Our vision is to create a network of Pakistanis united in Christ, focused on better quality of life, fellowship and religious freedom for Christians in Pakistan and the UK.
Image of Wilson Chowdhry and an officer responsible for the training regime for Home Office asylum and humanitarian protection officers - outside Home Office building in 2017 (click here).
A Pakistani humanist has been denied humanitarian protection in the UK based on his inability to adequately answer questions relating to Plato and Aristotle, two of ancient Greece's most influential philosophers from the 5th century BC, who could to some extent be credited with having initiated the humanist movement.
The strange rejection of the application of Hamza Bin Walayat is at odds with the majority of humanist thinkers of the 21st century who would argue that the influence of Aristotle and Plato, stoked the concept of humanism but would refer, more often then not, to Francesco Petrarca aka Petrarch (1304 - 1374) an Italian scholar from the middle-ages as the founder of modern Humanism. The Renaissance human-centric movement and more modern humanistic philosophies and principles that emerged in the 19th century came centuries later.
Hamza had sought asylum in Britain after he denounced Islam and joined a group called 'Humanists U.K' according to the Guardian Newspaper.
Walayat, entered the UK in 2011 and has resided here since. He claims that he has received death threats from members of his family and his community in Pakistan after adopting a more secular British life. He has developed a relationship with a non-Muslim partner and no longer adheres to the religious practices and expectations of Islam.
The Home Office state, however, that Hamza bin Walayat’s inability to name any famous Greek philosophers who were humanistic identified that he only held a “rudimentary at best understanding of Humanism below 'what would be held by a genuine follower'.” The Home office also rejected his fears of religious persecution in Pakistan saying that such fear was 'unfounded.'
The Home Office position seems not to recognize the threat placed on those who quit Islam, irrespective of the direction those who quit the faith take. In 2016, BPCA wrote a report on Apostasy Hatred in the UK (click here) . The report clearly highlighted cases of hate crimes enacted upon converts from Islam to Christianity, Humanism and atheism, using real life case studies.
On February 15th 2017, Faisal Bashir a former Muslim who quit because of alleged hate speech from a local Ilford mosque, spoke of persecution in the 'cosmopolitan' well policed London Borough of Redbridge. When the leader of the Federation of Redbridge Muslim Organisation was quizzed on the allegations rather than accept Faisal's experience along with his sincere change of viewpoint, he conjectured:
“I don’t think this is about religion, I think it’s the individuals involved being a bit silly.
“Maybe this man has had a family disagreement with these people or he’s anxious or distressed about something, so he’s decided to attribute it to him being an atheist.
“I think there’s also a lack of understanding about what Islam is because I go in and out of mosques in Ilford all the time and there is no hate preaching whatsoever.
"It just doesn't exist."
With this firm denial of hate speech asserted, it was made evident only months later when the trio involved in the London Bridge Bomb attack were linked to Ummah Gym in Ilford and several reports of a jihadist trainer who attended a local mosque were brought to light in papers such as the Times (click here) . One of the reports was from chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, Wilson Chowdhry.
Mr Chowdhry, said:
"It makes no sense that if people in the UK are being persecuted for quitting Islam and joining movements such as Humanism or holding no faith, that they could return to Pakistan a country steeped in Islamic radicalism and enjoy a good quality of life.
"It is absurd to assume that there is no mosque in Redbridge, in London, or any other region of the UK that is preaching hatred of this type, how much more so then can we expect apostasy hatred and other extremism to be taught from the massive number of mosques in Pakistan."
In April 2017, BPCA reported on the murder of a student who referred to himself as 'The Humanist' on his facebook page. The outrage caused by Mishal Khan's quitting of Islam resulted in him being beaten by academic students and professors for an assumed blasphemy. A video of the attack can be viewed on our website (click here).
A whole raft of other attacks on humanist and atheist have been referred to in the BPCA report on persecution in Pakistan, published in 2016 (click here)