colors, poor or a different sect of Muslims. Now how are you going to convert that to your taste?

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  • skai
    Jan 28, 2012 - 4:59AM

    @Irshad:
    ” Shame on Pakistan.This kind of discrimination only exist in muslim countries. ..” Right, only in muslim countries. Here you are NOT speaking as a muslim, but as a decent Human being. To me Humanity is above all Religions. My hat off you Mr Irshad. “…and muslims all over the world cry about their mistreatment.” You are absolutely right. Look muslims crying that Sharia laws are not allowed in the West and women not allowed to wear head cover in France and so on, and yet muslims treat their own minorities worst than animals. But again all this comes from Quran’s teaching.
    ” Just imagine how muslims will react if they were treated like this in India.” I,m sure Muslims are well treated in India, that is the reason the muslim population has increased in India and Hindu population decreased in Pakistan since 1948.

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  • Expected
    Jan 29, 2012 - 4:30AM

    Log pagal ho gaye hai. What’s worse is that some people are stating that this reflects well on Islam. So much for all that phony talk about equality of other religions in Pakistan. What a joke this is!

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  • H. Babar
    Jan 29, 2012 - 6:40PM

    @Greg Komarniski:
    Incentives are actually offered to Muslims too in poor areas of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutaan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Phillipines to convert to Christianity and thousands do convert everyday, really.

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  • ashok
    Jan 31, 2012 - 10:09AM

    @The Flying Object: Why u people just talk about the gujrat riots. Why don’t you talk about the muslim invasion on india, forcely converting them to islam destroying temples. 9/11 and other attrocities done in india and to other countries. what about deviding the country. You just don’t talk about them, because you won’t feel comfortable talking about that……………….you talk about gujarat….you know what u did in telangana ……….when you talk about gujarat don’t forget to mention about those attrocities you people did.Recommend

  • BlackJack
    Feb 5, 2012 - 7:00PM

    @The Flying Object:
    This is pointless, but I will still try. I sympathize with the Hindus who are the subject of this article, but agree with the broad view that they need to do whatever it takes to survive in a country where non-muslims are second rate citizens. Now to your points – first of all, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is 100% Muslim – there is no one left to convert. Indian Kashmir is still 96% Muslim (hmm…strange don’t you think?) We may have messed up our management of Kashmir, but no one can accuse us of forcing people to abandon their religion – not when the Kashmiri Pandits are the ones living in refugee camps for the last 20 years. Pakistan had a 20% Hindu population after Independence (post-migration) – today all that is left is 2% and they are unlikely to survive for another generation in the culture of their ancestors – whether butchered or not. Gujarat is a good stick to beat us with, but the numbers are always forgotten – approx 800 muslims and 250 Hindus died in these riots – and not one person has died in the last 10 years. I have no objection to anyone assuming a new faith, but imagine that you read an article like this on India (muslims forced to convert to Hinduism for Govt related benefits) – there would be outrage across the entire Muslim world! Why are you otherwise intelligent people unable to see the hypocrisy ? Recommend

  • Priya Mathews
    Feb 8, 2012 - 4:19AM

    @Ind-o-Pak: India is a secular country and people of all faiths are allowed to prosper and live their lives with same level of priviledges and dignity. Golvernement and the law of the land is by far impartial to religious identity when it comes to passports or National identity cards. Riots and violence in communally sensitive areas between people of different faiths are common in muslim majority locations. Those who talk about Godhra riots in Gujarat should first apologise for the jihadi’s in their community who ingnited the riots by burning 100’s of Hindu women and children to death at Godhra station. What followed was the wrath of the victims of those families and the larger Hindu community that tries hard to co-exist with other faiths.
    It is interesting that Pakistanis are talking about Kashmiri muslims as victims when the truth is that thousands of Hindus were ethnically cleansed from Kashmir. Till date, all those displaced kashmiri hindu’s have no respite and live in refugee camps in Delhi and Jammu. Not sure who is the victim here.
    India will support all its citizens who take pride in their country irrespective of their faith. However, it SHOULD NOT support those who pursue anti-national agenda. Muslims who do not want to share the nation with people of other faiths and want Sharia law in a secular society should look to relocate to a islamic country where rights of non-muslims are next to none.

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  • skai
    Mar 3, 2012 - 1:46AM

    @Ian:
    “Hindus should treat muslims the same way in India ” If only Hindus could do that, muslims will come their senses. But knowing majority of caward Hindus dare not do that. Israelis survive to day because Israelis don’t sit back but reteliate against rockets being fired over the border by hamas into Istrael. Muslims only understand ‘ tit for tat.’

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  • Maulana tharra
    Mar 12, 2012 - 3:40AM

    There’s only one true reason people leave their religion of birth: Mental illness.
    In addition to that, other secondary reasons are:
    Infatuation,
    Fear,
    Monitory gain.

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  • Peeru Shah
    Mar 17, 2012 - 1:03PM

    If those poor people really converted so they can get Watan cards than its indeed a matter of great shame for us Muslims. Ashamed of being a citizen of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

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