Pakistan: A Taliban Nation in the Making

by Timothy Tay

When Ali Jinnah decided to break rank with India’s Gandhi and form the new state of Pakistan in 1947 he sought to create a democratic society with freedom of religion guaranteed through constitution and keeping the government secular.

In 1979 the civilian government under Ali Bhutto was replaced by General Zia-ul-Haq who introduced a blasphemy law to appease the muslim radicals in the society.

This law had given grounds to radicals to persecute Christians.

The forgotten Pakistani Christian Martyrs1)Pakistan Christian Post   | www | pdf | The forgotten Pakistani Christian Martyrs. By Nazir Bhatti

Martyr Feroz Masih: 
who was killed by Karachi Police firing in front of Governor House on February 13, 1997, during a peaceful protest procession against Muslim mob attack on a Christian village Shanti Nagar in Punjab province of Pakistan. In clouds of tear gas shelling and police firing on Christian protestors, hundreds became unconscious, dozens were injured while nine received bullet injuries and more than 1,000 were arrested. Feroz Masih was among those nine critical bullet wounded Christian who were rushed to JPMC Hospital where he died with his one hand tightened in police hand cuff to his bed.

Bishop John Joseph: 
who was mysteriously murdered by secret agencies of Pakistan on May 6, 1998, in Sahewal city of Punjab province of Pakistan. Martyr Bishop John Joseph was Catholic Bishop of Faisalabad Dioceses who led rallies and observed hunger strikes against blasphemy laws and raised voice for oppressed Pakistani Christians on International forums. There were gatherings and prayers on anniversary of Martyr Bishop John Joseph organized by Catholic Church of Pakistan and socio-political organizations funded by him up to year 2002. Now years have been passed and none of any organization has bothered to issue any press release on anniversary of Bishop John Joseph.

Nawaz Masih and James Masih:
were first Christian Martyrs of Pakistan who were killed by Police firing in Rawalpindi when police opened fire on peaceful protest procession of Christians against nationalization of missionary Schools, Hospitals and Colleges during ZA Bhutto government in 1972. This protest procession was taken out from Gordon College Rawalpindi and marching towards Governor House to present memorandum against nationalization of Christian institutions. Like Martyr Feroz Masih, Martyr Nawaz Masih and Martyr James Masih were also not Bishops or high profile Christian leaders but common laymen who had love for Christian nation in Pakistan. The families of Nawaz Masih and James Masih were not supported by any Christian political groups or Bishops who had been enjoying benefits of Christian institutions and living like feudal lords. It is very unfortunate that none of any Christian clergy and association have ever celebrated or marked anniversary of our Martyrs.

There are Martyrs of Essa Nagri in Karachi:
who laid their lives defending Christian children and women when Muslim land mafia attacked on this largest Christian colony in Sindh province of Pakistan. These Two Martyrs of Essa Nagri have graves in Awami Church of this colony and people pay homage and offer prayers on their graves. 

We must not forget but honor those Christians with award of “Martyrs” who were killed by extremist Muslim groups on accusations of blasphemy weather they not sacrificed their lives to ensure basic democratic rights through a political process and voiced on streets of Pakistan against regime controlled by Muslim majority.

Let us remember: 
 Tahir: who was killed in Lahore jail awaiting trial of blasphemy, Bantu Masih who was stabbed to death in lockup of Lahore police on blasphemy charges, Manzoor Masih who was gunned down in front of Lahore High Court when coming out after hearing of case under blasphemy, Rashid Brothers who were murdered in Faisalabad Court House when came to face blasphemy charges in police custody and other Christian victims of blasphemy being killed in jails or roads.

Martyrs of Gojra city in Punjab: (seven children, women and elder) 
 It is horrible incident of August 1, 2009, when Muslim mob attacked Christian Town in Gojra city and burnt alive seven children, women and elder.

Shahbaz Bhatti, Federal Minority Minister:
was assassinated on March 2, 2011, in capital city Islamabad. The banned outfit Tehreek Talban Punjab accepted responsibility of killing Shahbaz Bhatti and warned same fate for anyone who comments on blasphemy law. As a federal minority Minister Shahbaz Bhatti has announced to revise blasphemy to prevent its misuse against religious communities which was disliked by extremist Muslim groups in Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Further Reading

Two notable politicians had been murdered this year so far because of their opposition against this legislation:

CIP article : Shahbax Bhatti  | www | Minister in charge of minority interests

CIP article : Salman Taseer  | www | Chief Minister of the leading state of Punjab

Related articles :

  | www | pdf | Pakistan Must Abolish the Blasphemy Law: By Lee Jay Walker

  | www | pdf | Blasphemy law is root cause of violence against Christians. by George Murad

  | www | pdf | Pakistani girl making strides after shooting by Taliban Pakistani girl making strides after shooting by Taliban By Henry Chu • Los Angeles Times

References   [ + ]

1. Pakistan Christian Post   | www | pdf | The forgotten Pakistani Christian Martyrs. By Nazir Bhatti

Assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti

by Timothy Tay

The only Christian in the nation’s parliament, Shahbaz Bhatti, 42, was shot dead in his car as he was driven away after visiting his mother on Wednesday morning.This incident follows a similar slaying of Salman Taseer, a liberal politician who was gunned down in Karachi by one of his guards (read editorial below).

Pakistan’s Taliban and al-Qaeda factions had claimed responsibility for the assassination.

“As a Christian, I believe Jesus is my strength. He has given me a power and wisdom and motivation to serve suffering humanity. I follow the principles of my conscience, and I am ready to die and sacrifice my life for the principles I believe,” said Shahbaz Bhatti, on a recent visit to Canada.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was shocked and outraged by this assassination and Christianity Today reported her saying, “I recently had the opportunity to meet with Minister Bhatti. He was a very impressive, courageous man. He was a patriot. He was a man of great conviction. He cared deeply for Pakistan and he had dedicated his life to helping the least among us.

When I spoke with him, he was well aware of the drumbeat of threats against him. Despite those threats, when the Pakistan Government was recently reshuffled and the cabinet shrunk, he agreed to continue his work as the Minister for Minorities Affairs. And on behalf of the United States, I extend our deepest condolences to his family, his friends, and his colleagues.”

Related Article:

: | www | | : Sprayed with 25 bullets: Pakistan’s only Christian minister executed by Taliban gunman after campaigning for free speech By DAILY MAIL REPORTER . 2 March 2011

Death In The Name Of Allah & His Prophet

by Timothy Tay

Salman Taseer

The shooting of Salman Taseer, the governor of the leading Pakistani province of Punjab, at close range by a police officer who was assigned to protect him, had once again highlighted the extreme violence Muslim extremists will take for Allah and his Prophet.

Salman Taseer had been an outspoken critic of the strict blasphemy law and recently defended a Christian woman convicted of violating the law and sentenced to death.

Even as the killer was brought to court crowds showered him with rose petals and chanting of: “In the service of the Prophet, death is acceptable, Allah Akbar!”

Meanwhile in Egypt a suicide bomber blew himself up just outside a Coptic church in the port city of Alexandria on New Year’s Day that killed 23 people.

Why do Muslim extremists target Christians?

Al Qaeda was cited as the organisation behind the attack. What is clear is that extremists had created widespread unrest between Christian and Muslim Egyptians. But the more basic cause of this extremism is the teachings found in Qur’an and the Hadiths that sanction violence against Jews and Christians as infidels destined for destruction (Qur’an 98:6).

Anyone who befriend them will draw the wrath of Allah (Qur’an 5:51; 5:60).

During the last century the world struggled through the turmoils set off by Farcism, Nazism and Communism. The world wars and cold wars of the last century are now replaced by worldwide terrorism and violent persecution carried out by a far more dominating and uncompromising force. Islam requires its followers to submit fully in all aspects of living and for nations under Islam to comply with the Sharia laws.

After 9/11 air travel is no longer safe. Yet the inconvenience of air travel is nothing in comparison to the threats posed by nations under the influence of extremists, particularly, those with existing or potential nuclear arsenals at their disposals. This inconvenient truth is before us today. Where will all these lead us? Will the world survive the clash of civilisations that appear to oppose and threaten each other’s survival?

Will the moderate Muslims rise to the defence and diffuse the destructive works of the extremists by emphasising the aspects of Qur’an touching on compassion and respect for individual rights? It is a tall order considering that Prophet Mohammad himself resorted to violence in order to gain power, wealth and influence.

Alternately the moderates may direct attention to the coming of the Mahdi, a messianic figure, as one who will fill the world with justice and fairness without resorting to violence to obtain compliance to his beliefs. The truth is that the ultimate solution is not found in man or the makings of man but in God and only through Him alone that peace may reign.

The Qur’an acknowledges the existence of Isa (Jesus) but not His divinity (Qur’an 4:1715:72-75)

‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world’, said Jesus Christ (John 16:33).

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)

Related articles:

C.I.P. | www | pdf | : Shahbaz Bhatti, Martyred Minister

| www | pdf | : My Father died for Pakistan By SHEHRBANO TASEER January 8, 2011

| www | pdf | : Allah’s Laws And Prophet Muhammad’s Holy Tradition Must Stand Supreme By FFI Contributing Editor Dr. Radhasyam Brahmachari

| www | pdf | : Mother of two sentenced to hang for defaming prophet Mohammad

| www | pdf | : Update: Presidential pardon pending but accused woman in danger of Muslim vigilantes: Outcry over death sentence for ‘blasphemy’ mother who offered farmhands water