Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Blasphemy in Pakistan

Saying the Wrong Thing Can Get You Killed!
Pakistan’s notorious “blasphemy” laws can put even children at risk, and Christians, Hindus, and other minorities, say the days when they could protect their offspring is getting harder and harder because of institutional discrimination and growing Islamic militancy in Pakistan. This applies to disparaging Islam and the prophet of this faith.

In the past children escaped heavy questions about religion which many entrap them innocently. A 30-year-old Pakistani woman who grew up in Lahore said her Christian parents taught her formula answers to keep from falling prey to accusations under the blasphemy statutes, such as “I am a Christian, I can only tell you about Christianity.” However, before radical Islamists began influencing Pakistani society as they have in recent years, schoolchildren were taught not to discuss religion commented the young lady.

She continued by stating“We knew never to get into religious discussions with others.” Therefore, “We had them at home – our parents would put us through the drill of asking us tough questions to see how we answered. Only now do I realize that was practice for school.”

In this way, she was imbued with the fundamentals of the Christian faith and at the same time learned that she should discuss it only with her parents, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Though the Christian faith is inherently evangelistic, the need to remain silent is even more important today, she added.

She further added that today Christians, Hindus, and other minorities, constantly face questions like, “What do you think of the Quran, do you like it?” and “what do you think of Muhammad?’” In the past a simple saying that they could not read Arabic was enough but today times have changed and it is getting riskier for children from non-Muslim backgrounds

The blasphemy statutes signal to non-Muslims that they are second-class or “dhimmi” status citizens who must stay within narrow social boundaries. At worse, it is a threat to Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, and others, to leave or be killed. ... http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/headlinenewsd.php?hnewsid=3037

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