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Nov-15-2012 11:38printcomments

Protecting One of Pakistan's Christian Rights Activists

This is a serious issue and Christian organization working for Pakistani Christians should think on it and should take some solid step to save the lives that are in danger.

Basharat Khokhar
Basharat Khokhar escorting Rimsha to a waiting helicopter

(ISLAMABAD, Pakistan) - The ordinary Pakistani Muslim is utterly devoted to his faith and can brook no disrespect to it, real or imagined.

If the media, or his peers, or banners from trader organizations declare that Islam or the Holy Prophet have been mortally insulted he is not to be blamed if moved to anger.

But how this anger is channelized, how best expressed, or whether indeed disdain is the better part of anger, is for muftis of the faith and political leaders to determine.

They can play to the gallery and whip up popular sentiments or act responsibly. All too often as we never tire of seeing, playing to the gallery is the more tempting, and easier, alternative.

The argument I am making here I write an article about the activist who is seen on TV screens and in the print media protecting the Rimsha’s lawyer and taking her to the helicopter on her release from the jail on September 8. (Rimsha a minor Christian girl was arrested in blasphemy case and spent three weeks in the jail finally was released on bail.)

Basharat Khokhar a Christian constable, has done his duty protecting the Christian council for Rimsha and took her to the safest place after her release has been facing smear threats from the extremists they saying, (and now I am translating from the Urdu)...whoever utters a word of disrespect towards the glory (shaan) of our dear Prophet or disgrace the holy quran, his only punishment is death. Beware; because no one can tolerate a blasphemer... and you are protecting them, will not live with safety in this country.

In an inflamed climate – and who will say ours is normal? – Anything you don’t like or don’t understand can easily be branded as irreligion or blasphemy. And countervailing arguments are so hard to make. Did Salmaan Taseer applaud blasphemy? He only questioned the application of the Zia-engineered blasphemy law. And look at the end he met and the flower petals showered on his assassin.

And same with (late) Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian minister who favored Asia Bibi assassinated.

Now the question is there any protection for the people who are working on persecutions?

A few months back, when few Pakistani Hindu families migrated to India I wrote that Hindus can go to India because India own them, but who own Christian if they are been targeted in Pakistan. There are many applications been rejected in Christian countries for seeking asylum?

This is a serious issue and Christian organization working for Pakistani Christians should think on it and should take some solid steps to save the lives that are in danger.

About Shamim Masih

"I am Christian rights activist and freelancer Pakistani journalist specializing in writing about Christians rights for the different papers in the world. My aim is to create a peaceful environment in the society and to help eliminate Christian persecution through my writing as I bring the plight of these brave people under the spotlight of the whole world."

Shamim Masih was born in Sheikhopura's village and raised in Gujranwala, a city in Pakistan's Punjab province. He earned his Bachelors Degree from the University of the Punjab, Lahore majoring in English, Economics and Statistics; he also received a Masters Degree in Business Administration.

As a freelance writer and author, Shamim has written for different papers in the world; his expertise is in writing articles highlighting different social issues. He has served as freelance chief reporter and column writer in “Minority Times” in Islamabad, and a number of Shamim's articles have been published in local papers as well.

You can write to Shamim at this address: shamimpakistan@gmail.com

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