Friday, February 24, 2006

A man beaten, joins in a call for education and not violence

I'll repost the whole article (link):

Christian singer beaten in Islam conversion attempt

The singer is A. Nayyaf, well known in the country; the National Commission for Justice and Peace has written to the Minister of Religious and Minority Affairs.

Lahore (AsiaNews) – The move to rob a famous Christian singer in Pakistan became an attempt of forced conversion to Islam. The incident took place on 18 February in Lahore, Punjab. When he was returning home at night, the Christian, A. Nayyar, was stopped by six men who wanted to rob him. When the criminals recognized him, however, they started to beat and insult him, demanding that he recite the Salama-Tayyaba, the Islamic profession of faith.

After they robbed and injured him, the assailants fled, leaving Nayyar on the ground. Residents of the area, who had heard shouting, went to help the singer.

The singer, according to the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) – an organ of the Pakistani Church tackling human rights – has no intention of taking legal action against the as yet unidentified perpetrators. According to Waseem Muntazir, a friend of the singer, they were amateur criminals, because otherwise “they would have done much more”.

Nayyar, who performs many national songs apart from Christian lyrics, is very popular among Muslims too.

After the incident, the NCJP wrote a letter to the Religious and Minority Affairs Minister, calling on him to tackle such episodes and to seek to educate the people in religious respect.

What is positive in this story is that the man who was attacked sees that the people who attacked him are products of hate education.

He is not pressing charges against them, but stands behind a letter written by the church to the government minister to address education and religious respect. The article states that this man is well known and liked by both Christians and Muslims.

He is not standing up and trying to start a cycle of violence. He is not asking that vengence be taken. He is using the terrible thing that happened to him to reach out and educate. And perhaps, since he is well known and liked, this will get better results than the same attempt by a person not known throughout the country.

I pray that this true Christian behavior may inspire love and truth.

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