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Published: 27 June 2022

Freedom of Religion for Non-Muslims in Islam: A Pakistani Affair

Tasmiah Zaman

The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, United Kingdom

asia institute of research, journal of education, education journal, education quarterly reviews, education publication, education call for papers
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doi

10.31014/aior.1996.01.02.15

Pages: 128-134

Keywords: Freedom of Religion, Islam, Shariah, Sunnah, Hindus, Rights of Non-Muslims

Abstract

Pakistan has long claimed itself to be Shariah compliant, as particularly enshrined in the preamble of its Constitution to be an Islamist State. However, the religious minority, which makes up about 2-4% of the total population, especially the Hindus, have always been the target of persecution, denied religious freedom and even forced to convert to Islam. It is an irony that a state making such a constitutional claim of abiding by the Quran and Sunnah has turned a deaf ear to the freedom of religion and the rights that Islam guarantees to the non-Muslims of a Muslim state. The Quran and the teachings of the Prophet are not only clear on this subject but also vigilant in upholding the rights of non-Muslims. Although religious minorities in Pakistan comprise of not only Hindus but Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadiyyas and other ethnic minorities, this paper intends to focus solely on the plight of the Hindus in Pakistan, in light of the freedom of religion guaranteed by Islam. The study shall focus on the persecution of the Hindu minorities by way of forced conversions, refusal of the right of practicing their own religion and the recent halt of the construction of a temple in Islamabad. The research further engages in the historical perspective of freedom of religion in Pakistan and its relationship with the Islamic ideology it possesses, as opposed to the true teachings of the Quran and Sunnah which is evidential of the harmonious relationship among people of all religions, cultures and ideology.

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