A Bad Week For Religious Tolerance


It’s been another bad week for religious tolerance.

At least 70 people were killed and 300 injured after Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of the Pakistan Taliban, attacked a crowded public park in the Eastern city of Lahore, to coincide with Easter celebrations,

Meanwhile, thousands of protesters clashed with police in Islamabad in protests over blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Outraged at the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri for murdering Governor Salman Taseer, accusing him a  “blasphemer”, the demonstrators called for the imposition of Sharia law. They also denounced draft legislation in Punjab outlawing violence against women.

In the Iraqi city of Iskandariya, a suicide attack by so-called Islamic State killed at least 32 people at a football match.

The cause of religious minorities in Bangladesh was also set back. A court dismissed a 28 year long battle to revoke a constitutional provision declaring Islam as the state’s religion.

My home town of Glasgow has had it’s own taste of these troubles. First, a leading Imam at the highly regarded Glasgow Central Mosque was revealed to have sent messages praising Mumtaz Qadri in Pakistan and condemning his execution. He claimed these were taken “out of context”, but it’s hard to see how.

Then, there was the tragic murder of much-loved Glasgow businessman Asad Shah, outside his own shop in the South Side of the City, allegedly by a fellow Muslim. Mr Shah, belonged to the Ahmadi Islamic community which promotes “love for all, hatred for none”.

Asad Shah

Citizens of Glasgow gathered in to commemorate Mr Shah and promote peace and tolerance, and a GoFundMe page has raised over £90,000 in support of the victim’s family.

Secularists face real discrimination in parts of the Muslim world. From where I am in the UK, it’s hard to know what we can do to help. Please, let us know.

By Roger Dubar, Glasgow, Scotland 

The writer can be reached at   roger@zapcoder.com



  1. The intolerance on the religious basis is on the increase. Not only religious but ethnicity as well. Had Brits not agreed for the great divide, I am not sure but presume that the situation would have not this bad. Pakistan was used as a springboard to radicalise the Muslims by the Sectarians backed by Gen;Zia and Musharraf, the darlings of USA and UK.
    Now you can do a lot. We should pressurise the US administration, to pressurise Saudi, Pakistan, Tehran to stop double track diplomacy. The headquarters of all these animals are in Punjab. The strategist and financiers are residing there. For practical training, they are sent to FATA.
    The Indian and Tehran should be told bluntly if they can’t help Pakistan’s army to eradicate this menace, should put the Stake factor on the backburner for a while till this bigger threat is contained.
    I am aware that the US can influence Tehran very little but can use Russian’s good offices. Unless they are starved in cash and kind they cannot be eradicated. I am sorry I am out of touch with middle- East new developments.

  2. I must bring it to your notice that Pakistan is least interested rather they create hurdles for the army to start National Action Plam in Punjab.
    As for as the army is concerned they are the most allied ally of the USA and Britain will be more aware, that how far they are ready to go.

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