Fears of extremists gaining ground through flood aid in Pakistan
“Once the Islamists get in power Christians will be targeted as they are also associated with Western countries due to same faith.”
By Brian Hutt
08/21/2010 Pakistan (Christian Today)-Barnabas Fund says it fears extremist Muslims are gaining ground in Pakistan through the distribution of aid to flood victims.
With many victims saying they have received little in the way of international aid, groups with links to terrorists have set up aid distribution points within flood-stricken communities.
A Barnabas Fund partner in Pakistan, who cannot be named for security reasons, said he was concerned that Islamists would be able to seize political power because of how effectively they had responded to the crisis.
He said that would only make things worse for Christians, who make up less than three per cent of Pakistan’s population and face sometimes fatal persecution at the hands of Islamist extremists.
“The Islamists are helping people in areas where even the government has failed to reach,” he said.
“In the time of need, the government’s slow response has given them [the extremists] the opportunity to win the hearts of the affected people.”
He said the month of Ramadan had given the extremists an opportunity to preach their version of Islam and attract people.
“They are gaining a foothold in the area,” he said. “Once the Islamists get in power Christians will be targeted as they are also associated with Western countries due to same faith.”
Some 20 million people have been affected by widespread flooding brought on by heavy monsoon rains.