Pakistan: Taliban demands Christians to convert

world | Nov 02, 2009 | By Aftab Mughal

A copy of the letter, sent by Taliban on Oct. 6, obtained by ICC warns Christians to convert to Islam, pay Jizya tax (an Islamic tax imposed on religious minorities) or leave the country. If Christians refuse to accept the choices given to them, the letter explains that they “would be killed, their property and homes would be burnt to ashes and their women would be treated as sex slaves. And they themselves would be responsible for this.”

According to ANS report of Oct. 17, “The Islamists sent the letters to the following Christian institutions: St Peter’s Middle School, Sargodha Institute of Technology, Sargodha Catholic High School, St John's Primary Image by MNN School and Fatima Hospital.” “Besides the Christian institutions, the letter was also sent to the ------------------- main Immam-Bar-Gha (Shiite Muslim’s gathering hall). Shiites are a minority Muslim group in Pakistan where the majority of the population is Sunni Muslim.”

On September 28, Islamists attacked the home of a Christian family for refusing to convert to Islam in Murree, a town near the Pakistan capital of Islamabad, the Sikh Times (ST) reported on Oct. 13. Rafiq Mashi Bhatti and his family had lived in peace and harmony with their Muslim neighbors for years. However, in the past few months, they received anonymous phone calls and letters warning them to convert to Islam, leave their home or die. According to ICC, the family reported the death threats to the police but the police were unable to prevent the attack. The police are investigating the attack but the unknown assailants remain at large.

Aftab Mughal edits MInorities Concern Report in Pakistan.

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