Tuesday, 14 June 2011

What do an Imam, A former Bishop, A Nazi Holocaust survivor, Hindu and Sikh Human Right group leaders have in common?

What do an Imam, A former Bishop, A Nazi Holocaust survivor, Hindu and Sikh Human Rught group leaders have in common? 

Before you all start assuming this is the the first line of an atheists joke on faith let me clarify...

For those of you who are still unaware on the 2nd July 2011 leaders and communities from a multitude of faiths will join together to call for reform of the Blasphemy Laws of Pakistan.  These laws have been abused by extremists and those with personal enmities to subject minority communities living in Pakistan to persecution and significant inequality. Further details can be viewed below:

MEP Jean Lambert and Former Bishop of Rochester Dr Michael Nazir Ali.

The BPCA is organising it's next annual protest march against the Blasphemy Laws of Pakistan that have created second class citizenship, for minorities living in Pakistan. Section 295b&c and 298a of the Pakistan Penal Code has frequently been used as a tool to oppress people of faith minorities and to enact retribution for personal vendettas on the vulnerable. Our protest will be held on the 2nd July 2011 and below we list the itinerary:

10:30: Set up to the fore of Pakistan Embassy, Lowndes Square, Knightsbridge (feel free to join us and to assist)

1 hour worship service

12:00: Submission of petition at Pakistan Embassy

12:00 - 12:30:
30 minutes of political speeches
12:30: Protest march starts and head towards 10 Downing Street
14:00: Arrive at 10 Downing Street - 10 minutes of political speeches
14:10: Submission of Petition at 10 Downing Street
14:15: Speakers form attendees
14:30: Prayer and close.

Guests include:

  • Opening prayer by Reverend Barry Cheeseman of Ilford High Road Baptist Church
  • Bishop Dr Michael Nazir Ali - Former Bishop of Rochester
  • Stuart Windsor - Christian Solidarity Worldwide
  • Dr James Shera MBE, PGCE -Former Mayor of Rugby
  • Alison Ruoff - Former Magistrate/member of the General Synod of the Church of England
  • MP Lee Scott -Conservative Party
  • Alan Craig - Christian Peoples Alliance
  • Canon Yacub Masih
  • Rev Stephen Green - Christian Voice
  • John Pontifex - Aid to the Church in Need
  • David Prasad- Castewatch
  • Imam Dr Hargey - Oxford Islamic Congregation
  • Dr Martin Stern (Nazi Holocaust Survivor and former Student at Peshawar University)
  • Pastor Hari Kaul - Wolverhampton Asian Christian Fellowship (Indian)
  • Reverend Amelia Jacob - St John's Alperton
  • Andrea Minichiello-Williams - Director of Christian Concern
  • Canon Toby Crowe - St John's Alperton
  • Upkar Rai - British Sikh Council
  • John Bosco - Christian Social Link
  • Jesbir Singh - Free Sarabjit Singh Campaign
  • Reverend Gill David - currently with St Paul's, Hounslow (soon Manchester)
  • Ranbir Singh - Hindu Human Rights Group
Speeches will be incorporated into the 30 minutes section before starting the march and the 30 minutes after the march.  Some speakers will be used during the 1 hour worship service.

Previous events have been a real success and MEP Jean Lambert has attended both events, Baroness Cox attended our first event, while former Bishop of Rochester Dr Michael Nazir Ali joined us on the last event.
We have previously enjoyed company with Women Against Fundamentalism, The Hindu Human Rights Group, Sikh Human Rights Group, British Sikh Council, United Sikhs, Bishop Michael Read, Canon Toby Crowe, Alan Craig Christian Peoples Alliance and many other senior figures.

This year the date is held on the 2nd of July to commemorate the martyrdom of Sajid and Wajid Maish the two pastors shot dead after being acquitted of a false blasphemy charge in Faisalabad. They were arrested on the 2nd July 2010.

Last years event was held on the 31st July to commemorate the tragic attack on Gojra in which 9 people were killed, 100 homes razed to the ground and two churches were destroyed. This incident occurred after a false blasphemy charge was placed on a community said to have used torn shreds of the Quran as confetti. The incident in Gojra took place on 1st August 2009 and the bride and groom and close family were killed.

This year we will also hold a 1 minute silence for Shahbaz Bhatti with a few tributes - to our former brother.

Please complete a comment if you will be coming to encourage others

1 comment:

  1. Shahbaz Bhatti spoke up against abuse and persecution of Christians. God bless his memory.I am in support of a reform of Blasphemy Laws.