A group calling itself the Asian Human Rights Commission is highlighting the oppression of Christians in Pakistan. In a report dated July 11th 2017 and carried by the ROP website, the organisation claims that Pakistan’s minority Christian community are being used as a sort of slave caste. Organisations and entities are recruiting Christians to clean sewers and undertake all manner of filthy jobs that the Muslim Pakistanis consider to be ‘beneath them’. Many of these Christians are converts from the Dalit class of Hindu and some of these Christians chose to convert as a means of escape from the Hindu caste system where the Dalits were considered by some caste Hindus to be the lowest of the low.
But it seems that these Christians who saw in Christianity a means of living as equals with others are now being forced into the same sort of work that they did when they and their families were Hindu Dalits. These Christians are being forced into permanent servitude as sewer workers etc by being forced to vow that they will never seek any other position than that of the worst cleaning jobs.
The Asian Human Rights Commission page said:
In an act of blatant discrimination against the Christian religious minority, and an infringement of Article 27 of the Constitution of Pakistan, the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has invited applications for the job of sewers from Non-Muslims only. Moreover, applicants are required to take an oath on their religious holy book – Geeta or Bible – that they will never do anything else but work as a sanitary worker, and will never refuse to carry out the work.
This is not the first time that Article 27, which provides safeguards against discrimination in services or employment, has been so blatantly trampled upon. The government has adopted a systemic policy of reserving sanitation posts for non-Muslims. On 18 September 2015, the Mandi Bahauddin, Punjab province’s District Head Quarter Hospital, publicized 10 vacancies, where sanitation jobs were reserved for minorities. A similar advertisement was issued by the Lady Wellington Hospital in Lahore, requiring only “non-Muslims” for this work. In 2015, the Punjab Cardiology Hospital issued an advertisement in several newspapers, which stated that “Only Non-Muslims persons who belong to minorities will be accommodated” for sanitation work. Though the advertisement was later redacted, it was made publicly clear that sanitation work was beneath the Muslim majority population.
This prejudice against non-Muslims, particularly the Christians, has its roots in history. Prior to independence, Dalit Hindus were entrusted with such menial jobs. When they left Pakistan in hordes post independence, the Muslim majority complained to the local administration about the lack of human resources to clean. Consequently, the Christian converts from Dalit Hindus were used to fill in the vacuum. While these Dalits had converted from Hinduism to Protestant Christianity to escape caste discrimination, the stigma of being sanitation workers remained with the community. Their Dalit ancestry remains a distinct feature of social discrimination against Christians in Pakistan.
Due to the lack of political will in uplifting the Christian community, the Christian sanitary workers, or Chuhras, as they are locally called, are confined to remain sanitary workers for generations. According to a survey conducted by an organization working for the upliftment of the beleaguered community, “Total Christian population in Pakistan is 10.5 Million; out of these only 4% are educated or receiving education, about 68% of Christians are jobless.” Furthermore, some 81% of Christians are without homes, 39% Christians are employed as labourers, 67% Christian families are living below the poverty line, 29% Christian females are working as maids and 65% Christian men are sanitary workers.
While the ratio of Christians and Muslims working in the sewers is 60 percent to 40 percent, most Christian sanitary workers said their Muslim co-workers did not indulge in any sanitation work after recruitment, and discriminated against them. Non-Muslim sweepers are preferred because they are easily exploited. Also, there is no compensation in case of the death of Christian sanitary workers.
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It should be obvious to any reader that the Muslims of Pakistan are treating their Christian and other minorities with utter disdain and are discriminatory against them. What this story illustrates very clearly are Islamic attitudes to religious and cultural minorities. It’s correct and sobering to consider how Muslims in the West whine on and on about their rights as minorities, but when they are in control, as they are in Pakistan, minority rights go right out of the window.
Pakistan truly is a shithole and it’s the poor discriminated against Christians who are increasingly being forced to clean this shithole out, at an appalling cost to the lives of Christian workers in sewers and in rubbish collection. Those who think that Islam is a ‘religion of peace’ and whose adherents will treat believers in other religions equally and fairly need only take a look at the situation for religious minorities in Pakistan to see this lie exposed.