ASIA/PAKISTAN - In Parliament the case of the Christian student killed in school

Thursday, 14 September 2017 school   education   discrimination   religious minorities   religious freedom   islam   human rights   youth  

Islamabad (Agenzia Fides) - "The case of Sharon Masih is tragic and a shame for the country. It is necessary to act urgently. That is why I have asked all members of the National Assembly to reconsider the issue of the school curricula reform in Pakistan as a priority and I have asked to introduce the theme 'inter-religious harmony' as a subject in all public schools of every order and degree of study": says to Agenzia Fides Christian parliamentarian Khalil George, who on 12 September spoke to the Pakistani Parliament concerning the case of the lynching of Christian student Sharon Masih, who was killed in school on August 30 by his Muslim peers (see Fides 2/9/2017 and 13/9/2017). As Fides learns, the serious question was listened and discussed by legislators. The episode, notes the Christian parliamentarian, "is an opportunity to reiterate the curriculum reform in schools".
"Intolerance and religious hatred towards minorities are instilled in the minds of students through study programs. Instead, they should be based on inter-religious harmony, the basis for social cohabitation", he explains to Fides. In the case of Masih, George adds, "serious action must be taken against the perpetrators, and the assassin must be punished according to the law".
Khalil George also announces that he will present an official request to name the school, where he was lynched, after Sharon Masih. "And the victim's parents, who live poorly, must be supported by the government", he notes.
Other details of Sharon Masih’s story emerge. According to the reconstruction of some family members, one of the pretexts used by Muslim students to hit him (Masih was the only Christian in a class of 70 students) is "having used a glass used by all other students to drink water". "Sharon was beaten up and the teachers did nothing to stop the violence", they say. One of the teachers who attended school this morning told the police that he had not seen anything, as he was "busy reading a newspaper".
The Pakistan Minorities Teachers Association, founded and led by Catholic Professor Anjum James Paul, said: "As confirmed by our studies, many textbooks adopted in schools contain sentences that give a distorted vision and fuels hatred and discrimination against non-Muslims. We are trying to convince the government to change this situation. We want to help make Pakistan a state in which people belonging to religious minorities feel and live as an integral part of the nation". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 14/9/2017)


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