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Is a Pakistani Christian equal to a fellow Muslim?

19 December, 2005

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"A young Pakistani student belonging to the Christian faith has posed an interesting question through a petition in the Lahore High Court. The question is: Am I, a Pakistani Christian equal to a fellow citizen who is a Muslim ?For those of the readers who missed the news item reported by an English daily, this young student belongs to a low income group, is a practicing Christian and extremely bright. She has been competing to get into the King Edwards Medical College but was beaten on the list by 20 marks by a Muslim student who got the extra 20 marks for being Hafiz--e-Quran. So, now this young Christian girl has filed a plea in the Lahore Court declaring that she and the Muslim student had equal marks but the latter got the advantage of religion. The young Christian student claims that ``this is discrimination against religious minority students and a violation of fundamental rights granted by the Constitution of Pakistan." The petition admitted by the Lahore High Court demands that either the LHC should rule to abolish the policy or should declare that a parallel policy should be made to award twenty additional marks to religious minority students on the basis of their religious knowledge. Fifty eight years after the creation of the country to ask such a question through the courts is both tragic and hopeful".

Constitution of Pakistan, Part II, Chapter -1, Fundamental Rights, Article 22 says:-
(1) No person attending any educational institution shall be required to receive religious instruction, or take part in any religious ceremony, or attend religious worship, if such instruction, ceremony or worship relates to a religion other than his own.
(2) In respect of any religious institution, there shall be no discrimination against any community in the granting of exemption or concession in relation to taxation.
(3) Subject to law: (a) no religious community or denomination shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for pupils of that community or denomination in any educational institution maintained wholly by that community or denomination; and
(b) no citizen shall be denied admission to any educational institution receiving aid from public revenues on the ground only of race, religion, caste or place of birth.
(4) Nothing in this Article shall prevent any public authority from making provision for the advancement of any socially or educationally backward class of citizens.

What do you think of above?

Reader Comments:

Pakistani Christian and Muslim

Respected Editor; Assalam o Alaikum!
If there is an Islamic population in a city and any religion is in minority then to protect and to keep them free to practice their religion is the duty of the Muslims. Even though that citizen is not included in the Muslim community.
As far as this case is concerned it is a shame for us to even talk about that. The Holy Quran that she has learned by heart as a whole gives lesson on justice and to be strict on that. Similarly our early Muslims and other scholars did such deeds to the Non-muslims that made them draw towards Islam. A test should have been taken by both the girls.
Thankyou Sir.

Mohammad Ilyas, Pakistan - 19 December, 2005

Pakistani Law and Christian Student

According to the Holy Quran and Hadis we have to be just and sincere. We do not have much knowledge of our constitution but if that says what has done to the girl then that is totally wrong and against the teachings of Islam. Islam teaches to fully cooperate with fellow country men even be of any religion. To specially Non Muslims Islam teaches to be more kind with.

Shirin, Pakistan - 19 December, 2005


This is not acceptable to us. If Pakistan's lawmakers had done their job right, this shameful conflict would not have happend. At International Islamic University of Islamabad, one essential requirement is to complete a 'hifz' of last 30 surahs of Quran before a student qualify for any master level degree. I may have to find out what they do with the non-muslim students if there are any? Equally I am concerend about the practices by the 'men at their best', i heard General Zia ran a program to sideline all the Shia officers and Jehadized the whole army including ISI to make it an Islamic Army and Gen. Musharaf is now making a brand new headquarters for their new lead role in OIC???

Sunny, Pakistan - 19 December, 2005

Abbysinian Christians granted...

The example of tolerance was given to us in the stories of the Prophet (pbuh) and the Companions. The Abysinian King granted the Prophet (pbuh) and the Companions (pbuthem)asylum in Abysinia without any prejudice or disregard to their religious beleifs where they were persecuted in their own Mecca. I may not live in Pakistan but as a Muslim I agree that such treatment under is Islam is not ethical. Islam is about opening doors not closing them. If a Pakistani brother hadn't opened the doors to me I would not be here today to appreciate the miricles of the Quran and see the truth in Islam. As Muslims we should do the same, open the doors of Islam without any prejudice. I have seen mid 40 year old Jewish/American men convert to Islam simply because someone opened the doors of Islam. Pakistani lawmakers should show this example as well. Her peers would have a profound influence on her and would show her what Islam is and what it is to be a Muslim.
I apologize in advance for being forward and if I have offended anyone here as it was not my intention to do so.

Dauod, United Kingdom - 20 December, 2005

Equality Before the Law

Every citizen should have equal rights.

Willard Payne, United Kingdom - 20 December, 2005

Imbalance in Pakistan

At the outset, the Pakistani setup is flawed! While the land of Pakistan was acheived for the Muslims, there seems to have been a serious lack of the consideration for ethnic and religious minorities and their position in the "Muslim" society of this country. Setting aside the Islamic viewpoint, basic humanity dictates that all, NOT A SPECIFIC MAJORITY GROUP ONLY, but ALL be treated equally under the laws of the country. Pakistan has to separate "mosque and state" in order for it's house to be fixed.

redauqs, United Kingdom - 21 December, 2005

Everything is Relative

Of course, the members of the miority community shuold have the same rights as the Muslims, in a Muslim society. It is alleged by the westerners and sometimes by the members of the minority community in the Muslim societies that Minorities and other ethnic groups do not have the same right, implying that Muslim societies are unjust. I would like to point out to those critics that minorities in Muslim societies are never incarcerated under suspicion and held indefinitely, without any charge. In the so-called enlightened western societies, there are numerous examples of this kind of inhuman atrocities, matter of fact prejudice against the Muslim minorities, has become the order of the day. It is not that this was not the case in the past, but nowadays it is as clear as daylight. So, if we compare and contrast then it becomes quite clear that Muslim societies are far better than the so-called enlightened non-Muslim societies. I would like to remind the critics who seek faults in the Muslim societis that nothing is absolute, everything is relative.

Tarek Masud, Bahrain - 21 December, 2005


For me. More to the point . What about an Atheist?? Are we less equal than those with religion ? Tom Edgar Glen Aplin Queensland Australia

Tom Edgar, Aruba - 21 December, 2005

As long as the majority is of this Taliban, Wahabi, Ehle Hadeeth, etc type there will be no minority rights. Look at Saudi Arabia. Did you know that before the Saud family came to power, more than 80 percent of teachers and researchers were of minorities. Its their version of 'pure' Islam that is courputing us. The distance between us and them (infidels) is too much. Even OIC cant do anything. I guarantee it.

Hassan Bajwa, Pakistan - 21 December, 2005

yes a christian is equal to a muslim these days

A Christian under saddam gomrah gaylesbian leader
Blair BushPaulMartin is in safer hand than Pakistani- saudi
ruled Bani Israel Blair- musharaf-saudi muslim.Christians
are below Jesus or Lord with gaylesbian marriage ,iraq ,alqaeda
bills while muslims without ruler have become followers of
Mecca Medina mosque religion with the holy prophet in grave
is under house arrest (custody).iea christian=a muslim

bilz zaka, Pakistan - 23 December, 2005

Christians in Pakistan

Dear Editor, It is indeed very distressing that in the country founded by Jinnah minorities have to face discriminition at pratically all levels of society. This is the greatest insult to the Quaid-e-Azam and the ideals he had envisioned for his people. Every event of injustice to a Pakistani from the minority community should strike a chord within every muslim Pakistani stating that if we the muslims of Pakistan could be unfair to non-muslims then what was the point of struggling against the percieved injustices of the hindu majority of united India. It is simply unaaceptable that what was wrong if exercised by majority hindus is right if executed by muslims. One hopes that high -court decision will be provide long term resolution of this injustice on the basis of the just provisions of the constitution of Pakistan.

Humayun Bashir, United Arab Emirates - 24 December, 2005

I believe a Pakistani Christian is above a Muslim. Just like I believe all Christians are above Muslims. Christianity is the true religion. Islam is the devil's religion. The USA should make the Christian religion the official religion and ban all others. This country was in much better shape when the only religion was Christianity. The Religious Right will take over the United States Government in approx 10 years. We are slowly gaining ground. When that happens we will destroy the Islamic religion and set you on the right path to redemption.

Billy Bob, United Kingdom - 25 December, 2005

Marks of Pakistani Muslim and Christian Student

As far as giving 20 grace marks to a Hafiz is concerned that is not a new or a strange thing as no other religion teaches to learn their religious book by heart. The Holy Quran teaches to respect and do good to all.
If students are alloted 20 grace marks to be admitted in a professional college is not an awkward thing. If a Hafiz has got 20 less than admission marks then he/she should be admitted but not be given preference to that student who has got a few more marks or equal to him/her. If are equal then a test should be taken and if more then be given priority according to the examination.

Mohammad Shamaun Pasha, Pakistan - 25 December, 2005

You may belong to any religion caste or creed- that has nothing to do with the business of the state. In due course of time, Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims will cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state.

aqeel, Pakistan - 25 December, 2005

What does Quran says

Let's see what does Quran says in Chapter 2 Verse 62

Surah 2:62 says, “Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”

Similarly in another verse, Quran revealed:

Surah 2:256 says that "there is no compulsion in religion."

Conclusion: Beleive in (Allah), do good deeds, believe in day of judgement adn we all shall have our reward. There's no question or room for any sort of crusades .... PERIOD!

Agha, Pakistan - 25 December, 2005

The Christian Girl Student will win the case

Islam is not only just but cpmpassionate and generous to the minorities. The Ottomans ruled over Christian majority countries for four consecutive centuries. Let the learned justices read the turkish history.
Being "hafiz-e-Qur'an" has no distinction in matters of worldly affairs. The Muslim student should be absorbed in any other medical college.
While talking of constitution, its only and best sageguard lies in a sound and working democracy. And if the founding fathers had put roots to a working democracy at its birth, today's Pakistan would have been both an early Asian tiger and a role model to the Muslim Ummah.
If anyone wants to know the real condition and status of the minorities in the country, he should, please, ask the most patriotic Pakistani, the Parji legend Ardeshir cowasjee. In areply to my letter, he rated the population comprising 150-million biggots. The exaggeration only lends strength to the observations from hiseyes.

Sher Mohammad.

Sher Mohammad, Pakistan - 25 December, 2005

Pakistans Foundation

The foundation of pakistan is based on islam and it developed as an Islamic nation with every day and month and year from its creation to date. If it wasnt for the religion of Islam there would be only one India and no Pakistan. but islam seperates all pakistanis and gives them a different nationality to that of indians. If there are christian minorities in Pakistan then fine ok, good. but pakistan is an islamic country and it would not exist if it werent for Islam. so all other religious groups must fully undrstand this, while they can and do practice their religious beleives and be and are citizens of Pakistan, knowing that Pakistan is and always will be a muslim country with an Islamic image and law is in the interest of them in the long run.

Samir Latifi, British Indian Ocean Territory - 26 December, 2005

Religious intolerance

Billy Bob of USA is either a stirrer of the worse kind or a raving religious nutter.Far from the Religious right taking over in the USA the high court has delivered a knock back to their crazy fundamentlism. Fundamentalists (lack of)mentality from any religion is deplorable,usually espoused by the poorly educated and,often, racially inspired.Acceptance of contrary views to prevailing religions is,peculiarly enough, more often given by Atheists than by Jews/Hindus/ Christians/Muslims .Most strong "Believers" reject the right of others to have contrary opinions.I, at near eighty years, have been a life long Atheist. Married to a Quaker Christian, and all of my friends have been Christian Sikh/ Muslim. Fortunately they have all been intelligent enough to think I am wrong but have the right to be so, and I also have that right. They may argue from a philosophical point of view and of FAITH whilst I come from a scientific angle Fortunately, we all agree. Each of us has the right to be wrong. I can live with that. Why can't the Billy Bobs?
Queensland Australia

Tom Edgar, Aruba - 26 December, 2005

Minorities in Pakistan

Monorities in Pakistan are the most oppressed lot, something similar to the fate of minorities in Saudi Arabia. All these so called equality is only on paper but pakistani muslims whole heartedly practice extreme form of discrimination against the christians and the hindus.

Compare this to the situation of christians and muslims in the so called 'Hindu' India. Ask any muslim if he wants to leave India for Pakistan. His anwer would be a big NO. Far from discrimination muslims get preferred treatments in some states like Andhra Pradesh where they have quotas in professional colleges and Govt. jobs.

Unless Pakistan gives the minorities equal rights and accept their religious rights. Pak. will continue to laguish in 7th century Islamic practices while its arch enemy will race ahead in all spheres.

Sami, United Kingdom - 26 December, 2005

under Christianity,Islam or zionism

Which is original and true religion.Is there a god and life after death ?Who should be reformer -
Blair Bush or Salman Aziz and on what basis?.Should we adapt life without God with gay lesbian marriage .should we make it public that saudi arabia is christian managed amid sharia wahabiism dhong with santa clause promotion in the muslim world with official xmas holidays.

zachariah m, San Marino - 26 December, 2005

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