Sunday, 29 May 2016

CII curtail women’s right

CII curtail women’s right
CII allowed men to beat women
Few days back, Islamic constitutional body, Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has proposed its own women protection bill, recommending ‘a light beating’ for the wife if she defies the husband. This recommendations spark outrage though the CII chairman soften the tone stating ‘violence’ is not permissible in Islam. As he believes that light beating does not mean violence.
Earlier CII rejected Punjab’s controversial Protection of Women against Violence Act (PPWA) terming it un-Islamic and drafted its own bill and will now forward to the Punjab Assembly. However the parliament is not bound to consider its recommendations. The 20-members CII proposed that a husband should be allowed to ‘lightly’ beat his wife if she defies his commands and refuse to dress up as per his desires; turns down demand of intercourse without any religious excuse or does not take bath after intercourse or menstrual periods. The bill also suggested that beating is also permissible if a woman does not observe Hijab; interacts with strangers; speaks loud enough that she can easily be heard by strangers; and provides monetary support to people without taking consent of her spouse.
In a bill of 163-pages there are several bans on women like ban on co-education after primary educations, ban on women from taking part in military combat, ban on welcoming foreign delegations, interacting with males and making recreational visits with ‘Na-Mehram’ (not known), female nurses should not be allowed to take care of male patients and women should be banned from working in advertisements etc….. The CII is a powerful body because of its influence on political system in Pakistan. It advises Pakistani legislature whether laws are in line with the teachings of Islam.      
I don’t know for how long blasphemy laws allow me to speak about Islam or its teaching, but let me tell you; there is difference between women, children and minorities rights and Islamic permission. There are no equal rights for women and other minorities residing in a nation in which the Quran and Sharia Law define culture and society and its rule of law. Women rights given in Islam are the same as recommended by CII. Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iran are clear examples and so much so Pakistan is another Sunni dominated Islamic country inspired by Saudi Arabia.
A Muslim apologist usually says that Islam is religion of peace and provide the rights for women, children and for the people of the Book like Christian and Jews. The Council must have given Islamic references in support of these recommendations. And I am giving few quotes from Quran about how Islam deal with other minorities, which one of my US friends quoted.   
Quotes of Quran from “The Quran and Christianity” (6/23/16):
In the Quran, Christians are generally referred to as “people of the book” and then in the various suras and ayahs (or chapters and verses) a number of references are made. In 2:120, “Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you till you follow their religion. Say: ‘Verily, Islamic Guidance is the only Guidance. And if you were to follow their desires after what you have received of Knowledge, then you would have against Allah neither any protector nor helper.”

In 3:56: “As to those who disbelieve, I will punish them with a severe torment in this world and in the Hereafter, and they will have no helpers." In 3:85: “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.” In 3:118: “O you who believe! Take not as your helpers or friends those outside your religion since they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you. They desire to harm you severely. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far worse. Indeed we have made plain to you the verses if you understand.”

3:178 states: “And let not the disbelievers think that our postponing of their punishment is good for them. We postpone the punishment only so that they may increase in sinfulness. And for them is a disgracing torment”. Hardly encouraging for the basis for a peaceful co-existence and a comfortable pluralism

Muslim love of the Quran that tells them to physically coerce non-Muslims through humiliation to convert or to kill them if they insult Islam or its prophet Mohammad is a dooms day promise toward Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan.
CII recommendations could rightly be according to Islam but legislature is not bound to obey it. Religions is one’s own dealing with his creator but State deals with every individual’s matter and have to protect every citizen. Today, anyone can construct mosque, synagogue or temple in US or any Christian majority country and can worship according to his faith but not in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Even if someone says that constitution of Pakistan protect the rights of minorities but on ground situation is totally different, Jews cannot even proclaim their faith in Pakistan. And we are witness to the number of attacks on churches and temples and on minorities in the country.         
Decades back, Christian majority countries have separated Church from the State matters. First amendment to the United States Constitution includes a clause that calls for the separation of church and state. Many people now espouse the belief that American government was designed to include “an impenetrable wall” separating church and state. Reason would have been same the domination of religious leadership supervision over the state matters. One should learn a lesson from the history, and may be tomorrow we will come up with the conclusion to do so, if we want to survive.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Join hands to save the lives of Pakistani Christians Way out to long sufferings

Join hands to save the lives of Pakistani Christians
Way out to long sufferings

Islamabad: 7 And the Lord said:  “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. 9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10. Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” (Exodus 1:7-10)

The world has seen surly seen the oppression of Christians living in Pakistan. Since Zia’s regime, there are more than 1400 blasphemy cases registered and thousands of the Christians girls have faced force conversions and huge numbers of persecution cases were registered against religious minorities. According to the sources more than sixty people accused of blasphemy were killed before their respective trails were over though the death sentence has never been implemented.
Infect before partition of Indo-Pak, this section was introduce in 1860 and was meant to prevent religious violence. Prior to 1986, only 14 cases pertaining to blasphemy were reported. But later it is being used to settle personal secures. And thus minorities of the country have been facing persecution under this unsympathetic blasphemy law.

To me persecution of Pakistani Christians is aligned with other issues as well like poverty. There are different options to get rid of long sufferings. Being an optimistic, here are few recommendations, and I feel this is workable and can minimize the level of persecution. Major portion of this marginalized community lives in outskirts under below poverty line. Ninety percent of poor girls work as maid and thus become victim of domestic violence or being rapped and thus being forcefully married and are asked to convert to Islam. Major portion of youth is unemployed or work as laborer with low salary or bounded labor. Practically speaking, any Christian working under Muslim bosses face discrimination in/on regular bases. Even Isfan Yar Bhandara (minority parliamentarian) confessed that minority parliamentarian receive discriminatory development funds in the lower house.

Education is the first and foremost priority, go to school is right of every child and to ensure the provision of education facility can fix the problem. Church based institutions and other buildings can be used to educate the Christian community. Big donor agencies can take this initiative and I assure you after fifteen years, things would miraculously change. Drop out ratio has gone to higher ever since because standard of the public school education cannot meet the required result and education at private sector is much expensive.     

So provision of better employment opportunities to the marginalized segment of society is the only solution for better future. There are number of measures one can take to save the skin. For example; providing small loans in establishing their own businesses in livestock, petty trading, agriculture, stitching, embroidery, handicrafts and small scale rural manufacturing can raise living standard of the poor population. This will help them start earning on their own instead of relying continuously on cash grants by some donor agencies/church based organizations. Any interest free loan scheme can alleviate unemployment and poverty from this marginalized segment.

There may be some organizations working on the same issues but we need to take as a challenge and start working at broader level. Otherwise there are number of options youth can chose at their own, that may be destructive not constructive. So I suggest constructive measures can save Pakistani Christians as sense of deprivation is prevailing among the Christian youth in Pakistan. And its alarming situation.