An Indian Muslim brother on " Pakistan minorities"<br>Mr.Ibrahim. India


Dear Editor, I am an Indian Muslim; I more than anyone know what it is like to be a religious minority especially surrounded by persecution. However inside Pakistan there is no organized persecution of Christians, and Hindus etc. as it is in India

The recent success of the MMA in the elections has nothing to do with Christians at all. Their gains were made on the opposition to the war in Afghanistan and the presence of foreign troops in Pakistan. No country in the world, certainly not the United States, would allow foreign troops into their country. That is why they had such huge popular gains, where as in the past the MMA were only able to bag not more than two seats in past elections. And look where they had a huge success? In NWFP which is right on the border in Afghanistan. I mean if things are so bad in Pakistan, then you are more than welcome to cross the border and temples to idol worship on every street corner can surround you.

Islam and Christianity are very similar, we both share the same prophets, we both river Jesus, we both have the same similar stories of the great previous prophets. You wont find any similarities with Hindus at all and look at what the BJP is doing there? They are purposefully targeting Christians and Muslims in India. They send out their RSS goondas to bomb Christian churches and even vandalized a cemetery that is both shared by Muslims and Christians. In India Muslims and Christians live in peace and harmony. I once visited a village where the Muslims, the put up a fence to demarcate themselves from the Hindus. But when all the Hindus left the village and the only people left were Christians, the fence was taken down.

Especially now with Sonia Gandhi an Italian catholic at the helm, the BJP and their brand of fanatical Hindus are specifically targeting Christians. While Nazir Bhatti will lead demo's about the killing of priests in Pakistan, such acts while we condemn them are committed by a small band of extremists, or not even that just a small band of bigots. In India you have the government blessing by a fundamentalist govt ruling that specifically organizes attacks on Christian priests, raping nuns, forcing them to drink urine, and they do this when it is election time to hype up a population and garner more votes. Have you ever seen any Muslim politician or any Muslim party, or even the MMA ever commit such acts just to win votes in Pakistan? No there have never been any such cases like this and look at what happened in Gujarat.

First they burn down churches there, then the RSS, which is an arm of the Indian government, massacres Christian priests, and then commits their nazi like pogroms on Muslims to force them across the border. Has anyone in Pakistan ever committed such acts in Pakistan to force Christians across the border in the manner that Muslims in Gujarat faced at the hands of the Hindu fanatics of the RSS? Has any Muslim leader ever lead demonstrations to demolish any church like LK Advani did to the Babri Masjid? While you may complain that Pakistan is an Islamic country, so what? For centuries it was Muslims who showed the way to the world in what tolerance is. In our lands Jews and Christians flourished, while Christians in the dark ages of Europe showed no such consideration given the Spanish inquisition where you were forced to convert or die.

In fact because of Islam, technological advances occurred, while in Europe because of the domination of the church and only when the yoke of the church was squashed in the renainassance did only then did a secular Europe began to prosper. What about the fundamentalist Christians from America that many Christians in India and Pakistan have been aligning themselves with? Its one thing to have your church denomination but why takes in fanatical bigots like Pat Robertson with open arms? These missionaries only harm the interests of your native community they do not help it and in Islam, Christians and Jews are the people of the book who are near and dear to us.
The Prophet Muhammad made his treaties with the Christians 1,400 years ago and even one of his wives was a Christian, and the sister of the Coptic Christian king of Egypt. During the crusades, it was native Christians in Palestine who sided with the Muslims against the butcher crusaders who in turned massacred their own Christian brethren. And look at Iraq? The prime minister of Iraq, Mr. Tariq Aziz is himself a CHRISTIAN! Why is it that there has been no mention of this on your website? However I noticed you mentioned Lebanon.

Lebanon did have a civil war that was costly to both sides and that was fought because the Christian minority dominated the power where they always held the presidency within the constitution. Those issues of the past have now been resolved, as Israel stands as the biggest threat to Lebanon. and even after the 1996 Qana massacre of Palestinian refugees, Lebanese Christians even began to support Hezbullah! In their fight against Zionist occupation of Lebanon. and look at the Palestinians! Yasser Arafat's wife is herself a Christian! not only that, every year Yasser Arafat attends the Christmas services in Bethlehem. and yet look what has happened in the past two years? The Sharon fanatics have prevented him from attending the Christmas services there, and even said they would arrest him if he tried to! and Arafat even threatened to walk to Bethlehem if he had to just to attend those Christmas services. and I say these things not to argue or to fight, but I want to Christians of Pakistan to know that in my belief, that since most Christians there are converted from Sikhs and Hindus, I think it is much better that they converted to Christianity rather than live their lives in idolatry. And only one has to look over the border to India to see what real persecution is, and not local ignorant bigots who themselves are prejudice against everyone.

I noticed that one here demanded a separate Christian province in Pakistan. Tell me Mr. Nazir Bhatti, would you institute Biblical law, like they do in the southern United States, if you had your own Christian province? and by demanding such a thing, are you not simply planting the seeds to a Lebanon-like civil war? While I stand for the rights of minorities to be free from persecution under the law, just what exactly do you have in mind with a separate Christian province? Given the history of the dark ages and the yoke of the church over its parishioners, would it be a wise thing to do? Like I said, if Christians don't like it in Pakistan, they are more than welcome to cross the border and face the organized wrath of the hindutva sangh parivar of the BJP, RSS, shiv sena, and the vhp who have specifically targeted Christians in a hate campaign. No Muslim ever done such a thing in Pakistan, and we never will to the ahl - e - kitaba, or the people of the book.

Mr.Ibrahim. India

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