Christian Leaders Condemned The Demand Of Islamic Party To Ban The Bible In Pakistan

By Aftab Alexander Mughal

Christian leaders strongly condemned the demand to ban the Holy Bible by a radical Islamic party Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islam (Samiul Haq Group). The party has launched a campaign asking to ban the circulation of the Bible, described as a “pornographic” and “blasphemous book.”

Church of Pakistan Bishop Dr. Alexander John Malik of Lahore strongly reacted in a press statement to the demand and said that agreeing to such a demand would be interfering in the religious matters of the Christian religion and violation of religious freedom fully guaranteed by the constitution. According to The News, the Bishop further said that the demand is sowing seeds of discord among different communities.

During a press conference in Karachi, the largest city of Pakistan, on May 30, Maulana Abdul Rauf Farooqi and other clerics of Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islam quoted “immoral Biblical stories” and demanded to ban the Bible. Maulana Farooqi said, “Our lawyers are preparing to ask the court to ban the book.”

Bruce Bhatti, a Christian human rights activist from Lahore, told Minorities Concern of Pakistan, “It is a dangerous move, and this demand is based on hate. It is totally against the human values and will further promote religious intolerance in the country where Christians have been persecuted because of their faith.”

Catholic priest Father James Channan OP, regional coordinator for the United Religious Initiative, termed the clerics’ demand a “strong blow to Christians” in the country. According to the UCA News, the priest said, “It’s a degrading move. We shall defend our manual for life at every level. The supreme court cannot head to such madness.”

Pakistan is an Islamic country where religious minorities make up 3 % (Christians are about 1.5 %) of the total population of the country.

Report by Aftab Alexander Mughal, Editor, Minorities Concern of Pakistan

June 5, 2011

Aftab Alexander Mughal is a Pakistani journalist and a human rights activist. He is the editor of Minorities Concern of Pakistan. He has been awarded the “International Award for Excellence in Journalism 2010” by the UCIP. The award was made at the World Congress held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in September 2010.

Categories: Christian News
Tags: Christians
Aftab Alexander Mughal - Minority Concern of Pakistan :Aftab Alexander Mughal is a Pakistani journalist and a human rights activist. He is the editor of Minorities Concern of Pakistan, an e-magazine, while he also heads the Asia desk of Spero News . For 14 years, he served the “Minority Rights Commission of Pakistan” and “Justice and Peace Commission of Pakistan” as National Director for Research and Publications and an Executive Secretary. From 1985 to 1992, he worked as Youth Director of Catholic Diocese of Multan, Pakistan. Born in 1956 in Muzaffargarh, Southern Punjab of Pakistan, Mughal has worked with many national and international civil society organizations. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science. He has widely travelled and represented Pakistan at regional and international conferences. He has been awarded the "International Award for Excellence in Journalism 2010" by the Union of Catholic International Press (UCIP) whose international office is in Geneva, Switzerland. The award was made at the World Congress, which was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, September 12 -19, 2010. This is Mughal's second award from UCIP. His first one being the "Media in Your Country Award" which he received on the October 20, 1989 in Ruhpolding Germany. Mughal started his career as a journalist in 1979 and edited the monthly magazines "Nishan-e-Rah" and "Mashal." until 1985. Since then he worked as a freelance journalist. His main area of interest is human rights, peace and religious freedom in Pakistan. He also has been contributing to national and international magazines, newspapers and various news agencies and has several books to his credit on minority rights issues including, “Death or Exile” and “From the Ashes of Shantinagar.” Moreover, he is also a co-author of “Section 295 C, Pakistan Penal Code – Study of the History, Effects and Cases under Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan.”