France: Conference at Europe Business School: Geopolitics and Religions in Pakistan

Mahrukh Arif | Secrétaire Générale – Responsable Communication
Cultures & Croyances | Education – Religions – Laïcité
A large part of the audience was composed by judges and lawyers who acknowledged the effort done by both the speakers by presenting the need to hear out the persecuted people and establish a way to protect their fundamental rights.
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On saturday 26th april 2014, a conference was held at third rated Business School of France, ESCP Europe, on Geopolitics and Religions in Pakistan. The conference was organised by Sophie-Alexandra Aiachi – founder of MENA Post – via Youth Diplomacy and gave the opportunity to speak up about the political and social dynamics regarding religion in Pakistan.There were two speakers in the conference : Florence Toix – member of the French Association of Asylum Judges – and Asif Arif – student lawyer and president of the Ahmadiyya Persecutions Committee France.

View the video here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNgBN5F02oabEvMJ5wlbhRg

Florence Toix presented the geopolitical dynamics in Pakistan. The founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, wanted a secular Pakistan which turned out to become, once in the hand of the Mullah, an extremist one especially after Zia Ul Haq came at power. She emphasized how every political choice made by the Mullah were rather strategic than based on religious arguments.

Florence Toix - member of the French Association of Asylum Judges - and Asif Arif - student lawyer and president of the Ahmadiyya Persecutions Comittee France

Florence Toix – member of the French Association of Asylum Judges – and Asif Arif – student lawyer and president of the Ahmadiyya Persecutions Comittee France

Asif Arif presented the history of the Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan and how it targets religious minorities. He presented the persecutions of a few minorites like the Kalash, Christians, Hindus and Ahmadi Muslims. Unlike, the other minorities, he emphasizes on the fact that the Ordinnance passed by Zia Ul Haq in 1984 was specifically targeted at Ahmadi Muslims as its title clearly shows : it is called the  “Anti-Ahmadiyya Ordinnance”.

Therefore, it is clear that as a discrimination within the law is introduced specifically for the Ahmadis, their access to jurisdictions are limited or even non existent.

Therefore, it makes no doubt that the situation of all the minorities present a high risk but Ahmadi Muslims are the most persecuted, targeted minority in Pakistan.

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The conference ended with a question-answer session. Guests were eager to know more about the Ahmadi Muslims as it is a community not known to many and tried to understand the reason of the persecution as they claim to be  Muslims as well.
A large part of the audience was composed by judges and lawyers who acknowledged the effort done by both the speakers by presenting the need to hear out the persecuted people and establish a way to protect their fundamental rights.
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