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Newsletter for December 2009


Article 1 - Article 2 - Article 3 - Article 4 - Article 5 - Article 6 - Article 7 - Article 8 - Article 9 - Article 10 - Article 11 - Article 12


PAKPAC’s Message on the Atrocities in Gojra,

Pakistan and Appeal to the People of Pakistan.

August 3rd, 2009, Maryland, The Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee (PAKPAC) joins all our fellow Pakistani Americans in condemning the recent incidents in Pakistan, when a small but organized group of thugs attacked a village in Gojra, Pakistan and took innocent lives of Christian minority community members and then destroyed their homes. These extremists claimed to commit these inhumane acts and atrocities as a response to an alleged blasphemy of the Holy Quran.

PAKPAC asks the Government of Pakistan to arrest the perpetrators of these crimes and extend severe punishment to them for the murder of the innocent people. Punishment to such people should be strong enough to serve as a strong deterrent to anyone in Pakistan who dares to contemplate such actions.

PAKPAC extends condolences to all the faith communities in Pakistan, and ensures them that we support them towards eradicating these hate based, misguided beasts who go against the very basic teachings of the Quran and Islam that they pretend to protect.

We ask the larger society in Pakistan to get seriously involved in a meaningful and focused dialogue to look at how various laws are being abused in stripping the minorities in Pakistan of their rights. We need to enlighten ourselves and the world on how these crimes are against the principles and spirit of the creation of Pakistan and the core essence and teachings of the Quran.

We recall the insightful words of Quaid e Azam, the founding father of Pakistan:

On Jan 9th, 1948: When a riot broke out resulting in a group of Muslims attacking Hindu minorities, Quaid said, “ ….. Muslims! Protect your Hindu neighbors. Cooperate with the Government and the officials in protecting your Hindu neighbors against these lawless elements, fifth columnists and cliques. Pakistan must be governed through the properly constituted Government and not by cliques or fifth columnists or mobs…”

On February 3rd, 1948: Quaid in his speech directed towards all Pakistani and the minorities said, “ …. I assure you, Pakistan means to stand by its oft repeated promises of according equal rights to all its nationals irrespective of their caste or creed. Pakistan which symbolizes the aspirations of a nation that found it self to be a minority in the Indian subcontinent cannot be UNMINDFUL of minorities within its own borders. It is a pity that the fair name of Karachi was sullied by the sudden outburst of communal frenzy last month and I can’t find words strong enough to condemn the action of those who are responsible….”

21st March 1948: Mass Rally in Dacca, Quaid said “….let me take this opportunity of repeating what I have already said: We shall treat the minorities in Pakistan fairly and justly. We shall maintain peace, law and order and protect and safeguard every citizen of Pakistan without any distinction of caste, creed or community…”

Quaid e Azam also said, “ ..minorities DO NOT cease to be citizens. Minorities living in Pakistan do not cease to be citizens by virtue of their belonging to particular faith, religion or race. I have repeatedly made it clear, especially in my opening speech to the Constituent Assembly, that the minorities in Pakistan would be treated as our citizens and will enjoy all the rights as any other community. Pakistan SHALL pursue this policy and do all it can to create a sense of security and confidence in the non-Muslim minorities of Pakistan.”

We would also like to share with you how strongly the Quran promotes tolerance and condemns these abhorrent actions. Defying the spirit and law of the Quran and using verses out of context to justify these unforgivable actions against fellow humans is the ultimate disrespect to Quran.

The Quran is very explicit when it says, “there is no compulsion in religion,” (Quran 2: 256). The Quran also encourages Jews to live by the laws revealed to them in the Torah. In fact, the Quran expresses surprise that some Jews sought the arbitration of the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) rather than their own legal tradition (Quran 5:43). Again, in the same chapter, the Quran also recommends that the Christians live by their faith; “So let the people of the Gospel judge by that which Allah has revealed therein, for he who judges not by that which Allah has revealed is a sinner,” (Quran 5:47).

The Quran instructs Muslims to deal with the ignorant in the following manner, “The worshippers of the All-Merciful are they who tread gently upon the earth, and when the ignorant address them, they reply, “Peace!” (Quran 25:63).

The Quran also instructs Muslims, “Whosoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.” (Quran 5:32).

The Quran stresses tolerance and justice: “O ye who believe! Remain steadfast for Allah, bearing witness to justice. Do not allow your hatred for others make you swerve to wrongdoing and turn you away from justice. Be just; that is closer to true piety. (Quran 5:8)

The Quran highlights the position of Christians in our faith “ . . . and you will find the nearest in love to the believers (Muslims) those who say: ‘We are Christians.’ That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.” (Quran 5:82) .

Allah gives an unequivocal message in the Quran to the believers, emphasizing that they must stand up and fight to protect the rights of Jews and Christians, thereby allowing them to pray to God in their way.

“Permission (to fight) is given to those who are being attacked, because they have been wronged. And surely God measures out help for them. (They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right,- (for no cause) except that they say, “our Lord is Allah.. Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his (cause);- for verily Allah is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will). (Quran 22:39-40)

The references above should leave no doubt in the just minds regarding who is at fault here. The question we ask the people, religious institutions, civil society, the government, elected officials and various political parties including the opposition parties in Pakistan is, “what they are going to do to stop the current perpetrators and the institutions supporting and harboring people of such mindset?”






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