Wednesday, June 5, 2024

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Tuesday released a fact-finding report on the mob violence in Mujahid Colony in Sargodha that resulted in the death of a Christian man.

On 25 May, a mob attacked the house of Nazir Masih, following allegations that he had burnt pages of the Holy Quran.

Although his family was evacuated in time by the police, Masih, in his seventies, was caught by the mob, beaten severely, and left for dead. He was shifted to the hospital in critical condition and succumbed to his injuries a week later.

According to the HRCP’s mission, it is highly likely that the incident was not just mob violence but a targeted attack on Nazir Masih’s family, emanating from a personal dispute that was given a religious color to get the maximum leverage. Read more

Discriminatory Laws.

The constitution of Pakistan establishes Islam as the state religion, and it requires that laws be consistent with Islam, the state departs from the inclusiveness of the society to exclude all non-Muslims. The constitution states that "subject to law, public order, and morality, every citizen shall have the right to profess, practice, and propagate his religion;" in practice, however, the government limited freedom of religion. Freedom of speech was also constitutionally "subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam."

A 1974 constitutional amendment declared that Ahmadis are non-Muslims, the first time in History that a state decided the religion of the individual people playing totally in the hands of sectarian political demands. Sections 298(b) and 298(c) of the penal code, commonly referred to as the "anti-Ahmadi laws," prohibited Ahmadis from calling themselves Muslims, referring to their religious beliefs as Islam, preaching or propagating their religious beliefs, inviting others to accept Ahmadi teachings, or insulting the religious feelings of Muslims. The punishment for violation of these provisions is imprisonment for up to three years and a fine. Religious parties opposed any amendments to the constitution affecting its Islamic clauses, especially the ones relating to Ahmadis. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution was passed without amending constitutional clauses affecting minorities, including blasphemy and Ahmadispecific laws.

Freedom of speech was subject to "reasonable" restrictions in the interest of the "glory of Islam," as stipulated in sections 295(a), (b), and (c) of the penal code. The consequences for contravening the country's blasphemy laws were death for defiling Islam or its prophets; life imprisonment for defiling, damaging, or desecrating the Qur'an; and 10 years imprisonment for insulting "another's religious feelings" yet no equivalent laws/penalties to protect others. Some individuals brought charges under these laws to settle personal scores or to intimidate vulnerable Muslims, sectarian opponents, and religious minorities. Under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), any action, including speech, intended to incite religious hatred was punishable by up to seven years imprisonment. In cases in which a minority group claimed its religious feelings were insulted, the blasphemy laws were rarely enforced, and cases were rarely brought to the legal system. A 2005 law required that a senior police official investigate any blasphemy charge before a complaint was filed. This law was not uniformly enforced.

Discriminatory narrative of state and society.

Read the full text of Sabahat Zakariya's X message.

This Pakistani self-delusion isn’t just a belief prevalent among random Twitter accounts. There are even ‘liberal’ journalists who say things like these. 
Pakistan, by its very existence, is a right-wing entity. A country constitutionally defined as the ‘Islamic’ republic of Pakistan with the supremacy of Allah as its basis is from the get-go further on the right than any country that claims constitutional secularism. Anyone voting for supposed secular parties in Pakistan (btw, they would never be able to define themselves as secular) is still voting for a naturally right-wing polity. 

Pakistan ‘gives’ rights to its minorities. In a secular country, these rights are inalienable and natural to citizenship itself (at least in theory, and that theory itself has meaning). Non-Muslims cannot hold the highest offices in the land (president and PM). 

Minorities in Pakistan do not constitute more than 4% of the population, they aren’t any kind of threat to the country, even then Ahmadis who come in at a mere 0.2% are killed, destroyed, shushed, forced to live in a designated town, made an example of in passport and ID card acquisition — all examples of Pakistan’s extreme insecurities and paranoia over Islam. Then there’s the blasphemy law, the fact that a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man, nobody who is born a Muslim can convert to another religion, etc. 

There’s also the matter of silent minorities (i.e.) atheists/agnostics etc.) who will forever remain unaccounted for because they cannot come out with their beliefs. 

And we haven’t even started on the looting and burning of Christian colonies, forced conversion of Hindus, or Shia target killing. 

Meanwhile, there are leaders from these supposed non-Islamic parties that consider the enactment of international blasphemy laws the most useful expenditure of their time and energies. 

But the best part is the absolute delusion among the masses, particularly those who love consuming Western content and live in their gated bubbles.

Rephrase with Ginger (Ctrl+Alt+E)

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