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Tuesday, 8 September 2009

An example of how ‘desecration’ is staged and how it can be dealt with.

How ‘desecration’ is staged

Pakistan has been saved from another trauma in a village near Punjab’s city of Chichawatni, with a population of 4,000 divided between Muslims and Christians. What happened has familiar pattern: some pages of the Holy Quran were found in the fields and in front of two churches. There are two mosques in the village and the Christians are served by Catholic, Salvation Army and Associate Reforms Presbyterian churches.

The intent was clear: to incense people at the sight of the desecration of the Holy Quran. That the pages were found in front of the churches would lead to the primitive conclusion that the Christians had held a gathering in their churches and decided to desecrate the Quran as a community. After that some “designated” persons would get on the mosque loudspeakers and ask the people to attack the Christians.

We know this pattern. It never seems to fail but this time, thanks to the activism of the village communities, the pattern was broken. The elders of both sides got together and sorted out the issue by themselves. They soon realised that “outsiders” had been involved in the planting of the pages. How did the elders achieve this: because both communities are interactive and not insulated from each other.

Finally an FIR has been lodged against the unknown outsider who planted the holy pages as an act of desecration. People who have won are the two communities and their interfaith activists. And of course the police which has acted with great responsibility and not stood aside as the police at Gojra last month.

Church organisations, especially of the Catholic denomination, are highly organised at the peace front in Pakistan. Their analyses of the blasphemy situation are always reliable and their predictions have always been proved right. They are also experts at interfaith communication. The interfaith experience in Chichawatni has saved Pakistan. The Christian church must duplicate this success in all the small cities of Punjab where Christians are exposed to Sipah-e-Sahaba killers. (Daily Times)

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