Christians and other religious minorities from Pakistan joined together in New York to protest the abuse of religious minorities in the South Asian country. Specifically, the demonstrators brought attention to the abuse of Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws that disproportionately affect religious minorities. Often used for score settling and personal vendettas, Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are often used to persecuted religious minorities. Will protests like this bring international attention to this issue?
8/22/2013 Pakistan (Worthy News) – Protesters carried banners stating: “Pakistan is a Living Hell for Hindus, Sikhs and Christians” near the Pakistan Consulate in New York City Wednesday in support of all the victims of religious bigotry, hate and intolerance in that notorious Islamic nation.
The demonstration was organized by the Indian American Intellectuals Forum in cooperation with Hindu Human Rights Watch, Justice for Hindus, the Human Rights Coalition against Radical Islam and other rights groups, according to the Pakistan Christian Post.
A memorandum expressing the groups’ outrage at the terrible treatment of religious minorities was submitted to the Consul General of Pakistan; it claimed that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws were used to intimidate and harass religious minorities through false accusations.
Reminding the Consul General that his forefathers were Hindus before being forced to convert to Islam by Arabs, the memo stated that violence and terror are the hallmarks of uncivilized brutes.
Narain Kataria, organizer of the protest, said that minorities have been terrorized in Pakistan such that hundreds of Hindus who crossed into India earlier this year — under the pretense of visiting a religious festival — refused to return and instead petitioned the Indian government for political asylum.