Friday, September 14, 2007

Religious Freedoms in Pakistan

US sees serious religious freedom problems in Pakistan
Daily Times, September 15, 2007

WASHINGTON: The US State Department’s annual report on religious freedoms around the world notes “continued deterioration of the extremely poor status of respect for religious freedom” in Iran and highlights “serious problems” in Pakistan.

‘Report on International Religious Freedom’ published on Friday warns that religious freedom conditions have worsened in insurgency-wracked Iraq as well as Egypt, while communist China has embarked on a crackdown on foreign missionaries ahead of the Olympics. Religious freedom is “integral to our efforts to combat the ideology of hatred and religious intolerance that fuels global terrorism,” said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as she launched the 800-page report in Washington.

Amid intra-sectarian Muslim violence, religious worship conditions “deteriorated” over the past year in Iraq with the ongoing insurgency “significantly” harming the ability of people to practice their faith, according to the report.

“Many individuals from various religious groups were targeted because of their religious identity or their secular leanings,” the report said of the situation in Iraq where US troops are facing an uphill battle to restore order.

In Egypt, a key US ally, respect for religious freedom has “declined”, the report said, citing particularly a court ruling this year that reinstated a policy not to provide a legal means for converts from Islam to Christianity to amend their civil records. “There are cases where converts have been held and sometimes received physical abuse,” US special envoy for international religious freedom John Hanford told a briefing.

One convert released after 25 months has his life now “under threat,” he pointed out.

The report also highlighted religious repression in China, which reportedly expelled more than 100 foreign missionaries in the spring of 2007 in what some groups alleged was a “government-initiated” campaign to tighten control on Christian house churches ahead of the Olympics next year.

There were also “credible reports of deaths due to torture and abuse” involving practitioners of the Falun Gong spiritual sect who “continued to face arrest, detention and imprisonment.” Beijing is imposing “extremely harsh treatment” on those determined to have religious contact in China, Hanford lamented.

The report transmitted to Congress on Friday, is a precursor to the announcement each year of a blacklist of countries “of particular concern” that are subject to US sanctions for religious repression.

Iran headed last year’s list alongside China, Eritrea, Myanmar, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan. afp

8 comments:

Haris said...

US sees serious religious freedom problems in Pakistan

Hmmmmmmm.....so, profiling of Muslim males living in the US, entering or leaving the US doesn't constitute religious freedom problems......bhai, apnay garaban may tow ghank loow?

Anonymous said...

Not as much as killing non-Muslims as they do in Muslims countries.

However even profiling is something Muslims and specially Pakistanis are extremely good at. Every Pakistani official paper has a box for religion but not only that you need to fill a statement which is not only unethical wrong from a profiling perspective bit is also quite derogatory to the sect concerned. However this does not seem to cause any discomfort to Pakistanis in general. Therefore to my mind, and at least as far as Pakistanis are concerned, this profiling of theirs in US is a case of "what goes around comes around".

Anonymous said...

PS: "bhai, apnay garaban may tow ghank loow?!" to you too.

Haris said...

My comment was directed towards the US State Dept. Not you or anyone else!

Anonymous said...

Yes, but when Pakistanis are doing much worst and for much longer in terms of profiling then how can they complain to others? That was my point.

At least US is doing it for somewhat legitimate security reasons while Pakistanis are only doing it out of religious prejudice and intolerance.

Haris said...

Oh, Pakistanis are profiling for a long time while no one else does it???? You need to wake up and smell the coffee! Can you name one country which doesn’t profile people on their religious affiliation?

There is religious extremism and prejudice in every known religion in every country. The biggest and largest democracies have deep rooted religious intolerance against their own citizens.
You are making every effort to malign Pakistan with your definition of religious extremism.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, Pakistanis are profiling for a long time while no one else does it???? You need to wake up and smell the coffee! Can you name one country which doesn’t profile people on their religious affiliation?"

So what is the problem? Why are you so upset at US profiling and singling them out for condemnation? However I don’t know any other country that allows a derogatory statement like the one Pakistan allows on its official form. How would Muslims feel if the US passport application (and other official forms) had a statement for everyone to sign like “I consider Muhammad to be an Impostor prophet…”and so on and so forth? Even US and other countries draw a line when profiling and do not directly insult Muslims to this degree…unlike Pakistan.

“There is religious extremism and prejudice in every known religion in every country. The biggest and largest democracies have deep rooted religious intolerance against their own citizens.”

Really? Do you see Muslims having their religion banned in US like Pakistanis do in their country? Pakistanis are still the champions when it comes to religious prejudice and extremism.

“You are making every effort to malign Pakistan with your definition of religious extremism.”

No sir, it’s you Pakistanis who malign your own country by what you do.

Haris said...

Let see, your country is not prejudicial against Kashmire when they apply for passports or how about Assamis? Why does in any application US they ask about one's ethnicity and race?

Aside from this, you are pretty hateful person and your hate is clearly directed towards people of Pakistan and the country Pakistan