“Stay quiet and you’ll be OK” — Muhammad Atta
“Pakistan: Undaunted Christians still go to church despite Islamist threats,” by Roderick Samson for Spero News, February 4:
After the killing of former governor Salmaan Taseer and the ensuing protests, Lahore’s Christian community finds itself in a quandary. Nervous about their status in the city, many Christians are laying low so as to not draw any attention to themselves. The fear of being declared ‘blasphemers’ has gripped many in the community.
Lalaza Masih, a middle-aged Christian man who resides in east Lahore, standing outside his brick flat explained that the city’s attitude towards the Christian community had changed. “Generally, people in the community fear discussing religion with others. My neighbours and I don’t really interact much,” he said.
“The thing is we are scared that we are being watched and suddenly some allegations leading to a fatwa will materialize,” he added. Masih agreed that it was uncomfortable to live like this but on the other hand he said his attitude had ensured that he did not have any religious confrontation. He lamented that the openness the city’s Christian community once showed had now disappeared. There were only a few areas which allowed for interaction between religious communities, he said.
Anarkali resident Nasreen said that since Taseer’s death there had been a sharp change in the attitudes in her area but feelings of intolerance had been building for some time. She said many had disparaging names for Christians and members of the community employed as laborers and domestic workers were intimidated.
“I think its [sic] best for us if we just stay quiet and not make a fuss,” said Nasreen….
As dhimmis have done throughout the ages.
Chairman Masihi Foundation a Humanitarian Organization providing legal aid to Asia Bibi, Mr. Haroon Masih said that Taseer’s killing had changed the dynamics of Lahori society. The government’s reaction to Taseer’s death and the countless protests since then showed a lack of commitment to rule of law. “No suo motu action has been taken against hate speeches,” he said. He said the minorities were scared as the message sent was that hate speech and walk chalking were permissible. The police, he said, had shown no interest in curbing hate speech. The impression was that the state really had no interest in protecting its minorities, he added….