In 1947, Pakistan, a land which was carved out from Indian Subcontinent made a lot of promises of giving the better prospects and future to the people belonging to diverse cultural and religious values by none less than its own founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Unfortunately, he didn’t lived much longer after independence to turn people belonging to different religion, race and castes as one Nation and the animosity between the two neighbors Pakistan and India, always have taken the religious angle by going on to target people belonging to minority religion in the society to show their superiority of over each other rather than accepting those minority as their own citizens.
A country which was never an Islamic Republic for more than 25 years after its independence went on to become a Republic for one religion rather than all the human souls belonging to it as an equal citizen having the same rights and privileges . The fact that did stood on the ground in 1973 and is still pretty evident is that had religion really been the most pivotal part of running a State , Pakistan wouldn’t have lost East Pakistan. We lost East Pakistan because we neglected people their Just rights and couldn’t get out of the ego of having superiority complex over them.
We never learnt enough from the mistakes we committed with people of East Pakistan and if that wasn’t enough we went on to target the minorities living in our countries. For a State to differentiate among-st its citizen in relation to their religion is the heinous crime which it commits with its citizen and for Pakistan it has been a sorry state of affairs as stories of minorities persecution and conversion surprises none of us now.
The recent story of Rinkle Kumari has forced me to ponder what are we really promoting in our society? I know many of my friends will come up and say “We are spreading Islam”, “We are converting Non Muslim into Muslim” and the list of explanation simply goes on. What I really want to ask from my friends who come up with such explanations is “Why only we as a Muslim should have a right to spread our religion and those who are Non-Muslim are not allowed to spread their religion. Shouldn’t Non-Muslim be also given the right to spread their religion in the same manner as we do”?
Now lets focus on the Conversion of females from minorities because we Love someone. If it’s only about two individuals wanting to get married to each other because they share the bond of LOVE ; then immediate conversion just by reciting Kalimah infront of some Imam of Masjid should not be accepted as legal by any means. It will be much better that before this exercise is done ; if the main purpose of any individual is to tie a knot because they love each other and want to get married; then they should be willing to go through more steps of conversion rather than only reciting a Kalima infront of Imam of Masjid and then getting married which in the end creates furore in the minorities communities as an act of satisfying their lust by Muslim majority of Pakistan.
According to me it will be better if we can initiate a proper ; detailed and more transparent exercise which must be followed whereby when any female of minority religion wants to convert ; an Imam of Masjid must contact not only the parents of that female but also the male parents ; and convey to them the desire of the couple to not only convert but also to get married . A proper documentation must be done where by ; consent of families must be taken on a legal document ; and if both families agrees with mutual consent that they have no issues if the female partner converts than a conversion should be proceeded by Imam of Masjid which should involve rather a period of more atleast two years where that female should be provided with an opportunity to get a deep insight knowledge of Islam and after she has attained that much knowledge as is required by her then Imam of Masjid should contact parents of both families and if that female wishes to embrace Islam then only conversion of her should be accepted as legal with the consent of both families .
Moving over; it’s time for our Muslim scholars to stand up and address the issues that concerns minorities and their rights. It’s simply not enough to say our Constitution gives right and even Islam gives right when all of us know that the reality differs from it.
The recent ruling by the Chief Justice of Supreme Court on 18th May 2012; that in presence of Article 20 of the constitution no fresh legislation is needed in an ideal world should have settled the dust but the court along with Government and Muslim scholars need to realize that they must do all what they can do to address the concern of minorities communities in Pakistan. They along with our Scholars must understand the need to make Conversion not only legal but also ensure that a proper detail procedure should be followed in order to address concerns of minorities living in Pakistan.
Its time for us to stand up for minorities living in our countries and do everything necessary for them to address their concerns and spread the message of respect for Human values and Love among our brothers and sisters from all religion.