Laws protecting minorities

Published: August 8, 2012
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KARACHI: The recent news of an Ahmadi charged with the ‘crime’ of posing to be a Muslim highlights our national confusion on democracy and ignorance of the rights of minority communities. Many political parties claiming to be saviours of democracy have failed to uphold one of the most fundamental principle of democracy i.e., freedom to practise one’s religion. I remember many Muslim scholars preaching that one can learn even from bitter enemies. Look at our so-called traditional foe India, termed by some extremists a ‘kafir’ country, where Muslims get to be presidents and occupy important government positions. The US, probably the most hated country in Pakistan, gives equal rights to all Muslims living within its shores. On the other hand, the treatment meted out to minority communities in Pakistan is shocking.

If a country wants to prosper, it needs to focus on provision of basic human rights to all its citizens. Punishing a 12-year-old Christian boy for blasphemy just does not make sense, neither does punishing a non-Muslim who put verses of the Holy Quran on the wall of his shop. What we need is a revision of laws meant to protect minority communities and sects on an urgent basis, as well as a mechanism that ensures that they are implemented in letter and in spirit.

Akbar Ali Khaliqdina

Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • AnisAqeel
    Aug 9, 2012 - 5:05AM

    Sometimes a lot of people are blinded for political gains and loose all the ethics of their own religion that they pretend to be supporting as a good cause.
    Some clauses of our constitution clash and contradict basic human rights and we develop and maintain them purely for politics at the cost of humanity.
    Now just for animosity our so called revered Mullahs and ignorant people are destroying mosques and defacing Quranic verses to my themselves.

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  • kaalchakra
    Aug 9, 2012 - 9:59AM

    Sir, who are you trying to fool about things being hunky dory in India and USA. In India the condition of Muslims is worse than that of shuders (Sachaar Report) and in USA, Islamic mosques are being destroyed regularly. Can you name a single such event against minorities in Pakistan?

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  • Imran Con
    Aug 9, 2012 - 9:45PM

    @kaalchakra:
    Do give more details on those mosque destruction allegations in the US. Although I can’t imagine you’ll have trouble thinking up another false thing in response. Muslims are hardly even talked about in the US unless you, yourself, equate Muslim to terrorist. But, what would I know? I’ve only lived there my whole life and I’m only a few hours away from the 9/11 site which would have the highest chance for people lash out at Muslims. No mosques have been demolished. Not a single one. I can’t believe someone like you actually exists. You’re like a walking punch line to a sarcastic joke.Recommend

  • gp65
    Aug 9, 2012 - 10:47PM

    @kaalchakra:
    “in USA, Islamic mosques are being destroyed regularly”.

    Can you please quote one example?

    ” Can you name a single such event against minorities in Pakistan”

    The attack on Data Darbaar, the atack on Ahmadi place of worship a couple of years back where hundeds died, the polic breaking the domes on Ahadi place of worship. More important than attacking places of worship is the act of killing /oppressing humans who posses different faith. It is this oppression which is responsible for Hindu population in present day Pakistan reducing from 20% in 1947 to less than 2% now.

    “In India the condition of Muslims is worse than that of shuders (Sachaar Report)”

    Have you read the Sachar committee report? I have. It not just states the fact that manyMuslims are ot doing too well but also lists root cause most of which need to be fixed by th Muslim community itself. Examples are higher level of illiteracy despite the fact that government schools are open to people of all faith and as of today 99% of population lives within 1.5 miles of a school. Also of those who are literate many are Madrassa trained instead of getting scientific education. Muslims are less likely to allow their women to take up paid employment. Muslim ulema oppose unified penal code which would have common personal lawas for people of all faith. Due to this, Muslim women legally are deprived of a fair share of property of they are widows or divrcess. This is the reason that other non-HIndus (Parsis, Jains, SIkhs, Chrisians) fare as well and sometimes better than Hindus in India.

    There is no systematic discrimnation against Muslims in India though individual acts of bigotry cannot be ruled out.Talented Muslims have reached the top in every field – politics, judiciary, business, Bollywood, cricket, classical music – you name it.

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