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Christian teacher's campaign against hate preaching in school leads to demand that he converts to Islam or dies!

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A Christian teacher was given a choice to convert to Islam or die after he infuriated Muslim teachers with his campaign to stop their hate preaching.

Musa Atique (43 years) was employed at Govt high school no.1, Kot Radaha Kishan which is in the district of Kasur. There he taught as a primary school teacher for over seven years.  Subjects he taught were English,Urdu,Social studies, and Islamiat a subject that is compulsory.

In recent weeks the government of Pakistan has proposed changes to the school syllabus, which now requires compulsory learning of the Quran and Islamic prayers.  However some of the zealot teachers in the school began using the opportunity of these new learning directives to teach hatred towards minority children especially Christians.

Sheikh Inam Ullah and Malik Azeem began inciting hatred during the Quranic study and Islamic prayer morning assemblies.  Mr Atique overheard them  using terms such as "Kafir" (infidel) and stating that Christians are supporters of Jews and spies for America.

Mr Atique told the headteacher of the school and asked him to intervene and stop the hate speech.  He described the worsening unrest and increased bullying the attacks were causing towards minority children. Sadly the headteacher totally ignored his concerns and the rogue teachers continued to inculcate Muslim school children with hate ideology. .

Mr Atique tried to get other teachers to support his concerns but minority teachers were too scared to get involved and the Muslim teachers who seemed more liberal chose to ignore the fanatical preaching.   On the 15th of March one teacher involved in the hate preaching Muhammed Akhbar came into his classroom and started beating him in front of other students, calling him a Christian 'Choora' (dirty sweeper). Mr Akhbar threatened to kill him if he continued to speak out against the 'holy act of preaching truth about evil Christians.' The violence stopped only when Mr Atique ran for safety to the Principal's office.  However after this many of the students started harassing him and spat on the floor whenever he walked by them

During a discussion with another teacher Gulam Ghos on 18th March 2016 he was questioned about his faith and the bible. During the conversation Mr Ghos told Mr Atique that he should convert to Islam or face being killed.  Mr Ghos and another teacher began to beat Mr Atique but he managed to escape their clutches by again running to the Principal who asked the two Muslim teachers to leave Mr Atique alone and took  no further action.  Sadly the repeated pattern of attempted conversion by force did not stop.  It became apparent to Mr Atique that the Principal was in fact part of the problem and had no passion to resolve the issue, with no other option open to him he decided to inform local Police about all the problems at his school. 
          
Musa registered a complaint of harassment and incitement towards hatred with local police.  He explained to them that he had received a serious threat to his life and was being bullied because he was campaigning for a stop to the hate speech. Local police visited the school and started to investigate the alleged crime.   

During police investigation the rogue Muslim teachers preaching hatred admitted that they had been sharing their extremist ideology with students. But the police took no action they simply asked the teachers to stop beating and harassing Mr Atique.  

Unfortunately as soon as the Police left the teachers slapped Mr Atique's face several times and warned him not to call the police again or he would be killed.  This attack was the most insidious as the attack happened before the Principal who offered no help to Atique. Unwilling to accept a life of harassment and torture Mr Atique wrote an application to the Executive District Officer (EDO), District Coordinating Officer (DCO) and the District Education Office (DEO) of the Education Department, He also sent a letter to the Chief Minister for Education in Punjab and The Governor of Punjab.  The same letter was sent to campaign group 'Christians in Pakistan' who asked the BPCA to intervene on behalf of Mr Atique.


Naveed Aziz of the BPCA and Musa Atique.

We sent our officer Naveed Aziz to meet with Mr Atique, who was elated that someone had noticed his plight. He described the situation to Naveed, saying:

"There is an environment of extreme religious bigotry.  Every day during the morning assembly at Government High School insults were hurled at Christians and other non-Muslims, he states.

“I have had heated arguments with my fellow teachers over these issues several times.” Ever since I was assaulted by Akbar, and again by Ghulam Ghos the school the school administration has taken no action.

"The Muslim teachers and the principal think it is fine to terrorize and bully Christian teachers and pupils.  But I wont have it.  I have recorded a Muslim teacher  Muhammad Sarwar preaching hateful words about the Christian faith , “I have recorded his speech.” 

News of his efforts to stop the hate speech in his school reached the community he lived in. Suddenly he was Mr Atique started receiving hate mail through the post and by email.  Often he found excrement in front of his door which looked human. The situation for his family worsened to an extent that the while community began shunning him after local people connected to the radical teachers spread rumour that he was a blasphemer.

Mr Atique, candidly shared his fears, he said:

"I had serious concerns regarding threats to my life and that of my family. People were brewing a plot to lay blasphemy charges against me. I was being shunned by my fellow teachers but some Christians warned me of the impending blasphemy charge.  

I told the the Principal what was happening in a letter copied to various bodies to ensure he was committed to my safety.  Te school administration transferred me to the Deputy D.E.O.’ office to ward off any violence but the same bullying has begun here as I am now labelled as a Christian campaigner."

Mr Atique approached 'Christians In Pakistan' a campaign group reporting on crimes against Pakistani Christians. Their officer Madeeha Baksh contacted the BPCA and asked us to offer help to the beleaguered and frightened family. Our officers Kanwal Amar and Naveed Aziz met with the family and next week will move them into a safe house.  We are hoping to find Mr Atique new temporary employment as a private tutor and will then start him in a full time role at our school for enslaved children which we hope to build by the end of the year.


Mr Atique has left is employment and is surviving on some private tutoring lessons.


Mr Atique, said:

"It hurts that my fellow teachers for so many years betrayed me and launched and disseminated propaganda against me.  I  found myself continuously standing up against their extremist outlook. Already so much hate has been incited against me and community tensions near our home were reaching a peak

"I anticipated a reprisal from the local extremists. If it was not for Christians in Pakistan and British Pakistani Christian Association I would most probably be dead by now, or sitting in a prison cell waiting to be hung and killed for a blasphemy I never committed." 

Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:

"Life for Christians will reach an all time low, now that the Pakistani Government has directed schools to include Quranic studies in their school assemblies and hold Islamic prayers in all schools. The process is easy to abuse and permits fanatical religious zealots to inculcate vulnerable young minds with their evil ideology.

"Britain's foreign aid to Pakistan who are the largest recipient, is once again brought to question. £225 million is earmarked for holistic educational reform, yet the education system seem to be worsening under the current Pakistani government. By introducing religious prayers and teaching to schools in Pakistan they have made these schools no better then the notoriously brutal madrassahs.  It seems Pakistan is entering a phase of religious zeal that will create severely neurotic communities by their own design."

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Our safe house requires your help if it is to continue providing a temporary shelter for blasphemy victims, rape victims and Christian slave.  Our work with such victims also includes finding them employment and new permanent homes. We also require help to raise funds to initiate our school in Kasur for enslaved children. If you would like to contribute please (click here)



The innocent family of Musa Atique with Naveed Aziz

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