Launch of BPCA’s newest publication on discrimination within Pakistan’s education system, leads to persecution rap in UK Parliament!

MP Andrew Stephenson Chair of the All Parliamentary Party Group on Pakistan was gifted the first printed copy of BPCA new publication.

British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) launched our new book; The Education System in Pakistan: Discrimination and the Targeting of the ‘Other,’ in UK Parliament, Monday 8th December 2014.

The event was sponsored by Andrew Stephenson MP for Pendle and Chairman of the All Parliamentary Party Group on Pakistan. 

Twelve authors have contributed essays to this book. Apart from the above highlighted authors, other contributors include Sabatina James of Sabatina e.V.; Rainer Rothfuss, Professor for Human Geography and Chair of the Examination Board at the Institute of Geography at the University of Tübingen; Fareed Ahmad (National Secretary, External Affairs, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK); Ghalib Lone (former UN legal analyst), Akhtar Yousaf and Nigel Couper.

The book examines the nature of discrimination and the targeting of ‘Others’ in Pakistan, particularly within the educational sphere. A multitude of inter-linked themes are explored, including the politics of educational ‘instruction’; the status of girls education in Pakistan; the nature of the targeting of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Christians, Hindus, Baloch and ‘Others’.

The event was opened by a rap by Pakistani Christian Artist Faisal Gill.  His Rap termed “I will fear no evil!”  was inspired by Psalm 23 and describes the existing alarming statistic that one Christian is killed every two minutes.

(click here for video)

Speakers included the following book contributors:

Peter Tatchell 
(Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation)  He said;

“This book is a much valued defence of the human rights of Pakistani Christians and people of other faiths; as well as defending the human rights of women and ethnic and sexual minorities in Pakistan.”

Desmond Fernandes 
(Genocide Scholar)

“With genocides being perpetrated against several groups and communities in Pakistan, as identified by several human rights organisations,
activists and ‘Othered’ community and political groups (and as detailed in the book), and with institutionalised educational mechanisms and
policies and practices in place that facilitate discriminatory and genocidal targeting actions, this study will be of extreme interest to

academics, students, journalists, educationalists, human rights campaigners, lawyers, anti-deportation and asylum rights campaigners, concerned
members of the public, government planners, MP’s and MEP’s, civil liberties and educational/anti-genocide organisations and institutions.”

Margaret Owen 
(Director of Widows for Peace through Democracy)

Ranbir Singh 

(Chair of the Hindu Human Rights Group

The quality and amount of education any child receives will imprint it on their minds. It is at this age that impressions are created that will last throughout life. Pakistan suffers a major problem of illiteracy, particularly amongst its females and especially amongst its minorities. Schools can become dens of peril, with the risk of rape, abduction, sexual molestation and forcible conversion. In schools the children are inculcated with hatred of the ‘Other’. At various times this can take the form of vilifying Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jews, Ahmadis, Shia and Sufis. The situation has become so severe that many from minority communities dare not even send their children to school. What has made the situation so dire is the almost blanket use of blasphemy laws, a mechanism which is so amorphous and intrusive in its approach that it has become as extra-legal method to which settle old scores and pander to the darkest of human prejudices against those deemed as being ‘different’.

Asif Shakoor 

(Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK)

Wilson Chowdhry 

(Chair of BPCA)

“The attack on innocent Malala Yousafzai, a child of only 16 who participated in a BBC documentary on gender discrimination, resulted in worldwide condemnation of the Taliban and the manner in which they suppress the female gender in Pakistan. The shooting of a child was an incident full of enough trauma to pierce the most steely of hearts, and this is what it arguably took to bring Pakistan’s poor gender discrimination record into international scrutiny. What will it take to bring the plight of Pakistani Christians and ‘Others’ into a similar level of International scrutiny? It is hard to tell.”

He added;

“Churches are burnt down, bibles destroyed and communities are chased from their homes, yet attempts to bring any sense of reform or justice into such situations is limited. Killers, blackmailers, property mafia and extortionists are able to enact their crimes with relative impunity, without any clamour from supposed ‘civilised’ societies in the west. Much of this can be blamed on media companies who are disinterested in the suffering of these victims as talking about the newest high profile divorce sells more papers. Our society in the west has become devoid of passion as spin doctors and media moguls have inculcated our minds with worldly matters, rendering our moral compass useless.”

Wilson describes the origins of the book project.

Peter Tatchell and Ranbir Singh (Hindu Human Rights Group) Co-Authors of the new book.

Wilson Chowdhry and MP Andrew Stephenson Chairman of the All Parliamentary Party Group for Pakistan.

The gathering of humanitarians from a wide variety of faiths and no faith.

Wilson Chowdhry, MP Andrew Stephenson and Pakistani Christian Rapper Faisal Gill.

Margaret Owen (MBE) Director of Widows for Peace.

Pakistani Christian rapper Faisal Gill.