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Urgent Concern: Extremist Group in Pakistan Threatens Christians and Promotes Destruction and Death

London: (By Juliet Chowdhry) The extremist group Tehreek-e-Labbaik has posted a video depicting the recent destruction of Christian homes following an allegation of blasphemy, accompanied by threats to carry out acts of violence against those accused of blasphemy. The video, originally shared on TikTok, has instilled profound fear within Christian communities across Pakistan. Since the outbreak of violence in Pakistan on August 16th, 2019, security forces have maintained a presence outside Christian communities. Today, the British Asian Christian Association has sent an email to the High Commissioner of Pakistan in London, urgently calling for concrete measures to safeguard Christians in Pakistan and to foster a more harmonious society. The song playing in the background translates to: “Those who desecrate the Quran will face our retribution. The followers of Labbaik are prepared to chop-up their bodies for the cause of Islam.” To the shouts of Lebbaik (and under their banner) the Muslim mob celebrated ‘In Faisalabad we have suspended [destroyed the lives of] these Churay (derogatory word for Christians). Juliet Chowdhry, Trustee for British Asian Christian Association, has sent an email with the following message to His Excellency, Dr. Mohammed Faisal, High Commissioner for Pakistan. She has also sought a meeting with the High Commissioner at his offices in London. Dear His Excellency Dr. Mohammad Faisal I trust this email finds you well. I am writing to bring to your immediate attention a deeply concerning and alarming incident that has transpired in Pakistan. An extremist group has recently posted a video depicting the destruction of homes belonging to Christians and issuing threats of violence against individuals accused of blasphemy. This distressing situation requires urgent action and a strong stance against such acts of hatred and intolerance. The video, which has been widely circulated, exhibits the destruction of properties belonging to members of the Christian community, further exacerbating tensions and posing a grave threat to the safety and well-being of innocent individuals. The explicit threats made against alleged blasphemers underscore the urgency of addressing this issue promptly and decisively. As a concerned advocate for human rights and religious freedom, I urge you to take immediate steps to: Condemn the extremist group’s actions in the strongest terms possible, denouncing the destruction of homes and the incitement of violence. Collaborate with local law enforcement and relevant authorities to identify and apprehend those responsible for the video and its distribution. Ensure the safety and protection of all individuals affected by these threats, particularly members of the Christian community who are now at risk. Initiate comprehensive efforts to counter extremism and promote tolerance and coexistence within Pakistani society. Engage with international organizations and partners to address this matter on a broader scale and emphasize the importance of safeguarding religious minorities’ rights. It is imperative that decisive action is taken to prevent further escalation of this alarming situation and to send a clear message that such acts of violence and intolerance will not be tolerated. The protection of religious freedom and the safety of all individuals, regardless of their beliefs, must remain a top priority. I eagerly await your response and reassurance that the necessary steps are being taken to address this urgent matter and uphold the principles of peace, tolerance, and respect. Sincerely, Juliet Chowdhry Trustee British Asian Christian Association Tehreek-e-Labbaik is an Islamist political and religious organization in Pakistan. Founded in 2015, it is known for its conservative stance on blasphemy laws and its emphasis on protecting Islamic values. The group has gained attention through protests and demonstrations, advocating for stricter enforcement of blasphemy laws and demanding respect for Prophet Muhammad. Tehreek-e-Labbaik has a significant following and has been involved in various social and political issues, particularly relating to religious matters. A shocking series of events has unfolded in Jaranwala, Pakistan, following allegations of the desecration of the Quran. What began as accusations against two Christian brothers has escalated into a devastating wave of violence, resulting in the destruction of over 20 churches and 500 homes. The situation remains tense as the community grapples with the aftermath of this unfortunate incident. On the morning of August 16th, a video surfaced on social media, capturing a Muslim cleric addressing local residents through a loudspeaker at a local shrine in Cinema Basti, Jaranwala. The cleric’s inflammatory statements, urging Muslims to gather at the Matan Mosque and implying a sense of negligence among them, contributed to heightened tensions in the area.

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