World America 28 Feb 2017 Religious minorities ...

Religious minorities experiencing genocide in Pakistan: Scholar

Published Feb 28, 2017, 6:55 pm IST
Updated Feb 28, 2017, 8:09 pm IST
Pakistani author, journalist and politician Farahnaz Ispahani. (Photo: AFP)
 Pakistani author, journalist and politician Farahnaz Ispahani. (Photo: AFP)

Washington: Pakistan is experiencing “drip drip genocide”, a noted scholar from the country has said, describing it as the “most dangerous” kind of wiping out of religious minorities in the Islamic nation.

“Right before the partition of India and Pakistan, we had a very healthy balance of religions other than Islam. Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Zoroastrians. (Now) Pakistan goes from 23%, which is almost a quarter of its population, to three per cent today,” noted Pakistani author, journalist and politician Farahnaz Ispahani said.

“I call it a ‘drip drip genocide’, because it’s the most dangerous kind of wiping out of religious communities,” said Ispahani, whose book ‘Purifying the Land of the Pure’ was launched in the US this month.

“It (genocide) doesn’t happen in one day. It doesn’t happen over a few months. Little by little by little, laws and institutions and bureaucracies and penal codes, textbooks that malign other communities, until you come to the point of having this sort of jihadi culture that is running rampant,” she said.

Describing Pakistan’s journey as “depressing,” Ispahani said that the country she grew up in does not exist today.

Responding to a question on the recent global trend against religious minorities, the top Pakistani scholar said it is shocking that today, countries like the US, which were known as the bastions of liberal democratic intuitions and values towards religious minority populations are now turning into places of hate.

“Whether it is towards refugees, whether it’s towards Jews who’ve been settled in France for centuries, Jews who’ve been settled in the United States for generations. It’s Muslims, it’s Jews, it’s Christians, but the whole world seems to be changing in a very ugly way,” she said.

“One of the reasons I wrote my book was as a heeding that the example of Pakistan is an example the whole world needs to watch. The example of India, of course, is different, because the Indian constitution actually uses the word secular.

“Even though right now there’s a tussle in India between two different weaves of the society, I would say, till today the laws still say that all Indians are equal citizens, which is still also the fact in the United States of America,” Ispahani said.



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