Islamabad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Pakistan has banned the translation of Islamic words and Arabic names into English. Local media report that on June 4 last, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved a document that prohibits the translation of words such as Allah (God), Masjid (mosque), Sala't (prayer) and Rasool (the Prophet) . Many Muslim leaders have welcomed the move, but it has drawn criticism from several activists.
According to Nasir Saeed, director of the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS-UK), it is difficult to predict what kind of impact this decision will have on Pakistani society. "Taking into account the current situation – he says - where extremism, fundamentalism and hatred against Christians and other religious minorities is on the rise, there is a chance that this policy can have a negative effect, especially on the lives of non-Muslims."
"It is curious - he added - that this was done one day before the anniversary of the coup of General Zia in 1977, who deposed the elected Prime Minister and began a Islamization of the country and its laws, pushing Pakistan into darkness ".