Published by Seth Oldmixon on May 4, 2018

How Secularism Protects Religion and Culture

In a recent interview with the Economist, Pakistani politician Imran Khan expressed his support for women, like his wife, who choose to wear a veil that fully covers their face. “The amount of clothes a person wants to wear – how much they want to wear or how little they want to wear – is a…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on February 8, 2018

Echoes of Pakistani Extremism Ring Out In Indian Politics

In her indispensable book, Purifying the Land of the Pure, Farahnaz Ispahani details the tragic history of Pakistan’s descent “into internal violence as the search for Islamic purity set Muslims against non-Muslims, Sunnis against Shiites and Ahmadis, and various Sunni sects against one another.” Today, echoes of this tragedy can be heard ringing out in…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on December 20, 2017

Pakistani Newspaper Alters Report on Religious Minorities

On December 13, The Express Tribune, a Pakistani newspaper affiliated with The New York Times, reported on a Supreme Court case pertaining to the rights of religious minorities in Pakistan. According to the original report, “the top court has expressed its anger over the Punjab government’s failure to ensure the the presence of Hindu idols…

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Published by Liberty South Asia on December 18, 2017

Pakistan Cabinet Official Makes Inflammatory Statement About Religious Minorities

Pakistan’s Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Marriyum Aurangzeb, told reporters on Friday that “Jews and Hindus” are secretly funding an opposition political party for the purposes of “halting the way of Pakistan’s prosperity.” The most recent data available from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics lists Pakistan’s Hindus as just under 2 percent of…

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Published by Liberty South Asia on June 7, 2017

PAKISTAN: Journalist Receives Death Threats For Writing About Religious Minorities

Pakistani journalist Rana Tanveer has received death threats at his home in Lahore for writing about religious minorities in the country. According to Mr. Tanveer, he moved to his current home just under one and a half years ago so that his daughter could attend a local school. Three months ago, his landlord began receiving…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on May 23, 2017

Congressional Resolutions Express Concern About Religious Freedom in Pakistan

Two new Congressional resolutions, H. Res. 319 in the House and S. Res. 162 in the Senate, call special attention to threats to religious freedom in Pakistan. The Senate Resolution, which reaffirms the commitment of the United States to promoting religious freedom, includes the following language specific to Pakistan: Whereas, according to Human Rights Watch,…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on April 15, 2017

Pakistan People’s Party Seeks Collaboration With Islamists

While Pakistan reels from the spread of religious extremism, the latest example being the murder of a university student by an extremist lynch mob, one of the country’s largest secular parties is looking to make an alliance with a pro-Taliban Islamist party. Earlier this week, former Pakistani president and the head of the Pakistan People’s…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on March 16, 2017

Pakistan PM’s Misguided Anti-Extremism Strategy

In effort to stem the spread of religious extremism, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, last week called on religious scholars to emphasize the “true” teachings of Islam, which he defined as peace and harmony. While Prime Minister Sharif’s message and intentions are laudable, his strategy suffers from a critical vulnerability. Religious scholars already believe they…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on March 3, 2017

Illegal rally exposes deep roots of religious extremism in Pakistan

In the wake of recent terrorist attacks, Pakistan has reiterated its vow to eliminate extremist militancy. To this end, the country’s military announced the launch of a new operation dubbed “Radd-ul-Fasaad” (Elimination of Discord), designed to remove the “latent threat of terrorism.”  Unfortunately, a recent gathering in the nation’s capital shows that accomplishing the laudable…

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Published by Seth Oldmixon on January 23, 2017

Concerns as Islamists Rewrite Textbooks in Bangladesh

Intellectuals in Pakistan have long lamented the role of textbooks in radicalizing society. Today, similar concerns are being raised in Bangladesh. According to a new report in the New York Times, government produced textbooks are being rewritten under the guidance of extremist groups like Hefazat-e-Islam. “We went to the higher-ups in the government,” Mufti Fayez…

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