A Christian schoolgirl in Pakistan was mocked and punished by her teacher after refusing to study Islam and asking to replace it with an ethics course. Persecution and widespread discrimination are just a part of the daily lives of Christians in Pakistan. In school, many Christian students face harassment because of their religious identity. Unfortunately, this follows Christians into adulthood and often leads to Christians’ poor social and economic status.
05/25/2017 Pakistan (Gospel Herald) – A Christian girl studying at a school in Pakistan was told by her Muslim teacher that, if she refused to take a class in Islamic studies, she must leave. The teacher also ordered her Muslim students to avoid eating with the Christian girl because of her faith.
According to World Watch Monitor, Muqadas Sukhraj wanted to study Ethics rather than Islamic Studies because of her Christian beliefs.
Sukhraj, one of three Christians in her class of over 100, told the outlet that her problems started in early April “when class teacher, Zahida Parveen, unnecessarily began creating problems for me and expressing her displeasure with me because I chose Ethics.”
“First, the teacher argued over the textbook of the Ethics class. Then she sent me out of the class as punishment. Later, she told me that if I could not study Islamic education, then why do I study in a Muslim school in the first place? She even told me, that, when she comes into the class, I must leave.
“No classmate or any other teacher has ever behaved like this, except this teacher,” she said.
Sukhraj’s uncle, Munir Nasir, tried to raise the concern with the school and local authorities, but was barred from seeing the principal. He also attempted to take up the issue with Attock district coordination officer, explaining that the teacher also told Muslim students not to eat or drink with Sukhraj. “Rather than addressing the matter, Sukhraj was shifted to evening classes,” he added.
WWM notes that Christians in Pakistan’s state schools face persistent problems with the content of textbooks.
The 2016 report by Pakistan’s National Commission for Justice and Peace said that the government had failed to keep its promise to eradicate religious “hate material” from school textbooks. The research also found that Islamic religious parties have become a pressure group strong enough to prevent education authorities from revising school programs for fear of retaliation and protests.