Minority Concern Pakistan receives the Titus Brandsma Award
The award from the International Christian Organisation of Media for its courageous work in defending "fundamental rights as the basis for fruitful dialogue". Founder and director Mughal: "We will continue to fight for the abolition of the blasphemy law and the removal of hate material against minorities in school textbooks".
Lahore (AsiaNews) - The magazine Minority Concern Pakistan has been awarded the Titus Brandsma International Prize for the promotion of dialogue promoted by the Geneva-based International Christian Organisation of Media (Icom) in collaboration with the Dutch Carmelite Province.
The International Titus Brandsma Prize for the Promotion of Dialogue aims to highlight initiatives to uphold human dignity, heal wounds and promote dialogue in all circumstances through the media. The award was established in memory of Titus Brandsma (1881-1942), a Dutch Carmelite and journalist who died a martyr to the Nazis at Dachau and was proclaimed a saint by Pope Francis last May.
Minority Concern Pakistan is a quarterly magazine published since 2006. It covers news about religious minorities and religious freedom in the country, generally absent from Pakistan's national media.
Aftab Alexander Mughal, a Pakistani Christian journalist currently living in the United Kingdom, is its founder and the editor of the magazine. In the motivation for the award, Icom emphasises that the magazine does not hesitate to take risks 'to ensure fundamental rights such as freedom, respect and concern for the other as the basis for a fruitful dialogue that can enlighten people and thus lead to the well-being and common good of all'.
Minority Concern Pakistan's articles and its weekly webinars are a tool to promote dialogue between minority (non-Muslim) and majority (Muslim) communities to uphold equality, peaceful coexistence, social justice and human dignity. It is also used to lobby parliamentarians, politicians and civil society to promote the rights of Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Ahmadis according to international standards and treaties.
Mughal commented to AsiaNews on this recognition: 'We believe in professional journalism, freedom of individuals and communities, freedom of the media and freedom of expression. Through the magazine, we fight for equal rights for religious minorities in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, in particular for the repeal of blasphemy laws and the removal of hate material against minorities from school textbooks and the national media. The award will reinforce our commitment to value-based journalism for the rights of disadvantaged sections of society in Pakistan'.