Saturday, August 25, 2012

Final Solution of the Minority Question in Pakistan.

The Final Solution (German: Die Endlösung) was Nazi Germany's plan and execution of the systematic genocide of European Jews during World War II, resulting in the most deadly phase of the Holocaust. According to historians at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “The Nazis frequently used euphemistic language to disguise the true nature of their crimes. They used the term “Final Solution” to refer to their plan to annihilate the Jewish people.” Heinrich Himmler was the chief architect of the plan, and the German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler termed it "the final solution of the Jewish question" (German: die Endlösung der Judenfrage). REFERENCE: Final Solution

Gen Kayani’s speech at PMA Kakul on August 14 repays a close study. The war against religious extremism was our war, he said. This was the kernel of his remarks. It would have helped if this clarity had come much earlier...but better late than never. Extremism gone wild and threatening to become virulent is our most serious problem, dwarfing all others, including our economic woes. Indeed it is no exaggeration to say that this derangement of the Pakistani mind, expressed in extremism, threatens the foundations of the state. We survived the loss of East Pakistan. Germany has survived the loss of territory. Russia is still Russia despite the breakup of the Soviet Union. But Pakistan will not remain Pakistan if the havoc being wrought in the name of religion and by religious extremism is allowed to go unchecked. Pakistan was created in the name of religion. Is it to be undone in the name of religion? And we are still caught up in the debate whether this is our war or not. If this is not our war there never will be a war we can call our own. Imran Khan wouldn’t be able to survive a day in Hakimullah Mehsud’s Islamic Emirate. So what is he talking about? When the misuse of mosque loudspeakers becomes a national pastime, and the spewing of hatred against different sects an everyday occurrence; when a poor Christian girl such as Aasia Bibi in Sheikhupura is held on a blasphemy charge, setting off a train of events leading ultimately to the murder of governor Salmaan Taseer at the hands of one of his guards, and the guard is hailed as a hero of the faith, and lawyers shower him with rose petals when he appears before a magistrate; when someone in Bahawalpur is held on a blasphemy charge and after being sprung from police lockup is set on fire by an enraged mob; when another poor Christian girl is held on a blasphemy charge near Islamabad; and the Muslim community, which should be moved to outrage at such outrages, chooses to remain silent and do nothing; and when, in a comic interlude, the highest security agencies use clerical windbags to whip up the froth of a false nationalism; then be not surprised if religious radicalisation keeps receiving shots in the arm, and extremism as an ideological force turns into a more poisonous brew. When the next bunch of Shias is murdered we read it as a newspaper item and shrug our shoulders and carry on as usual. And the call to prayers is sounded and it makes not the slightest difference to our collective conduct. REFERENCE: The scope and tapestry of religious extremism Ayaz Amir Friday, August 24, 2012

General Zia, Pakistan & Mistreatment with Minorities - Part 1

ISLAMABAD: A cleric who handed over a young Christian girl to police on blasphemy charges after she burned papers containing Quranic verses said Friday what she did was a “conspiracy” to insult Muslims. Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti, the imam of the mosque in the Islamabad suburb of Mehrabad, insisted he had saved the girl, Rimsha, from mob violence by handing her to police but said the incident arose because Muslims had not stopped local Christians’ “anti-Islam activities” earlier. Rimsha was arrested and remanded in custody for a fortnight last Thursday after being accused of burning pages from a children’s religious instruction book, which were inscribed with verses from the Muslim holy text. The youngster reportedly has Down’s Syndrome and her treatment has prompted outrage from rights groups and concern from Western governments, but Chishti insisted she was fully aware of what she was doing. “The girl who burnt the Holy Quran has no mental illness and is a normal girl,” Chishti told AFP. “She did it knowingly, this is a conspiracy and not a mistake. She confessed what she did.” Chishti claimed the local Christian community had previously caused antagonism by playing music in services at their makeshift church during Muslim prayer time and said burning the pages was deliberate. “They committed this crime to insult us further. This happened because we did not stop their anti-Islam activities before,” he said. “Last Christmas, they played musical instruments and there was vulgarity in the streets during our prayers time. I warned them but they did not stop.” During his sermon at Friday prayers Chishti told worshippers it was “time for Muslims to wake up” and protect the Holy Quran. Mehrabad is home to around 500 Christian families but many fled after the page-burning, fearing a repeat of a 2009 incident in Gojra, in which young Muslim radicals burned Christian houses, killing seven, after a rumour that a page from the Holy Quran had been desecrated during a wedding. REFERENCE: Imam accuses Christian girl of 'conspiracy' By AFP Published: August 24, 2012

Pakistani Muslims desecrated Holy Quran and Hadith Books in 2010 in Faisalabad Punjab

Radicalization of State and Society in Pakistan by Rubina Saigol

Radicalization of State and Society in Pakistan by Rubina Saigol

2011: The PUC chairman questioned that why the blasphemy law was not implemented when on 12th Rabbiul Awwal of this Islamic year (in 2010), some 750 copies of the holy Quran and several books of Hadith and Tafseer were set on fire by unidentified people at late Allama Ziaul Haq Qasmi’s residence in Faisalabad and a footage of this incident was also present. “After the incident, Sunni Ittehad Council Chairman Sahibzada Fazal Karim sought registration of an FIR under 295-C against Zahid Qasmi, son of late Qasmi. Both the sides, sects ‘Deobandi’ and ‘Barelvi’, requested police seeking FIRs against each other, but the issue was resolved later,” he recalled and questioned why such a settlement was not counted as blasphemy or profanity, the channel reported. REFERENCE Sentiments were exploited against Salmaan Taseer: Ashrafi * Pakistan Ulema Council chairman says whosoever declared it was justified to kill Taseer should come on media to prove his claim before nation Daily Times Monitor Sunday, January 09, 2011

General Zia, Pakistan & Mistreatment with Minorities - Part 2

2009: `Rioters were led by masked men from Jhang` ISLAMABAD The government on Sunday asked Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti to work in coordination with the government of Punjab to unmask the elements behind the Gojra violence, well-placed sources told Dawn. They said the government had received information that a group of armed `miscreants`, with masked faces had come from Jhang and led the violence against Christians on the pretext of desecration of the Holy Quran. The sources said a mob went on rampage after some youths had delivered provocative speeches and set on fire some houses and places of worship. `The minority minister has been asked to work closely with the provincial government and expose the people responsible for the tragic incident.` They said the government believed that the incident had been planned to trigger riots between Christians and Muslims and the government was not ruling out involvement of an external hand. President Asif Ali Zardari has also asked Mr Bhatti to proceed to Gojra and stay there till the situation calms down and affected people return to their homes. President`s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the president had taken a serious notice of the Gojra incident and he was concerned about the violence as well as the wrong signals it had sent about the country and its people to the international community. Recently in Kasur, houses of Christians had been torched and the latest incident has forced the government to handle the situation with firmness. The president said in a statement that under no circumstances could anyone be allowed to take law into his hand to settle real or perceived grievances. `It is the responsibility of the state to protect citizens under attack from a handful of vengeful and armed groups in the name of religion,` he said. President Zardari appealed to all sections of society to make concerted and combined efforts to repair the social fabric that has often been shredded by some individuals and some organised groups behind the facade of religious sensitivities. REFERENCE: `Rioters were led by masked men from Jhang` By Syed Irfan Raza

General Zia, Pakistan & Mistreatment with Minorities - Part 4

2009: Seven burnt alive in Gojra violence TOBA TEK SINGH, Aug 1 Seven people were burnt alive and 18 others injured in Gojra on Saturday after fresh violence erupted in the town over the alleged desecration of the Holy Quran three days ago. More than 50 houses were set on fire and a place of worship belonging to a minority community was damaged by an angry mob. According to sources, most of the houses were burnt by a group of youths who had their faces covered with veils. They threw petrol bombs and fired indiscriminately. The minority community announced that it would not retrieve bodies and bury them until Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif visited the area and gave assurance of protection to life and property.A complete strike was observed in Gojra town on the call of the Anjuman Tajiran in protest against the alleged desecration of the Holy Quran.

Contingents of Rangers were dispatched to the troubled area on the orders of the federal government. Religious parties held a public meeting in Malkanwala Chowk, after which hundreds of angry people took out a procession, which marched to a residential area populated mainly by non-Muslims. Some members of the minority community retaliated with gunshot fires. Ten people were injured. Police failed to stop the enraged demonstrators from entering the colony in the afternoon and set ablaze over 50 houses. Most of the residents fled, but seven of them were trapped in their houses and burnt to death. They were identified as Hameed Maseeh, 50, Asia Bibi, 20, Asifa Bibi, 19, Imamia Bibi, 22, Musa, 7, Akhlas Maseeh, 40, and Parveen, 50.

The protesters later burnt old tyres on the railway track and blocked traffic for several hours. They also blocked the Gojra-Samundri bypass. Police used teargas and fired into the air to disperse the protesters. The mob pelted a police party with stones. Gojra TMO Rana Ahmad Nawaz, Kamalia DSP Akbar Niazi, Sub-Inspector Mukhtar Ahmad and ASI Tariq Mahmood were injured. Constable Usman Khan sustained a bullet wound. Shabbir Ahmad, a leader of the Labour Qaumi Movement, told reporters that he and his friends rescued a number of people trapped in their houses. The IG suspended Gojra DSP Raja Ghulam Abbas over police failure to control the violence. Minorities Alliance leaders Atif Jamil Pagaan and Ashfaq Fateh held police responsible for the riots and demanded registration of a case against negligent officials. JUDICIAL INQUIRY The LHC chief justice, on the request of the Punjab chief minister, appointed District and Sessions Judge Mahmood Maqbool Bajwa to conduct a judicial probe into the clashes. REFERENCE: Seven burnt alive in Gojra violence By Tariq Saeed

General Zia, Pakistan & Mistreatment with Minorities - Part 5

2009 Christians` homes burnt over `desecration`  TOBA TEK SINGH, July 31 A mob burnt 75 houses of Christians over the alleged desecration of the Holy Quran in Azafi Abadi at Chak 95-JB on Gojra-Faisalabad Road, 32 kilometres from here, late on Thursday, Christian leaders said. Christian leaders Atif Jamil Pagaan and Ashfaq Fateh told a press conference that 75 houses were burnt and two churches ransacked by the residents of a neighboring village over reports that Mukhtar Maseeh, Talib Maseeh and his son Imran Maseeh had desecrated the papers inscribed with Holy Quran verses at a wedding ceremony. Dawn learnt from sources that 50 houses were damaged when the mob in a frenzy of rage held a jury where Talib Maseeh was asked to offer apology over the incident. Talib, however, denied the incident and refused to offer apology. In the ensuing developments, hundreds of the people attacked Azafi Basti.

Before the arrival of the mob, the residents had fled which gave a walkover to the mob which put on fire 50 houses. The ablaze also burnt a few cattle. District Police Officer (DPO) Inkisar Khan fielded MPA Bilal Asghar Warraich and Maulana Noor Ahmad to calm down the mob. The DPO also suspended the Gojra Sadar station house officer at the demand of the mob. The mob blocked Gojra-Faisalabad Road to block the entrance of fire brigades to the village. Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti and Punjab Minorities and Human Rights Minister Kamran Michael visited the locality on Friday and urged both sides to remain peaceful. They said the Christians would be compensated for their loss. Minority MPAs Rafiq Pervaiz and Khalil Tahir Sandhu also visited the village. DPO Inkisar Khan said a case has been registered under section 295-B of the Pakistan Penal Code against Mukhtar Maseeh, Talib Maseeh and Imran Maseeh without any arrest.

Local ulema and traders demanded the arrest of the accused and announced a complete strike on Saturday (today). Former MNA M Hamza condemned the violence against Christians as well as the alleged desecration act. In a press statement, he demanded a judicial probe into the incident. Labour Party leader Tariq Mahmood, National Workers` Party Punjab Secretary Rana Azam, Labour Qaumi Movement`s Shabbir Ahmad and Kissan Committee President Chaudhry Fateh Muhammad condemned the violence. INTERFAITH LEAGUE Expressing his anguish over the violence perpetrated by communal forces against Christian minorities, Interfaith League chairman Sajid Ishaq says it is condemnable to make religion a basis for committing violent acts against humanity. He said that nation was trying to build a peaceful and stable society in Pakistan and such attacks hindered any progress in this regard. He demanded that the thugs who carried out the attacks should be strictly punished so that no one could dare again to commit such a crime. REFERENCE: Christians` homes burnt over `desecration` By Tariq Saeed

General Zia, Pakistan & Mistreatment with Minorities - Part 7

2009: Rampant bigotry Dawn Editorial The frenzied mob that hit a Christian settlement near Gojra on two consecutive days last week proves how easy it is to lose all sense of reason. Masked young men, egged on by religious leaders and actively supported by locals angry over the alleged desecration of the Holy Quran by some members of the Christian community, performed a veritable dance of death in the neighbourhood. They torched houses, smashed businesses and brought routine life to a screeching halt through their seemingly unstoppable violence — until seven Christians were burnt alive and the Rangers called in. On both days the entire area around the targeted settlement was the site of arson, interspersed with stone-throwing, baton-wielding and gunfire.

It is not for the first time that an alleged act of blasphemy has triggered such brutal aggression. Nor, sadly, will it be the last if bigoted mindsets persist. Only weeks ago, Christian houses in Kasur were burnt down because the majority community there was able to allege blasphemy to exact retribution in an otherwise purely secular feud. Yet it seems little is changing to avoid the repetition of such incidents. In fact, while Gojra burnt the local administration made only half-hearted efforts to douse the fires. That is why the Christians there insisted on senior officials being booked for murder as a precondition to ending their protests. They, after all, had a duty to protect citizens no matter what their religion. Are we not supposed to be a democratic society that treats all its members, regardless of faith, equitably?

Unfortunately, the fact that we have blasphemy laws suggests that we are not. These laws have become a ticket in the hands of the majority to persecute and victimise the minority communities if they don`t easily submit to their inferior status in society. In not being blind to the faith of each individual, the state is supporting bias and bigotry against non-Muslims. The narrow-minded who spew venom through their sermons against religious minorities are only the loudest and most abominable symbols of such discrimination and their growing following is an unmistakable sign of the frightening future that we are heading towards. A state held hostage by its own bigots cannot guarantee protection for religious minorities in its jurisdiction. For that to happen, the state will have to ensure that all forms of religious discrimination, including faith-based laws that victimise even innocent civilians, are done away with. REFERENCE: Rampant bigotry Dawn Editorial

General Zia, Pakistan & Mistreatment with Minorities - Part 8

ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry remarked that it was a criminal negligence to bring changes in the documents like Objectives Resolution as former president General (retd) Zia ul Haq tampered with the Constitution in 1985 however, the sitting parliament had done a good job by undoing this tampering. At one point Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed that the word ‘freely’ was omitted from the Objectives Resolution in 1985 by a dictator, which was an act of criminal negligence, but the then parliament surprisingly didn’t take notice of it. He said the Constitution is a sacred document and no person can tamper with it. The chief justice said credit must go to the present parliament, which after 25 years took notice of the brazen act of removing the word relating to the minorities’ rights, and restored the word ‘freely’ in the Objectives Resolution, which had always been part of the Constitution. The chief justice further said that the court is protecting the fundamental rights of the minorities and the government after the Gojra incident has provided full protection to the minorities. “We are bound to protect their rights as a nation but there are some individual who create trouble.” - DAILY TIMES - ISLAMABAD: Heading a 17-member larger bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry termed as criminal negligence the deletion of a word about the rights of minorities from the Objectives Resolution during the regime of General Ziaul Haq in 1985. Ziaul Haq had omitted the word “freely” from the Objectives Resolution, which was made substantive part of the 1973 Constitution under the Revival of Constitutional Order No. 14. The clause of Objectives Resolution before deletion of the word ‘freely’ read, “Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities to ‘freely’ profess and practice their religions and develop their culture.” DAILY DAWN - ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry on Tuesday praised the parliament for undoing a wrong done by the legislature in 1985 (through a constitutional amendment) when it removed the word ‘freely’ from a clause of the Objectives Resolution that upheld the minorities’ right to practise their religion. The word “freely” was deleted from the Objectives Resolution when parliament passed the 8th Amendment after indemnifying all orders introduced through the President’s Order No 14 of 1985 and actions, including the July 1977 military takeover by Gen Zia-ul-Haq and extending discretion of dissolving the National Assembly, by invoking Article 58(2)b of the Constitution. After the passage of the 18th Amendment, the Objectives Resolution now reads: “Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities freely to profess and practise their religions and develop their culture.” The CJ said: “Credit goes to the sitting parliament that they reinserted the word back to the Objectives Resolution.” He said that nobody realised the blunder right from 1985 till the 18th Amendment was passed, even though the Objectives Resolution was a preamble to the Constitution even at the time when RCO (Revival of Constitution Order) was promulgated. REFERENCES: CJ lauds parliament for correcting historic wrong By Nasir Iqbal Wednesday, 09 Jun, 2010   - CJP raps change in Objectives Resolution * Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry says deletion of clause on rights of minorities was ‘criminal negligence’ * Appreciates incumbent parliament for taking notice of removal of clause by Gen Zia’s govt in 1985 By Masood Rehman Wednesday, June 09, 2010\story_9-6-2010_pg1_1  CJ lauds parliament for undoing changes in Objectives Resolution Wednesday, June 09, 2010 Says minorities’ rights have to be protected; Hamid says parliament should have no role in judges’ appointment By Sohail Khan

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