08/21/2020 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – According to Asia News, a national convention of human rights activists was held on August 11 to affirm democratic values and the protection of religious minorities in Pakistan. The convention marked Pakistan’s Minorities Day, a holiday that commemorates Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s famous speech to the Punjab Legislative Assembly regarding religious freedom in Pakistan.
On August 11, 1947, three days before Pakistan’s official birthday, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, one of Pakistan’s founding fathers, delivered a famous speech in favor of religious freedom and equality. While Jinnah’s speech painted a picture of a religiously tolerant Pakistan, the founding father’s vision for the country has not been achieved.
Since Pakistan’s founding, religious intolerance and anti-minority violence have significantly grown. Recently, Pakistan was designated a “Country of Particular Concern” by the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom due to the intolerance and violence endured by Pakistan’s religious minorities.
At the August 11 convention, the Center for Social Justice (CSJ) and other human rights organizations spoke out to promote democratic values that run against the “tyranny of the majority.”
According to Asia News, participants of the convention agreed that, “religious intolerance is institutionalized and represents a threat to the democratic order of the country.”
Peter Jacob, Executive Director of CSJ, said, “The authorities must take legal, political, and administrative steps to address the challenge of including minorities.”
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