Friday, May 04, 2007

Sikhs Who Convert in Pakistan Not Safe

Converts to Islam aren't safe in Pakistan as Pakistan continues to implode in what is increasingly looking like a civil war...
A Sikh who had embraced Islam in Pakistan around 29 years ago has been asked by the Ansar-ul-Islam, a radical Islamic group, to re-affirm his conversion in accordance with the group's teachings.

The ongoing sectarian clashes between the Ansarul Islam and the Lashkar-i-Islam in Khyber Agency have forced massive migration from the area to Peshawar besides claiming several lives.

Din Mohammad, the Sikh-turned-Muslim of Tirah Valley, said that Ansarul Islam leaders Qazi Mehboobul Haq and Said Akbar had summoned him a month ago asking him to 're-affirm' his conversion to Islam.

He said that he had nothing to do with the sectarian war being fought by rival groups in his area. It was beyond his comprehension that a Muslim could re-convert to Islam, the Dawn quoted him as saying.

He said when he refused to obey the 'command', the group's workers illegally detained his son, fined him Rs 200,000, ordered demolition of his home and told him to immediately move out of the valley. He said he had no option but to move from his village to the settled area.

"I am living in Sorizai on Kohat road. Most of my relatives have settled in Sheikhupura. We have no security of life and property in Tirah," he said.

He urged the federal government to protect him from the Ansarul Islam leaders who had occupied his agricultural land in the valley. The religious extremists had made the lives of people in the Khyber Agency difficult and the ongoing clashes had brought the business activities to a standstill.

He urged the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam to control the group.

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