07/14/2014 Blasphemous Oppression In The Name of Islam: Hold Pakistan Accountable For Persecuting Religious Minorities

Source: Forbes


The world is aflame.  Religious minorities are among those who suffer most from increasing conflict.  Pakistan is one of the worst homes for non-Muslims.  The U.S. government should designate that nation as a “Country of Particular Concern” for failing to protect religious liberty, the most basic right of conscience.

Religious persecution is a global scourge.  Many of the worst oppressors are Muslim nations.  Iran, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Bahrain, Iraq, and Egypt are all important international actors.  All also mistreat, or acquiesce in the mistreatment of, anyone not a Muslim.  Some of them even victimize Muslims—of the wrong variety.  (In Syria it is opponents of the government which do most of the persecuting.)

Islamabad is another frequent offender.  The most recent State Department report on religious liberty in Pakistan noted that “The constitution and other laws and policies officially restrict religious freedom and, in practice, the government enforced many of these restrictions.  The government’s respect for and protection of the right to religious freedom continued to be poor.”

Minority faiths face violent attack.  Believers are killed, churches are bombed, buses are attacked, homes are destroyed, social gatherings are targeted.  Warned the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in its recent report:  “In the past year, conditions hit an all-time low due to chronic sectarian violence targeting mostly Shia Muslims but also Christians, Ahmadis, and Hindus.”  Last year the Commission cited a spike in violence against Shiites as well as “numerous attacks against innocent Pakistanis” of other religions.

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