Are we one ?

  • Are we one ?

    A problem faced by every cast, creed or religion in some part of the world. If in one part muslims rule there every other religion suffers as minority and does not get equal rights as others. What is minority? Group refers to a category of people who experience relative disadvantage as compared to members of a dominant social group. The same situation is in Pakistan. The majority of the population practices Islam, while the partition of India and Pakistan many other religion practice population came here and some were already living in this part of the division.   

    When our beloved founder Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah wanted to create Pakistan he wanted a place away from the majority Hindu community for the minority muslims he said that a place of peace and harmony where you could practice your religion without the fear being ridiculed. The rights were not given to the muslims in India, high ranked posts were not given to the muslims as well, as the Hindus did not want to be answerable to a muslim just on the basics of his religious beliefs.

    When Pakistan came into being on 14 of Augusts 1947 (the day of independence coincided with Ramadan 27, the eve of which, being Laylat al-Qadr, is regarded as sacred by Muslims), before the official partition Quaid e Azam gave a speech on 11th august 1947 stating

    “You are free. You are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques and to go to any of your worship places in State of Pakistan. You belong to any race or race. The state has nothing to do with it.”

    It was not his talk only, reflecting his secular views Jinnah tried to establish a multi confessional state and, he nominated a Hindu, several Shias and an ahmadi to Pakistan’s first cabinet. This showed the people that everyone is an equal citizen of the new state of Pakistan regardless of his religious views or beliefs. Not only the foundation of the first cabinet had members with other religious beliefs but the  flag is what represents a country and in Pakistan’s flag the green represents Islam and the majority Muslims in Pakistan and the white stripe represents religious minorities and minority religions.

    So what happened, after the death of Quaid e Azam? Why the intolerance in the society among the different religions, why disgracing each other on the basis of religion. What happened to giving equal rights to all despite their religious beliefs? Did we lose faith in each other or did our religion teach us to in-tolerate each other? What went wrong?

    Religious minorities face discrimination and persecution. Shia declaring Sunnis are non-muslims and Sunnis declaring Shia as non-muslims. Ahmadis - who were among Jinnah’s most ardent supporters in his quest to create a Muslim homeland on the subcontinent – are now completely unrepresented, living as virtual outcasts in modern Pakistan. Hindu and Christians facing same problems no high posts to give to any minority.

    We can see such examples from our forgotten hero’s.

    Calvin Coolidge said that:

    “A nation that forgets its heroes will itself soon be forgotten”

    Pakistan is such one nation that has forgotten its heroes on religious grounds and differences. Our constitution has declared ahmadis non-Muslim so some of the hard liners in the education sector have rubbed off their names from the history books so the upcoming generations of the state do not know about them. Not just ahmadis our land has forgotten some of the Christians too.

    Tragically in Pakistan they are cast aside due to their religious views.

    Dr. Abdus Salam an unwanted hero. He was the first Pakistani who got a Nobel Prize on his contribution to physics. But he was not accepted by his own country as he was an Ahmadi.   

    Even after he was buried, local administration asked the Ahmadi community to remove the word ‘Muslim’ from the inscription on the grave which said ‘the first Muslim Nobel laureate.’ The word has been painted over, leaving just: “the first Nobel laureate.”

    Zafarullah Khan was the first Foreign Minister of Pakistan and represented Pakistan in various forums and conferences. He was also the first Pakistani who tried to make his motherland proud by becoming not only the President of UN General Assembly but also of International Court of Justice. He had done a lot for his motherland but tragically his name has been wiped off just because he was an Ahmadi.

    A notable Christian, Justice Alvin Robert Cornelius was the 4thChief Justice of Pakistan. He was a very close companion of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and was an activist for Pakistan Movement. He assisted Jinnah in drafting the Pakistan Resolution.

    To sum up, the heroes stated above are just a glimpse of the vast amount of heroes that Pakistan has and the state fails to cherish them due to their different religious believes.

    We have degraded ourselves so much so that we have forced people to change their religion in a country, where the constitutions states equal rights to all. Forced conversions in Pakistan go back to Zia’s time. They mostly were of Hindu women in Larkana, Sukkur and Mirpurkhas. Coming to the present 70 years later after our independence, a trend of forced conversions in the country is making a mockery of the constitution of Pakistan, which offers equal rights to all religious minorities. A 16-year-old Hindu girl called Ravita Meghwar was allegedly abducted by men in the southern Pakistani region of Sindh in 2017. Within hours, Ravita had apparently embraced Islam. She was given new name – Gulnaz – and married off to a Muslim man.

    If this wasn’t enough, we starting killing in the name of religion. When Allah has early stated that if someone says to do something against Islam proper laws and regulations are to be followed for his/her punishment. But we take the matters in our own hands ignoring what our law or Islam says. For example; Salman Taseer in an interview, Taseer commented on his view about the country's blasphemy law and on filing a mercy petition for Asia Bibi, who was sentenced to death by a court under the law.On 4 January 2011, one of Taseer's bodyguards, Malik Mumtaz Qadri, shot him 27 times

    Rumors spread that Mashal Khan had posted blasphemous material online, a crime punishable by death in Pakistan. Hundreds of students and some university staff members marched through the campus searching for him. They broke into his room and dragged him out. The crowds continued to attack his body even after his death.

    Shikarpur Mosque bomb blast, in Friday, 30 January 2015, over 60 people were killed at a bomb blast at a Shia mosque in Shikarpur, Pakistan

    In 2016, one child killed and 15 others injured including 11 ladies and children in a cracker bomb attack during a ladies Majlis being held at Imambargah Dar-e-Abbas, Karachi

    Ataullah Shah, a leader of JUI (F) and Khateeb of a Sunni mosque, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Dera Ismail Khan in 2017.

    So much so we even destroy each other’s religious temples.  In 2013, twin suicide bombings hit Peshawar’ All Saints Church which the deadliest attack on a church in Pakistan.

    Armed extremists opened firing at a church in Dhoopsari, Sandha near Lahore. The incident took place in the small hours, while the assailants managed to flee after firing

    A church in Lahore’s Shahdara Town, was torched by vandals. The incident unfolded on April 15, Sunday when the under construction building of the church was set on fire. The church is situated in Paracha Colony, in Shahdara Town area.

     

    Hindu temples

    March 28’2014, a small Hindu temple was torched near Fateh Chowk in Hyderabad, Sindh, triggering widespread protests by the Hindu community.

    Dawn report in November 2014 quoted a Hindu man in Sindh as saying.

    "We are completely insecure here. We are looted, but our voice is not heard by the people in the saddle, our temples are attacked in broad daylight, but no one takes action, our girls are kidnapped and forcibly converted only to hear more empty promises of justice," he said.

    On March 15, 2014, a crowd of Muslims burnt a Hindu temple and a dharmashala in Larkana, Sindh, Pakistan, after unverified allegations of a Hindu youth desecrating a copy of the Quran.

    Mosques

    Lahore Massacre occurred on May 28, 2010, in Lahore, during Friday prayers. 94 people were killed and more than 120 were injured in nearly simultaneous attacks against two mosques of the minority Ahmadiyya Community.

    16 September 2016, At least 25 people killed by Taliban suicide blast during Friday prayers, in the village of Payee Khan in Mohmand Agency district.

    This is not what any religion teaches to destroy each other in the name of GOD. We need to tolerate each other, otherwise we might end up killing each other out of extinction.

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