JANUARY 25, 2014 AT SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY, DALLAS
Conference on persecution of minorities calls for international pressures on South Asian governments to stop violence against religious minorities
“Apologists for militants should stop their rhetoric spreading intolerance” – Pervez Hoodbhoy
Member of the UN Advisory Board for Nuclear Disarmament Matters and renowned Pakistani scholar Pervez Hoodbhoy speaking at the “International Conference on Human Rights Crisis in South Asia” said the greatest threat to peace and progress in the Muslim world comes from our own societies not the Western world.
Apologists for the Taliban have to stop their rhetoric of intolerance which is claiming lives of the poor on a daily basis who are target of militants’ brutalities in the region especially in Pakistan and Afghanistan, he added.
The conference organized by South Asia Democracy Watch (SADEW) on January 25 in Dallas in partnership with the Embrey Human Rights Program at Southern Methodist University offered sessions on political, economic, legal and cultural perspectives on discrimination and violence against minorities in the region.
Hoodbhoy observed in his keynote speech that state and religion have to be separated to ensure progress and equal treatment of weaker segments in Muslim societies. “The process of division is not going to stop, even if it’s a Sunni State” because there will be conflicts among Wahabi, Barelvi, Deobandi and other factions, he further elaborated.
Welcoming the participants, president of SADEW Dr. Qaisar Abbas said the conference has been organized to create awareness on religious persecutions in South Asia. “We have been living in harmony with all cultural and religious groups for centuries but somehow something happened in post-colonial South Asia that destroyed the zeal of coexistence,” he observed.
Scholars and intellectuals participating in the conference called for international and American pressures on South Asian countries and link their funding to protection of minorities. They also appealed South Asian immigrants living abroad to invest in their …continue reading at sadew.org