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Pakistan - Muslim students in defense of religious minorities

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November 06, 2015

bargadINTERRELIGIOUS DIALOG - Necessary to put an end to discrimination and prejudice against religious minorities in Pakistan: with this spirit more than 500 young Muslims gathered in recent days in Lahore thanks to the initiative of "Bargad", the largest Pakistani NGO dedicated to the development and education of young people, spread throughout the country. As reported to Fides, the youth are committed to stop calling Pakistani Christians by the name of "Isai", Urdu term used in the colonial era in a derogatory way. That term, of caste tradition, is used to define people for humiliating and "impure" jobs, the prerogative of the lower castes, and expresses the mentality which considers Christians "second-class citizens" in society.
The NGO promoted the campaign "Green for White", with reference to the Pakistani flag, where green indicates the Muslims and white religious minorities. The NGO aims to raise awareness among young Muslims in Pakistan to support the victims of religious persecution, restoring dignity to all those citizens of Islamic religion. To this end, the Christians will be called "Masih" which in Urdu means "people of the Messiah", giving them a positive identity.
Each student has promised to convey this message to at least a hundred more people. "It is important to work at changing social attitudes and mentality towards minorities, so that they are properly respected and protected", said Kamran Michael, the only Christian senator in Pakistan, who attended the convention "Bargad".
The Executive Director of Bargad, Sabiha Shaheen, added: "Today we are laying the seed for social harmony and change: students have taken an oath and pledged to be messengers of this change".

Source: Agenzia FIdes, November 04, 2015

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