24 November, 2014 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


» 08/04/2012
PAKISTAN
Ramadan in Pakistan: TV broadcasts conversions to Islam, minorities protests
by Imran Morris
In the month of fasting, a popular show broadcasts the conversion of a 20 year old Hindu. In five minutes he embraces the faith of Mohammed. His former employer: all staged. Protests of Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Ahmadis. The Dawn warns such episodes increase the "marginalization" of minorities.

Lahore (AsiaNews) - Pakistan's religious minorities - including its Christian leaders - have strongly condemned the decision to broadcast the conversion of a young man from Hinduism to Islam. The ceremony was broadcast for Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and prayer for Muslims, on the private ARY Digital channel on 25 July. Although the national media - not just television, but also weekly and daily newspapers - are not new to the publication of material that is "offensive" to other faiths, this is the first time in history that a live conversion of a non- Muslim has been broadcast, what's more, during a popular television show thus rendering one of the most intimate and sacred aspects of the human person, public.

Younas Alam, director of the Commission for the rights of minorities in Pakistan, said that after the recent cases of forced conversions of non-Muslim women, this is "a more direct attack on minorities." Besides, the program legitimized only Islam as a faith, undermining the others.

Sunil, 20-year old Hindu embraced Islam during a prime time show broadcast during Ramadan (pictured). Originally from Karachi, the most populous city in the country, the young man took "only five minutes" to change his religion, under the expert hand of a "Maulvi", a Muslim religious leader.

Although he claims to have converted to the faith of Muhammad of his "own volition", many remain skeptical and do not believe his claims. Ansar Burney, Head of the Ansar Burney Welfare Trust at which Sunil worked for six years, defines the conversion as "staged". And many others speak of a fiction artfully assembled by the presenter and the authors, only to gain a greater audience share.

Several critics have targeted the show, not only guilty of encouraging Islamic extremists in carrying out forced conversions, but also of creating a "hostile environment" around religious minorities, including Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Ahmadis. A transmission branded as "intimidating" and many have raised direct appeals to the government for action against programs that "incite hatred" among religions. In a nation where minorities are already treated as "second class citizens", reads an editorial published by Dawn - the leading English-language Pakistani newspaper - this type of event "only serves to exacerbate conditions of marginalization".

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
03/29/2005 PAKISTAN
Phone companies not allowed to hire women operators in Haripur
by Qaiser Felix
06/14/2006 PAKISTAN
Lahore's only Hindu temple flattened to make way for shopping centre
05/30/2006 PAKISTAN
Around 600 people a year are forcely converted to Islam
by Qaiser Felix
03/23/2005 PAKISTAN
Religion back in passports
12/09/2006 PAKISTAN
Two Christians freed after months of torture by Muslim
by Qaiser Felix

Editor's choices
IRAQ - ITALY
Letter from Archbishop of Mosul: Thank you for your aid, supporting the plight of refugees
by Amel NonaThe donations made through the "Adopt a Christian from Mosul" campaign are used to buy food, warm clothes, blankets for refugees and rent houses or caravans given the early onset of winter and. Two women have defended their Christian faith before the Islamist militants who wanted to convert them, despite the threat of death. A refugee among refugees, Msgr. Nona discovers a new way of being a pastor.
IRAQ - ITALY
Almost 700,000 euros raised as the 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraA second instalment is sent with funds raised in September. The fate of East-West relations is being played out in the Middle East and Iraq. Pope Francis and the Synod issue an appeal. Governments are lukewarm. Aid is coming from around the world. A new international community is defeating the "globalisation of indifference."
IRAQ-VATICAN
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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.