The two faces of religious persecution in Pakistan

Credit. Dawn.Com via Wasim Sroya

It’s a horrible time to be a Christian, Hindu, an Ahmadi or any other minority group in Pakistan.

For starters, let’s recount a few reported incidents of persecution carried out to “safeguard Islam” these past few days: minarets destroyed at Ahmadi mosques, mentally unstable man burnt alive for blasphemy, Ahmadi leader gunned down.

Not only is such persecution in contravention of many of Pakistan’s international human rights law obligations but it could not exist without the socially sanctioned public hypocrisy that breathes life into it.

That is, major blame for religious oppression in Pakistan, contrary to the conventional account, lies not with the weak and ineffective state that is unable or unwilling to protect minorities, but with much of Pakistani society that refuses to extend religious freedom to others even as they themselves seek its benefits abroad.

Pakistani and other Muslims living in the United States and Europe fully enjoy the religious rights granted to minorities in those states – without fearing for their life or property – whilst refusing to reciprocate when religious minorities back home are deprived of those same rights.


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