26 November, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile

mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version

» 06/18/2012
Lahore; hundreds of Christians and Muslims rally for Asma Jahangir
by Shafique Khokhar
The well-known human rights activist receives death threats. "I devoted my life to marginalised and oppressed people," Asma Jahangir said, "I will not be deterred." Politicians, religious leaders and members of civil society come out in a show of solidarity. NCJP leaders call on the authorities to guarantee her safety. "[W]e are all with her," Peter Jacob said.

Lahore (AsiaNews) - Church leaders and representatives of Pakistan's Christian community joined the Joint Action Committee for Human Rights in Lahore in a show of solidarity with Asma Jahangir, the well-known human rights activist who has fought for the weak and marginalised in society. In recent days, she received death threats from extremist groups.

Personal attacks against someone with her high and positive profile have generated panic among civil society actors, lawyers and human rights defenders. However, "I devoted my life to marginalised and oppressed people," Asma Jahangir said. "If these threats are intended to make me stay at home, rest assured I will not be deterred."

Before the rally, a conference was held on Friday at the Aiwan-i-Iqbal in Lahore. It drew more than 700 Muslims and Christians, lay people and religious, prominent political leaders and representatives of about 30 civil society organisations and movements including the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) of the Catholic Church as well as the Women Action Forum and the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance.

Fr Emmanuel Yousaf Mani and NCJP Executive Director Peter Jacob condemned the threats, asking the authorities to find out who is behind them and to ensure Jahangir's safety.

Fr Mani gave assurances that the Catholic community would support and pray for her and encourage her "noble cause". The clergyman mentioned her fight for the abolition of the blasphemy law and her action on behalf of the victims of the 'black law'.

Echoing his sentiments, Peter Jacob praised the human rights activist for her "four decades of struggle" in favour of "the rights of all citizens," especially "the marginalised and dispossessed".

"I assure Asma," he added, "that we are all with her and that we will never step back at the time of sacrifices. We are ready to lay down our lives for her."

Alyas Rahmat, a young Christian who is also the director of Chanan Development Association, told AsiaNews, "All of us human rights activists are under threat and we face dozens of challenges."

Asma's case came to the fore because of her "international reputation" as a "courageous woman" devoted to the cause. She is "a model and a source of inspiration" for others.

Balochistan Senator Asif Jonaijo recounted Jahangir's campaign on behalf of missing people in the province and her work in favour of peace and interreligious harmony.

 (Joseph Laldin contributed to the article.)

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy campaign at the UN minorities forum
Pakistan: Unanimous and inter-religious condemnation for the London attack
by Qaiser Felix
03/06/2006 PAKISTAN
Killers of Catholic youth, Javed Anjum, sentenced
by Qaiser Felix
12/22/2005 PAKISTAN
Fanaticism will destroy country, Christian leaders warn Musharraf
10/29/2004 PAKISTAN
Christians and Muslims together to defeat the culture of violence

Editor's choices
Paris Massacre highlights the failure of Muslim integration in Europe
by Catherine FieldThe attack in the heart of France highlights the crisis of Europe’s model of coexistence. Social unrest, poverty and marginalisation feed youth extremism and radicalisation. A New Zealander journalist, expert on expertise in religion and interfaith dialogue, talks about it after undertaking a journey through the French Muslim world.
For Nîmes imam, Islam should not be held hostage by extremists
by Hochine DrouicheFrench imams condemn the Paris terrorist attacks and disassociate themselves from violence committed in "the name of our religion." At the same time, they ask Muslim communities to dare leading a life of dialogue and friendship with Europeans, without fear or arrogance. For centuries, Muslims have ruled out reason from their religious life. The vice president of French imams bears witness.
AsiaNews marks 12 years: Persecution and hope
by Bernardo CervelleraDespite a worldwide increase of ignorance, indifference and superficiality, many signs of love and hope resist even in the most gloomy situations: the Iraqi mother who gives birth to her child in a refugee camp and smiles even though she has nothing; the Indonesian Muslim mother who blesses her son who became a Christian and a priest; the Chinese Christian families that welcome children thrown away because of the one-child law.


Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.