» 08/10/2013, 00.00
Faisalabad: Christians and Muslims together to combat human rights violations
Thwarting attacks against minorities and defending most vulnerable targets set as main aims of interfaith group. And again, to curb abuses arising from the blasphemy laws and settle disputes or abuse "before they degenerate." A public meeting in Faisalabad has laid down the guidelines for the birth of a new inter-confessional network.
(AsiaNews) - A network of "Christian and Muslim" activists to monitor
human rights violations, respect for freedom of expression and association, attacks
against religious minorities and vulnerable groups, to create a "harmonious
and peaceful" society.
This is the objective that emerged during the meeting sponsored by the Human Rights Defenders (HRDS) and by the
activists of the Association of Women for
Awareness and Motivation (Awam) in recent days in Faisalabad, Punjab. The
event was attended by over 50 experts in the field, including aid workers,
religious leaders, journalists, politicians, lawyers and leaders of youth
movements of different schools of thought.
the future, this network of activists will be tasked with foiling pre-emptive
attacks against communities or individuals (such as the past events in Gojra,
where the Christian minority was attacked over an alleged case of blasphemy), to
guarantee the right to free expression and assembly, as well as worship. And
it is precisely the "black law" - which punishes with death or life
imprisonment those who desecrate the name of Muhammad or profane the Koran - to
which Naveed Walter refers: "the blasphemy law - he explains - affects
Christians and Muslims, who become
the target of false accusations. The law is often abused to target rivals,
opponents or settle personal vendettas. "
Anthony, a Christian activist, told
AsiaNews "It is pertinent for the human rights defenders to act as
arbitrators to mitigate the life threats and control the mob attacks to reduce
damages through early warning system mechanism, and mobilize local influential
to help resolve the conflicts peacefully before they escalates".
Christian activist Shazia George, who wants more dialogue and cooperation with
that peaceful and tolerant part of the Muslim world in Pakistan, intends to
fight "against religious extremism and political parties that foment
words are echoed by Suneel Malik, for whom "religious intolerance is far
more dangerous and deadly to human civilization than the atomic bomb."
activists have also denounced fundamentalism. The
journalist Jahangir Ashfar confirmed that "the religious leaders play a
crucial role in promoting harmony in society and respect for diversity,
avoiding sermons that incite hatred and insult the followers of another
view was shared by his colleague, also a Muslim, Iftikhar Ahmed for whom
"human life is precious, so no community should be pursued for the faults
of one individual. It is the task of the activists to resolve tense situations
in a peaceful manner, preserving the lives of innocent citizens. "
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Arshed Masih, a 38 year-old Pakistani Christian, died yesterday evening at 7.45 from his very serious injuries. The family requests that an autopsy is performed before the funeral. Christian associations and human rights activists demonstrate outside the hospital. Catholic leaders: the federal and provincial government do not punish the guilty.
Faisalabad, a Christian tortured and detained on false charges of blasphemy
He is accused of having burned pages of the Koran. Charges invented by Muslims in the area, envious of the successful business done by the shop owned by the couple. Director of the Commission for Interreligious Dialogue warns of a "wave of anti-Christian extremism" in the country.
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