Posts Tagged ‘Christians’

Conversations with Badami Bagh residents

March 15, 2013

By Ahsan Waheed

Badami Bagh is no less than a ravaged town awaiting life once again. Along the sides of the roads are little yellow tents set up for the Christian families who lost their homes when an angry mob set fire to the entire residential area.

These little tents are filled with people. It is as if the little tents have become portable homes for the citizens who have nothing else left. Little toys, water bottles, a pile of clothes – Badami Bagh residents have begun to reconstruct their lives within the temporary homes provided to them since there is no knowing when their real homes will be ready for them to go back to.

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March 13, 2013

By Ghalib Sultan
Area 14/8

The picture on top says it all. A mob in the background and an exultant youth in the foreground with smoke, fire and burning homes all around. This was the scene in the heart of Lahore when Christian homes were set on fire because of alleged blasphemy by a Christian who had already been booked under the Blasphemy Law by the police on the complaint of a Muslim. The mob that went on the rampage looting and burning homes was apparently venting their rage. No one died and no injuries were reported but Pakistan’s image was destroyed beyond repair-collateral damage from the point of view of the bigoted and the intolerant but a mortal blow to Pakistan for those whose heads hung in shame.

Now that the smoke has blown away, compensatory payments made to those who lost everything, the rebuilding process begun and some arrests made a clearer picture is slowly emerging. The Police advised the people to run for their lives hours before the mob arrived and they ran-the men, the women, the aged and the children all ran for their lives in all directions away from their homes leaving everything behind. Why did the police do this-to facilitate looting and burning, to save lives or because they did not want or could not face down the mob to protect lives and property? If the Police had advance information did this information flow upwards and if it did was it ignored? And if it did not then why not?

There are credible reports that the mob came prepared for their grisly task—with sticks, stones, gasoline cans etc. If so then this was no spontaneous venting of rage. This was a well planned event for which a large number of people had been mustered and prepared. If this was planned then who was behind it?- those who wanted the land on which the colony was built?- or those who had political motives and wanted to undermine the political administration in Punjab or was it a combination of both?. The land mafia would have known the consequences of such an atrocity and it is unlikely that they actually believed that the land would fall in their lap after the pillage. The political motive is more plausible and is also borne out by the fact that after the attack on the Christians some apparently counter attacks were organized on the pride and joy of the Punjab government-the new Metrobus system.

The Punjab government moved quickly to limit the damage and to begin rehabilitation work. An inquiry has also been ordered and arrests made. No doubt that there has been political fall-out but on the positive side people have rallied in support of the Christian community and against the forces of bigotry and intolerance that exist in society. There have been many previous incidents of this kind but never has exemplary punishment been awarded to deter such behavior. In the final analysis the blame must also go to people who are ready to undertake such criminal and reprehensible behavior.

Quinnipac poll puts pressure on Romney, may be Democrats’ secret weapon!

June 9, 2011

US voters are uncomfortable with the idea of a president who is a Mormon, even as former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, a Mormon, leads the pack of Republican presidential hopefuls, a poll found.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses the Faith and Freedom Coalition on June 3, in Washington. US voters are uncomfortable with the idea of a president who is a Mormon, even as former Massachusetts governor Romney, a Mormon, leads the pack of Republican presidential hopefuls, a poll found.

The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute survey however showed that Romney would lose 41-47 percent in a head-to-head election with Barack Obama, contrary to the results of a Washington Post/ABC News poll out Tuesday that showed Romney narrowly defeating the president.

According to the Quinnipiac poll, only 45 percent of registered voters had a favorable view of Mormonism, while 32 percent had an unfavorable view of the faith. Only atheists and Muslims had less support in the survey.

US voters apparently “have many more questions about a Mormon in the White House than they do about followers of other religions,” Peter Brown with the Quinnipiac pollsters.

“And most don’t see much similarity between their religion and Mormonism,” he said.

Many conservative Christians see Mormonism as a cult or a heresy.

The Republican Party’s base includes a strong contingent of conservative evangelical Christians that would presumably vote against a Mormon — yet according to the Quinnipiac poll, the Democrats are least tolerant.

Sixty-eight percent of Republicans surveyed are comfortable with a Mormon president against only 49 percent of Democrats, according to the poll.

Among those who were Republicans or could vote Republican, Romney was ahead in the field with 25 percent support, followed by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin with 15 percent.

Romney announced his candidacy last week, but Palin has not said if she will run.

They were followed by businessman Howard Cain who polled at nine percent; former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Representative Ron Paul, both at eight percent; Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann at six percent; former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty at five percent, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum at four percent.

The only other Mormon presidential hopeful, Republican Jon Huntsman, has one percent support. Another 20 percent of those Republicans surveyed were undecided.

“The fact that less than half of voters have a favorable view of the religion is likely to be a political issue that Governor Mitt Romney, and should his campaign catch on, Governor Jon Huntsman, will have to deal with as they pursue the White House,” said Brown.

Millionaire businessman Romney lost his party’s presidential nomination to Senator John McCain in 2008.

The May 31-June 6 poll surveyed 1,946 registered voters. The survey has a plus or minus margin of error of 2.2 percentage points, and plus or minus 3.4 percentage points for the Republican primary.

Mormonism originated in the 1820s in western New York state. It is the main religious tradition of the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith, Jr.