Lahore interfaith leader slams hate campaign against minorities (videos)

Samson Salamat, president of Rwadari Tehreek, reacts to an Islamic leader who attacked Christians, calling them the worst infidels in the world. Instead, Salamat stresses the religious pluralism defended by Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The activist calls for Prime Minister Imran Khan to act.

Lahore (AsiaNews) – The leader of an interfaith group has spoken out against a hate campaign that has targeted Pakistan’s religious minorities.

In a video that went viral, an Islamic cleric, Qazi Mehmood Qadri Awani (Video 1), claims that Christians are the worst kafir (infidels) in the world, and that they should be expelled from the country and sent to the United States where they can “shine” President Donald Trump’s shoes.

In a reply video message, Samson Salamat (video 2), president of Rwadari Tehreek, urges Qadri to keep quiet, reminding him that Christians are as much Pakistani citizens as Muslims.

"We were alwasy there to support Mohammad Ali Jinnah [Pakistan’s founder) whilst people like Qadri oppose his vision of a pluralist Pakistani state. For this reason, they spread hatred towards minorities.”

For Salamat, the government must stop the merchants of hate and bring them to justice in accordance with the law. Only this way, can Pakistanis live in a peaceful country where all religions have equal dignity.

In an open letter, Salamat also urges Prime Minister Imran Khan to take steps to stop the violent opposition by extreme right-wing Islamic groups to the construction of a new Hindu temple in Islamabad.

In the activist’s view, political and religious leaders fuelling religious violence with their words are a serious matter.

In addition to calling for a ban of the cleric’s show, Salamat slams a song full of hatred towards the Hindu community.

Released by Smile Media, the song’s video uses images of the Armed Forces, which according to the president of Rwadari Tehreek harms the image of the country.