Religious Intolerance in Pakistan Forcing Minorities to Flee Country

ICC Note:

Religious minorities in Pakistan, including Christians, Hindus, and Ahmadiyyas, are continuing to flee the country due to increasing religious intolerance. Restrictive blasphemy laws, forced conversions to Islam, and terrorist attacks on places of worship mark only a few of the issues faced by religious minorities in Pakistan. For many Christians fleeing Pakistan, there are few countries they can afford to flee to. Many go to Thailand where local police do not see them as refugees, but as illegal aliens. This often results in many Pakistani Christians being rounded up in detention centers in Thailand before being returned to Pakistan. 

01/16/2018 Pakistan (Asia Times) – Pakistan has been put on a US watch list for countries of concern over “severe violations of religious freedom” – and a closer look at the situation reveals that religious minorities and atheists are at a higher risk than ever.

The State Department’s move came after a tweet by President Donald Trump in New Year accusing Pakistan of providing “safe haven to terrorists”. However, the list is significant given the state’s surrender to protests by the Islamic political party Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLY) at the end of last year.

Islamabad’s capitulation to the radical Islamist mob has endangered the Ahmadiyya community, which has been the target of death threats made openly since the party besieged the capital a few months ago.

The Ahmadis, an Islamic sect excommunicated by the second amendment to Pakistan’s Constitution in 1974, have faced a severe backlash over the initial changes made regarding Khatm-e-Nabuwat (finality of prophethood) in the Elections Reforms Bill passed in October. According to the Pakistan Penal Code, an Ahmadi can be imprisoned for reading the Koran or even using Islamic titles.

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