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Pakistan Was Built On Blood: A Generations Lost Dreams Of Freedom (Part 1)

MILLENNIUM PHOTO: FREEDOM MOVEMENT, HISTORY'S BIGGEST MIGRATION. TRAIN LOADED TO CAPACITY, INDIA PAKISTAN PARTITION.. ISSUED BY DIRECTORATE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS, EAST PUNJAB. Photo: en.wikipedia.org

MILLENNIUM PHOTO: FREEDOM MOVEMENT, HISTORY’S BIGGEST MIGRATION. TRAIN LOADED TO CAPACITY, INDIA PAKISTAN PARTITION.. ISSUED BY DIRECTORATE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS, EAST PUNJAB. Photo: en.wikipedia.org

“My Roots Are Strong In Pakistan.  Although they have issued a fatwa against me, I still belong to that family who has only served Lord God from both my Mother and Father’s side.”

(Voice of the Persecuted) As we listened intently to a Pakistani Christian fleeing from extreme persecution, we couldn’t help but hear the pain, sorrow, and longing to return to their roots.  Roots that helped to establish a country.  A generation that not only witnessed but helped to establish a Country.  These are the ones that the UN and the world has labeled ‘economic refugees’ portraying them as only wanting a better economic opportunity.  We’ve heard from many how they come from a high ‘caste’, are well educated, held prominent positions, were financially stable, yet targeted by hatred for death and persecution simply because they refused to denounce their belief in Christ.  They were targeted because the Muslim population thought it unfair that infidels, lowly Christians, should be allowed any kind of prosperity and respect.  Included are Christians bound and lost in the brick kiln labor program. Generations of families trapped in illegal slavery making it impossible to improve their lives. They are so poor, poverty has left their children unable to receive an education, because they must work to help bring food to the table.  The Islamic Government of Pakistan holds them in low esteem, mere slaves unworthy and offer them no protection.

But there is much more, so much more to this story and it begins with the forming of a country.  Beliefs and longing for freedom much like that of our forefathers had when America was formed.

Listening to the description of the rich history of pastors and Christians acquainted with the founders of Pakistan, it will leave you with feelings of pride and of sorrow.  Sorrow for what it has become today. People facing the same persecution that was shown to Hindu’s and Sikh’s in the countries beginnings.

This will be the first in a series of the stories from Christians who witnessed the birth of Pakistan and it’s  cultural/political evolution over time.

An elderly woman recalled as a young girl of about 7 years, she watched Muslims behead Hindu’s and Sikh’s, but spared the lives of Christian.  Her family helped by protecting and hiding them. They put crosses around their necks so they would go undetected and appear as they belonged in the Christian community. While listening to the story unfold, a distinct picture of Corrie Ten Boom came to mind. Transporting them to safety. This Pakistani Christian’s family had formed a underground railway for those at risk as seen in WWII during the Holocaust. She describes the family’s journey in small boats to reach the center of what is now Pakistan.  It took them 5 years to reach their final destination, a community where they would settle, dream of their future and build their lives. She describes the partitioning of a country that took 10 years. To this day, she still suffers anguish as she remembers the scenes of horror so long ago.

The people elected a leader to direct them in the path of freedom.  For a time, Pakistan grew strong, even adopted a Constitution that called for religious freedom for all citizens.  But as time went on, Pakistan took a wicked turn that took control. Pakistan instituted an Islamic law that oppressed minorities. Today, Christians have become targets much like the Hindu’s and Sikh’s who needed protection at the birth of the nation.  The woman lamented, “Pakistan was built on blood, I saw it with her own eyes.”  How horrible these atrocities will once again be seared into the minds of today’s youth, as in this woman’s case.

Mohammed Al Jinnah was Pakistan’s first Governor and founder.

Mohammed Al Jinnah, Pakistan’s first Governor and founder.

Mohammed Al Jinnah, Pakistan’s first Governor and founder.

“Jinnah’s legacy is Pakistan. According to Mohiuddin, “He was and continues to be as highly honored in Pakistan as [first US president] George Washington is in the United States … Pakistan owes its very existence to his drive, tenacity, and judgment …

Jinnah’s importance in the creation of Pakistan was monumental and immeasurable.” Stanley Wolpert, giving a speech in honour of Jinnah in 1998, deemed him Pakistan’s greatest leader.

According to Singh, “With Jinnah’s death Pakistan lost its moorings. In India there will not easily arrive another Gandhi, nor in Pakistan another Jinnah.” Malik writes, “As long as Jinnah was alive, he could persuade and even pressure regional leaders toward greater mutual accommodation, but after his death, the lack of consensus on the distribution of political power and economic resources often turned controversial.” According to Mohiuddin, “Jinnah’s death deprived Pakistan of a leader who could have enhanced stability and democratic governance … The rocky road to democracy in Pakistan and the relatively smooth one in India can in some measure be ascribed to Pakistan’s tragedy of losing an incorruptible and highly revered leader so soon after independence.”

Recorded in history, “the partition of India and the formation of the state of Pakistan on 14 August 1947, occurred against a backdrop of widespread violence between Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs, and a vast movement of populations between the new states of Pakistan and India in which hundreds of thousands died.”

It has also been said that “It is possible that Mohammed Ali Jinnah, leader of the Muslim League, simply wished to use the demand for a separate state as a bargaining chip to win greater power for Muslims within a loosely federated India. Certainly, the idea of ‘Pakistan’ was not thought of until the late 1930s.”

Pakistani’s are are proud of their country, they are proud of their heritage.  Jinnah’s moderate, secular form of Islam died with him.  There was even an argument heard by the courts in Pakistan after Jinnah’s death that he was Shiite, but the courts ruled he was neither Shiite or Sunni only Muslim.  It seems the dream of a state for Muslims without sectarian divides died with Jinnah. What has evolved over the years is a state governed by Sharia law and greatly influenced by religious leaders. Leaders who’ve endorsed, even instigated unfair treatment, hate crimes and persecution of religious minorities.  At least that’s the opinion many have formed after considering the facts.  It’s sad really, as a whole generation who dreamed of a peaceful existence between neighbors whether they be Hindu, Sikh, or Christian has been lost.  Too many have been forced to flee their beloved Pakistan…never to return again.  The sorrow this thought brings is almost too much for them to bear.  For they know if they returned, they will be killed.

We could fill volumes with their words. So many memories, so many dreams lost.

Our most heartfelt thanks to all to our Pakistani Christians brothers and sisters who’ve shared for this series and for the love of their homeland, their country, Pakistan.

Voice of the Persecuted

Credit also to BBC History, Wikipedia, Miriam Websters Dictionary

Case in Malaysia Could Decide if Sharia Supersedes Constitution

Penang-Malaysia

(Morning Star News) – A case involving the constitutional position of sharia (Islamic law) courts in the Malaysian legal system could strengthen the power of the courts to block Malay conversions from Islam.

In the potentially landmark case, that had been scheduled to be heard today, the Federal Territory Islamic Council claims that sharia courts are separate from and not subject to Malaysia’s federal court system.

Malaysia has two legal systems: the sharia courts and the federal courts. The sharia courts settle family matters (such as divorces), inheritance questions and violations of the pillars of Islam. These courts can impose limited punishments (six months’ imprisonment and fines up to about $1,300). They apply exclusively to Muslims – only Muslims can bring cases to these courts, and until 2006 only Muslims testified in them.

A Christian lawyer, Victoria Martin, noticed that it was difficult to resolve interfaith disputes in sharia courts, so she obtained a diploma in sharia from the International Islamic University Malaysia. In August 2009, she applied to the Federal Territory Islamic Council (Majilis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan, or MAIWP) for permission to practice in sharia court.

Her application was not processed because she was not a Muslim; rule 10 of the Sharia Court Rules Act (1993) states that sharia lawyers must be Muslims. By contrast, Singapore, which has a similar legal heritage, allows non-Muslims to practice in sharia courts.

In October 2009, Martin sued in Malaysian court requesting a judicial review of the rejection of her application. She lost, but later she won on appeal. The appeals court cited section 59(1) of the Sharia Court Rules Act (1993), which states that anyone with “sufficient knowledge of Islamic law” may be an advocate (attorney) in sharia courts.

Both the Malaysian Attorney General and the MAIWP have challenged Martin’s argument that her constitutional rights have been denied. Their case was due to be heard in the Malaysian Federal Court on Aug. 13, pitting constitutional rights against sharia. The ruling was expected to be delayed, however, over political issues.

The Islamic Council holds that because Islamic law always prioritizes the rights of the community over those of an individual, such laws should not be subject to freedoms that are part of the Malaysian Federal Constitution.

A decision for Martin would affirm the supremacy of the Federal Constitution. A decision against her, however, would mean that Islamic laws supersede federal laws. This would place the sharia courts beyond the reach of the federal courts.

If the position of the sharia courts is beyond review of federal courts, Malaysia’s 15 million ethnic Malays would be affected immediately, because all Malays are defined in the Constitution (Article 160) as Muslims. As “sons of the soil” (bumiputeras), they are given special affirmative action types of privileges.

One consequence of bumiputera status is that it is not possible for a Malay to convert to any other religion without changing ethnic status. Only sharia courts can change a person’s religious (and ethnic) status. A decision against Martin in the case thus would strengthen the sharia courts’ power to impede Malays converting to other faiths.

In short, the Martin case will be critical in defining the position of the sharia courts with respect to the federal court system. The placement of one system over the other will rest on the decision.

Christians Threaten to Quit Egypt Charter Panel

copts-egypt

Christians on a committee rewriting Egypt’s constitution threatened to walk out Thursday after disputes over portions dealing with Islamic law.

Egypt’s ultraconservative Al-Nour party — which has one member in the 50-person panel — has been pushing for adding an article defining Islamic, or Shariah, law, which critics warn could allow for stricter interpretations of what Shariah is later.

Under ousted President Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist-dominated panel pushed through a constitution that strengthened the role of Islamic law. The military suspended the constitution after the popularly backed July 3 coup. Now the panel is rewriting portions of it to offer to voters in a referendum.

Secularists, liberals and leftist politicians dominate the new panel. However, representatives of Christian churches say it’s difficult to remove contention items, like the Islamic law portion, even with just one Islamist on the panel.

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