(Voice of the Persecuted) Exclusive interview report— Pakistan is exploding in violence yet again. Tensions have risen and underlying hatred has expanded since the execution of Mumtaz Qadri, an Islamist who assassinated Governor Salman Taseer who had called for the repeal of the Blasphemy law. They’re also protesting the recent bill to recognize the rights of women. Both have caused a firestorm from ruling clerics for the push of Sharia Law in Pakistan. They are demanding the execution of Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of 5 charged with blasphemy. The There will only be more death, and persecution of Christians by denying this. The Islamist group, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar has claimed responsibility for the attack. They admitted Pakistani Christians were the targets and promised future attacks. The heart of Pakistan is torn in half. Jinnah, the first Governor-General of Pakistan had a dream for the country to be a peaceful nation. A country of safety and equal rights for all citizens. His heart would be breaking to see the status of his beloved Pakistan, today.
The nation has been hijacked by a dark force of Islam. One that recognizes only hatred and persecution those who don’t follow their own beliefs. It begins in 1977 with the rise of one man, General Zia, Pakistan’s most rabid military ruler. He even introduced a plan for Christians to wear special clothing so they could be identified.
“Sharization” or “Islamisation” (Urdu: محمد ضیاء الحق کے اسلامی حکمرانی) was the “primary” policy, or “centerpiece” of the government of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, the ruler of Pakistan from 1977 until his death in 1988. Zia has also been called “the person most responsible for turning Pakistan into a global center for political Islam”.
Pakistan had been founded as a separate Muslim-majority state for India. Zia committing himself to enforcing his interpretation of Nizam-e-Mustafa (“Rule of the prophet” Muhammad), i.e. establish an Islamic state and sharia law.
Zia established separate “Shariat” courts and court benches to judge legal cases using Islamic doctrine. New criminal offenses (of adultery, fornication, and types of blasphemy), and new punishments (of whipping, amputation, and stoning to death), were added to Pakistani law. Interest payments for bank accounts were replaced by “profit and loss” payments. Zakat charitable donations became a 2.5% annual tax. School textbooks and libraries were overhauled to remove un-Islamic material. Offices, schools, and factories were required to offer praying space. Zia bolstered the influence of the ulama (Islamic clergy) and the Islamic parties, conservative scholars became fixtures on television. 10,000s of activists from the Jamaat-e-Islami party were appointed to government posts to ensure the continuation of his agenda after his passing. Conservative ulama (Islamic scholars) were added to the Council of Islamic Ideology. source
Shared in our previous interview with a Pakistani Christian whose family watched the founding of the nation:
An elderly woman recalled as a young girl of about 7 years, that she watched Muslims behead Hindu’s and Sikh’s, but spared the lives of Christian. Her family helped by protecting and hiding them. They put crosses around their necks so they would go undetected and appear as they belonged in the Christian community. While listening to the story unfold, a distinct picture of Corrie Ten Boom came to mind, transporting them to safety. This Pakistani Christian’s family had formed a underground railway for those at risk, as seen in WWII during the Holocaust. She describes the family’s journey in small boats to reach the center of what is now Pakistan. It took them 5 years to reach their final destination, a community where they would settle, dream of their future and build their lives. She describes the partitioning of a country that took 10 years. To this day, she still suffers anguish as she remembers the scenes of horror so long ago.
The people elected a leader to direct them in the path of freedom. For a time, Pakistan grew strong, even adopted a Constitution that called for religious freedom for all citizens. But as time went on, Pakistan took a wicked turn that took control. Pakistan instituted an Islamic law that oppressed minorities. Today, Christians have become targets much like the Hindu’s and Sikh’s who needed protection at the birth of the nation. The woman lamented, “Pakistan was built on blood, I saw it with her own eyes.” How horrible these atrocities will once again be seared into the minds of today’s youth, as in this woman’s case. (More)
Another dear Pakistani who still suffers from the persecution against him told Voice of the Persecuted,
My grandfather was in the Royal British Army and was stationed in Bangalore, southern India at the time of partition. His village was to become part of Pakistan so he chose to cross into Pakistan and join Pakistan Army. They went in Army trains and crossed the border without any hindrance, but there was bloodshed between Muslims Sikhs and Hindus on both sides of the border. He shared that his grandfather wore huge crosses as they were ordered by the British Army to do so. He went out and he was stopped by a British soldier who pat searched him and saw him wearing a cross. He feared he could get victimized in the bloodshed. However we don’t find much proof of Christians being murdered during the partition. The obnoxious memories of partition are not so vivid as my family didn’t see much of it, but my uncle tells me that the slaughtering and beheading was started by the Muslims. They beheaded and slaughtered an entire train and wrote slogans on the side of trains with the blood of their victims. The Sikhs retaliated in the same fashion so it escalated more and more. Christians MPS at that time played a crucial role in the making of Pakistan, which is highly ignored and never mentioned in the history textbooks.
My parents tell me of horrific scenes when they were in their adolescence. They said that they feared to tell people about their Christian faith as they didn’t want to be discriminated. My mother never told her friends that she was a Christian until she was in 9th grade. My mother’s baptism name was a Christian name but my grandfather changed it fearing my mother would face discrimination in school due to her christian name. My parents tell me that Christians were not allowed to eat at food stalls. The vendors packed the food because they didn’t want Christians to eat from the same dish in the which Muslims ate. The reason you see a lot of Christians with Muslim names is due to that period of discrimination. Now the trend had changed because people are becoming more bold due to awareness and more people are getting education and shrugging the fear.
Again, we see that Christians have had a huge impact on Pakistan and the partitioning. We are caught between what the West thinks and what Pakistani Muslims think as evidenced by this message from a suffering Pakistani Christian to the West. We asked what he like to say to the West.
“Muslims call us Western spies. I doubt that Western Embassies have sympathies towards Pakistani Christians as the West considers us normal Pakistanis with no differentiation between a Muslim with extremist views and one with Christian beliefs. In fact there was a banner in Forman Christian college ( when it was under the government). The Islamic student federation wrote that all Christians should go back to USA. It was written when Russia occupied Afghanistan and sentiments were high. Many wanted to wage jihad against West as they had been unable to defeat West since the crusades.
There is that old hatred that Christianity is a western product but in fact it is not. The cradle of Christianity, in fact, is in the cradle of civilization that Muslims claim as their own.
When asked he felt about the flag of Pakistan he answered,
Once I was travelling on the bus and men were discussing the Pakistani flag. One of the men said the white color represents the Christians and the pole is also put through the white part of the flag. This was a derogatory remark as the context meant that Christians are always considered to be 2nd class citizens and are always inferior to Muslims.
We instantly had the opposite vision. If the white part of the flag represents Christians and is used to secure the pole, then to us the white portion of the flag symbolizes how Christianity is what makes Pakistan stable or grounded. He responded to that statement:
Well all Christians are proud of their homeland but when they are beleaguered, discriminated and persecuted then we start to feel ashamed to be born in a country which doesn’t consider us their own.
That would be nice. US aid gives billions of dollars in donations to Pakistan. They support educational institutions and charities. You may be shocked to know that madrasas or Islamic schools are getting funded through those funds. The USA is funding the spread of their hatred.
One of our advocates explained they felt shame for our nation’s treatment of Christians. Our Pakistani brother responded,
Yes, but there is freedom of religion and at least a person wouldn’t get killed in USA for their faith. I hope the west realizes about the cultural jihad that the Muslims are waging at the moment. Muslims didn’t have any window of opportunity until the West became secular and opened its border. Most Muslims are dormant and rise when given the opportunity to attack. But we shouldn’t hate our Muslim brethren. We should love as Christ taught us to love. However, the West should control the perimeters of their own borders and stop Muslim infiltration.
How selfish we are in the West. How cold hearted have we become that we can not see that people would give their life to come here and worship in freedom. Our brother said that Pakistani Christians are forlorn figures when it comes to aid deliveries from the Western churches. “But most still help the Muslims to try and show the love of Christ whilst ignoring their own brethren. It reminds me on an old English proverb, ‘Charity begins at home’. Churches should help their own brethren first and then look forward to helping others. And I’m sure of one thing, that there will be plentiful left after helping brothers in need.”
John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”