Thursday, May 17, 2007

Christophobia in Pakistan

This week, representatives of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) met in Islamabad, Pakistan in order to discuss ways of "countering discrimination and intolerance against Muslims and defamation of Islam". The Arab News summarizes the proceedings to date:

Foreign ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) yesterday expressed grave concern at the rising tide of discrimination and intolerance against Muslims, especially in Europe and North America. β€œIt is something that has assumed xenophobic proportions,” they said in unison.

(Link via Jihad Watch)

If the foreign ministers of the OIC member states are truly interested in combating intolerance and xenophobia, they need only start with events a few hundred miles away, in Pakistan's northwest tribal territories. The BBC has the details:

Christians in north-west Pakistan are demanding government protection following threats of bomb attacks if they do not become Muslims.

An unsigned letter received 10 days ago said they had to convert by Thursday.

Militants have been carrying out a sustained campaign to prevent "anti-Islamic" activities in North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

Last week they blew up a number of music and video shops in the towns of Charsadda and Tangi.

The Christian community, a tiny minority, received an anonymous letter demanding they convert or face the consequences.

The BBC's Barbara Plett in Islamabad says that while a few families have left, the rest live in fear.

(Emphasis added-DD)

The "militants" in question are the Taliban, who have succeeded in establishing an "Islamic Emirate" in the tribal areas to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan. The attempt to compel the Christians of Charsadda to convert to Islam is merely part of their broader effort to impose Islamist totalitarianism in the NWFP. This May 10th piece from the Associated Press provides some additional examples:

Other recent examples are bombings of music stores β€” including two blasts in Charsadda last week β€” threats to barbers not to shave customers' beards and pressure for the closure of schools for girls.

Iqbal Khan, another local police official, said a small bomb tied to a motorcycle exploded in Charsadda late Wednesday, damaging several CD shops. He said authorities had yet to make any arrests over the bombings.

As the above shows, the Christians of Charsadda are right to take these threats seriously. Today is the deadline for them to convert or face violence. Meanwhile, the representatives of the OIC are too busy playing victim politics and whining about "Islamophobia" to condemn the actual intolerance and xenophobia in their own backyard.


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