Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Chaput criticizes religious intolerance in Pakistan

[From a CNS story that just showed up in the inbox]
The archbishop, a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, co-wrote an opinion piece in The Denver Post with the commission's vice chairwoman, Elizabeth H. Prodromou, after Musharraf delivered a speech at the United Nations calling for "enlightened moderation" to bridge a growing divide between Islamic and Western governments.

In the Sept. 19 speech Musharraf said that to build such bridges "it is imperative to end racial and religious discrimination against Muslims and to prohibit the defamation of Islam."

"Musharraf's action plan suggests it is Western countries that must change their behavior toward Muslims, and not the other way around," Archbishop Chaput and Prodromou wrote in the Sept. 28 issue of the Post.

"Musharraf fails to address the urgent need to bring 'enlightened moderation' to his own country, where intolerance and violence is aimed at both Muslims and non-Muslims," they said.

"Currently, sectarian and religiously motivated violence persists in Pakistan, particularly by Sunni Muslim militants, against Shiite Muslims, Ahmadis, Hindus and Christians," they wrote. "Perpetrators of attacks on religious minorities are seldom brought to justice. Pakistan's nearly 4 million Ahmadis are prevented by law from fully practicing their faith."


religion of pieces said...

Attention all Christian congregations regarding the Pope's comments on Islam . If you live in an area with an active Muslim population, it may be wise to review your Church's security, fire-precautions and insurance cover:


assiniboine said...

A very curious anomaly in Pakistan regarding the increasingly dire situation of Christians is that a very considerable proportion of the Pakistani (or of post-Partition India) elite were and are educated in Christian schools in what is now Pakistan -- and harassing Christians into oblivion really IS cutting off their noses to spite their faces: General Musharraf himself by Jesuit-founded St Patrick's in Karachi (which also claims as alumnae "two Prime Ministers of Pakistan, two Chief Ministers of Sindh, (the leader of the BJP party in India is also a Patrician), mayors of Karachi and well known educationists)" and then at Foreman Christian College in Lahore.

Foreman Christian College, seized from the Christian churches by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, has now been returned by the courts to administration by Christians. It is the alma mater of a prodigious number of shakers and movers in Pakistan and India, including Allama Mashriqi, scholar, writer, and founder of the Khaksar Tehreek (Khaksar Movement); General Pervez Musharraf, 12th President of Pakistan; Farooq Ahmed Leghari, 9th President of Pakistan; Jamsheed Marker, United Nations Under-secretary General, Ambassador at Large of Pakistan; Inder Kumar Gujral, Prime Minister of India, Foreign Minister of India; Abdus Sattar, Foreign Minister of Pakistan; Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Chairman of the PML-Q; Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, Chief Minister of Punjab, Pakistan; Muhammad Mian Soomro, Governor of Sindh, Pakistan, International Banking Executive;. Cecil Chaudhry, Fighter Pilot (Pakistan Air Force) and War Hero (1965). Christian Activist. (well, perhaps he’s not a great example); Admiral Iftikhar Ahmed Sarohi, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (Pakistan), Chief of Naval Staff (Pakistan Navy); Nasim Hasan Shah, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Pakistan; Saradar Muhammad Iqbal Khan, First Federal Ombudsman of Pakistan; Professor Emeritus of Law, Punjab University, Pakistan; MNA Rehman Naseer of Kharian; Yahya Bakhtiar, Attorney General of Pakistan; Professor Stanley K. Madan, Professor Emeritus of Inorganic Chemistry, Indiana University, USA; Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum, Poet (Urdu).

Of course converting Christians to Islam can be a very effective way of intensifying the persecution. No zealot like a convert. The Pakistan cricket team now (under the guidance of its bearded Captain) has long prayer sessions after nets or matches. Players who do not fall into line are the subject of ridicule and censure. And the senior-most enforcer of all this was the erstwhile Yousuf Yohanna (now Mohammad Yousuf) who converted to Islam in 2005 under some very strange circumstances.