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Religious Intolerance Growing In Pakistan – Study

ICC Note:

If Islam is truly a “religion of peace,” then why does a Muslim-majority nation like Pakistan continue to experience serious conflict? Why isn’t the “religion of peace” confident enough in its validity to respect the rights of minorities?

KARACHI (Reuters, 09/05/06) – Sectarian and religious intolerance is growing in Pakistan, as is the number of complaints of minority people being forcibly converted to Islam and forced from their homes, a rights group said on Tuesday.

The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said division on the basis of religious belief only added to the dangers facing society. Most of Pakistan ‘s 160 million people are Muslim but there are small Christian, Hindu, Sikh communities.

“Sectarian and religious intolerance is growing. Non-Muslim citizens have faced numerous attacks,” Iqbal Haider, the commission’s secretary general said in a statement.

“There have also been more and more complaints regarding the forced conversion of Hindu and Christian girls and in June, about 100 members of the minority Ahmadis sect were forced out of their villages near Daska in Sialkot district,” he said.

Ahmadis are a break-away sect declared non-Muslims in Pakistan in 1974 because they believe the 19th-century founder of their sect was a prophet.

In another example of intolerance, in the southern city of Karachi , a Hindu temple has been encroached upon and is being used to slaughter cows, Haider said. Hindus consider cows sacred animals.

“This dangerous division in society based on the basis of belief and the official support given to discrimination, can only add to the dangers faced by society,” Haider said. He did not elaborate on what he meant by official support…[Go To Full Story]