One of the leading Christian educationists in Pakistan Professor Anjum James Paul has written a letter to the Minister for Interfaith Harmony. Professor Anjum James Paul has urged the Federal Minister to take steps to ensure that religious beliefs of non-Muslims in Pakistan should be preserved.
Professor Anjum James Paul who is Chairman Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association (PMTA), had addressed Sardar Muhammad Yousaf – Federal Minister for Interfaith Harmony in his letter. This letter Reference no. PMTA/58/15, was written on Friday, November 13, 2015. He urged the Federal Minister to safeguard the beliefs of non-Muslim teachers and students ahead of International Interfaith Conference which is scheduled to be held in Pakistan this month.
An excert from the letter written by Anjum James Paul is as follows:
Mr. Sardar Muhammad Yousaf,
Federal Minister for Interfaith Harmony,
Government of Pakistan
Subject: REQUEST TO SAVE THE BELIEFS OF NON-MUSLIM STUDENTS AND TEACHERS BEFORE THE COMMENCEMENT OF INTERNATIONAL INTERFAITH CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN PAKISTAN THIS MONTH
Greetings and peace from Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association (PMTA).
PMTA would like to draw your kind attention on the subject cited above.
PMTA welcomes the International Interfaith Conference on THE QUEST FOR PEACEFUL INTERFAITH CO-EXISTENCE commencing from November 24, 2015 as it is utmost need of the time to promote social harmony.
Pakistani non-Muslims feel that government has not fulfilled her responsibility to save the beliefs and customs of non-Muslim students and teachers. Islamization of education of present Pakistani National Education Policy, Curriculum, textbooks published by all five Textbook Boards of Pakistan and educational environment have forcibly converted the religion of non-Muslim students and teachers to Islam, violating Quaid-e- Azam’s Ideology of equal citizenship, Article 20 (a), Article 22 (1), Article 25 (1), Article 36 of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973, Article 26 (2 & 3) of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 2 (2) and Article 14 (1) of International Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 18 (2 & 4) of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 5 (2) of Declaration On The Elimination Of All Forms Of Intolerance And Of Discrimination Based On Religion Or Belief, UNESCO and June 19, 2014 Verdict of Supreme Court of Pakistan regarding protection of minorities rights.
PMTA presents before you the point of view of non-Muslim students, teachers and parents, they have expressed in the documentary film “Pakistani Textbooks a Question Mark for Non-Muslims” prepared by PMTA in 2015. It is needed to address the grievances of Pakistani non-Muslims to make this conference meaningful and fruitful.
Takveen Mary, a Christian student of grade 11 says, “There are so many things against my religion in the textbook of Islamic Education that’s why it is my demand to the government to provide me religious education of my Christian belief.”
Samuel Pervaiz, a Christian teacher says, “I am a non-Muslim teacher. There are always threats to my life and belief while teaching Islamic beliefs in various subjects. I appeal the government of Pakistan to include all the contents of Islamic beliefs in the textbook of Islamic Education so that my life and belief may be protected.”
Sibal, a Christian student of grade 1 is confused regarding her Christian identity. She answered as she recites in the assembly “There is no God but Allah Almighty and Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is the last messenger of Allah.”
Natan, a Christian student of grade 5 says, “When there is period of Islamic Education, they say, they are infidels. They are infidels. Muslims are not infidels. When I was in class two, a class fellow said, “Become a Muslim and leave Christianity.”
Zabloon, a Christian student of grade 4 answering the questions said, “They say, quit your religion and enter our religion. Our religion is very good.”
Ashok Chand a Hindu descibed the story of his niece; My niece Sapna studies in 7th class. Her teacher advised her to study the subject of Islamic Studies and to memorize the verses and Hadiths. They were in Arabic language and she could not memorize them. The teacher threatened her that she would be punished in failure to memorize. She could not memorize her lesson and her teacher punished her. The teacher asked her to go to a Imam or a seminary to learn Arabic. Her father tried but it was a little impossible to send our girls to mosque and it was difficult for us to teach Arabic.
The next day teacher said to her, “if you cannot learn the verses then become a Muslim and I shall fully protect you. I shall place you in my house. You do not worry about your parents, we shall talk to them. The girl refused to convert to Islam and said, “I shall not leave my religion.”
The next day when teacher came to class she forbade students to cooperate with her. She said that the said student will be remained in the class the whole day whatsoever happens to her. The whole day she was tied with a desk and what happened that she had urine and toilet in her clothes. She left school as she was much ashamed.
Two images of textbooks of National Book Foundation as Federal Textbook Board Islamabad are presented below published in 2015. (Image No. 1) My Book of GENERAL KNOWLEDGE GRADE 1 Chapter 14 PRAYERS page 62, (Image No. 2) HISTORY 6 Chapter 3, Muslims in South Asia-! page 47. These images are a question mark on the beliefs and worships places of non-Muslims.
My Book of GENERAL KNOWLEDGE GRADE 1 Chapter 14 PRAYERS, page 62
HISTORY 6 Chapter 3, Muslims in South Asia-I, page 47
With best regards.
PROF. ANJUM JAMES PAUL