KARACHI: Social media bobs up as a popular tool to incite hatred against minorities in Pakistan.
Participants at a meeting of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s Expert Group held considering the “Communities Vulnerable because of their Beliefs” put forward a general belief that the Social media has become a popular tool to incite hatred against minorities; which calls for an immediate code of conduct to monitor hate speech on social media. ‘New challenges for Pakistan’s religious minorities and ways to address them” was the theme of this meeting during which topical biased incidents against minorities were considered.
One of those attending the meeting were Avinash Sharma who talked about actor Paul Walker’s recent death saying,“People on Facebook commented that it was a good thing the actor died since he was a Christian. As a member of another faith, I was deeply hurt and tried to remind them that he was a human first.” Allama Sadiq Raza Taqvi of Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen’s put forward the idea that: action should also be taken against the electronic media if found guilty of adding fuel to the fire of sectarian violence. Nuzhat Williams of Young Women’s Christian Association, agreed with Allama Sadiq Raza Taqvi saying: “Twitter and Facebook were being used to spread hate speeches, live television shows such as the ones showing people changing faiths were also hurting peoples’ sentiments and should be banned.”
The All Saints Church bombings were also discussed whilst Allama Taqvi said that the issue of violence against minorities should be considered a national issue.Professor Aijaz Qureshi while discussing the issue of desecration of Bhuro Bheel’s grave in Badin said: “A feudal extremist group was behind the incident but no action by the government was taken. Hindu migration is also still going on. A petition should be filed in the Supreme Court against the attitude of the government against the minorities”.
Former MPA Pitanber Sewani was of the view that: “Today’s Pakistan was neither secular nor follows Islam; those who speak in favour of minorities receive death threats, such as former MPA Saleem Khokhar who fled the country and is living in London.” A Christian activist Zahid Farooq said: “It was unfortunate that even in the 21st century, graves were being dug up, and minorities were being targeted even after their deaths.”