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May 4 2014 1 04 /05 /May /2014 09:02

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Intro to Christians in Pakistan.

Editor: John R. Houk

May 4, 2014

 

On Thursday I posted a Shamim Masih news article in which he exposes the political discrimination that runs rampant in Pakistan against Christians and other non-Muslim minorities. In this post Shamim continues exposing how the Muslim majority nation is politically fixed in a state of Islamic Supremacism in which Christian poverty is nearly institutionalized. Shamim gives a brief history lesson of how Christians became institutionally impoverished by ending the secular republic dreamed of initially by Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Jinnah ironically demanded India be split between the Hindu majority and the largest minority which were Islamic. I doubt that Jinnah would have admitted but the Muslim conquests of the Indian subcontinent were brutal toward Hindus and Buddhists were ethnically cleansed** to make room for what would eventually be the Muslim Mughal Empire. Muslim Mughal rulers continued the oppression of Hindus but periodic Hindu revolts managed to build periodic kingdoms resistant to Islamic Supremacism. I suspect Jinnah saw the writing on the proverbial historical wall if India had a Muslim minority that undoubtedly would have a Hindu majority not too friendly to the Islamic Supremacist trademark embedded within Sharia Law. Hence Jinnah’s vision for a secular version of a democratic republic with a Muslim majority to be called Pakistan while India would remain with a Hindu majority was a case of political survival.

 

[**Buddhists ethnically cleansed:

 

The conquest of Central Asia and Afghanistan by the Muslims was a major blow to Buddhism. Historian, Pramanath Bose writes that “Buddhism...got so engulfed in the superstitions of Turanians that it transformed itself into some of the grossest forms of Scythian idolatry.” Buddhism as an ethical system had little impact on Central Asia, which explains how Islam was able to overwhelm this huge region in so short a time.

 

It was this decline of Buddhism which brought up the resurgence of Saivism and Vaishnavism. And Shankara, by incorporating many of the Buddhist doctrines into Hinduism, made Buddhism redundant. But the final blow to Buddhism came with the advent of Islam in India.

 

Muslim invaders made it a point to extirpate Buddhism from India. They destroyed every vihara, where the monks lived and taught. Thus, the 500 viharas built by Ashoka in Kashmir and the 600 feet high stupa built by Kanishka were the first to be destroyed. Historian Vincent Smith says that the monks, who survived the holocaust, fled to south and to the Himalayas (Nepal, Tibet). In short, few dared to stay in India. The invaders also destroyed Taxila and Nalanda, the two great Buddhist universities. The cream of Buddhist scholarship lived here. Thus, every symbol of Buddhism was destroyed as part of a deliberate policy. (Was Buddhism driven out of India? By M.S.N. Menon; dhammaweb.net; 1/22/06)

 

Hindu Brahmanism began the displacement of Buddhism in India and Islam cleansed the Buddhist remnants.]

 

My conclusion of Jinnah’s visionary thinking is mine and probably not the thinking Pakistan or Indian historians. Another irony is Jinnah’s secular Pakistan republic devolved into a series of dictatorships that transformed the nation into an Islamic State. In contrast the Hindu majority of Islam has evolved into the largest democratic republic on planet earth in which diverse minorities not only have enfranchised rights on paper but has had political leadership from the minority population. I believe Islam is still the largest minority in India but there are also large minorities of Sikhs and Jains (and more) which are somewhat eclectic combinations of Islam and Hinduism. Thanks to Islam, Buddhism has nearly been exterminated from its birth region of India.

 

Without further ado here is Shamim’s report of political discrimination against Pakistan’s Christians and other non-Muslim minorities.

 

JRH 5/4/14

********************************

Christians in Pakistan

Each one – Teach one

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 5/3/2014 8:50 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan came into being in 1947 under the leadership of Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Jinnah had repeatedly promised equality of citizenship, but this promise was not kept by his successors. Pakistan became an Islamic Republic in 1956, making Islam the source of legislation and cornerstone of the national identity, while guaranteeing freedom of religion and equal citizenship to all citizens. With the governments of Z. A. Bhutto and Zia-ul-Haq more inflexibly Islamic laws transformed Pakistan.

 

During the regime of these two rulers, Christians of the country were divergent. This is evidenced in cities established by the British, such as the port city of Karachi, where the majestic St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Pakistan’s largest church, stands, and the churches in the city of Rawalpindi, where the British established a major military cantonment. European and wealthy native Christians established colleges, churches, hospitals and schools in cities like Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Peshawar. Roman Catholics and other protestant denominations have organized themselves throughout the country. Politically, groups like the Pakistan Christian Congress - PCC have arisen. Christians had second largest educational and health chain in the country. The civil dictator Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had been engaged in re-action and nationalized Christian’s health and educational institutions.

 

Constitutional Discrimination:

 

Z. A. Bhutto introduced discriminatory laws against religious minorities. He declared Ahamdis as non-Muslims, thus it opens new doors to constitutional discrimination. Non – Muslims are barred from becoming the President or Prime Minister. Furthermore, they are barred from being judges in the Federal Shariat Court, which has the power to strike down any law deemed un-Islamic. Chief justice of the Supreme Court, chief of Army Staff and chief minister and governorship is not mentioned in the constitution but it is an unseen restriction.  Several hundred Christians along with Muslims themselves have been persecuted under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, and death sentences have been handed out to at least a dozen. Forced conversion is on; while conversion to other faiths than Islam is not prohibited by law. The Blasphemy Law is widely used for vested interested. Misuse of blasphemy laws become practice. Churches and Christian’s colonies are attacked and set ablaze. Thus Pakistan becomes a state of perpetual fear for minorities.

 

Division among Christians created:

 

With the start of new era, (ex) President Parvez Musharaf introduced a new electoral system for minorities. This opens new doors to corruption; affluent members from the minorities become parliamentarians. Minorities are divided into two groups, some are in favor of the present electoral system, and others are struggling to restore the democratic electoral system for minorities. Muslim political parties have introduced “Minorities Wings” and thus they have created division. The selected segment follows the same agenda of their mother party. This clearly means they are not representing their community but their lords.

 

Flimsy Dwellers:

 

Most of the Christians in the country are living below poverty line. Mostly live in slums, known as “katchi abadis” and often euphemistically called “colonies” are tucked into the corners of the big cities’ neat grid pattern. They house tens of thousands of people unable to afford the city’s high rents, in flimsy dwellings put up with concrete, bricks and sacking. Some are located on drainage cuts designed to channel away the heavy rains of the monsoon, and many have no access to electricity, gas or main water supplies. These poor people can[not] afford tuition fees, so their children remain uneducated. Ironically Christian institutions instead of paying attention towards deserving students, they expel them from their institutions. According to the data given by social activists, in Rawalpindi district only more than 30 students were expelled this year due to non-payment of the tuition fee. Still Christian organizations claim that they are serving poor Christians. Sources said that some Korean organization was interested to establish an institution to educate Christian students, but due to the self-centeredness of All Pakistan Minorities Alliance–APMA’s leadership, they rolled back their plan. This attitude shows their commitment towards Christian betterment. It is observed during the last decade that every third self-proclaimed chairman with some financial background has started a “face book” political party. Honestly speaking, if they contribute in community development [it is] instead self-projection.

 

Recommendations:

 

Since Christians are being persecuted under the severe condition, all prominent Christian leadership should stand shoulder to shoulder to each other. Each and every in charge of these parties should take responsibility to teach at least one Christian student for better future generations. Educational institutions with religious back ground should take in deserving student. There are some individuals and organizations [that] are doing do well. But if the available resources are divided and destroyed into non-productive business, the result would be same.    

______________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Brackets indicate additions by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian (PakBiz.com description) & Channel - 5

Human Rights Activist

 

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist
 

Secretary General of Information 

Pakistan Christian Congress

 

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

Editor: For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending to a Western Union agent in Islamabad.

 

FOR USD TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:
                        MASHREQ BANK, NEW YORK
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQUS33
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
                JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
        70008227
Title Of a/c
                               Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
                405527

Top of Form

 

IBAN #                                        pk80jsbl9530000000405227


FOR GBP TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:
                        MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
                JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
        00010855
Title Of a/c
                               Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
                405527
IBAN #
                                       pk80jsbl9530000000405227



FOR EURO TRANSFER.
Intermediary Bank:
                        MASHREQ BANK, LONDON
Intermediary Bank SWIFT BIC:
        MSHQGB2L
Beneficiary Bank:
                        JS BANK LIMITED
Beneficiary Bank SWIFT BIC:
                JSBLPKKA
Bank A/c # at Intermediary bank:
        10847
Title Of a/c
                               Shamim Masih
Beneficiary Account Number:
                405527
IBAN #
                                     
 pk80jsbl9530000000405227

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