The hypocrisy of Muslim outrage in Pakistan

Published: April 18, 2016

There are fewer than four million Christians in a population of 192.8 million Pakistanis. PHOTO: AFP

I’m sure everyone remembers Ahmed Mohammed, the clock boy. Does everyone also remember the furor it caused in the pious Muslim circles? Sure, it was pretty ridiculous of the authorities to nab him from his school in the US and it was fairly stupid of them to mistake a homemade clock for a bomb but I do remember the self-righteous outrage in the circles that generally wouldn’t do this ‘please share to spread awareness’ kind of thing if the subject was Naveed Rafique

Who is Naveed Rafique you ask?

He is a 13-year-old boy from Jaranwala, Punjab. Naveed was a position holder in his previous classes and on March 29, when he wanted to sit for an Islamic Studies exam in his school, the exam superintendent told him he couldn’t recite the verses without wuzu or ablution. Naveed did not know how to perform ablution.

Naveed Rafique, you see, is Christian.

The Islamic Studies exam carried 100 marks. 75 were for the written test and 25 for the viva. Naveed had secured 27 out of 74 marks in his written exam and because he was not allowed to sit in the viva, he failed to get the passing mark (which is 33%). The Education Assistant Director of the middle school examinations says he is “investigating” the claim.

The whole situation is laughable, after it stops being sad and miserable. What are they investigating? That a 13-year-old Christian boy is able to pass his exams based on his ability to perform ablution? That it is ridiculous to begin with for non-Muslim children to be forced to sit and give exams for beliefs they do not ascribe to? That there is no parallel safeguard or framework for cases like these?

And God knows how many children are subject to fear and confusion because they live in a country where minorities are not protected at all. Just a few weeks ago, the Taliban claimed an attack on the Christian community, one of the bloodiest attacks on innocent women and children in the past years.

There are fewer than four million Christians in a population of 192.8 million Pakistanis. That’s less than three per cent. The fact list regarding Christians in Pakistan is foreboding and gory. Pakistan’s late minister of minorities Shahbaz Bhatti was shot by gunmen who were ‘self-described’ Taliban. Bhatti was aiming to protect blasphemy accused Aasia Bibi, who is in jail to this day. Her family awaits her pardon and for her case to be dissolved but to no avail.

Former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer was shot dead by his own guard, Mumtaz Qadri, because he publicly defended Aasia Bibi and criticised the Blasphemy law. When Pakistani authorities executed Qadri this year, many flocked to the funeral of the convicted murderer, throwing garlands at his dead body. Do you remember Shama and Shahzad Masih? Their young son told the world that his amma and abba were tied to the tractor, dragged through the fields and set on fire. Where was the outrage?

Last year, the Punjab Cardiology Hospital issued an advertisement stating only “Non-Muslims from minorities will be accommodated for sanitation work”. So, basically what we’re doing to Christians is forcing them to study our religion, and once they study Quranic verses and learn ablution, we ask them to become sweepers or cleaners. Then, they either have blasphemy or the Taliban to worry about, whichever comes first.

Three per cent. Less than three per cent, and they live in fear of the majority. Imagine what their life is like. The affluent or well-to-do members of the Christian minority in Pakistan may have some avenues still, but think of the ones in the lower socio-economic sphere. Think of Naveed Rafique. Think of Shama and Shahzad. Think of Aasia Bibi. Think, dear patriotic Pakistanis, before you share photos of Israeli terror and Donald Trump and Bharatiya Janata Party and Muslims in Burma and Yemen and Syria. Think of all those poor, terrified, silent Christians who do not know what their crime is living in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Think of every mullah who has tried to hijack power in our country.

In the words of Jaun Elia,

Ab nahee’N koi baa’T khatre ki

Ab sab hi ko sab hi se khatra hai.

(There is nothing to be afraid of anymore

Now there is nothing but fear everywhere)


Mahwash Badar

The author is a clinical psychologist, a mum to two boys and permanently in a state of flux. She tweets @mahwashajaz_ (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • 19640909rk .

    I just cannoot believe what I read. Let me get this straight : there are exams based on religious practise? This is a first for me. I studied school in India 40 years back and never heard of such classes here. What is the purpose of such detailed education with linkage to final exam and marks? This is pure lunacy.Recommend

  • 19640909rk .

    If this is the case, India should grant visas to Pakistani Christians to settle here.Recommend

  • vinsin

    Christians of Pakistan can always move to India if they are unhappy, noone forced them to stay in Pakistan. Pakistan was created based on TNT. Most the things that you mentioned can happen in any country but what matters is law which in Pakistan fails to deliver justice for both majority and minority. Christians biggest crime is that they are Kafirs and should have moved to India. 2% of Muslims population is creating havoc in so many countries, god knows what 3% of Christians will do to Pakistan.
    Non-Muslims are lucky that majority of Pakistani Muslims dont demand jizya and practice slavery. Donald Trump is Jinnah of Kafirs.Recommend

  • Rakiba Nisha

    Ridiculous is an understatement..No wonder India is trying to reach Mars and neighbours trying hard to go back to 13th century. Thank you Ji for separating chafe from wheat.Recommend

  • Ravi Blr

    Why, christians can go to other christian states! India should take only hindus. As to Pakistan, may the state rot for their genocide against minorities!Recommend

  • Acorn Guts

    I had very difficult time through school being an Ahmadi but I have less than 1% conflict of doctrine with main stream Islam .. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for non muslim kids. Learning about other religion is OK but there is absolutely no excuse to force them to practice the religion too.Recommend

  • vinsin

    According to Partition Act and Lahore resolution, India is a non-Muslim state which includes Christians also.Recommend

  • C M Naim

    Bravo! Keep fighting. Keep speaking truth to power.Recommend

  • C M Naim

    Bravo! Keep fighting. Keep speaking truth to power. This kind of hypocrisy is not limited to Pakistani Muslims. You will find it rampant in India and Bangladesh too, even here in the United States.Recommend

  • mimi sur

    Unbelievable. Why should a Christian ( from name it is difficult to guess, either first name or surname) study islamic courses at first place ? And again you have written and viva for it, are you serious . Really Pakistan was better to be carved out of India. I thought only medrasas do so, but… Recommend

  • Saadi

    Before all the Indians start going for the jugular, please realize that this is in all likelihood a local/minor mistake/issue. I went to school with Christians, Hindus and Parsis and they were all exempted from taking Islamic Studies (known as Islamiat) in all the schools that I attended in Pakistan (I attended quite a few as my family moved around).

    Perhaps the Islamiat teacher asking the student to make wuzu did not realize that the kid was not a Muslim. The teacher probably had a hundred students to conduct the exam for and he probably went through the same practice with all other kids (who predominantly are Muslims).

    So cut some slack and let the facts out before going all guns blazing.

    @ Rakiba Nisha – Please don’t bring silly comparisons of India here. There are dime a dozen examples of this sort over there as well of mistakes, incompetence and backward people.Recommend

  • ali hammad

    They will reach mars as soon as they finish with building toilets for their population.Recommend

  • Saadi

    Genocide against minorities? Every single minority in India has a gripe against the Hindu majority. Be careful of what you wish on others, because India is no paradise for the minorities. Aside from the conflict in East Pakistan, the Pakistani state has never sided with any “pogroms” against minorities. Unfortunately such cannot be said about the Indian state given its lack of response to massive excesses against Muslims, Sikhs in multiple states (Kashmir and Punjab) and in Gujrat at least the local state authorities sided with the majority in the bloodletting of the minority population. Pakistan is already facing off against the extremists and slowly but surely its making headway. In India, the trend is an opposite one where Hindu chauvinists are on the rise and don’t have any problems bullying anyone (read minorities) around.

    As bad as many make things out to be in Pakistan, its not all bad here. Yes we have our problems but minorities have issues even in first world countries like the US and all over Europe. Blacks are shot in the streets of the US just because of the way they look even though literacy is much higher. So lets get off our high horses. Critique on such issues coming from Indians is like the pot calling the kettle black.Recommend

  • Sunil

    India is for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jain. Abrahamics need to take their own.Recommend

  • Sunil

    We do not want Abrahamics in our country. Pakistan is occupied India and we well free it mark my word.Recommend

  • Anoop

    Isn’t India allegedly unsafe for Christians?

    Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs only as these Religions are born in India. They have no where else to go.Recommend

  • Patwari

    Christians watch out for roving bands of hindus hunting for minorities, any minority. In Poona, Madras, Bangalore, Bombay and Banaras.
    In Delhi, numerous churches vandalized, desecrated, burned just
    last year, before elections. A Cathedral burnt to the ground in Maharashtra
    just to intimidate Christians. Still Kejriwal, of Aam Aadmi party won.
    The pitched and blasted slogan heard every day is ‘India is for Hindus ONLY;
    The rest leave, The Brown Shorts with the Hitler salute, Shiv Sena, BJP,
    and numerous extremist and fanatics now rule the streets.
    You can be hung from a Pipal tree, if your neighbor claims you ate beef
    last week, and HE saw it. That would be enough to hang you!!Recommend

  • whatever

    everyday I read Pakistani newspaper and then I thank my stars and Jinnah for Pakistan. what a failed state it has become. now Pakistanis will claim ‘exam superintendent’ was a RAW agent and to malign Pakistan he didn’t allow a christian boy to take Islamic paper.Recommend

  • Muhammad Waqar

    You know there is the problem with us here we follow what the maulvi told us to do. Teacher do not have the knowledge that for holding a Quran we need to do ablution and reciting the verses by heart you do not need ablution. As a Muslim I never did ablution while holding my Islamic Studies book and never my teacher told me to do so.Recommend

  • Milind A

    “Aside from the conflict in East Pakistan, the Pakistani state has never sided with any “pogroms” against minorities.”

    The Pakistani state is based on pogrom of Hindus… The state has constitutionally discriminated against Hindus and remained complicit, when Hindu girls have been kidnapped and forcibly converted and married off.Recommend

  • Milind A

    Sorry… Christians have the habit of biting the hand that feeds them, by converting the faithful surreptitiously. No wonder Muslims are wary of them.. Christians can move to Christian lands. India is good for Indic religions (Hindu, Jain, Sikhs, Buddhists)Recommend

  • Parvez

    The reason this is more prevalent, more magnified in Muslim countries is because theirs law’s are not implemented in the true spirit of the teachings if Islam……but are structured on literal interpretations of the scriptures, to achieve a political dominance.
    Lower down the ladder its not even politics….its simply greed motivated.Recommend

  • Jamor

    Would you also like all Christian and western countries to apply the same rule to Hindus,Buddhists,Jain and Sikhs,as these religions were not born in Western countriesRecommend

  • Jamor

    Then you and your ilk shouln’t go to western countries as these countries should only cater to ‘abrahamics’Recommend

  • Jamor

    India does not belong to only Hindus.If you don’t like it leave for NepalRecommend

  • ak

    Yeah toilets did stop India from landing spacecraft on moon, launching Satellites (even for western nations), building supercomputers, etc.

    Oh wait!!Recommend

  • oats

    Come on. Why should a country like India waste billions on space and weapons when over 500 million people don’t have access to toilets or people are sleeping on streets homeless? No one is fooled by this author who always writes negative things against Pakistan and Pakistani society because she has her own angle which is for people to turn against the state and lose hope. This is her right of course in a free society where there is media freedom but we all remember she wrote she is against Pakistan and stated Jinnah made a mistake. Also she wishes her family never moved away from India but she wants to write on Pakistani newspapers! She dregs up old and new instances of persecution to undermine society. Many of us who work in social welfare are fighting against injustice against minorities and underprivileged people no matter faith, economic status or gender but this author only wants to complain instead of work constructively like the rest of us. Understand her type of psychology of promoting negativity and what she wants.Recommend

  • Cara Dewitt

    also, clock boy was a liar and a fraud . he got it at radio shack . ha. ha. ha.Recommend

  • Saadi

    Can you give me a count of how many Hindu girls have been kidnapped and married off through conversions? I can assure you that they are not even close to the number of Muslims (let alone dead Sikhs and even Christians), including women and children, who have been hacked to death by Hindu goons in India. Recommend

  • Sunil

    It does belong to Hindus not you.Recommend

  • Sunil

    I do not go there.Recommend

  • Sunil

    They do and want Muslims out of their countries.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Any thing ridiculous and irrational happens anywhere,and the mullah is behind it .Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    They select Indians based on education and utility to their country. Without Indians American to some extent British universities, hospitals and research institutions besides companies like google, facebook, GE, Pfizer etc will cease to exist. Christians of Kinniard College type supported Muslim League demand for Pakistan because they were also feeling that Hindu majority will take revenge on them for killings of innocent Hindus in their pogrom like Inquisitions in Goa and western India which they supported and later hid from the history book. No Christian went to jail for India;s freedom just as no Muslim went.Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    Real and original Abrahamics are Jews. They are almost wiped out from their own land ie whole of Middle East and are barely holding the thin strip of Israel. The later day fake Abrahamics created by Romans to divide and enslave the natives, i.e., Christians wiped native history and roots of Europeans and made them fanatic brutes who were used to attack other distant natives and later natives of Americas, India, Africa and Australia. Today these Europeans and Americans are reverting back to pure spirituality and Churches are going vacant in Americas and Europe. Too long the later day Abrahamic virus made humanity suffer – slavery, racism, colonialism and today’s terrorism because rootlessness of converted natives.Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    Nepal is Communist atheist today. Abraharamism is for maintaining exploitative, racist, colonial slavery world order intact. Christians of Kinniard College type supported Muslim League demand for Pakistan because they were also feeling that Hindu majority will take revenge on them for killings of innocent Hindus in their pogrom like Inquisitions in Goa and western India which they supported and later hid from the history book. No Christian went to jail for India;s freedom just as no Muslim went. Today these Harijan/Dalit Christians are being targeted, though Jinah himself stopped them going to India like rest of the HinduSikh in 47. He did not mind rich HinduSikh leave for India without their wealth and belongings but did not want Dalit Hindu to leave because he wanted them for sanitary work. They converted to Christianity for survival in anti-Hindu Pakistan. Kinniard rich and educated Pakistani Christians have left for Canada and Australia.Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    Religions are armed Legions created by Romans and Koresh Bedouini tribe who copied Romans. They make the native converts a rootless parasite who gives up his native language, culture, dress code, connection to his/her ancestors and hates everything native.They are easy cannon fodder in wars of the empire like Afghan war since 1970s. They can be used effectively in great game and to contain India and its rise.Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    Few days back West-Indians won kirket match in Mumbai against India. But the win was most celebrated by Indians. Why? To make money artists visit India, Kirket commentators and ex-players come to India, singers come to India, writers come to India from Pakistan.. even IED and other bomb makers like Kasab of LET also come to India from Pakistan. then why so much hate for India?Recommend

  • tahir

    It is exactly. In Pakistan Islam Of MUHAMMAD is not being taught. Recommend

  • someone

    We don’t need toilets. We have World’s largest on our western border. Recommend

  • someone

    Please check statements from your own MNAs from minority community and they would provide you the exact data. How many news do you think can surface from a media who is controlled by your government and army? Hamid Mir got shot for just telling what everyone knows.Recommend

  • Humza

    Take a chill pill! You are obviously not “Salim Alvi” but more likely “Satpal Anand” so no one takes your comments seriously. But seriously , I see you peppering your comments against Pakistan and against Islam on every article but you only show how obsessed you are!Recommend

  • Somnath.

    Take English classes. Atrocious grammar and

  • Milind A

    The Muslims hacked to death by Hindu goons is far less than the Hindus hacked to death by Muslim goons in India.. ALmost all riots in India are started by Muslims, be it burning of the Hindu pilgrims at Godhra etc. India banned some verses, but you took out their ire on neighbouring Hindus for no fault of theirs.. Muslims get easily provoked and get violent and coherent.Recommend

  • iBegToDefer

    Hmm.. Lets do some facts checking, shall we??

    When India and Pakistan became independent both countries had 5% minorities in their country – 5% Hindus in Pakistan and 5% Muslims in India.

    Had India been the totalitarian and suppressing community (as you claim to be), would you think that India would have 2 Muslim Presidents, many Muslim captains in Indian Sports Teams and many Muslim state spokespersons, numerous actors, even more politicians and cabinet post holders and to top it all up – a thriving population of more than 20% after 70 years of freedom – a freedom to do whatever they wish to do (as per your idea – get rid of minorities)??

    Lets check the other side of the border…

    After freedom, Pakistani Hindu community (which was a biggest minority in 1947) – have dwindled down to even less than 2% of the total Paki population.

    Hmm.. what could be the reason?? Must be the suppressing Indian community across the border… Or the Hindus themselves – come on they are anyway of suppressing nature (look across the border – where the minorities have been non-existent.. ohh wait a min !!!)

    Seriously dude, the first step to cure the malice is to acknowledge that the problem exists.Recommend

  • iBegToDefer

    I am sure you will find many such articles..

    Oh wait !! They are all fabricated and nothing wrong happens to the minorities in Pakistan. In fact, the minorities have been given perfect place to live and practice their faith as free as they can get on Earth.

    People are propagating wrong information about Pakistan !!!Recommend

  • iBegToDefer

    Mimi Sur.. It is because, Pakistan is based on the Islamic ideology – that the country and its government are for Muslims and they will do everything to protect, propagate and prosper the Muslim population residing in the country, if it means to be at the expense of other communities.

    As it is in their constitution – unless the majority population understands and changes the very document (human race has better chances of finding aliens compared to this happening), there will always be minorities suppressed in this country.

    I dont really care about it – as it is these minorities’ forefathers who made a wrong decision of staying in the country during partition.

    What bothers me most is – these stupids talk about supposedly suppressed minorities (namely Muslims in other countries).. WHY???Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    they edit my response and remove “Baki Indians” … I would rather take classes on Quantum Mechanics and Sanskrit (to make it a programming language) than useless Angrezi…Recommend

  • Salim Alvi

    Why? Because I realize the mistake/cowardice/greed of one of my ancestor who took Semitic albeit corrupted Bedouins name after conversion to alien enslaving ideology. I will not allow my native roots to be cut and be a parasite which kills and and hates everything native. Such rootless parasites can be easily made into cannon fodder / suicide bombers. Mark my words: Islam will disappear first in China, Paki’s new client. Then in Rusia and Europe. India will have to get rid of Islam and Christianity beside KaamRedism to progress. These 1 Booky, Khilafa/VatiCunning Pappu/KaamRed Chairman ideological viruses almost killed humanity especially its native diversity.Recommend

  • Myrna Minkoff

    Space research has helped India better forecast and manage weather. It has also given rise to thousands of jobs and allied industries. and India’s space budget is a fraction of total social spending. Don’t shoot your mouth off on the Internet about things you don’t understand.Recommend

  • sterry

    Whenever I read such comments from Pakistan hating Indian commentators, I wonder why they can’t find better things to do like worry about caste violence or rapes. There is a reason why India is called rape capital of the world. Just so you know Pakistanis are forever thankful for our own country and freedom from the British. We would never want to be part of India or Indians who we don’t identify with. We are not Indians thank God. Good luck to you sir and leave us alone.Recommend

  • gp65

    I am surprised by your comment Parvez. Islam is very clear about what it thinks of kafir. Destroying idols and killing idolators was considered a good thing.
    Had that not been the case at least one Muslim majority would give equal rights to non-Muslims. Sadly there is none,Recommend

  • gp65

    Why was the Christian student required to appear for the exam in the first place?
    Why is your media not making a big deal about this?Recommend

  • Anoop

    Its up to them. The Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists and Jains are contributing enormously to other countries. Today Google and Microsoft are headed by Hindus. I work in big Pharma company in the US, here most of us are Indians. Our clients are Indians.

    What West is doing now is they are simply denying visas to Muslims but allowing non-Muslims in in greater numbers.

    Sorry, you guys messed it up for yourselves.Recommend

  • numbersnumbers

    Of course Pakistan can boast that it has toilets for its entire population, OR NOT!Recommend

  • Saadi

    As always picking a tangent and going off on that. Ravi’s comment was about a “genocide” being committed by the Pakistani state against its minorties. The State of Pakistan has never committed any such things against the Hindus or any other minority. Marginalization of minorities goes on in India to this day and that too in a very obscene manner. I can easily google 200 articles about the excesses against the Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Dalits in your very country. Instead of preaching to me about how great India is to its minorities and pointing fingers at us, first figure the rot out in India and fix it.Recommend

  • Saad Hasan

    Bigoted nonsense as always from you. Not surprised!Recommend

  • Dapper Dan

    It id called the “rape capital of the world” by Pakistanis who kill women and children and then blame “Zionists”, the “West” and India for problems. Pakistan is a failed state because Islam is a failed ideology.Recommend