Mark Collins – Easter Lahore Horror: Racial Plus Religious Intolerance

Tarek Fatah adds background to the massacre (keep in mind that in the subcontinent generally the higher one’s status the lighter one’s skin colour tends to be–whether Hindu or Muslim):

The Easter Sunday Slaughter in Pakistan is rooted in Deep-Seated Racism against Punjabi Christians by the Muslim majority

Add Lahore as the latest entry to the list of cities to fall victim to jihadi terrorism.

But there is an angle to this horrible act of carnage most have missed.

My earliest memories of life in Lahore [emphasis added], the capital of Pakistan’s Punjab province, are of playing marbles with a boy my own age, before being yanked away from him.

My aunts warned me never, ever to associate with that boy. When I asked why, they said: “Don’t you know he is a ‘choora’?” (This refers to Punjabi Christians who removed human waste from the roof top toilets in the centuries-old buildings inside the old walled city of Lahore).

Which brings us to the media reporting of the Lahore terrorist attack that would be incomplete without mention of the horrific racism and discrimination Punjabi Christians face at the hands of many within Pakistan’s Muslim communities — from secular liberal to orthodox, ultra-conservatives.

Despite the fact the Punjabi Christian community is highly literate, dedicated to education and hard work, even those who have served and fought as senior officers in their country’s military cannot escape the slurs often uttered behind their backs.

Christians account for only 2% of the almost 180 million population of Pakistan, but their representation in the occupation of janitorial services is over 80%.

Few are willing to clean up their own mess if they can get a Christian to do it for them…

…the slaughter of Punjabi Christians by the Islamist terrorists is not merely the result of an inter-religious feud. It is an illustration of unchecked racism and official contempt for darker-skinned Christians, who have suffered untold miseries at the hands of many within the country’s Muslim majority…

In 1980, [Salamat] Akhtar was President of the All Pakistan College Teachers’ Association. Here’s how he has described a meeting he once had with the country’s top education official: “Not knowing I was a Christian, the Education Secretary said the government was worried that a large number of Christians were obtaining education. … If all the Christians would be educated, then no one would be left to sweep our roads and pick up garbage. The Secretary said the government was following a policy that only half of the Christians could become educated, while the rest of them remain in this occupation.”..

Nice. Very relevant:

The Modern, New, Murder-Embracing Muslims

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


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